As this week was the week that we wanted to release the first demo of our game, some of our priorities shifted. We wanted to wrap our game nicely so players can get a complete experience of what the game will become in the near future. The week started with some bug fixes and finalising the first story. Our Technical Director also worked on adding bounds to Calico Cove so that the players can experience the first part of our game completely without getting lost. We also wanted to add an opening cutscene for the demo where Maive rows her boat to the shore before the game starts, so we did! The cutscene required us to add a few pieces of code like: Buoyancy of the boat, Rowing of the boat and Scripting the camera transitions. The aim for the cutscene was to capture the essence of our game, so we added camera transitions that would pan up from Maive, showing players the entire island. Even though the cutscene was finished, sadly we couldn’t add it to our Demo due to some technical issues with Maive’s animations.
While the build was being prepared, our narrative designer worked on the dialogues for our NPCs. Unlike Lennie, Nomena and Garveet, the NPCs have punchy conversations that help to reveal information about the world that we’ve created for the game. Some of them even provide information about our secondary mechanics, or secrets that we’ve hidden on the island. Each NPC is designed to have a stand-out personality that gives the world more depth and believability, and we really hope you like them!
In other dialogue news, our main four characters got some editing too. This was mostly minor stuff, change of syntax, etc. and was done as an in-game bug fix rather than a narrative tweak, as one of our issues was overly long sentences that had trouble getting crammed into the speech bubbles. The content of the conversations remains mostly the same, but sentences are broken down into shorter chunks to help with the text bubble issue. This has the added benefit of helping with the pacing of conversations.
Two new character concepts emerged this week, A turtle and a red squirrel. We are not sure about taking the turtle forward into the game, however he is very much a cutie! The red squirrel is a personal character to one of our artists, as each member of the team has a character that reflects themselves and their personality.
In the midst of all of this work, we ran into some trouble with GitKraken which made it impossible for our Musician to add music into the game so our Technical Director made a temporary audio manager that would loop through one of the music tracks. Our berry collection mechanic was designed and developed this week as well. Players can collect berries from the bushes that can be used to have special interactions with characters and progress through the game. Before we wrapped up the build, we also added NPCs, NPC dialogues and Text boxes, alongside little bug fixes and visual updates.
We’re now nearing the end of this project, with about a month and a half before our deadlines, which means that we’re getting to work on lesser advertised parts of the game. For example, this week, in tandem with writing the NPC dialogues, our narrative designer also worked on the final conversation of the game, a rather one-sided affair between Maive and her mother. To go with it, they also made the end-game artwork, equally inspired by the “after the fact” illustrations in the credits of Studio Ghibli movies like Kiki’s Delivery Service and My Neighbour Totoro, and games like Celeste, which tie off their narrative sections with still images that conclude the scene.