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.
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.
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.
You can comment about this post on Discord