I have recovered mostly from COVID. I have tested negative since last week and I’m slowly getting back into life. A lot of my work is done on my laptop so it’s just thinky stuff. I have a rash though, it could be covid or allergies, who knows, it’s going away tho.
I got back to work on my video game and solved some mega problems that were preventing it from being a winnable game. And then I struggled with coding it to win or lose properly. I did a build of it last night and it was MOSTLY working except I have to delete the saved games because that’s messing up the variables. I need it to reset itself after losing. Also the canvas for the Vampire Health Bar is attached to her for some reason in the build, while in the editor when I run it it is in it’s proper space in the corner of the frame. So I need to solve that. I also have to get the take damage function to work properly because I was trying to do something and ended up deleting it. It does the thing I want. But it also still needs to damage her. I was getting a null error and decided not to destroy her sprite but to make it invisible when she gets staked so she would SEEM destroyed and also the camera follow transform wouldn’t go “OH MY GOD WHO AM I FOLLOWING?” which is sort of the error it gets when the sprite gets destroyed. And I need to make the selection zone smaller so that she can be in love and also bite someone without also biting her companion. I could turn off the ability to bite that person, but I’d rather make it POSSIBLE to bite them but not ALWAYS. If that makes sense. I just need some space between them and her.
BUT after I smooth out those errors and add some sound effects, it’s basically a fully functioning game. I also want to do some credits tho. I was thinking of having a vampire and her lover have a conversation to do the credits, but now I don’t think I want that. I think I just want a screen with credits, like scrolling credits or something. Plus I want to put McMaster University and Museumsquartier and Canada Council logos on at the end to show who supported the project.
I’m really excited though, I’m hoping this weekend I can finish it. I think it’s possible! I just have an hour long work thing tomorrow and I’m doing an hour and a half of other work every day for a while. So I think I have enough spare hours to hyperfocus and finish the game. I was watching a tutorial for scrolling credits in Unity and they were like “Let’s put the programmers, animators, department head” and on and on and I was like shit, that’s mostly all me. I am not gonna make obnoxious credits though that list every duty I had making this game. Cause I did it all! I’ll probably just write “Game by Theo Jean Cuthand” and the funders and the year. I don’t know what else to add to it, special thanks I suppose! A lot of friends did listen to me blab about it while I was going through my creative process.
I really like some of the code I wrote for it. I think just because the functions were sometimes very customized, so the code words are cute. And also I had to set a variable for if she is in love or not, so that another script will make another character follow her. So there is a bool called “InLove.” Which is pretty cute. If you don’t know what a bool is, it’s just a true/false statement. Which I kind of like in regular life too. Because I don’t often feel grey areas if I am in love or not, it’s usually just true or false. I mean there is liking someone but that is not the same as love! I suppose if you wanted to make it complicated you could make InLove an integer and then quantify HOW MUCH you love someone. But I don’t really need that for this game.
I also started working on a google form to send playtesters. I am gonna get some friends to try this game and then fill out the form so I can get some feedback. I am hoping to be able to get this done and documented and send videos in to Canada Council for my final report. And then that will be one more final report off my plate! I need to finish that one AND another final report so I can apply for ANOTHER grant in the fall. I think I can do it! It’s really encouraging to have this one so close to being done. Because then I can REALLY focus on the other project which is a script, which has been languishing while I focused on the game. And I AM excited to write the script too, it’s just been really hard keeping two different projects in my creative space at the same time. And video game development is so different than script writing, like it just uses my brain in a way different way. I did write a lot of dialogue in Twine though, so that was similar to how I write a film script. But the script in a game can have so many branching conversations which is what makes it kind of exciting.
I learned a lot while I was making this game. It’s more advanced than my last game, Bipolar Journey. Bipolar Journey was very difficult to lose, except for the last level I guess. But you could get pretty far pretty easily. This one is different because there’s a goal and two variables you need to win, and a timer in the last level. And it has a dialogue system and lots of other interactive things. You can bite people! Except for your familiar I suppose. I think it’s fun. I don’t know how many times someone would want to play it. If you know how to win it, it can go really fast, but hopefully people meander around. I’m curious what kind of feedback I’ll get.
It would be nice to show it in a gallery. I already have an idea for my next game which would be good in a gallery too. But I’m pretty sure I’m gonna release a version on itch.io for something like five bucks. Not a ton of money but it would be nice to get paid a bit more. People keep asking me about when they can play it, so it seems to have a potential audience.
ANYWAY I was told to take it easy after COVID and I really did try for a long time, but I like my work too much to really relax. PLUS I gotta make money.