Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cinematic progress - Facial morph targets



Basic set of morph targets created for Lylian's cinematic character. All the important expressions and eyelid blinks ready.

There's no dialogue in the intro anim, so phonemes aren't required. A few more expression are on the list though.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cogs are a turnin'

It took me a few days to get back up to speed, on where I left off in October. Many hours staring at the screen wondering why I did something, only to go "ahhhhh I see" some time later.

The Lylian website is still in layout mode, and I'll be excited to see it uploaded. The first bunch of comics are complete and ready for website openage as well... and they look awesome thanks to Aaron Alexovich's awesome talents.

Intro animation is slowly coming together; no animation started yet, but characters and assets are forming.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Timetrap released Emberwind


The guys at Timetrap have released their game, Emberwind. Which is great news indeed... because now everyone can start playing it!

Give the demo a go then buy the thing if you likey!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Back into it

I took a long overdue month off development in November. Now that's passed I can get back into it. First up is a few contract jobs that need finishing and then cracking back into Lylian!

Was nice to have a little break to clear the brain matter. Now just want to get it done!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lylian Localisation

From the start of development, I have prepared Lylian to be localised into various languages.
Now the question is what languages would be the most beneficial. It's expensive to localise from English so can only choose ones that will be most requested.

If you have a preferred language, feel free to let me know via the comments.
My current wish list is as follows (in no particular order):

Spanish
French
Russian
Swedish
German
Finnish
Polish

Edit: Italian, Portuguese

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Official Lylian Game page, in progress

Not too much going on over at lyliangame.com at the moment. Although it does its job in showing important information (gameplay footage!).

I have been working on the layout on content for it though. A quick rundown on interesting things to come are:

A monthly comic page! - very short stories of characters within Hacklaster hospital.
Minigames! - Well, one mini game to start with.
Chronicles of Bob! - Lylian's sidekick, Bob has his own story to tell.



But I have promised my Fiancee that November is a non development month, 2 weeks down, 2 weeks to go. And also trying to complete the game, so I'm not going to set any dates for when things are going to be done. :D

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Buried among the contestants

Among a total of 306 entries for the 12th annual IGF main competition. Lylian resides:
http://www.igf.com/php-bin/entry2010.php?id=140.

Looks to be a lot of awesome games competing!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cinematic intro Shhteaming along



The cinematic version of Lylian's model is complete. The rigging is curently being worked on and a bunch of her face expression targets will be started next.

The intro is short, but vital to giving a quick lead in to the story behind the game.
There will be little cut scenes too, but very short as to not distract the player from the game play too much.
I thought this would be better than have a too much dialogue to read... and, I like animating.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

One week until imminent Doomage

Only one week left for Milestone.

Bugs keep popping up but no critical ones.

Doesn't help that I decided to go back over and tweak a lot of the sound effects.

Still a few other sounds to add.

Going to need to leave a few things out for this deadline unfortunately. But they'll still go in afterwards.

And there's a few things that still need to be decided on.


Entering IGF is still possible, but not 100% likely.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A small snippet of the opening story, of Lylian.

Chapter1


It only took 20 minutes for her life to utterly turn to crap. It was crap before, but then it became utter crap.

Lylian never got along too well with her family, they saw her behaviour as somewhat, peculiar. To the point where they felt she was mentally unstable and within 20 minutes they had her in the car with bags already packed, and checked into the Hacklaster hospital.

Hacklaster was the place you would hear stories about, but would never know anyone that actually ventured inside. It was the place for crazy people, a hospital for the mentally unsound.


Lylian woke up to a clack, the door to her cell was slightly ajar and she could hear a patter of footsteps trailing off down the hallway.

“Odd”, she murmured as she looked down to find the restraints on her straight jacket unfastened.

Carefully, Lylian peered out into the children’s ward hallway. No nurses were present.

“Odd”, she said aloud and the patient from the next room started banging against the wall which startled Lylian. The shock subsided to a craving…for jam filled donuts. She looked to the far side of her room where an empty donut box lay. Her stomach rumbled.

“Need to get me some jammy goodness”, with this as all the motivation she needed, she entered the hallway in search for a good feed.


Lylian didn’t just like jam filled donuts, no, she lived on them. You would say her lust for them was just a sweet tooth or a phase, but to watch her suck the juices from a jam filled treat and leave the dough so withered and unappetising is enough to make your neck hair stand on end. Her father was convinced it was an act of vampirism. The power she would draw from one donut was the most peculiar of all, the energy and agility she would gain is far from a little sugar rush.


