Week 8: Ready Player One
I’m very happy to introduce you to the first character of the game. He’s the player avatar, so I will call him “Player One” by now. I needed him to be ready to start building a walkable version of the prototype (these are the type of things that you can learn following a development diary like this one) which consist of a set of rooms wired together that can be walked through by an avatar. This is pretty much what I’ve been doing for the past week.
I have to say this is and important milestone achieved. For the first time, I can have a vibe of the world being created, from the player’s perspective. There are no puzzles to solve yet or elements to interact with, but I already have the freedom to walk from one room to another, as if I was playing the game.
In order to do so, I needed to have the concept art of the rooms and also a first version of the player avatar that I can use to do the walkthrough. I already created most of the assets and characters during week #7, so I just had to create some basic animations for Player One and start building the prototype in Unity.
Animation sprite sheet for Player One.
With just seven frames I can have a decent first animated version of the player’s avatar. It covers left and right “Idle” and “walk” animations which is all I need for now.
Player One’s first blurry walk.
On the other hand, the more I get into production the more I need to keep track of the work that needs to be done. I normally use Trello for this purpose -as I can create a Kanban board for Agile development- but this time I opted to experiment with the User Story Map framework, adapting it to my own needs.
For those not familiarized with it, it is basically a canvas used for product management, where user stories (an informal description of a feature written from the perspective of the end user) can be organized in terms of time and priority. I like it how the different elements are distributed within the canvas as it shows a wider scope of the development process so I will use it to organize my tasks to do, rather than user stories. This is the good part of being a solo developer: You can use every tool the way you want to, not the way they are supposed to be used, as long as it works for you.
This week: At this point, most of the rooms have been wired and the player’s avatar is ready to start interacting with the environment. Last week, I also created some closeups, sprites and inventory icons that I needed for this week, as I will start implementing the logic for the puzzles and cutscenes.
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Nice first character (better if he had a moustache, though)! It looks a bit like you…
Is it your own pixel art or did you borrow it from some asset library? Perhaps the guy dared to go camping wearing a sleeping gown and sleepers??
Looking forward to seeing more!
Thanks, David. In the case of characters, I opted to avoid using library resources, although we are still in the prototyping stage. They are at the centre of the story and it is something that you can easily get attached to, as you know very well. So I wanted to create them as they are, from the very beginning, even though they might evolve during the process of creating this game. So yeah this is a homemade pixel art, maybe that’s why it looks a bit like me… whether intentional or not I’ll keep it a secret.
By the way, good observation! He appears to be wearing a nightgown and slippers, because he may be in pyjamas. I might as well consider your proposal for the moustache, but this guy is only 11 years old…
There is more to come!