Sunday, 24 February 2013

Android Development

Hey everyone!

Behind the scenes, I've been working on promoting the concept of Idol-eyes, and also working something that will work for android.

Ren'py and android are pretty compatible now. I made a short tester game just to see if I could get it to work on android, and with the help of my boyfriend whom is an android developer anyway we managed to get it working successfully... until we hit a screen in which you have to input text.

I tried to use the softkeyboard framework but for some reason my build was just having none of it, but lurking somewhere in a forum I found an onscreen keyboard that makes use of python buttons which was really useful and worked perfectly well on android!

There are a few things that won't work for example cross fades and I also found changing music volumes didn't work, but the volume buttons etc. on the phone still work in android so not a massive problem. You can increase the text size to make it readable on a phone with just a change of settings in the options, but you'd have to also increase the button sizes because they can be a little difficult to press if you aren't careful.

All in all, pretty exciting stuff! I will still of course be developing Idol-eyes for the PC, Mac and Linux but it's cool to think it may be available on the app store at some point.

Other than that, it is confirmed that Chapter 1 will be the demo for Idol-eyes and we hope to get it out to you in the coming months. We'll let you know when the full game is available!


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Idol-Eyes Progress

I've made quite a bit of progress with the game recently, the game now has an inventory system. You can buy items which affect the progress of the story, and an amount of coins is displayed at the top left hand side. I also managed to do something that supposed to be simple, but really wasn't! I wanted the character name box above the dialogue box UI, realised the reason it wasn't working is because the image of the dialogue box took up the whole screen (was a PNG with a transparent background) so that's why I wasn't seeing any changes.

Anyway that's all fixed and the game is starting to look a little better and has some more interesting features. What I want to do next is make a menu which enables you to open the inventory system and look at what items you have in there. At the moment you just kinda have to remember what you've picked, which is fine if the story changes straight away but if you want items to effect the story later on down the line you need to know what you've got. I played 'Magical Diary' and it was awesome, but you could pick choices and forget you've even made them, until you are prompted later on in the story, so I kinda want to make sure you can always remind yourself if you need to.

Another thing is, I'm working with Jennifer Birch whom is a character artist on the project; she's taking care of all the costume design and doing an awesome job. Here's an example:

Don't you just love his galaxy style top? Amazing!

So I'm really lucky to be working with talented artists and a writer. Coming up soon will be a working demo video of the game in it's current form. I'm hoping to get a first chapter complete and up to polish level, which would be a pretty good indicator of how the final game may function.

That's all for now, thanks!


Monday, 4 February 2013

Idol-Eyes UI variation

I've done quite a few dialogue boxes now and I'm really not sure if I'm happy with any of them. I did a mock-up at work but actually prefer it to the one that to the one I spent more time on, I guess you can overdo things. None of it is finished though!

I hate the font, I can't find a font that I like that's not OTT cheesy but has a sci-fi theme. Will have to figure it out later.

As for everything else, it's going pretty well! We have some environment art from Kyra Hills, it's looking really great:

Some environment concepts for some of the scenes, it's got a really great sci-fi atmosphere without being too cheesy and what I like about it, is the fact it's basically how I imagined it; particularly the second crystallised landscape.

We also have some character art, which I'll post if I get permission to do so.



Saturday, 2 February 2013

Idol-Eyes Custom UI

The custom UI for Idol-Eyes now works! It's all placeholder art at the moment because I need to include more buttons and options, and resize everything. I tried to do it last week but it was causing me problems so I left it and came back. I separated both the dialogue box and quick menu into separate images, and now they are both clickable image maps that display text and the quick menu will perform the various functions listed in the UI.

Background art is placeholder, but everything else is mine. Writing belongs to Sophie Johnson. I also fixed the padding on the text because it liked to go over the limit.

The next step is adding a tab that has character names in it, easily done the same way I've managed to do this UI. Also, there are various other menus that need customisation such as the options, save and load menus. I now know how to do it though, so I'm going to leave those until I can do a final design and have some more artwork to roll with and take inspiration from.

Pretty pleased though! I also went back and tidyed up some of the Ren'py code because it was a mish mash of random stuff with no comments and I could never remember what I'd done, and also re-scaled the whole project to a suitable size.