She would usually think twice about venturing out in the halls without nurses care. Even though the doors to the other patients’ rooms were always locked and the only way into the next ward was with a security key. The hallway felt creepy with the sounds of moaning and the hall itself seemed to twist and turn as she walked through it. Her hunger felt stronger with each clunky step of her beloved boots. Boots she would leave on even while sleeping, afraid that someone may come to steal them from her.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Touchy input

With the recent playtest, there came some issues with background apps picking up multiple key presses as hotkeys, which interfered with game play.
Window's Sticky keys is a common one (when pressing shift 5 times quickly). And Google desktop's 2x Ctrl key for its google search shortcut.
These can be changed by the use of course. But I'm sure uses don't really want to remap or switch off things that they probably hadn't worried about before playing this game.

I've also had to take into account that German, french, Russian keyboards for example have certain keys in different places. So, I've remapped the keys to the fps style WASD & Space. This seems to be the best solution for now.

Later down the track I'll create a key mapping screen, but it's not that high on the list right now.

See how this goes in the next playtest.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Splicing Life and Auras. (And new screenshots!)

For Lylian, I wanted to have a HUD, but keep it in one tidy space while looking interesting.
In the game, the two primary indicators are the health of the player, and an indication of how much hitting of the enemies are needed to build the aura, which in turn activates a ready mark for when the player can activate a figment (Lylian's ultimate power).
A few nights ago I realised I made it quite complicated to understand in the early stages of the game, but after re-working the whole health/aura/figment system over the past few nights; I think it has improved dramaticaly.

So, the redish area in the above screen is indicating Lylian in full health, the blue above it is a 'faded' aura, meaning it's not ready yet. And the figure in the center currently standing upright is indicating that Lylian's aura is building with her confidence (If there was no build up, the figure would be hunched over).

When both health and Aura are at their peak, the figment is ready and can be activated.
The above image shows the figure's head move up close, the health was at 100% and they both set the blue aura above it. On the right the aura 'spills' for a moment showing the selection of figments available at that time (showing only one here).

This makes up the majority of the heads up display. There's only one or two extra elements that pop up when necessary.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Packing up the tidbits

I'm up to that stage in the Milestone's list to do now; where it's similar to picking up those annoying little bits and pieces you may find lying around when packing up to move house.
Not as annoying as that... in some ways kind of fun. But there's just these little things like hit sound effects and minor bugs that keep popping up or I've somehow left untouched.

Less than a month now, if I make it it will be cutting very fine, considering I wish to create a game-play video as well.
Intro animation won't be going in by this deadline, will need to create some stills as placeholders for the time being.

Back to it!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Playtest of a non-Player

Last night I sent a build of the game (Lylian) to a person who doesn't really play games that much. I learned a lot over the course of an hour as he played the game, asking me questions every now and then when he got stuck.
It reminded me how much a game can be played differently from one user to the next. Something that is blatantly obvious to an average gamer (as in someone 'conditioned' through playing various games), can send someone out of their element (doesn't play games very often) to a state of confusion.

I realise I'm going to need to mix my playtest group up a little more, which will guarantee varied feedback.

Less than a month now for scheduled playtest, things are becoming serious!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Checking of the list (part2) (talk like a pirate day style)

The scalawag of a save system is complete, eventually became a checkpoint system I dare say; autosaving at specific checkpoints ya hear. Land lover's options are to either continue, or start a new game I be warning you.
Death/defeat mechanic complete, just needs ya polish on the defeat splash screen, before sending 'em walkin' on the plank, health hazards ya know.

A feature mechanic's difficulty was too high, left me sitting on the high mast with the sea winds flapping on my cheeks like a squids tentacle it did, tweaked to simplify a portion of the gameplay quite a bit calmed her down.

I'd be a captains wooden leg if I hadn't been working on the sounds over the past few nights, and ya hope to get all generic sounds done before the end of this here weekend is nigh I'd say.

Story + Design-wise, I've tried to squeeze too much in, too early, left her bloated like a whale it did. Making the game a little too overwhelming and 'muddy' for any self respecting, pacific sailing crew. I've removed a lot in the first level to be spread out over following sections, should keep the scurvy at bay for a little longer.
At this point I'm a little worried the player won't understand the idea behind activating 'figments'. The playtest scheduled for late October should reveal all, like the guts of a sea creature people say are myths and such. But I ain't yet seen no one return from such a damned place.

Friday, September 18, 2009

2010 Independent Game Festival a month to go



Deadline for IGF submissions 1st November. Only a month and a bit to go, if you're entering; times a runnin' out!
http://www.igf.com/?cid=IGF10_Entries

I'm hoping to attend next year, If I do it'll be my first. (A big deal when you live in Australia, you see).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Progress on Lylian intro animation


Having a bit of an interest in animation. Can't really get by without planning a nice little intro animation for Lylian.
Here's a work-in-progress of the protagonist's cinematic model.

Checking of the list (part1)

Final feature mechanic complete. Going down by priority, means implementing that save system. Still not sure the best way to approach it. Strictly checkpoint saves OK, or should there be a user load and save option...?

Will pick up where I left off with the sound effects starting with raw foley recordings as well.

