Long Way Gone

The title doesn’t make any sense. I am fully aware of that. I need to put something up there since an empty box is an unhappy box. That’s the best I got, especially considering I feel an urge to make a bad Race / Time metaphor be the title for the rest of the project and there aren’t any good titles that I could think of with the the number 9 (the number of days left).
Right, so yesterday I was doing scripting and I ran into a wonderful idea. Well, not wonderful but certainly smart. The scripting is set up to deal with single screens and text bubbles. So every frame I have to tell it to draw the background, draw the characters and draw the text boxes. This isn’t really hard as long as the characters don’t do anything. Otherwise I have to hand animate what they are doing. Each frame I would tell the computer what character and what animation frame to use at what position. As one could see, that sucks. That sucks like a Hoover powered by a jet turbine that happens to also be the number 3 prostitute in all Khazakstan.
Yesterday I figured out a different method for doing the scripted animations. If I have a variable for the scripting that I can use as a counter and reference as one, then I can do animations by variable like the rest of the bloody game. For example, the opening scene as originally written had The Thief talking to another criminal in the Prison before escaping. After the Environmental Artist pointed out that The Thief is armed I had to rewrite that. So now a Guard enters the scene, has his sword stolen and is tossed into The Thief’s cell. Issue is, that is a lot of animated bits and would take forever to script the old way. Now I can do that is far less time and make it look a hell of a lot better.
I wished that I had run across this trick a little earlier, since I could have planned more interesting scenes. But this will be used to good effect for the “action” scenes with lots of characters and what not all around. So it’ll be faster and better in every way. That’s a good days work.
As far as the scripting is concerned I managed to do quite a bit on the first level already. I just need to pad out the rest of the first level for pacing – namely the “search” for The Thief. The second level will have less since it isn’t a Plot Centric level. I think it only has a couple of scenes in it. Unfortunately, it also has the most complex scenes in the demo. We’ll see how that goes.

– For those of you at home (who am I kidding, nobody reads this) neither CID or Star Frog Games feels sorry for the hoover joke, even though it was better in theory.

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