Impressions and "Future" Progress
Things are moving along nicely.
War Ender Store Links:
I think it’s about time we took another look at my other works and see where things are at. Given some recent developments, it seems only natural to let you all know what is happening behind the scenes. In short, things have been proceeding swimmingly for both Impressions and the game after. With Impressions, I’ll give a brief rundown of where the game is at and what all is left from here. As for the big game, which I’ll refer to as “Future” from here on out, I have another small teaser and update for that too.
Let’s start with Impressions, as that will be the focus of today’s dev blog. This game is now completely playable from beginning to end. This means the player can begin playing in Day 1 of the game and go all the way through the end, complete with an ending and even a brief timeline of events at the end. There are three endings in Impressions, all three of which relating to how you speak about the aliens during the different in-game days. However, the exact path to your ending and even some of the details of the game’s ending can be changed depending on various actions throughout Impressions.
Speaking of various actions, the news and response section that’s started every day in the game has been given some updates. The content of the news can now be scrolled through, allowing much more text and photos to be fit into this portion. This will interpret to being able to more clearly see how what you say in the game will affect those watching. For instance, in the above gif the news section’s second paragraph changed in response to the player saying they had no idea what the future would contain post-alien contact. And it’s not just the news that changes either. Public response also responds to the player’s words, and they can be spicy - a bit like the internet we know and love now, no? This player apparently responded negatively towards the aliens as evidenced by two people claiming their pessimistic talk will contribute to humanity’s downfall. Yikes…
Those are just a couple of the outcomes for acting a certain way. There are many more ways this opening into Day 2 could change. For instance, what if the player had said a bright future was on the way? Well, the news would certainly change to reflect that, but you’d almost certainly have someone responding to the player claiming they’re spreading false hope. Or instead you can get someone who will back you up on those claims and think your mindset is exactly what’s needed right now. There’s multiple ways this single screen can change. In fact, according to my code, there appear to be twenty four individual things you can say that can affect what you see on this screen for this day. And that’s not even including whether the player was positive, neutral, or negative about the events of the day.
I guess the question now is what’s left with Impressions? The game is playable from beginning to end and is presently accounting the various things the player can see. Well, for starters, the game will need to be dressed up a bit more. Programmer art isn’t going to cut it after all, so once the game’s art is ready it will be inserted into the game. Hopefully I’ve done my part and made it so that when it comes time to get the finished artwork in the game it will be a snap. Of course, a game isn’t complete without music and sound effects either. For now, I’m holding out on making music as I want the game’s soundtrack to compliment the finished artwork as best as it can. That’s certainly one major difference between Impressions and War Ender. War Ender’s soundtrack was made to enhance its gameplay, whereas Impression’s soundtrack should compliment its atmosphere.
Perhaps less obvious to the casual observer is the need to polish up the game’s story. I’ve been intentionally quiet on the events of the game’s story as it will be the focus of the game and I want players to experience it without knowing too much about what will happen beforehand. But one thing I can certainly say is while the game’s story I find to be engaging and interesting, it also could use some work. Some issues include repetitive discussion and not enough “oomph” in the character dialogue. It needs to read like it’s coming from an entertainment news show, and currently Impressions could do more to get that feeling across. Writing cleanup and polish will be the focus of this next month and perhaps even the month after. Once that’s done, we will only need to make the game presentable and then it should be ready to release. I can’t give any release times now, as I’ve been taking the “it’s done when it’s done” approach, but things have been moving along well enough.
What do you say we shift gears and talk about “Future?” This game has also seen a lot of improvements. In fact, it could be argued it’s seen even more than Impressions, though that might just be because “Future’s” progression is much more obvious. The screenshot I’ve attached above is the map of one of the areas you’ll be visiting during your time playing “Future.” You might be reminded of a 2D Castlevania or Metroid when looking at this map. Though, if you recall the last teaser image I put up a while back, the game is obviously not 2D. It is a 3D game with a map layout that, if I so desired, could easily transition into a 2D game. I’m sure you’ve also taken notice of the various markings throughout the map. The room numbers (ex: A4) are primarily for my internal use. It’s how I keep track of which room is what in the game. The yellow text indicates certain objects in the room, such as save points and health regeneration. Finally, the brackets represent the level select area.
“Future” is definitely far from done, but to give you an idea of where things currently stand I just finished putting together the second boss character. It’s of course more of a placeholder but functionally does the things I’d want the actual boss to do. The above map is also completely playable, albeit in a very early form. There are items to be found and enemies to take on. I’ve also gotten the structure of another area together - I just need to make the actual map document for it and populate it with things to do. A third area has also started undergoing creation, though its map is still in the “design phase.” No actual level has been made for it in-game yet.
There’s plenty of other things that I could talk about with “Future” as well, such as the game (so far) being able to save all important player data such as items found and how much of the map has been exposed. Several enemy types were devised and implemented, though they will undoubtedly see plenty of changes. Various UI additions and changes, bug fixes, and a whole lot more. Like Impressions, “Future” has been moving along very well all things considered. However, unlike Impressions, it’s still got a long road ahead of it. I look forward to telling you more about both games when the time comes.
War Ender Store Links: