I promised some weeks ago that I would get around to mentioning exactly what I’m working on at the moment. “Drew and the Floating Labyrinth” has been released about two months ago, and since then I’ve been hard at work at other exciting projects. And school… mostly school.
The result is that I don’t really have anything concrete to show. Sadly. I’m disappointed in myself. But anyway, I’ll stop your curiosity and mention stuff here:
- Project King
- A hand-painted turn-based strategy RPG. The king is dead, and his royal children lost, rumored to have drowned in a lake. The country is now run by a ruthless king who keeps the towns under a tight grip. Years after his reign began, the people are desperate for a leader. You rise from the depths of the lake as a rumored savior, and must free the towns one by one, slowly gaining followers for your army against the king’s door. But be warned, if you mislead them or treat them as disposable pawns, they may turn against you, and a new savior king may rise against you. Do you have the soul of a true king?
- Development Progress: 4%. Most of my free time has been dedicated towards this one. I’m almost finished animating your character, the protagonist, using a similar 2d in 3d art style as I’ve used before, and allowing for color customization. I can say I’ll pay a lot more attention to the environment, so the effect should look very pretty indeed, a true next-gen 2D RPG. The gameplay will hopefully allow players to explore an open-world, either freeing towns by leading the townspeople into battle against local suppressors (think Pokémon, but getting town’s freedom and loyalty instead of badges), or by simply roaming the countryside and killing enemy guards on a one-man quest to face the evil king. The loyalty structure, based on how many townspeople in each town die for you in battle and how many survive for another day, would play a big part in the gameplay and set the narrative focus to be much different from other strategy RPGs. Furthermore, whether you win or lose, many possible outcomes and endings can occur, all of which lead to another savior appearing to save the kingdom unless you have succeeded in being accepted as the true king. You can even take the throne, only to play as a new character who must take the throne away from the previous character. This is all theory, however: only the art has been worked on so far, with much, much more to make, not considering the difficulty of scene loading for an open world and strategy board setup. I am putting larger focus on interface and controls, though: hopefully it will be a perfect game for Windows 8 touchscreens, and later perhaps for mobile devices.
- Project DoodleMan
- A hand-sketched 3D puzzle game. Imagine creating a new character on paper, only to stop halfway. Well, DoodleMan isn’t happy about that, and desperately wants to be finished. So he runs after the artist’s pencil as it goes off into the distance, collecting bits of scattered and scrapped ideas to help him get pass certain obstacles. Help DoodleMan discover his identity.
- Development Progress: 0.5%. Unlike most of my other ideas, I made this up just a few weeks ago. I had been thinking for months about how to make a game that best suits the 2d/3d art style I like using, with many people suggesting art or cartoon – related games. This one bombarded me in the middle of the night, and seems perfect for me: the character would be very roughly sketched, the character and backgrounds would be incredibly basic and in black and white. This alone makes the art assets easy to make quickly. The puzzle elements would be simple, consisting of collecting power-ups that change you (a la Mario). For example, a muscle power-up would replace your arms and allow you strength, certain leg power-ups would allow you to jump or run better, etc. Even better, the simplicity of it all means I can probably finish it myself without relying on extra artists (easy for financial and development purposes). My only issue is that this is very similar in gameplay and theme to “Drew,” and I don’t like repeating myself. But other than that, it is likely that I will finish this one before anything else, and if done right, it could be a greatest example of my “art.”
- Project Eden
- An advanced artificial intelligence simulation. Explore a city with hundreds of generated characters, each with their own goals and personality. Talk with them, make friends with them, or become enemies. Enjoy yourself… until you discover a series of strange murders in a certain location, and are forced to uncover a dark mystery within Eden. Hello world! What’s your name?
- Development Progress: 2%. This one is drastically different… I mentioned I’m in school. What am I researching? This. Frankly, most game developers have given up on AI long ago in favor of online multiplayer and other misguided focuses. It’s easy to find games from pre-1990 that have more impressive AI processing than modern titles. Even games like The Sims seem incredibly deterministic. But what if the characters in The Sims could actually speak English and have conversations with you? What if the relationship model was a little more realistic? All I have right now is a bunch of theories and research papers, and some basic models to help show me that it should be possible to run a model with over 1,000 unique agents in real time. The art style will be virtually non-existent, not using the 2d art style I like. I have three main passions in games: animation, story, and AI. While most of my games promote my attempts in new animation, if THIS game is made well, it could be exactly the example of next-gen AI we’ve all been looking for.
A disclaimer: based on what little I have to show, you can tell that little to nothing of these games is actually done. They may very well change or be canceled soon, and may not turn out good at all. At best, you won’t see any more about them until 2015. I was scared to even make this post this early on, but I just want to confirm I’m not on hiatus. And personal health be damned, I hope to have all of these finished by this time next year, and more. Until then, assume these games don’t exist and were never announced until I have at least one screenshot.
And what about James? A couple of you know I have another announced game that I’ve ignored. I probably won’t focus on that until after the three I’ve mentioned above, to make sure I can do it properly. Also, my time-is-running-out-before-I-need-a-real-job-anxiety-panic feeling is starting to kick in again…