Weekend Update #5

My new time plan seems to be working pretty efficiently- I’m almost ahead of where I expected to be, although a couple of the things I’ve crossed off the list are works in progress and will still take some time. I’m still making and placing NPCs into the levels so that five petals can be collected in each level.

One of the characters I’ve worked on is the Monk character who I “pixelised” quite a while ago. I’ve given him a walk animation so that he can pace around. The interesting thing about animating this character was getting the timing of the staff right, although I’m still not sure how I feel about it!

I’ve also re-made the “nap” character I created a while ago, based on Japan’s casual outlook on sleeping anywhere and everywhere! Before, this guy stood up and looked sleepy, but I’ve remade him to sit down with his head against a table. When the player walks past he will stir, but take little notice and continue sleeping.

In terms of the petal system, I’m still currently looking at ways that I can improve this by adding extra animations and stopping all keyboard input to create a dialogue “cutscene” sort of scenario. I will hopefully finish the system in the coming week, as well as working on the game’s physical elements such as disc and box art and the inclusion of the all important game manual.

I’ve purposely left out a lot of instruction throughout the game in order to encourage the use of a physical game manual, and it’s become very apparent to me how vague the objectives of the game are to a player who has had no introduction. So the game manual has two purposes: one is to set the scene of the game in terms of back story and character bios, and the other is to inform the player how to actually play the game, what to look for and how to achieve goals. I haven’t started any designs yet, but I’ve come up with the table of contents:

    1. What I’ve referred to as “boring but essential” info- technical stuff and system requirements etc.
    2. Story Synopsis- briefly setting the story of the game.
    3. Hana and Zashiki Warashi character bios and backstories- I want this to be a double page spread so that the characters are seen side by side. This will take the story further to concentrate on the back-story for each character. None of this is touched on in the game.
    4. NPC bios- this will be very brief, mainly displaying a portrait and name info for all of the NPCs.
    5. How To play- this will be split into these sections:
      5a. Controls – including diagrams with controls for keyboard and controller
      5b. Menu Navigation
      5c. Understanding the HUD
    6. Game Items- a list of items, what they do and how to use them
    7 Hints and Tips
    8. Credits and thankyous

In terms of art style for imagery in the manual, I am considering continuing to use pixel art instead of using higher definition imagery. I’ve started working on some images that I can potentially use in the game as stills, but could easily adapt these for print. I’ve been thinking of clarifying the setting at the beginning of the game, and introducing Zashiki Warashi early on. I drew this kokeshi-style Za-chan so that the player knows what they’re up against:

I’ve also been working on some still images of events that happen in the hours preceding the game in a similar style. I’m not sure if I will use these, but if I do they will appear as a slideshow when the player starts a new game. None of these images are finished, but I’ve compiled some of the new images of Hana from these here:

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