It’s time to get this game made. I made a rough prototype for the movement and game set up in the last semester and my plan is to expand and tweak that until I have the basics set-up as well as I can, then move onto building the environments with assets. Hopefully, by building a bare bones version of the game and gradually adding layers of finish, I will end up with a well-rounded playable ‘minimum viable product’ that I can work on to polish into the final result.
First I added a place holder background of the room shape and made the floor objects invisible to simulate that the player is walking in the background image. I think this approach will be much more natural-looking and also much easier and more efficient than trying to create an automatic tileset for each area style. I tried this during the prototyping stage of last Semester and it was a lot of hassle, the method works well for creating many levels quickly for games like Mario for example, where the focus is platforming, but I want my environments to look designed and hand-drawn with a natural look, and I don’t need any platform elements as the player can only move side-to side so I wouldn’t make sense to use tilesets.
This is what the room looks like in the editor. The black lines are the floor/wall objects which are invisible when the game is running.
I had to work out an efficient way to change rooms and I managed to think up a good way using variables to change the target room of some stock ‘door’ objects so that separate doors wouldn’t have to be created for every room change, that would be hectic.
*** insert sketches of door idea and world layout
So now I have a little bit of code that changes the variable for current room and the targets of ‘door a’ and ‘door b’. So now all I have to do is change to target for the doors in the room creation code.
I had the movement and collisions sorted, along with a player sprite and a basic interaction with an npc that bought up a system message with some dialogue – not the most ideal way to deliver text. So, I had to create a system for textboxes and individual dialogue for the npcs and also some internal thoughts from Digby when interacting with various objects or places.
I used this tutorial to get the basic set up for dialogue boxes.
This took quite a lot of tweaking and testing but it works well now and is set up to be easily customizable for individual changes between NPCs and objects etc. Here’s a video of how the boxes in action. Using the tutorial I achieved the ‘typewriter’ affect and a skip function too, which adds a little more polish and makes it look pretty legit I have to say!
I also added a custom view. I used this video for a quick overview of how they work.
These are my current settings. I initially had it following the player object automatically with the setting at the bottom of the view menu, but the problem with this is that the player was forced into the center of the screen and you couldn’t see the top of the room, it felt really weird and unnatural to play.
This is what it looked like.
I wanted it so the bottom of the room was about 75% from the top of the screen, so I had to create some code to tweak the view settings. This is the short bit of code I used, it’s attached to the player object so it will affect all the rooms without me having to change the view settings of each one individually.
So, now it looks like this. Much better, I think.
Next, I created a quick background that is more like how I want the final version to look, it’s not complete as I want to add more elements to it such as furniture and decoration but I just wanted to see if this method of implementing backgrounds works before I commit too much time to the assets.
I used the altered images from my cave-home mood board I made last semester as reference for the colours and I really like how they look. I would to have the character sprites change colour to reflect the surrounding lighting and environment, so I will have to work out how to do that later – should look cool. I would also like some animated elements in the environment, which may have to be separate sprites over the top of the background. I need to have a go at that and see how it would work.
Here’s how it looks when the game is running. Pretty good!
I then went on to tweak the look of the boxes and customize the method to create another box for Digby’s internal thoughts that will be triggered when looking at objects etc. – I wanted this box to be different from the Npc boxes and appear in a set place at the bottom of the screen. I also used the same collision principles to add a little ? that appears when the player walks past something that can be interacted with. Here’s how it looks so far…