September 30, 2013 · 1:37 am
This post has been a long time in the coming.
After deliberating for awhile after going to Casual Connect and talking with some friends, both new and old, I decided not to continue working on this game project. This was a really hard decision for me to make. But in the end it was the right one. I wasn’t able to give as much time to the project as it was going to require of me (for a variety of reasons which I do not want to get into here). And I wasn’t really excited to work on it. A game with friends should be a fun project, one where everyone wants to make it because everyone believes in the game. This wasn’t that kind of project, and so it is time to move on. Officially we agreed to shelve the game, in case we get excited to work on it in the future. But even if we do resurrect it at a later date, that probably won’t be for a long while.
So now that it is shelved, it’s time to move onto other endeavors. I’ve renamed the game’s category here from “Untitled Project” to “Grassy Fact,” which was the working title we had for the game, just to free up “Untitled Project” for future projects.
Edit – April 21 2019: While cleaning up the categories for this blog, I’ve removed the category “Grassy Fact.” This post is now just classified as “Game Development,” but includes the tag “Grassy Fact.”
June 7, 2013 · 1:56 am
Over the weekend I was away in Ottawa for a one-day workshop (it wasn’t game related). While hanging out in my hotel room, I started designing the world of the as yet untitled game in map form. I enjoy drawing maps so this was sort of a logical thing for me to do while working with this new game’s setting. Of course, I decided to draw in pen rather than pencil, so I ended up designing the map on three separate sheets of paper; none of those were really the finished product (and one is more of a listing of words rather than an actual map now).
My plan was to redraw it once I got home and then scan it. But somewhere along the way I had a better idea: why not just find a map-making program and draw it on the computer instead?
I looked into several programs, including Campaign Cartographer 3 (which looked pretty neat) and Dundjinni before deciding on giving AutoREALM a try. Of the three, AutoREALM is covered under the GNU General Public License and was available as a free download, so having never designed a map using anything more complicated than Paint I decided it was the one to try for now. I may consider giving one of the other programs a try in the future, but until then I’m going to play around with AutoREALM.
So anyway, after downloading the program and checking out a quick tutorial, I was able to successfully recreate the map I designed in Ottawa:
I know the map isn’t perfect. Some of the areas are tough to read and the edges of the map are just white space because I didn’t design them. But I had a lot of fun drawing this (both in pen and on AutoREALM). I didn’t actually come up with all the names for things either; my programmer friend helped me brainstorm the place names while I was in Ottawa.
The best part about this map is that it’s helping me visualize the set-up for the game, particularly with the story and levels. It’s giving me a great starting point for character backgrounds. What’s more, the map also has some of the unique level-specific features of the game on it. The final game might not be laid out like this, but at least I have a starting point.
May 23, 2013 · 7:43 pm
Apologies, I’ve been pretty quiet on here over the last few months. But I’ve been leaving some updates on Twitter so I thought I’d give a larger update here: a couple of friends and I are designing a game!
Last night, my programmer friend, artist friend and I sat down and really worked out the details for the game engine. I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but I got nominated the lead designer when we started this, so I’ve been pretty busy trying to figure out the game mechanics and the art direction. My artist friend has done some great concepts and has started working on the character models (they’re going to be 3D). We just got another friend on board to create the music; he’s already got one piece finished (which sounds great!) and we’ve started discussing what the rest of the music should be like.
I’ve never actually designed a game from scratch like this before, so the experience is pretty exciting. Along with mechanics, I’m going to be developing the story and designing the levels (all with help from my three friends who are making this with me).
Unfortunately this means that my RPG has been put on hold indefinitely. This also means I’m going to be readjusting my year’s Writing Goals as I definitely didn’t plan for this. But it was an exciting opportunity that I didn’t want to pass up. So wish me luck as I tackle designing this game with my friends!