This is an example of how an idea might seem okay in your head, but totally bust when you actually execute it.
First my board… Note to self: Buy post it notes #indiedev #agile pic.twitter.com/C7C1zqWusB — Michelle Chen (@purplelilgirl) July 31, 2017 Oh and I set up a GameJolt page: http://gamejolt.com/games/depressionsimulator/272098 Nothing playable yet. Although, because I did that, I made a header for the game, also it’s now called “Depression Simulator” semi-officially. Okay about good and bad days… The point of my game is that sometimes … Continue reading Making a Game: Good days and bad days…
Why did I decide to make a game all on my own… As in own art, own code, own design, not my own sound and music though… Also I have less than 3 months of dev time (only 1 month left…).
I think because at the beginning I didn’t know what I want to do. I just know that I wanted to make a game. What game? No idea. And that’s dangerous territory. And I didn’t want to drag anyone else down with me. It’s not as if I don’t have any artist or code friends that I can bribe. I do, I just didn’t want to bribe them.
It has never been about how I can do everything myself. I mean, I can to some degree, but you know, my art will always be a little programmer art-ish and rough around the edges. My design will reference a lot of existing designs and now tropes. And actually production wise, managing myself is actually… Bad, really bad.
I have problems with motivation. I sleep a lot, and I don’t want to get out of bed ever. But I’m trying. People who don’t understand me and what goes on in my head, will think that I’m lazy. Okay, maybe I am. But it’s more complicated than that.
But choosing to go alone means that I have to wear many hats. Last week I had my programming hat on (which means that I find excuses to go out and not work on it). I am by practice a programmer, but I think of programming or coding for short, as a process, a means to and end (yes, in a Nietzsche manner, I think of the means as pretty bad).
This week I have my artist hat on and I actually don’t have a tablet, I have pencils and paper though. But I actually draw in Flash and I don’t even own a mouse, so it’s just the touch pad of my beat up Macbook Pro, and me, manipulating vector shapes until they resemble something. The whole, the game is only in gray scale helps too, ‘coz color… That’s another hurdle.
Anyway, I am not a fan of GDDs (Game Design Documents), because I don’t believe in design written on paper. You’ll never really know if a game is fun, without playing it. And there’s no way for you to play it unless you have a game. You get it. Rapid Prototyping for the win!
One of my only plus points is that I’m a relatively fast coder. At least once I have a clear idea what I need to create. So with this whole no GDD thing, it’s actually a lot of experimentation and a lot of trial and error. And that’s alright, because whatever code I scrap is well, my code, and I have no hard feelings.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, because I work alone, it is tough at times, but at least the only person that I’m letting down is myself.
Although for this project, I’m not entirely alone, I actually have a HitRecord project where I do ask for ideas from other people. So when I do get stuck, I just issue another challenge and the lovely people contributes and I am inspired again, and I keep moving.
Also since this game is about depression and having more voices make it better and in a way in makes me feel less alone. Because I know now that other people also go through the same thing and other people can beat it. So, so could I.
One month to go! Good luck to me~!
Random Note: “Haunt” by Echos describes how I feel everyday quite accurately.
Part of the mundane every day life is cooking breakfast and well eating.
So in my game, in the kitchen level you can open all the drawers, cabinets and fridge and scavenge for all sorts of ingredients that you then can cook in a “Cooking Mama” style.
Today I have my art hat on… and I still draw my assets in Flash, even though it was recently announced that support for Flash will soon be gone forever… 😦
I’ve been focusing on adding as many puzzles and interactions in the game the past few weeks, and I’ve also added new rooms. So the evolution of the puzzles is from the mundane to the surreal. So you have a normal closet, where you need to rearrange the clothes according to it’s gradient color. Okay, this is a bit difficult. This idea came from ferdonkers … Continue reading Making a Game: More puzzles…
Another Day Link: http://gamejolt.com/games/another-day/124458 Fractured Minds Winner of the BAFTA Young Game Designers competition, made by 18 year old, Emily Mitchell. “Fractured Minds is an immersive puzzle game that uncovers the daily struggles of people living with anxiety or any mental health issue. It is designed to give the player a genuine insight into the experiences of those quietly living with mental illness – … Continue reading Making a Game: Other Games about Depression and Mental Health
Okay, I realize that I only have a little more than a month to finish the game… o.O
So it’s time to be realistic and de-scope.
The MVP according to my lecturer is:
- 3 rooms (yes, I originally, ambitiously planned on 12), so there is a beginning, middle and end.
- there should be an evolution of the puzzles
- integrate sound and music ASAP
So for the rooms, it’s going to be Bedroom, which I’ve already done, Bathroom, Kitchen and Foyer (yes, I added one).
Between each room is a door that can be unlocked based on a happiness-sadness meter, based on kmarushige‘s suggestion on HitRecord.
As for your game, my gut says to have a “happiness/depression” meter as the scoreboard. As the player moves through a typical day, they are presented with choices that will either shift them towards happiness or depression. These choices could be actions, mental choices/interpretations or interactions, including being receptive to help from others.
And the evolution of puzzles and interactions will be from the mundane to the surreal. You start of with normal day to day interactions like waking up, putting a smile on your face, making food, then it shifts to the surreal.
The surreal, like when a shadow of yourself appears from the closet (I call her anti-character, like Anti-Helena from “Mirror Mask”), and she starts following you around and these whispers of “you’re worthless and no one likes you” plays, but you can fight her, you can win, but you can also lose.
Also note to self: I need to buy more IRL Post-Its.
The foyer represents the ultimate (yes, ultimate) door that is standing between you and the outside world.
And thanks to the lovely people at HitRecord, I have a lovely background music for the game.
Best part of doing a Masters degree in video games? Research is playing games… What can you do with a head? Apparently a lot. You mess about with the head, removing its nose, its eyes, opening up the head… Quite surreal and a little Dali-like. Totally my thing. Each room in Windosill is self-contained, but the objective is always the same, find the cube and … Continue reading Competitive Analysis: “Windosill” and “Feed the Head”
And going down the TV Tropes rabbit hole… Please forgive me if I use some of these… Links: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PuzzleGame http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StockVideoGamePuzzle http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StockPuzzle http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ControlRoomPuzzle http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SimonSaysMiniGame http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SetPiecePuzzle Continue reading Puzzles, puzzles, puzzles
“What can you learn about a person through a screen? What can you learn about a creator through their work?” – Boen Wang As someone who had tried so many times to write, short stories, poems, novels, one of the first things that people tell me is “write about what you know”, the second thing is “show not tell”. But what about making video games? … Continue reading Write about what you know… What about making video games?
It’s a rabbit hole that makes you lose track of time, kind of like sleep, except you don’t get rested, just more tired, even though you didn’t really do anything.
How should a computer in a game look like? Also how deep into this rabbit hole should I allow the game and the player to go into? And how meta should it be?
Ahhhh~ With only 2 months of dev time, production needs to be really tight. But it can be difficult as I am not the type to have entire GDDs written out before actually coding anything. I’m a strong believer that GDDs can only do so much, but you actually need to play the game to tell if it will work. That means coding, rapid coding … Continue reading Making a Game Part 4: Production onwards…
(Yah I decided to shorten the title thing.) One of the hardest things for me is getting up in the morning. I can’t really give a reason why. Wait, actually I could, I just can’t find a reason to get up. So that is the first challenge: Getting Up in the Morning. By fixing your alarm clock… Continue reading Challenge 1: Getting Up in the Morning