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Now that I’ve begun to get settled in, it’s been good to be back in the wonderful world of game development properly. And given the updates coming next, it was a good time to jump back in. Perhaps I should just say it now. During the month of March we had two, count ‘em, two major milestones achieved. To say that I’m pleased would be quite an understatement. So what happened? Let’s start with what’s probably the simpler one to explain.
The first major milestone I want to go over is for a game that I’ve not said much about. For this larger game that I’ve been working on, I can finally come out and say that all the gameplay for this game is complete on a basic level. All player abilities are operational, even if not fully fleshed out. Some simple enemies have been created which can be expanded upon later, and the upgrade system (you read that right) is in place. There’s a basic gameplay loop in action. What comes after this? At the moment, I’m still figuring that out. This event, as of this writing, only happened a few days ago. Just in time for the dev blog, am I right? While I still can’t show or tell much, I figure we could celebrate this momentous occasion by giving you a very, very alpha screenshot.
Have I mentioned that it’s 3D? I’m sure I’ve brought up the basics of the game before but if I’m honest I really don’t know which dev blog entry that could be. But yes, as you can gather from the screenshot (again, extremely alpha), the game is a first person shooter (FPS). Astute eyes can probably tell that this project is using Unreal Engine 4, which felt perfect for the kind of game I wish to make. You have your health, a gun with infinite ammo (between this and War Ender, I’m quite generous with ammo), a compass, and another gun with…fire ammo? Hmm, interesting.
We’ll leave this big game alone for the time being. It still needs plenty of time in the oven, after all. Let’s move on to Impressions, a game that I allow myself to say much more about. It also hit a major milestone, though what was achieved is a little less obvious. In a nutshell, the game is far along enough that I was able to come up with a basic demo for it. This demo isn’t available to the public though, sorry. It was created to show a certain artist what the game was all about. However, the fact that it could be created at all speaks well to the game’s progress.
To create this demo, a few things needed to be done. First, character customization needed to be allowed. A very important aspect of Impressions is letting the player be themselves in the game. And that all starts with the basics, such as your gender and name. Now Impressions addresses you as he or she, and will call you by your name. Or, if you like, you can have the game refer to you as “Butter.” It’s up to you. Once you’ve got your character created, the game begins.
From there, the progress continues. The first in-game day is fleshed out and ready. The characters now correctly respond to your various actions. So if, for example, you start the game talking about the greatness of aliens coming only to then suddenly call them mean names, the game will call you out on your inconsistency. The remaining days still need this aspect worked on, but it’s coming along. In addition, three of the four in-game days are playable from beginning to end. All that remains is day four, which is effectively the part where you get your ending. So, everything leading up to the game’s final moments is playable, and it’s just the ending section that needs working on.
The next major steps involve getting the game’s endings in order and allowing the remaining days to have the same responsiveness of the the first day. Doing all this could be potentially tricky since you have to program the game to be mindful of more and more choices as the story progresses. But once those things are done, the only other tasks remaining are polish. That includes technical polish as well as writing polish. And of course, there will be music, sounds, and art that doesn’t look like it was made by a programmer. Numerically there isn’t that many tasks left to do for Impressions!
But let’s not underestimate the work that remains. Just because you can count the number of things to do on your fingers doesn’t mean the path will still be easy. Making sure Impressions reacts to the player correctly for the remaining days will most likely be the hardest task and could take some time. All I can say is that the game is ready when it’s ready. How long that may be is something I don’t even know. But with this milestone completed, Impressions is that much closer to being finished.
Until next time!
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