Archive for month: December, 2012

Chippin’ away

15 Dec
December 15, 2012

I’ll have a full update on what’s been happening lately for you next week (mainly UI work), but for now here’s a screenshot of the Work-In-Progress Deck Editor screen. Some stuff is still placeholder or formatted incorrectly, and I’m still feeling like the green may be a bit overpowering, but we’re getting there, inch by inch.

DeckEditor

It’s deep crunch time, here at Rogue Moon HQ. I was coding ’til past midnight last. Not long till playable alpha now folks, not long at all. 2, maybe 3 weeks. o_o

Eye of the tiger, Gareth. Eye of the Tiger.

I’d watch that

14 Dec
December 14, 2012

A bit of fun for a Friday. 😉

Found this fake “tv intro” clip for a Shadowrun show while browsing around on youtube. It’s fairly neat.

I’d watch that!

A Taste of the Music of System Crash!

10 Dec
December 10, 2012

Time for something a bit different today! I’m really excited to be able to share this with you guys! Exclamation mark, exclamation mark!

I’ve been working with a talented local SA musician and sound engineer, Jonathan Reverie, to create some suitably moody cyberpunk music for System Crash.

Today, I’d like to share a taste of what we’ve been working on, a piece I plan to use as the main menu music. It’s still a work in progress, bear that in mind, but I think it’s turning out rather awesomely!

Click here to listen.

Enjoy!

Touring Frathouses

10 Dec
December 10, 2012

“We went and did a tour… around to a bunch of, like, frathouses and places like that. People who were gamers. Not people who read IGN. And [we] said, so, have you guys heard of BioShock? Not a single one of them had heard of it.”

I would have liked to be in that meeting, when it was decided that they needed to go on tour and talk to people about Bioshock.

“Where will we go? Where is a good place to talk to customers?”

“Mmmmm….how about…frathouses? That’s where gamers hang out, right?”

“Yeah…YEAH! Crack a brewski, bro, everyone in the party bus! To Alpha Kapa Kapa House! WooOOO!!”

*smashes beer can against forehead*

Seriously?

Look, I actually respect Ken Levine quite a lot. When I read interviews like this, and there are many, I always get the feeling that the developer is trying to convince themselves as much as the readers. They’re between a rock and a hard place, they’re smart guys but they also know who pays their bills. And they don’t want to hurt their project’s chances. So they stand there trying to defend, in public, the decisions the marketing team makes behind closed doors.

I saw this kind of thing in Obsidian’s Kickstarter interviews, too. Interviewers would ask about the advantages of Kickstarting a game, and what it feels like to go sans-publisher etc. And the answer would be so very careful. Trying to convey how as a company they were ecstatic at the chance to get out of the corporate choke hold on their creativity, without alienating those publishers and souring future business dealings. A ‘we may need them again in the future so lets not step on any toes’ deal.

Like I said, I respect Levine. I don’t think he’s stupid. He must get the chicken-and-egg nature of the argument he’s using. You have to appeal to the fratboys because you’ve always focused on appealing to the fratboys in the past etc. As the headline designer and developer, he’s the primary contact point for press interviews. So it’s up to him to try to convince fans that this art direction is a good one, no matter how he feels. And maybe he’s trying to convince himself at the same time. There is certainly a “shrug, don’t look at me man” feel to his responses.

Just one of the many reasons why it’s good to be an indie. Not having to lie to myself and others.

System Crash Update – Missioning

07 Dec
December 7, 2012

What are you working on right now, Gareth, I hear you ask.

Well, glad you asked. I’ve been creating the story campaign missions, a process that involves plotting the overall story arc, building up missions that lead the player through that arc (and side missions), writing up narrative and building the XML data entries.

Which look something like this.

In the process of writing the plot, I decided that I needed something more than just the little narrative blurbs before and after a card battle to make it interesting. It’s rather hard to create interesting characters in that format. So I added an in-game email system. You can’t actually reply to emails, but you receive them, and it’s implied that you act on them when you are going on ‘runs’. The email allows me to convey NPC personalities to some degree, though it’s not a full-fledged dialogue system, by any stretch.

(Note, writing is first draft and the contact portraits aren’t correct)

The email system also allows me to indulge myself by asking questions like “in the gritty cyberpunk future, what will penis-enlargement spam look like?”

Once this is done, it’s onto lots of playtesting and deck balancing. Oh, and adding sounds. Then I put on my wolverine-proof underpants and open it up to the public. Heaven have mercy.

So you want to be an indie game developer?

07 Dec
December 7, 2012

This excellent guide can help!