|||| 8 - 15 nov 2014 ||||
7DFPS ...
An Early Start
Earlier this year I'd organised to take the 7DFPS week off, but sadly that hasn't happened, so I've pushed my dev week ahead and started early (today is my second day of development). The profile for my game, "Dance" can be found here: http://www.7dfps.org/?action=games&id=44">http://www.7dfps.org/?action=games&id=44 I plan to do delayed daily updates during the 7DFPS week so that it feels more like a part of things. I may or may not continue to work on the game if I have time, but I'll definitely be highlighting my 7th day build as the finished thing and any additional stuff as post-7dfps work. As an introductory post though, I thought I might touch on my expected toolchain (I'm happy to be agile here) and what I anticipate being my key hurdles: Tools!
  • HB pacer and a 20 page 110 GSM A4 sketchbook - where all the ideas start!
  • Gimp - digital painting powerhouse, for concept art, textures, additional 2D graphics
  • Blender - trusty 3D modeling and animating workhorse, for conceptual geometry, and in-game meshes/animations
  • jMonkey Engine - end-to-end game development IDE and animation/mesh/audio editor thingy (I might end up switching from this. My main motivation for using it is to see how it's improved over the past 6 or so years)
  • Programming skills - In almost every project I've been on, I've always intended to be The Programmer Guy, but have wound up sticking to asset creation and game design because others filled that role. As a result, I have less experience with implementing stuff, and though I'm comfortable learning, this is going to eat time.
  • Engine - At the moment, I'm looking at using jMonkey Engine. It seems pretty well featured, but I don't have a lot of familiarity with it, and I'll need to get comfortable with importing stuff from Blender. Again, learning takes time.
  • Man hours - I had hoped to have a couple of extra helpers onboard, but starting early has made it harder to coordinate with people and others have ended up busy, so I'm mostly on my own. I'll need to budget my time very carefully. I am hoping to collaborate with the wonderful Anton Riehl, who did the soundtrack for FLAT, and I might be able to wrangle a hand with small bits and pieces from others.
  • Scope - I'm super good at growing ideas beyond their scope. To help keep things open to growth without undermining the limitations I need to place on myself, I'm planning to create asset libraries of modular elements which I can add to if I get time (eg: NPCs will wear hats. I'll start by having the game randomly assign hats from a pool of one, and add to that if I have time without increasing the implementation overhead).
  • Polycount - It's been a long time since I've done 3D models for in-game use (last year I made high poly models which were rendered out to sprites). I'm sure I'll be able to work around this (I'm planning to keep my NPCs simple and stylised, but they are pretty rounded), but it's still going to be a hurdle even if it's a pretty minor one.
  • Voicework - I'm hoping to have a range of voices for NPCs in the game. I've got very limited scripts (12 single word lines per character, consisting of greetings, farewells and "hmm" type noises). If all goes well, I'll be able to source these from friends and members of other communities that I'm a part of (anybody who's interested is welcome to volunteer though!).
Time to get back to work! Check here for downloads (when they become available) and other posts.
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