We’ve reached some kind of milestone now. After stumbling blindly through the dark in an attempt to define the look of the game I think that we got it now. The new Artist posed the idea originally. When I told him that I wanted the game to have a story book kind of feel he asked, “What, with turning pages?” To which I said, “No, that’s not quite right for the look that I’m going for.” Skip ahead a week later and I began to look at the idea again. Originally thinking that the idea wasn’t right, I tried thinking about why it wasn’t. After all, there is no defined look yet is there? Not in any real sense at least.
Then the ideas started coming. First the look of the game itself. I envisioned the central visual conceit of the game being that it literally takes place inside a story book. So the pages turn at the edges of the screen. The backgrounds are drawn on ancient looking pages that show the clear passage of time. The art, well, in my mind the art looks as worn as the pages themselves, with thick outlines of ink and bleeding like the book got wet once. So the level of detail could be as much or as little as the artist would like. Heck, the pages themselves could even be missing pieces or have parts of the background art faded from age.
From a game perspective the book idea could work too. The Animator had the idea of breaking the fourth wall. Personally, I’m not feeling it, mostly due to the engine tweaking required. But I do like the idea of using the book for many of the other pieces. The Pause menu could be its own page that is flipped to. The Saves could be represented as bookmarks in the book and flipped to as well. The stage select drawn like a Table of Contents. The conceit could be pushed along very far indeed and give the entire game the artistic center to really bring it all together.
Of course, this idea is just a wrapper for the core gameplay, but it would be some very delicious candy.
-So, the plan for today is to build a function that will simulate the turning of the pages. Not the final one yet, since I’m thinking that the pages would have the art on them somehow as they turn, but as test to see if the turning thing will screw up the gameplay.
-Also got my Post Mortem done. I’d post it here, but much of it is just a summary of the things I complained about in the diary itself. Redundancy is redundant. So I’ll get that proofread by a few people and get that out. Maybe I could have an article published. That would be cool I think.
– Oh, and another random thing has happened. The download limit has been reached. So I’ll repost the IGF version of the game again. This means that 10 different people have downloaded it and/or enjoyed it. That’s kind of cool.