You may or may not have picked up on the fact that my amended timeplan jumps from week 15 to week 17. Unfortunately the dates are right, so I haven’t gained any time. It’s all just typos. They told me I would need basic maths to survive in the real world…
Luckily it seems, the deadline for the project is NOT the 9th of May like expected but some time around the 15th, giving me a hugely important extra few days than expected. I won’t write another new timeplan to accommodate for this extra time, instead it will just be an extension of my last week. The plan for this week is to “wrap up any physical designs”. As it happens, the manual is incredibly near completion so I’m going to start work on casing design and potentially some further and more refined character designs that could be classed as “promotional art.” There are just a few minor tweaks that may have to be made before finalising the manual, and I’ll probably wait until the end of the project to make any changes, just in case. Here is the manual as it stands:
I’ve now started work on a designed version of the original Game Design Document, so I will be revealing this to the world for the first time very soon (like tomorrow.) Other than everything I’ve listed already, I’ve spent a bit of time sitting down and thinking “right, what else does the game need?” I still haven’t finished the ending, so that will be the first and most essential game element to work on. Other than that, here’s a list of some other things I’ve thought of:
1. “Flower Give”
I’ve implemented this flower give system where talking to NPCs places petals in your inventory. So far, I haven’t figured out a way to only place the flower after a “flower give” animation has played, so it actually looks like the character is giving you a petal. This is the least polished part of the game so far, and while it works, it seems to me like a half-assed attempt.
2. “Shadow” NPCs
Hanami is all about a group of people inflicted by a sort of “curse”, however the only other characters in the game at the moment are those who haven’t been affected. I’ve explained this so far as “those who are affected have drifted off to another realm…” or some such excuse, but if I have time I think it would be nice to place semi-transparent silhouette people around the levels, representing the people who have been taken away. They will probably be seen sleeping or standing around saying “help!” or something. If I try this and it makes sense, then I’m putting it in.
3. New Game Plus
I’ve recently finished playing Fez (I went on about this game ALOT at the beginning of the project. It FINALLY came out last weekend) and the game bears some uncanny similarities to Hanami. This was probably my subconscious copying ideas that I thought were good, although I couldn’t have known everything before the game came out! In Fez you must collect a certain amount of cube pieces to complete the game. You can easily finish the game without finding every single collectable item, but once you’ve finished it the first time you can start the game again with all your progress saved from your first playthrough. This is nothing new to the world of gaming. The first “New Game Plus” I encountered was in Chrono Trigger, which came out in 1995. But I thought it would be nice to do something similar at the end of Hanami. You only need 60 blossoms out of a possible 90 to complete the game, so why not let the player go back and try to get the ones they’ve missed? Acquiring all 90 blossoms can result in an alternative ending. I assume Fez does this too, but I wouldn’t know as I haven’t got there yet…