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Extended Edition Details, Community Levels?, Progress Update

So time is flying a little too fast, being a third of the way through July just about. I hope to get work on acts 1 and 2 done by August 24th. It's not a must, but a good goal since that's when I go back to college. It's been about two weeks since my last blog and I already have plenty of things to share. We'll start with this:

Perspective Extended Edition Details

The game that's out right now is Act 1, and it'll be included in the extended edition of Perspective of course. You will, as of right now, be able to skip act 1 if you've already played it. I'm focusing on Act 2 at the moment, but I am still looking to touch act 1 up a bit. A change of how the player can save is necessary, and I also want to actually, physically write out how I want the intro to go. I'm actually pretty happy with some of the intro scenes, so it'll stay intact. But I hope to improve the narrative, and also make the conspiracy part of the story a bit more relevant to the player and emphasize the fact that a memory level is a separate story from the overall narrative of Perspective. Perspective was mostly about discovering your attribute and solving the mystery of Mr. Anglow's memory. That tease at the end is an example of how the conspiracy clues will largely affect the OVERALL story of the game.

So other than the narrative of act 1, nothing much else will be changed. New, future gameplay mechanics will be introduced in act 2 and later. You can expect attempts to increase difficulty and some things to help replayability. Adding any of these things into act 1 won't really work, with the level being finished already, it's not always a good idea to pack more stuff in. I'll be introducing a lot of stuff in act 2. It's a great first level to start with, so it'll stay where it's at mostly.

So act 2 will be a continuation of the story as well as where I start adding many things to the concept. As of right now I'm working on the cast of characters for each memory and their respective graphics, as well as fresh graphics for the main cast. It's the very next day, and four patients have been selected for Amelia's memory spectating process. Each with an issue regarding spirit activity, each in a different region of the "Desert Countries". The anarchic pirate islands, the desert of Savel, an abandoned docktown on the border between Amalasuintha and New Valorius, and a research facility in the harsh cold of the Lisbit mountains. A lot of different locations being detailed, as you can see. You'll get a look at all the regions of this continent, relatively speaking.

The country on all the desert countries' eastern borders is New Valorius, a location pretty much barred from the player, with only a peek planned in the future. Readers should know that this is not the world of Perspective, however Perspective more so takes place in this world. I don't want to keep saying this, I feel like I have anyway, but I have other game concepts brewing that I have planned to take place in this world. That's not important right now though, as I don't want to overdo a whole series or anything. I'll just say that I have quite a few ideas, each a whole new gameplay concept. But heck, I don't know why I'm saying this other then it felt like a good time to mention it :P. Onward!
Gameplay Additions
Here's a list of planned additions that will be introduced in act 2:
  • Multiple memories available to the player at once, allowing the player to do them in any order as well as jumping from one memory to another whenever.

  • Difficulty Experiments with Clue-finding, which means that I will be using level design techniques to try and make it more difficult for people to just happen across clues without any deduction whatsoever.

  • Conspiracy Clue Connections, which means that the conspiracy clues are back, still as a side-plot to the main storyline in a memory, but they are connected to other memories. While each of the memories have separate main storylines, the conspiracy clues are all connected. Clues in one memory will help you with another memory. You'll be deducing across multiple memories of patients to find the answer to the conspiracy in this act.

  • Dead End Clues, clues that are somewhat related to the mystery, but don't lead you to another clue or end up actually helpful in solving the mystery. You won't know which clues are dead ends, and will have to deduce what clues will actually help you in solving the mystery.

  • Randomization. In an effort to improve replayability, I took a look at something I thought about but saved for later in the end. Randomizing certain parts of the mysteries. Obviously, the mystery can't be completely randomized. However, there are plenty of parts of a memory I can randomize so it's different every playthrough. That way it's not exactly the same when you go back to play it again. That's all I can say about randomizing for now. It's a pretty risky addition, so I'll be careful going forward.

  • "Side-Quests". They are completely optional, small arcs within an individual memory. You'll be awarded of course for doing them. They are side quests in that they are separate stories going on within a memory.

