2020/03/29 Status Update
For this week's update, we have so much to share with you! You can listen to soundtracks and themes we've been working on over the last couple of weeks as well as more character concept art we are iterating on. Also, for our mailing list subscribers, we have some news about our first playtest!
Showcase the game
Apply to MAGFest Indie Videogame Showcase @ AwesomeCon 2020
- This event has been postponed to December this year. We will look into submitting for the event closer to the new deadline.
- Apply to GameScape (Deadline: March 31st, 2020)
- This Tuesday we will submit our game for this event.
- Demo at CCBC Tech and Gaming Expo (Event: April 25th, 2020)
A rising concern with this goal is the COVID-19 outbreak and its consequences for large group gatherings and school closures. We are keeping a close eye on this developing situation and understand if some events end up postponing or canceling as a result.
In tandem with submitting to GameScape, we want to build out our pipeline for producing builds of the game and sharing them out to friends, family, and players that are interested in trying it out. As a part of that, we have a mailing list that you can sign up for to stay up to date with future playtests.
JT has been working on these tracks for that last few weeks and we are happy to be able to share them with you!
Our default theme for the hospital. Synth-y and calm and for more chill conversations.
Emergency / Dante Theme
Upbeat, urgent and fast tempo with piano accompaniment. We are considering whether it is too fast for operation scene and better as a character theme for Dante
Big Tex Theme
Bluegrassy tune with cowbell of course for our beloved Big Tex character. It has solid breakdown and build ups throughout
Dark, slow tempo, moody piece. It conveys the stakes of the operations, but never gets too cynical.
Character Art Commission
We continued to work with Zac (@_sneb_) on fleshing out more character concept art for our seven characters. This week Zac took on five of the characters that will appear in our first episode and playtest build.
From the first design, we wanted to address her character's body proportions, height and leg wear.
We are very happy with where Dante's design is ending up. The character design helps to reinforce some of the background themes for this character, being both a fiend of an EMT as well as still maturing as a person.
From the first design to the current design, we wanted to address the hairstyle and blocky style and hone into a more grounded look. We are still figuring out what to do with their arms.
Billy / William
We liked the original silhouette for this character's design. While we personally liked the first concept, we felt that it would make the character less relatable and lost some of the silhouette we originally had.
With the new design, and with shorter character in general, one thing we will have to consider is where their eyes are looking relative to other characters.
We feel like this design successfully conveys the anxiety this character has after her experiences in the episode as well as her concern for how her child Billy is doing.
The biggest consideration with her design is whether to reflect some of the afflictions the player helps her with earlier in the episode.
I set up a pipeline for us to deliver new build of the game for MacOSX and Windows quickly via Itch.io.
At a high level, a build pipeline is a way of getting from the code and art and music that a team is doing into builds in the hands of players and playtesters.
We use Azure DevOps for hosting our project for the game in their free private repositories. Azure DevOps provides users with the ability to create job. Job can do any thing, but for our purposes we have a couple of types of jobs: Jobs that test the code to make sure it works as we expect, and jobs that build the game.
For any job, an "agent" is required to run the job. A job may also have some requirement for which agent runs it and how it runs it. The best analogy I have for this is to imagine that whenever we add new assets to our project, we are dropping off a letter to the post office. A mailperson then sees that a new letter is at the post office, reads the contents of it and delivers it to the appropriate destination. The mailperson can deliver many different types of packages to many different destinations, usually based on what the package request.
I have a Windows machine at home that I made into an Azure Agent since it is a free solution to have agents. It now listens for new jobs that are triggered whenever we add new assets to the project.
The main job that we have now takes the project and builds two builds: one for Windows and one for OSX. From there, it published the builds to itch.io using the butler command-line tool that Itch.io provides, all free of charge.
All of this together gets us to a state where we can rapidly generate new builds for us to play internal and share out as soon as we are ready to.
Additionally, I am trying a few game analytics providers so that we can try to get some rudimentary. quantitative feedback for the game.
We are planning to submit for GameScape on Tuesday, March 31st. For that submission, we plan to have all of our concept character art, music and updated script in the game.
With building out our build pipeline, and getting a build to a state that we feel like we can submit it, we want to send it out to our mailing list! We will be hosting the build in Itch.IO for Mac OSX and Windows. We will be figuring out distribution as well as sending a survey along side the build. Subscribe to our mailing list below to be a part of the playtest! We will send more details via the mailing list very soon.
If you have any questions, comments, feedback for me, you can email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you like this post, you can see more in the Devlog section or check out last week's post
Once again, if you are interested in playtesting builds of the game or future updates, you can click the button below!