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games, code, art and music

Puzzle Game: Lore, Secrets, Inventory

One of my goals for this game is to include plenty of side content in the form or unlockable lore, hidden treasures, secret areas and so on.

Here's a short video showcasing how that might look.

The footage is from the first level of the game. The first secret area was initially a test, but I like how it turned out, so I'll probably leave it as it appears in the video. Leave it to me to leak spoilers of my own game before it's even released.

The video also shows me opening a journal menu, which is used for storing unlockable lore text. Lore is learned by interacting with the world and finding books, inscriptions and such. Kind of like in a real video game.

I think that few people actually read the lore documents in games, which is why I decided to make it a bit more interesting and make the lore a part of the gameplay. The texts will have clues, hints, and even additional hidden puzzles inside of them. That's the plan, anyway.

Finally, there's now a functional inventory grid, which displays large colorful images of all the collectibles and equipment you've picked up. I think there's a potential for new types of puzzles here, so I might experiment with that and add more functionality to this screen in the future.

P.S. I still haven't thought of a name for the game yet, but I'm working on it.

Progress on the Puzzle Game

Got some new footage of my puzzle game for you! This is actually the first HD video of the game I made. Take a look at the first few minutes of the gameplay:

There has been, in fact, a lot of progress since my last post. I've added a proper character model, new levels, gameplay mechanics, HUD elements, visual effects, sounds, a lore journal, a save system, engine improvements... I guess the only thing I haven't figured out yet is a name for the game.

Hopefully I'll get myself together and reveal a proper name until the end of the year. Until then, please look forward to watching more videos of "the unnamed puzzle exploration game with torches" in the near future.

Working on a new puzzle exploration game

After weeks of improving my game engine and its map editing tools, I've finally settled on a game idea that I like, and began designing an environment for it.

The gameplay is a mix of exploration, puzzle solving and platforming. I'm using a similar control scheme for the player character as in Speebot, except this time the player can rotate the camera at will. The camera will also automatically rotate and zoom according to the player's movement direction, delivering a familiar third-person view experience.

I'm putting more effort into the visual style of the game this time, which I've been experimenting with for a while now. I'm liking the look I've achieved so far, and I will keep developing this art style further.

I've also created some music tracks for the game. The game is set in ancient magical ruins, so the soundtrack has to be appropriate - ambient, relaxing fantasy music that uses instruments like harps, flutes and pianos.

Since I'm working on the actual game now, I will be posting progress more often.

Designing a custom scripting language for my game engine

Perhaps the biggest advantage of rolling a custom game engine is being able to fully control the workflow. I can change 3D models, textures, entities, sounds and other data while my game is running - then press a key and reload it without recompiling. This is convenient, fast, and rids me of any interruptions. I like this.

Naturally, I want the same flexibility to apply to writing the actual game logic. This includes things like level progression, interactions with NPCs and other entities, dialog trees and so on. For this purpose I am creating a scenario system and a custom scripting language called YumeScript.

The system is already mostly implemented and in working condition. I'd like to share my experience in this post.

New UI, physics engine, particle system and music

It's been a long time since my last post, but there's actually been quite a bit of progress on my unnamed action adventure game. I've been posting small updates on Twitter regularly, and it's time to summarize all those changes into one blog post.

New UI

I have a vague concept of a slick fantasy-ish aesthetic for my game in my head, which I used to re-skin the existing user interface. Buttons, dropdowns and other elements now look like this: