The Game Developer's Journal: We Found the Map!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

We Found the Map!

Amoenu knocked ever so carefully on the towering cedar door. A voice came as a whisper from behind the entrance
: "Operi Verbum" (which is Latin for "open word.") "Aurum," Amoenu replied. Suddenly, the door swung open, revealing a short blob standing there agape. "Amoenu--" He stopped midsentence as Amoenu signals for him to be quiet. They must not let anyone hear them. Then Amoenu quickly crept into the hollow edifice, with the other blob trailing behind.

I'll continue that account shortly. The focus for today is to unfold the fringes of the give you a sneak peak. So grab a tub of popcorn and--well just stay put.

Here's what I'm up to now in the dev process: recuiting out-sourced help. One of those areas of recruitment is animation. I need someone to create the cut-scene movies, and probably the lip-synched mouths of the characters for when they speak in the game. Do you know what goes into animating a film? A lot of work!

You create storyboards, gather the voice actors, create rough drafts...but many are gifted to do all the hard work. Because God has given me the creative ability to draw well and conceptualize, I could have animated the cut-scenes myself. But allowing someone else to do it will gives me more time to work on other things.

Like I mentioned before, the story of "The Amoeba of Light" is an integral part of the game. I'm still learning about how all the "cogs" work in a game "machine," but one concept I have come across is that things like story and cut-scenes take second place to the crux of videogames; that crux is of course the game itself. So I question how effective my story will be in providing enjoyment. My ambition is to form an intruiging, believable, emotional, uncommon, and memorable story that opens the heart of the player to receive the message I want to share...

It was an enormous, spacious building with the scent of aged wood drafting through the still air. Snow covered the ground outside, and the air wasn't much warmer behind walls. "So apparently, it's been here all along," stated an amoeba to a group of listening blobs. Amoenu passed him, but didn't pay much attention. "So it's been here all this time...this is great." replied one in the group. "I'm not gona believe it until I see it," said another. The leader amoeba, Boegull is his name, reassured the blobs as he stood on his soapbox, "Phesgul will arrive shortly. He lives quite a ways from here." "This is so exciting!"

Boegull (front and center) and Phesgul approach as the eager crowd awaits.

Amoenu halted after being sure he was far enough away from the doors. "Sorry, I was just surprised you were finally here," spoke the other amoeba who followed Amoenu. "I figured that was the case--what is it?" Amoenu could tell his friend was eager to share something. "We found a map to phopolis!" "What? Really? Where did--" "Apparently," the friend interrupted, "it was in Phesgul's house all along. In his private library or something. Good thing he joined the treasury." The friend chuckled. Amoenu and Wisenchyme--that was his name--turned to face the sporadic bunches of blobs that were peppered here and there around the building. "So that's why this place is buzzing." "Yup," answered Wisenchyme. "I hope it's real." Amoenu nearly sighed as he said it. "I was thinking the same thing," Wise replied, "but why wouldn't it be." He looked straight ahead. "We'll be able to tell," he added after a pause.

Phesgul enters the building, the map is revealed, and the journey soon begins. Originally, the plan was for Amoenu to go alone, but an unexpected predicament leads Wisenchyme to join the adventure. Actually, it wasn't such a surprise to Boegull.

Did you enjoy the story so far? Watch for more in the future. Next week I plan to share some more about the game's design, which is always a fun topic.

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