June 2018 Summary
Unfortunately, we were not able to begin playtesting on July 1 as previously planned. Summer vacations and other priorities consumed much of the time we would have spent working on the game. That said, we did make great strides through the end of June that we’re excited to share. Also, we’ll provide an updated timeline.
Shiny New Things
Since our last update, we’ve added some really exciting storytelling components. Namely, we’ve added dialogue and cutscenes to our game!
The dialogue was fun to make, as we used a typing animation, complete with sound effects with variable pitch to give speech some character. One thing we’d really like to do if we have time is to try to represent speech patterns and inflections with the variable pitch instead of random variations.
Cutscenes were also a blast. Instead of making pre-rendered scenes, we wanted to actually animate the characters in the actual game space. To do this, we created a script language that could convert scene directions into the cutscenes you see in the game. We will be releasing a full blog post about our approach to cutscenes in the future.
Along with gameplay, we created some new music and art. In fact, we’re very close to complete with drafts of all the music to be included in Chapter Zero. They definitely need some adjustments, but the melodies and early sounds are there. Art still has a long way to go, but that is because we have only recently finished our story.
Yes, we’re done with the story for Chapter Zero! Details and dialogue are not 100% complete, but the story arc is laid out, the world has been sketched and we’ve started converting those sketches to in-game assets. Dialogue has been in the works, collectible details and locations are being chosen, and quests are being finalized.
We want to introduce the two game modes that will be included in the Chapter Zero release: Story and Free Play. Those are not the official titles, but they give a straight-forward description of what will be included in the game modes.
First of all, Story will be the only available mode on first launch. In Story mode, you’ll take control of our main characters and adventure with them through the story we’ve laid out. In it, you’ll meet characters, discover details about the world at large, and (hopefully) enjoy the game as we intended it to be. This story sets up the main game (to come after Chapter Zero if we run a successful Kickstarter campaign).
Once Story mode is completed, you’ll have the opportunity to play either the Story mode again, from the beginning, or the newly accessible Free Play mode. In Free Play, you’ll encounter new characters, collect new collectibles, and potentially discover new areas (if development time allows).
Overall, we’re very close to knocking out the major components of the game in all aspects, but still further off then we planned. You may recall our original plan was to finish development by the start of July, to playtest through July and to start a Kickstarter campaign in August. However, with the setbacks, we’re now adjusting the timeline to be the following:
- September 1 — Begin playtesting
- October— Launch the Kickstarter
We hope this will give us ample time to finish development. In the meantime, please send us feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out via social media. You can reach any of our social media accounts from our website.
As always, thank you for your interest and support!
The Retro Alpaca Team