Stuff Under the Header


Another Progress Report

The blog reached over 100,000 views the other day. Some of that is from a handful of google bots. (I typically see about 10% of the 'traffic' from those.) It's how I find sites where people link to the blog and where people are talking about the game.

Chapter 18 has a small handful of maps left to make and script for. Spoilers to the testers, there's another boss encounter. Things aren't done yet. That said, it's pretty much done. When looking over what's made compared to the original plan, I wasn't surprised that what I actually made was pretty different than what was planned.

Without spoiling things: Originally it was going to be more story driven, with bits of dialogue mixed in and somewhat frequent short stops. This isn't what happened at all and lately I've been playing around with more interactive cutscenes. They're nothing that AAA titles do, but that isn't the focus here at all. Scripted cutscenes take a long time to do right and my engine is not built for it. I haven't given myself a lot of tools to develop them rapidly like I can for levels and AI. I find that interactive sequences (where the player has control, but they really can't change the outcome of the situation/story) are actually easier to do in my engine. Forcing the player object to move during cutscenes is tricky because when the game is paused, all the player physics are told to stop, and while that's actually an easy fix, I won't bother with it. There are very few times where I forcibly move the player object without player consent. I don't like doing it actually. The most I do with DT3 is move the player object a short distance left or right. Like the stuff that happened just before the Quick Time Distorter in DT1. I much more prefer to do something like what happens at the end of the Shroud Lord fight with the spike walls closing in. Of course the things I'm doing now are much different, I simply mean I like giving the player control of the character during something like that, even if they technically can't do anything to change the situation. (Note: There was some redundancy in that long paragraph.)

So what actually happened in Chapter 18 is a lot of almost no cutscenes at all. The dialogue is very condensed and occurs rarely. There's even sequence that the player can skip by entirely where two characters are chatting, but don't know the player is there. The player will probably stop, but I find it actually felt right to let them simply pass that conversation by if they wanted. It's simple I know, but DT3's end content is stepping in that direction a lot.

No screenshot this time, but hey, there's a spider drone that can reverse its gravity and stick to the ceiling. How fucking awesome is that?


Kurtis Haren said...

I actually like the more interactive pieces rather than set cutscenes. It's a lot more fun to be a part of the narrative than to just have it spoon-fed to you.

So, what do you mean by giving yourself tools to help with making levels and AI? I'm a bit confused at this. I've dabbled a bit in Game Maker Studio, using GML rather than drag & drop, but nothing as elaborate as these games (I made a halfway functional Mega Man engine), so I don't quite understand what you mean by making tools to help put it together.

ZephyrBurst said...

For most things in DT, I've set up scripts and such to handle a lot of things for me. Like checking collision, or something like an enemy checking the area around to see if it's about to fall in a pit, or if there's a wall in front of it, how high that wall is, etc. I've made scripts that will handle all that. All I need to do is give it some parameters, if the return value is what I want, then do a thing.

For cutscenes, I haven't made very much to help that process along. I have a process, but it isn't as refined as other gameplay related things.