Devlog 4

As we approach the end of the first month of Maive’s development, it’s amazing to see an idea turn into something tangible, and playable! This past week has been a very productive one.

Some new ideas for the game sprung up for us this week. New ways to make the game more enjoyable and make sure each mechanic was being used as much as we would like. Our fear was that some interactable objects within the world would not be explored; however now we are making them an essential for progression in the game. This will also link our characters narrative to the environment around them, and the actions the player is making.

All the 2D assets and animations have been completed, though you’d be surprised how tough it is to draw a picture in one line. Despite the challenges, the assets look sleek and stylised, and the animations are simple, low frame-rate affairs that look like they’ve come straight out of a flip book.

This week, we also started working on the stories that Maive tells. Some of the 2D assets and animations were imported and applied to our Unity project. We spent a lot of time discussing the flow of the story mechanic as we did not want the player to feel disconnected from Maive’s world. After some important discussions regarding this, we started working with some placeholder assets and added some mechanics like movement and collision detection.

This week, we also started working on the stories that Maive tells. Some of the 2D assets and animations were imported and applied to our Unity project. We spent a lot of time discussing the flow of the story mechanic as we did not want the player to feel disconnected from Maive’s world. After some important discussions regarding this, we started working with some placeholder assets and added some mechanics like movement and collision detection.

Other than working on the story mechanic, we also worked to improve our dialogue system. Instead of having one big dialogue box, we now have two separate dialogue boxes for our character and the NPC that the player is interacting with, making it much more appealing.

Our leopard gecko Lennie was hooked up to our armature rig this week, with the animations made for Maive transferred over to his mesh. Weight painting turns out to be very time consuming, however now that one character has been completed the others should follow fairly quickly, as our animator is more experienced. We also encountered some issues with the previously made animations when exporting them into our game which would need to be fixed by next week in order to see our animations run smoothly.

More assets for Calico Cove have been made! We’re about 75% done with them now, and to reward ourselves for all the hard work, we started importing them into Unity. Our little coastal town is lacking details but is really taking shape, and makes play-testing all the more enjoyable now that testers don’t just have something to run around on, but something they can run around in. Most of our trees have been modelled and put into Unity too – sixteen tree models of different shapes, sizes and colours. Our autumnal forest is no longer a barren collection of hills, but a dense and lovely woodland.

Our colour palettes underwent some changes this week. We wanted our colour palettes to be mostly pastel with a few bright colours thrown in the mix, but it seems like the scales have tipped in the other direction. By seeing the models imported into Unity and our first explorable area taking shape, everything started to feel a bit too loud with the colours we’d chosen. Maive and Lennie had their palettes adjusted ever-so-slightly so they’re a little less saturated, but the terrain and environment models got a big make-over. Now Maive is a world of soft, gentle pastels, rather than harsh, overly-saturated brights.