Community Levels
The state of the process I use to make a level is always changing. But it's very possible people can write a mystery, with the clues, characters, maps, whatever. Maybe even put it together themselves. Act 3 is planned to have a bit more freedom in exploring the world in real-time, specifically a location in each region. Amelia is given more control over the office, and you can find some "side-quest" patients. I'd rather not say anymore about Act 3's additions, but I will say that I have been thinking about community levels, however I know full well not a lot of people have played this game as of writing this. This is just an idea for the future, and if someone was interested in getting some levels into the game... :P it's an idea I thought I'd share here.

OKAY! Time to get back to that cast, get it a full cast for each memory. Which probably means about 100 character graphics total. I know I can do it, that's not an issue. But it IS a lot. Hehehe, this is going to be fun! Alright, time to cut this blog short. Any questions, feel free to comment!

Posts

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Another update through posting rather than a whole new blog post:

- I've got a solid outline of the cast, however I imagine I might be off a character or two depending on if I want to add in characters later on. But I've got a cast of around 130 characters who need graphics in Act 2's set of memories. I thought I'd explain as well that I don't plan on repeating a single character graphic. There will be a character graphic for each character which explains the large amount of graphics necessary. I use a generator though, so it's not too bad. I'm holding off on making them until the next order of business:

-Rewrite of Act 1. I intend to go in and rewrite the entire act 1, and even go into the level and rewrite most of the dialogue as well as add a bit more life to the characters. Judging by how long it takes me to, uhhh... do things, I'm hoping I can get work on Act 1 done by the end of July, and planning and preparation work done by the time I go to college. That work includes the character graphics and mapping.
Hmmm, more thoughts on extending the game:

  • Someone pointed out that the setting was not really fitting with the magical world of attributes. The mansion setting might not have been the best setting to start with in introducing this world. I'm also worried about the art and music side of the game as I'm working alone here. I can cover design and writing quite gracefully(I have a secret, confident side that sometimes pokes through my humbleness as you can see :P), the programming side is a bit rough but I found help through free to use stuff. Art though, I just generate the character graphics and look for help in both art and music the same way I do scripts. Perhaps the attributes should have a bit more say in the environment. Hmmmmm, something to think and worry about. I don't have the skills, but making it so you can see the visual impact attributes have on the world through a change in tileset might have helped, or will help... hmmm.

  • I hit a snag in planning, but got back into the swing of things by starting each level with a written map layout, to jog some creative ideas around for the cast and story and mapping. So far two memories have a cast outlined, with a total of 58 character graphics necessary. Two more memories to layout!

  • I decided to wait until I had resources for my Seamus series, and I'm afraid I need to look into resources for Perspective too. I don't know if I should stop working on it so I can have resources or keep going and call the art "placeholder" :(, here come the difficult decisions that come with game design!!!!!
It'll be a lot of work, but I'm sure as long as I take my time with it I won't be pressured too hard by it. We'll see! I'm glad you look forward to it, cause I am. Let's hope more people start seeing this game, and let's hope they don't get stuck in the intro :(
nhubi
Liberté, égalité, fraternité
11099
Ah I see it's Act 3 that has to potential to let you play in your world rather than just creating it.

This all sounds great (and a lot of work) and I like the direction you're going. I do also think that randomisation in this type of game has to be done with care, I mean a dungeon crawler with rogue characteristics is all fine and good and it fits the model. Yours however is balanced so if you are going to randomise certain parts you'll have to ensure that each possible permutation still allows for completion. Unless of course the only clues you are randomising are the dead-end ones in which case it can be much less controlled.

In any case, I'm looking forward to Act 2 and beyond.
Alright, thanks. I'll definitely keep that in mind... Huh, was it really that unclear? Dangit :(
Which probably means about 100 character graphics total.

Dang that's a lot dude. Good luck D:

I'd like to add a suggestion for when you rework the tutorial intro. For the scene where the box falls into the grass, you should include instructions that the player is supposed to interact with the circle as it's flashing, not after. Personally the first time I saw that I thought I was just supposed to remember where the box fell, then investigate after exiting the timed scene.

I mention it because the friend I kept pushing to play this game said that he got stuck in that intro, not knowing what to do, then quit. It sucks that he stopped playing because of that, so it'd be great if you can fix it for future players )=
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