Only a month and a half until milestone deadline.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Time Trap announce Emberwind completion


Well over a year ago, I got the chance to work on an indie title by a Swedish company called TimeTrap; building characters and their animations. I hadn't seen much of the development since then, until now. It's certainly come a long way and I'm very excited to hear it's finally complete. It looks awesome!

You can see their gameplay trailer here.

.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Milestone draws near


Now less than two months remain until the October 31st Deadline for vertical slice.
Let me count the ways:
  • 1 major feature mechanic needs to be completed.
  • Final section of level to compliment major feature
  • At least 6 animations remaining for 3 characters
  • Save system implemented
  • Sound effects
  • Remaining music and ambience
  • Dialogue for 1 remaining character
...
...
A few other things I need to check the list for.

Current confidence level it'll all be done in time = 85%


Saturday, August 29, 2009

For the audio senses

I've uploaded one of the tracks created for Lylian on the 'Lylian Facebook page'. You can listen via the Music player on the left under the 'fan' box.

Please let me know what you think!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On target for playtest milestonage

I've set the playtest build of Lylian for end of October. Basically a vertical slice of the game.
A couple of people have already had an early play over the past month and the responses and feedback have been awesome. Some of the major mechanics hadn't even been implemented yet, so it makes those responses doubly awesome.

If you'd like to participate in the next playtest; please sign up to the Lylian newsletter, and/or facebook page. I'll only be taking on a small number of interested peeps for this one, but there'll be more to come in the future too.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lylian updates on Facebook

Over the past few months or so, Lylian has been relaying some of her ponderings and observations onto facebook.

Also added are some new illustrations including the protagonist's final design.
There will be some new character images added over the coming week as Lylian describes her world with the support of illustrations.

Lylian on Facebook

This will be kept up to date until the official lyliangame.com website is completed and uploaded.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lylian Game Website placeholder... it's up


The Official Lylian website is now up, in placeholder fashion. However there is a delightful little comic for you to read in its anticipation.

lyliangame.com

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bust a Save

Busting a brain valve trying to decide the best option for a save/checkpoint system in 'Lylian'. I'm thinking the more automated the better, So as the player doesn't need to bust a brain valve of their own in case of forgetting to save on exit or requiring a bail out on short notice (like, if the game just gets way to scary/cute/obsurd/intense/mother calls dinner ready).
So, at this time I'm thinking an autosave on each checkpoint fitting. Now to work on exactly what information needs to be saved...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Enlightenus Released


Blue Tea Games have released their new game Enlightenus. Pixelpickle Games animated a character for the game. It looks very tidy indeed, have a look see at Big Fish Games.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Remove the negative space!

You'll notice a new title image on the blog. Rough concept art for Lylian, created by the talented Dan Hee, an amazing artist and friend.

Dan Hee has been kind enough to take some time out of his rediculously busy schedule to draw up some images to be used in PR and help visualise the character in a slightly more realistic approach.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Contract Shmon...tract

The bills have started their vicious cycle once again!
Therefore, a big boost in the contract work department has come into play.
Which, in turn means delvelopment of Lylian has slowed down once again.
Meaning, more delays.

But it's not all bad, development is still on, and I can keep confortably feeding the family!
Hopes of release by October is looking a little slim now though.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

Another stage complete

Made it through another milestone on Lylian today. Base mechanics of player, enemies, and 'Bob' have been finalised and working smoothly. All that's left on those is polish when time permits.
Initial music and sound effects going well also.
As we get closer to the second (and more important) playtest, I've charged myself with the duty of dreaming up something enticing to draw your interests a little more. I've got a few ideas, reckon you'll like them.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I Heart Optimization

Today a lot of time was spent on optimizing some of the art asset, specifically player character animations. I’ve never felt so warm towards the word ‘optimization’ until today, as each level now uses 18mb less memory.

I’m sure that’s exciting… isn’t it?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Lylian Newsletter now available!


Well, us developers don't tend to have much to chat about what with our eyes glued to our fave drawing tablets or calculators. But Lylian seems to think she does, she's promised that she'll share any info she can find from within the childrens' ward of the Hackluster hospital to any subscribers, whenever she's free of her bed restraints.
Next time you're over at http://www.pixelpickle.com/games.html . Feel free to sign up.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's April already?


Well I blink and look what happens... the dev blog gets denied a few months. I'd love to keep adding to this, but priorities have been on the Lylian project, and client contracts that I just love doing so much, I can't help but take more on. There really are some awesome indie games being developed out there.
Lylian is coming along swimmingly however, and taking a step back to see its progress from time to time provides me with the awareness that I really am a little bit odd. I'm just hoping there's enough equally odd people out there that are willing to step into their oddcozzies to play the game and understand what the hell is going on.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Heads up!

'Lylian' development has been put back in full swing over the past few weeks. Although it's mostly been on core mechanics and hardly anything visual, I'm looking forward to being able to share some new screenshots with you in the near future.