Hey, it’s time for an update! I’m not going to focus on the gameplay today, but more on several back ends and what was going on this past month. It might be rambling a bit.
The first major thing to note is that my brother’s database editor works! Creating techniques, missions, enemies, titles, items, status effects, etc… is much, much easier now. This is going to heavily aid me in creating the content of the game, something very needed.
I’ve managed to get the game set up to take the data properly, some tweaking had to be done because the editor leaves the first entry of the JSON as null, so I need to count from 1 onwards (rather than 0).
I’m working on writing a Press Release, so that I can send it to various news outlets and get the game known. The press release itself is a bit hard to write. Not only that, but I need to figure out what “studio name” it should be release under.
There are a few things I need to prepare as well, in order to accompany the Press Release…
The trailer is very important for the Press Release. It needs to showcase the best parts of the game in it’s current state, but must also catch interest with both the story premise and the gameplay mechanics.
The trailer still requires me to add a bit more flair to the game in motion, as well as feature content (levels and techniques) that’s more eye-catching. In my first chapter, there are three “environments”, being the Asphodel Meadows (grey meadows), Dis City (the Dark Blue city with lava), and Underworld Routes (general depiction of what the underworld is considered to look like, dark and full of lava and caves). A lot of the game’s tilesets / environments are already in the game in a prototype state (with only chapter 1 tiles being updated to near final), but are usable. If I were to only feature chapter 1 environments, it might not be very appealing. Chapter 2, 3 and 4 have some tilesets with vibrant colors, so I might need to create content, or at least make demonstration levels / battle with those environments. Chapter 5 is mostly a dark tileset and a beige tileset, and Chapter 6 is the last chapter and should not be shown (also the fact that it’s got the most updating to do tileset wise, because I’m not too satisfied with the design).
I’ve got a general idea on how to present the trailer. The post written by Siliconera actually is pretty useful in this regard (and the press release), as it gave me another view of how people want to be interested in the game. The article started off with a very short story summary in a single line, it got to the point. There was a hook, and then people read on about the gameplay, which, due to the lack of images clearly showcasing it, was mostly just text. For the trailer, I’m going to go with a similar approach, with a quick story hook, then showcasing the fact the game has a mix of turn-based RPG and Platformer, and then delving into the battle system and it’s leader system, and the ability to switch leaders and the title system. Then again, you can put the leader switching and battle system before the platforming part as well.
One think I noticed is that UI and menus are often getting positive comments. I do think showcasing a few menus would be useful to the overall trailer.
Speaking of which, the traffic boost from that article was very big (at least in my opinion)! You’ll notice the boost lasting from Oct 1 all the way to Oct 4. Those little bars afterwards are what the normal traffic generally looks like.
Last thing I need to do is decide on a composer for the game, so that there can be music for the trailer. I was confident of a choice in October, but I hesitated. Now I have to wait until early November before I can hire a composer. I can appreciate good music, but I need to figure out what style would work with the game’s atmosphere and gameplay
WEBSITE, GREENLIGHT & SCREENSHOTS
The website needs some reworking on the header. Right now, the current header is a blurred lower resolution image, used as a placeholder. Obviously, that needs changing. But what I actually need to add to the header zone is something akin to splash pages of other indie games, just on a smaller scale: trailer, screenshots to enlarge, and header name, and a short summary on the side. Later on, this would have a Greenlight button, and when released, would have a link to the storefronts it could be available for. The blog posts will still appear under the header, so it’s not a full splash screen site.
Steam Greenlight should be inside the Press Release/Trailer, since that will help awareness of the game and help the campaign with an initial boost.
Screenshots are another thing I need to work on. I should showcase a bit of battles, a bit of platforming, a bit of menus, and a bit of cutscenes. It’s kind of the same problem with the trailer, but it should be solved when doing the trailer.
Finally, here’s a list of small things that were added during this time:
- A Chapter introduction screen, useful for the first mission of each chapter. Got inspired by the episode title card from the 1980’s Astro Boy.
- On the field, hazards that deal direct damage to the player or team, will now display damage counters. It’s the same as in battle!
- Status effects finally have an icon showing near foes/allies. When there are multiple status effects, it will cycle through the icons.
- Flower equip screen slightly redesigned, putting more of an importance towards the technique learned and the stat increase from equipping it.
- And a lot of internal things have been fixed.
There’s still things to do, but hopefully, I’d want to get this done by end november.