Hello! I've been sitting on this update for a while because generally I like to spend my time making the dang game instead of writing about it. But writing about it is important because it helps me reflect on what I've learned and focus on what needs to get done. The irony of not wanting to write about a game about making you want to write is not lost on me. So here we are.
During this second prototype of the game I spent 3 weeks developing and iterating upon the audiovisual tapestry of the experience. Basically the goal at the end of those 3 weeks was to have at least one near complete area so that the mood could be set for the rest of the areas. This is what I ended up with.
I'm very happy with this initial mood setter. I'm not the most gifted artist and even with the simple aesthetic, it took a lot of work for me to make it look exactly the way I wanted. I came pretty close to what I envisioned. I knew from the start that the look would be minimalist and colorful. The term I had in my head was "flattened polygonal." You'll notice that there are no curves anywhere in the scene and that's on purpose. I didn't intentionally start off with that principle, but I tried putting a circular sun in the sky and everything just looked strange. So no curves.
Apart from the obvious environment/character art, I also did some work on redesigning the UI and fonts. The images below are of the journal menu and dialogue popups.
I'm happy with the way the buttons look. I added the slant in the dialogue buttons because even though I don't want curves, plain rectangles are getting sorta boring. The font I'm less happy with. I'm using Chremsel Serif by Daniel McShee from dafont.com. It's a fine font, but it has a few design things that I'm not happy with and it doesn't fully represent what I want to convey. The two big issues I have with it are that it's too curly/curvy and that the periods are too tiny. So I'll have to keep looking.
The other part of this prototype was creating an aural texture to the place. At first, I was completely against the idea of having music in the game, but when I put an atmospheric track in the background I decided that something felt missing and that some music put here and there would be good to break up the experience. So I made a 30 second track using Bosca Ceoil (thank you to Terry Cavanagh for the tool and Mark DeNardo for showing me around + advice). I decided to place the track (which you can listen to below) in at the moments where there are what I call "zoom outs." Most of the time, the camera is pretty close as you can tell from the dialogue screenshot, but in the screenshot at the top of this page the camera is zoomed out so that you can see the whole vista. I decided this was where the most appropriate place to put the music.
That's pretty much it for this prototype. I'll post the list of things from trello that I got done for it, but it's not completely representative of everything that was done because somethings are stuck in checklists that are still waiting to be finished. Basically I did all things on the list plus a bunch of prep work on the other scenes. Thanks for reading and I'm going to go edit the next devlog right now.