I've made an important decision which will help to progress the game a lot: I reduce the game to the main core of its gameplay. And from this finished framework I will build on. This means all graphics will be reduced to simple conceptual boxes and every script will be made much simpler (reduced to its main purpose), like a kindergarten-version of the final game.
There are a lot of reasons for that:
I need to examine my own concepts. Will they work in the great entire frame with every other idea?
I don't know for sure if the concept of ZEHN will work. This project needs a lot of effort and often I create complex content for nearly nothing (because I change ideas). This deconstructive and demotivating method has to stop.
Also with this simple framework, I can change ideas, maps and other designs every time I want to. It's like a draft for a drawing where I can erase wrong lines. Also this method doesn't take a lot of time; because it's that simple.
When this "skeleton" is finished, I can design with the usual effort - but in the right direction.
Blame Extra Credits for this decision °3°
(Of course this version will not be playable for any person. Ever.)
Okay, I've managed to implement everything I've planned and also created a smaller moving-"tool". Unfortunate I couldn't create a smooth transition before the sparkles are visible, because there is a itsy-bitsy-tiny visibility-delay I can't get rid of.
But here is what I have for you (you can also see it in the video).
Finds objects of interest and hidden items (you can't find the hidden items without flashlight. Therefore these items are optional)
A transition of the light if you change facing (not very well visible in the video, because of frame-loss)
The crosshairs are now transparent sparkles
Battery: Drains itself after a while
Battery will drain itself even faster if you switch it ON and OFF in a short period of time (I don't want "energy-cheating"). There more you wait there less is the "punishment". And after 3 seconds there is no loss at all. The battery will flash red (stronger or weaker) to give the player an indication of his action. I will not explain this to the player with words
With 1 bar left, the flashlight will shorten it's detection range (the graphic of this isn't finished)
If you hold Shift, you can lock your position and change your facing
I had the idea of a flashlight. Well, this isn't that much special. Most horror-games have some sort of portable lightsource, so you can see what surrounds you. I could do the same but I don't want to - it doesn't fit to the design. But something is missing without a lightsource, so I gave it more value.
Yes, the maps will be a little bit more darker but you can see most things very well. The flashlight will highlightobjects of interest so you can find stuff a little bit faster. Of course the batteries will be limited. But I think I will find more usage for the flashlight. Optional usage (because of batteries).
This is of course a technical build but it works very very well. The only things that will probably change is the form of the light (and an optical effect if you change directions), Sabrina's pose during active light and the crosshairs will be tiny sparkles... or something like that.
just a quick entry on this blog. Today, I've drawn the main protagonist Sabrina, filmed it and snatched it together in an 8 minute video. So if you like, you can watch it right here, right now:
Of course this image/video doesn't really shows anything from the game, does not give you any new information, so it isn't "really" a progress report. Maybe a little peep like "Oi, the game is alive, don't worry".
Finally, the first most important technical steps are done. And I'm very happy about that because I've never developed a game this far. I think good planning made this possible, so the subsequent production will be really pure FUN, especially after the very complicated scripting I've done.
The next steps will be even more FUN, because they require a lot of creative stuff, like parallax-mapping and drawing. I think I will create every single map of the game before I continue with the next technical aspects. This is very unusual, but for realizing the final gameplay of this game it's a very useful method. Luckily there is no reason for getting lost in details. Details are the last step of the entire project, so I can produce progress.
Also I must create a few poses and animations. A few month ago I've started this animation of climbing over an obstacle. This animation wants to be completed (and the first frame uses still the old charset):
Okay, because this is a tech-update, here some included tech:
(1) We've already spoken about the chair-script [blog]
(2) Minor technical scripts:
Movable patient benches with saved coordinates [screen]
Reading documents and moving paper smoothly with the arrow-keys (up/down) [screen]
Footsteps (depends on floor)
Short colored damage-screen after player suffered from one sort of three damage types (health, psychic, chemical)
(3) The whole inventory and interface [screen]. The items aren't usable yet.
When the time is right, this will be the to-do list: I'm sure I forgot something
Make the items usable (minor script)
Integrate mobile phone (it's an "important gimmick", if this makes sense to you)
Random-Generator for horror-events (the core of this game)
Random-Generator for progress order
Of course, these are just the technical aspects.
Graphical realization is an entirely different 'pair of shoes'.
The most difficult part is nearly done: The chair-carry-script. Now it is possible to move a chair from one room to another and they even stay there. I didn't imagined it will be this difficult, so the script is a bit messy, but overall designed to work smooth. All possible glitches and bugs are eliminated - really, I tried everything to glitch it.
There is just a minor technical issue I don't understand yet, but have to fix for an important mini-script... actually, I'm not entirely sure if I need it anymore.
'Kay, here how this script will work:
Because of some limits of the RPG Maker I chose to allow a maximum of 15 chairs in a single room. This is a relatively high number but I can imagine there will be some guys and gals who carry too much chairs in one room, just for the "lulz", so why not.
Furthermore, Sabrinas movement speed will be set down during the time she carries the chair. I know: "Slower characters? You tearing me apart, True!" But there are several reasons for it:
(1) I don't want the player carry a chair all the time, just in case he needs a chair
(2) I don't want to provoke somebody to max out the 15 chair limit.
(3) It's a little bit more "horror" if you can't run fast from possible danger. So you will think twice before you move the interior from one room to another.
(4) Realism. And I think it's a fitting detail.