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05/01/2017 - Progress Report 2! We got the basics down!
Happy New Year! 2017 is here, and with it begins with a new progress update for NAIRI! Let's kick things off with a video just for you:
Let’s sum up what we did. Here’s the most important stuff:
-We’ve got all the basic systems down. Still working on implementing the puzzle system. -We’ve implemented roughly 10 minutes of gameplay as a test. -A new little movie sequence showing the game-logo has been added after the intro sequence. -We've made improvements to the scripted event system. We can play audio, shake the screen, and more! - The designs for the first dungeon are ready, and the art is underway.
As expected, implementation is still a bit slow, as the systems are ‘young’ and we'll sometimes walk against a wall of unexpected features that we have to implement properly. Things such as camera shaking or showing sub-images during dialogue. But with all the progress we've made, we are starting to pick up the pace!
The biggest obstacle we have right now is building the system that will deal with the many puzzles in NAIRI. That will be our next big focus: finishing the first dungeon - puzzles and all!
And for those of you who care about programming, design, and art – read on!
Design & Programming
The biggest challenge we had was to tie everything together, test it properly, and then implement the content.
See all those boxes? That’s clickable stuff that will activate an action. This could be loading a new area, changing the background, playing a sound, shaking the screen, that kind of stuff. In this case, they all elicit a specific dialogue response from Nairi as she inspects the area!
All that dialogue needs to be put into an XML file, which can be a quite laborious and tedious task! Every line has a certain emotion or “punch” to it, so dialogue needs custom editing when it comes to the size of the text, as well as its color and scrolling-speed. The dialogue is also liable to change quite often, and requires frequent editing. For every area, there’s a “polishing-phase” when we hyper-focus on every detail and write down every little thing we want to improve.
Art You has been busy as well, of course. For instance, she’s polished the area that we showed last time! Thanks to that, the art for the area went from this:
Big difference, right?
You has been hard at work on NAIRI, and over the last few weeks she's been focusing on envisioning what the first dungeon will look like. This is a fun process for both of us! We start by getting a warm cup of coffee before I show her my "maps" and puzzle designs for the location, and she uses these ideas as the foundation for transforming my thoughts and vague sketches into something that is aesthetically pleasing.
On top of all this, she’s also been working on more dialogue portraits. Although it will be a while before Rex makes his grand debut in the campaign, she’s already completed a bit of his in-game artwork.
As for characters that will appear a little earlier… She’s been busy drawing the Cat Gang! Remember the ominous bandit-cat you saw in the video?
We’ve got tons of characters we can’t really talk about yet, but we’re looking forward to showing them to you at a later date.
As always, we hope everyone likes the progress we're making with NAIRI. Rest assured that we're working hard to make it the best game it can be. On that note, it's time for us to get back to it now!
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