A belated update on WAID, and the birth of another project.

I was planning on making an update earlier, but my laptop unfortunately broke and was out of commission for about a week.  I managed to survive this grueling experience but it slowed me down a bit.

It’s been a pretty long time since my last update, and while I really wish I could say that Why Am I Dead is 100% finished, I’m still holding onto it to beta-test and tie up loose ends.  Again, my goals for the project have shifted and become more ambitious: I only get to release this game once, and I’d like for it to be as finished and polished as possible.

I don’t think it would be space or time efficient to explain thoroughly everything I’ve done with WAID since the last update, so here’s a list:

  • Wrote dialogue.  Lots of it.  There are 9 characters in the game that can be talked to, 8 of which can be possessed, and each character combination results in a different dialogue.  8 x 8 = 64, plus any additional dialogues which are unlocked in the progression of the story.  So far I’ve written about 90-95% of the base 64 dialogues, and about 70% of the additional story dialogue.
  • Finished graphics of the game, which involved making a couple more characters and lots of various props/scenery.  A quick look at the completed cast (some of which were in the last demo):
A professional pixel artist I ain’t, but I try.
  • Overhauled how external assets were used; originally I loaded them ingame, but it’s far better for distribution to have them embedded into the .swf file.  This occasionally was a bit involved, since embedding can’t really be done procedurally; it’s all copy+paste.  In one instance I had to change how I used my tile sets to create maps.
  • Created a pre-loader and main menu.
  • Minor fixes with dialogue graphics, such as including word-wrap, making sure options don’t overlap, adding a name-box for the player, prompt to hit ‘E’ when text is done scrolling, etc.
  •  Yet again, tune-ups with collision detection, trying to make things as smooth and precise as I can.
  • Other miscellaneous stuff, like having NPCs turn to face you when you talk to them.
A very, very small peek into WAID’s dialogue.

Now for something completely different.

When I started moving into the final stages of development, I allowed myself to begin considering ideas for my next project(s).  Then when my computer was being repaired and I couldn’t get any real work done on WAID, I took the opportunity to develop one of my ideas a bit more.  And despite what bad practice it was, I used my iPad to write some code for the framework of the game, even though I couldn’t compile it.  I’ve since compiled it and smoothed out any problems, and so I can say that I’ve begun working on my next project.

Since I’ve already got a lot in this update, I won’t talk too much about it.  It’s a turn-based strategy game going for a more strategically complicated Risk-style game.  Two major reasons I’ve decided to work on this next:

1. I spent a ton of time on Mandate, which has much, much more complicated strategy and simulation components.  It would be a nice change of pace to make a strategy game that has a very narrow and understandable game mechanic, but which can still add something new to the genre.

2. Perhaps more importantly, work on something like this is more about programming than it is about writing or art.  Not that I dislike the latter two at all, but again, the simplicity of it is refreshing; getting the game mechanics done is really going to be 80-90% of the work.  I won’t have to create a cast of characters or write their dialogues, I just have to implement things.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to.  The next post will hopefully include me linking to the final version of “Why Am I Dead”!