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State of the Art

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Mar 31 2012

Mercury Retrograde Press’ Barbara Friend Ish will be speaking at the Library of Congress on storytelling through game next month.

If you are interested in storytelling and games go check her post out and leave her some answers to her question:

If you could get a literary snob to play just one game, what would you offer them as a gateway drug?

Fortunes Screenshots

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Jan 21 2012
Title menu

The title menu

Last weekend I holed myself away at James‘ place and spent the entire weekend working on the Fortunes prototype. Its gotten a little bit more work since then and this is what it looks like currently.

opening screen

Sadly I couldn’t get my video capture working and the stills don’t show off terribly much yet, as there is no art done yet. But the basic structure of the game is still there. We start the game, and east player lays down a card…

which card will I choose?

and our valid plays become un-dimmed and we choose a play. I’ve found a variety of free sound effects and from the unity asset store got a fantastic song called “Build me a future” by ADHMusic. Really appropriate I thought. It may get replaced later but it sets a good tone for what we currently have.

Yet Another decision

So if any of you know of good, free software for video capture, please let me know in the comments.

This window of filler text apparently drops the frame rate to 10! That'll need some fixing

More than an Inchstone

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Dec 20 2010

Though Ant refers to our recent internal demo as an inchstone, I see it as something bigger. At minimum, a full-fledged milestone. There are several reasons for my thinking:

1. First of all, it was awesome. Sure, it was nothing fancy, but it was the first time that the videogame portion became real. Before then, we had a couple of physical games we made for Mercury Retrograde. Sure, we had talked about, and Ant had even worked upon a video game for us, but this was the first time that we had something we could show and see work. That’s a pretty big deal, and it helps solidify our focus.

2. The demo fulfilled an important purpose in the game design process. Besides giving Ant a chance to show off, it also served as an inspiration for discussion and changes to the game.

3. It deepened the team’s working relationship. Though the team is nothing but Ant and I now, our discussions on changes went really well. When the idea for the first change appeared, we had a long conversation concerning feature creep, (believe me, I have a lot of random features in my head). Doing so led to a every talk concerning a possible change involve a separate talk about its value to the player, to ourselves, and how much work it would entail. This made it so very few changes made it through our talks, and others were shelved for later.

On weak teams, you can’t have talks like this. The product owner, or the marketing team, will come in and demand that changes be made or features be added, and the development team has to comply. That wasn’t the case here, and I am proud of that.

4. It shows that we are putting our money where our mouth is. Lots of people want to make games, and a lot of people will even go so far as to say that are going to, but very few people go out and actually try to make it happen. We are making it happen, and this demo helps show how serious we really are.

So, though the demo did not show a lot, and there is a lot of more work to do, this is still an important milestone for us, and a very nice Christmas present.

-James-

Here It Goes, Here It Goes, Here It Goes Again…

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Dec 10 2010

…Oh here it goes again.

But I don't wanna!!!

I know. We’ve been remiss in updating. I don’t know about Ant, but the truth is, for me at least, is that I am not looking forward to all the promotion work that it is going to take to get this thing off the ground.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to talk about games, our company, our talent (yeah, I’m talking about you), our plans, and our philosophy, but doing it formally is intimidating.

Still, we are planning to do a panel at Fairy Atlanta Escape, where we will talk about games as a force in narrative media, as well as how games con be used to further explore creative properties, and about their use as a marketing, promotion, and merchandising tool. We will also be talking about our work with Mercury Retrograde Press (thank you Barbara).

Though it is intimidating, promotion is a necessary thing for business. How else will people know about the great things you do unless you tell them? So, despite my squeamishness about putting myself out there, I am going to do it, and I will drag Ant, despite his screaming and kicking, along the way.

(Hey Ant, you can chastise me later for saying that I will have to drag you. I already know who the more talented person is between us. You don’t have to rub it in, you jerk.)

-James-