Me talking about myself
I wanted to make a game that expressed every single emotion that I have felt over the past 28 years of my life. A game that can capture all that I love and care about and condenses into a 20 to 40 hour experience.
I knew the journey there would be difficult but holy shit it's a lot of work. I've been pushing myself to work more which looks like, an 8 hour day at my day job, and a 2 hour (minimum) follow up to that on this game. On the weekends I probably manage 4 to 8 hours a day on this game. That averages a minimum of 18 hours of work per week on this game.
Now considering the amount of hours spent on this game each week, I hope that you're as proud of me as I am to see what has come from this work ethic over the past 3.5 months.
I've taken a big step back and have brought in a stronger focus on incorporating the story (more about this later) into the world and its many features. One very important part of the world is the wind.
More specifically the dust in the wind. It's special dust.
It might not look like much but this tree sway effect required a completely new approach to rendering walls. Some chunking here, batched rendering there, ya know.
I showed some of my friends the grass and they said, "It's weird that it all moves kind of like, sporadically." My little brain translated that to, it's not realistic enough and so I've made all foliage react to the wind as though it's passing through it from across the screen.
These tiny puddles provide some basic but visually pleasing reflections.
I added depth-sorted water reflections. Usually we render the world from bottom-to-top, for water reflections we do top-to-bottom.
Nobody cares about or notices these things, but I do, and this game is about my view of the world, so get used to extremely accurate reflections.
User Interface Touchups
The inventory color palette was just a tone too bright. I dimmed it down and made the backpack more of a rectangle. I also tweaked the reds/greens of stats on the left-hand side.
The item hotbar for equipped items had to get changed. Previously you had to hold CTRL or SHIFT or CAPSLOCK, and press one of the for ability keys, Q, W, E, or R. Look down at your keyboard and imagine trying to do that in real-time while engaged in combat.
This new approach gives you 3 sets of 4 abilities and you press Q to hot-swap between them. This feels much more inline with traditional game mechanics. I also this is this is much more controller friendly.
Writing A Story
The story for Bring Me Hope has never been put down onto a page and that's because I didn't have a fully fleshed out story yet. I had a lot of keys points and important storylines that exist in my lil brain but nothing concrete.
Well thanks to Obsidian, a free writing tool that absolutely fucks, I have started the process of writing it all out.
Before you glance below and pass judgement onto me, please consider that I am no writer and producing literal pages of written content for both quests and character backgrounds is exhausting.
Cutscenes & Quests
I'm ashamed to admit that I thought that I could get away with cutscenes made of hot glue and uncooked macaroni. I broke and gave into my frontal lobes desire for systemic solutions to things. Sorry, basal ganglia, not today.
The idea with this new approach is to provide a simple solution that my monkey brain and both understand, and navigate with ease.
There are quests which contain scenes. Scenes contain conditions and actions. A condition might be "walk into a room". An action might be, "pan the camera to the left".
Pretty straight forward right? When we walk into a room, pan the camera to the left.
I am feeling good about my progress and have put in the work to provide myself with the tools to start building things faster. I hope for future blog posts to contain this much content if not more.
The support of my friends and coworkers is something that I never take for granted and really has kept me going on this project.
Beyond everything else, I want this to be the last game that I make for a while once it's done. It's important to me that I really wrap up all the things I want to say into this game.
It'll certainly take me at least a few more years but I'm more than happy to give that time and energy to it.
Thanks for reading!