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Detective Log #01

Posted 05-11-2012 at 04:08 PM by Venks
Updated 05-12-2012 at 03:16 PM by Venks
I'm really starting to make nice progress with Berathen: Spirit Detective. For those of you who don't already know: This game is a top-down, adventure RPG. Usually detective games are presented as point and click adventure games. I personally have never been a fan of point and clicks, I usually get frustrated by the system.

In point and clicks I always mistake objects I can interact with for objects that are just art in the background. I find this incredibly aggravating and usually find myself clicking all over the screen. So of course when I decided to make a detective game I chose to do away with the point and click controls you usually see in this type of game. It makes much more sense in my eyes to present this kind of game from a top-down RPG perspective. It is quite usual for adventurers to explore every tunnel in a cave and examine all the pots in a town.

In case my explanation is confusing I've provided a link to a screenshot of my game in development.

Again don't let me confuse you when I call this game a RPG. I mean it in the same vein that Harvest Moon is a RPG. There won't be any random battles with monsters or anything. The focus of this game is to solve a crime. Not grind experience and gold for hours. Though that sounds like a great idea for a sequel.

The story for this game, thankfully, has been completely written up. I've outlined everything and have estimates for how long I think all the events will take me to program. According to my estimates the game should take about twenty-one hours to complete. I'm a rather lazy guy so I'll only be programming so much in a day. Though I will try to do a lot tomorrow. Despite the fact I have rather comfortable cushions in my estimated times, I wouldn't want to stumble across an obstacle and not be able to get this game out on time.

The release date for this game is May 19th. The reason I am so adamant about releasing this game by this date is that it will help me focus and finish this project. I have been playing around with the idea for a long time and programmed all the ground work. But I have been very slow when it comes to actually getting much done. If I can manage to get this game out on time it will be the first of many games I plan on getting out in short bursts of time. No worries though. I have plenty of testers and will be making sure it's as polished as I can make it within a reasonable amount of time.

When the game comes out I hope you all enjoy it!
Total Comments 3


Venks's Avatar
Pushing out some more progress.

All of the items in this room can be examined. Including the books on the floor which will give you small excerpts of the stories inside. It took a bit to make the dialogue text pop into the middle like that. I kept making a bunch of silly mistakes. The biggest one being that this format is accessed when ever I call the 'write' function with the last argument equaling two. I continually made the argument equal zero at first as that is the default. So basically I was never calling the other format I had made. Oh silly programming woes.

Perhaps you noticed that Terrich's cloak has turned yellow?

It's all part of a feature I implemented. Terrich can lock into ethereal signals and his mystical robes provide a visual cue for whether or not you are getting closer to the source. Basically by playing hot or cold you can find objects or places that have recently been haunted. If you keep on top of these trails it shouldn't be long before you've solved the case.
Posted 05-12-2012 at 03:16 PM by Venks Venks is offline

STM's Avatar
Looks sexy mate, keep up the good work! ;D
Posted 05-13-2012 at 03:44 AM by STM STM is offline

Venks's Avatar
I've been giving a lot of thought to the game's flow. Like where the player goes at what point of time. As someone who has run Dungeon and Dragon campaigns I already know how players like to do everything, but what you want them to do. While there are multiple options in my game, certain events have to take place before other events do. So in order to facilitate this I'm trying a gentle way to point the player in the right direction.

For example the npc in the house just before the next one suggests that you go into the neighboring house. At first there were very few trees south of these houses, but I decided nature should flourish. By having trees blocking the way to the southern house it should hopefully make less players head there first. There is also a dirt path that connects all of the houses in the village together. Though I haven't had my play testers try this out yet. I won't be completely surprised if my testers decide that they should go to every other house, but the very next one. I'll just have to wait and see.

It's not that I have anything against exploration, but I am against player frustration. Players usually get pretty grumpy when they are confused about what they are supposed to be doing. But they also get irked if you have lengthy tutorials or too much hand holding. Hopefully I can find the right balance.
Posted 05-13-2012 at 04:57 PM by Venks Venks is offline


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