In reality, the notion of a real world existing among all other possible worlds is unimaginable. It is unthinkable, except perhaps as a dangerous superstition.
The Monks' Brew
A long, long time ago—it looks like over five years ago, actually, which makes me wince—I posted a blog article here about an analysis of verb use in some well-known IF games. These were based not on actual player transcripts, but rather on the published walkthroughs of these games. The walkthroughs weren’t necessarily the quickest solutions to the games—they included commands that were technically unnecessary for solving the game, but which provided a more complete experience of the game for players who followed them. Still, they were by no means game transcripts, so they didn’t truly reflect the typical use of verbs that one might expect from players. The idea was to get a sense of the breadth and depth of verb usage in these [More...] Read the rest
In the last post, I talked a bit about my game design documents for Vespers, although technically they’re really more like level design documents. Vespers doesn’t have levels, of course, but it does have Acts that are organized chronologically, so design docs for each Act help to organize the content and action into discrete compartments. I thought this would be an interesting look at how the game is structured, where the action takes place, and how the docs have helped in the design and development of the game.
Previously, I showed the design docs for Acts I and II, which represent the first day of the game. Most of the action involves talking with the various NPCs to understand the backstory and current context, [More...] Read the rest
Since Vespers has mostly been a one-man operation, I haven’t spent too much time on formal game design documents. Some detailed information can be helpful for collaborators, particularly on the art side with N.R., but I’ve mostly dealt with those issues as they’ve arisen. But one area that I’ve found helpful for myself has been mapping out the locations and activity in the game, so I can keep track of what happens in a particular Act and where it happens.
Since I’m using the text version of Vespers as the basis for the game, I’ve had to play through the text game and read through the source code countless times, making sure to account for all different kinds of approaches to game play. Jason wrote [More...] Read the rest
Though I guess it sort of depends on your definition of “soon.” More like, “soonish.”
I put together this poster for the game a while back just for fun. Yes, it distracted from game development for a time and no, it doesn’t serve a grand purpose. Some things just have to be done for their own sake.
In any case, I submitted this in the “supplemental material” for the two game comps, along with some screen shots and other materials.
[More...] Read the rest
Both the IndieCade and Utah Game Wars competitions required a short trailer video showing off the game, so even though Vespers is still a work-in-progress and far from finished, a teaser trailer was most definitely in order.
I already had a pretty good head start on this. Almost one year ago to the day, I helped put together a local screening of the documentary “Indie Game: The Movie” here in Salt Lake City, at the same venue (Brewvies Cinema Pub) that I hosted a screening of Jason Scott’s excellent “Get Lamp” documentary. It was a great event, with the cost offset through sponsoring from some local game development groups including NinjaBee, Chair Entertainment, Smart Bomb Interactive, and the Salt Lake [More...] Read the rest
May is shaping up to be one of the better months for Vespers.
I’ve talked for years about eventually reaching a point in development where I could submit the game to an indie game competition such as IndieCade, particularly one that would accept works-in-progress. However, each time, year after year, the deadlines came and went without ever quite getting there.
The goal, as always, has been to finish development up to a truly playable version that would allow people to play through the end of Act I, which ends with a short cutscene acknowledging the first significant dramatic event of the game, which then sets the stage for the remaining four Acts. Getting all of the different components of Act I put together, [More...] Read the rest
“The snow flies against the glass, but refuses to stick. Medard stands tall, with an eagle’s outstretched
wings above him.”
[More...] Read the rest
Time for another pseudo-quick update.
I know it’s been a long road so far with this game, a lot longer than I planned. It’s amazing how much the computer gaming world has changed since I started this thing — back then, there were no iPhones or iPads, and most gaming was either on desktops or consoles. Now, the game industry has shifted dramatically toward mobile devices, just like a lot of other industries. I sometimes wonder how many people still use their desktops for gaming. Nevertheless, this game needs to be done and put out there, and it’s about time I did something about that.