Dev Blog #010 – Structural Challenges

Real progress is finally starting to appear in our work. We had a lot of assets that had to be UV’d and the appropriate texture sizes had to be decided upon. Previously this had all been just guess work, but after some discussion within the team, we created some UV tile maps and applied it to everything in the world. This not only helped ensure that the pixel density remained consistent, but it also meant that we could just output the UV maps to the proper texture size and outsource some of our art knowing it should fit correctly!

Blog010_01

We also finished up our first character and were able to work out the animations. While we had run tests on some early designs, we could now look at how we are properly going to implement the animations. The biggest challenge we have here is that we want to have 2D characters moving around a 3D world, which means we need to see all sides of the character, but only at certain angles. We also need to figure out how we plan on doing the facial animation, though that is a stretch goal at this moment.

Finally, we spent a lot of time trying to figure out how we will actually implement our story into the game. We tried many different ways and tools to create a spreadsheet like set of data and constantly were frustrated in our attempts. We came to realize the main issue was that the 2D format of a spreadsheet isn’t compatible with the depth of data we needed. Luckily, after querying on Twitter about possible solution, we discovered Articy, a non-linear narrative design tool.

Articy

This tool is incredibly robust and at first glance appeared to be able to do everything we had hoped. The first problem we ran into was that there isn’t a lot of information available on how the software works. We could understand what each component could do individually, but now how the whole thing works together. The second problem we encountered was trying to decide how to structure the flow. There are many components that we could use, but how much stuff should be done in the software versus the actual engine. The third problem was trying to understand the XML format the software exports to to see how everything interconnects.

Anyways, after a week of brute forcing our way through the program, we can definitely say the tool is suitable and will eventually make our life easier. We still have a few obstacles to overcome in regards to the structure we need, but we can finally see how it all comes together.

Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.
― Edgar Allan Poe

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