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Week 9: First Act

Dec 15, 2020 | 2 comments

As far as I know, interactive storytelling is a wild field that challenges traditional narrative in many ways. However, I think Adventure Games are rich enough in narrative to opt for a classical three-act structure without losing its essence. After all, I should be able to control when and how to deliver the different pieces of the story, and keep a well structured plot throughout the game.

I know is not very original, but being a solo project I have to cover the whole process of creating the game by myself, and the list of tasks involved is long: design, art, music, sound, storytelling, engineering, project management, marketing, business (if any)… so, sticking to the standards -such as the Three-Act structure- is a good way to stay within the comfort zone, as I don’t feel ready to go beyond that yet. Doing everything on my own, it’s the challenge itself.

The following sprints…

One of the project management tasks I did during week #8 was splitting the prototyping stage in four main parts (using the User Story Map framework as a template). Basically, I planned these four sprints:

  • First sprint – Act I (Expected by 14/12/20)
  • Second sprint – Act II (Expected by 21/12/20)
  • Third sprint – Act III (Expected by 28/12/20)
  • Fourth sprint – Full playable prototype (Expected by 17/01/21)

☝️ Just to clarify: The first part of this project (which includes all the work done so far) is about making a prototype for the game. This is the part I’m doing under the umbrella of the Game Design in Practice program at Uppsala University (partially supported by the Interactive Storytelling program I’m also enrolled at the same university). This should be completed by the 17th of January 2021, as this is when both programs will finish. The second part of this project (aka production stage) will be about developing the actual game based on this prototype. I will start working on it after that, but I haven’t estimated anything yet so the final release date for the game is a question mark for now -I don’t expect this to take much longer though, but we will see.

So, this is what last week brought us…

As shown in the list, last week’s goal was to implement the first act of the game, and so it has been. It means that Act I is now playable from beginning to end.

This is the beginning…

Following the traditional three-act structure, I have used this first act for exposition purposes mainly (the insertion of background information to provide context to the player). It presents the main characters, their relationships, and part of the world the story will take place. This is where the inciting incident occurs as well, the event that should hook you into the story.

This is not delivered through a single cutscene or a non-playable passage, of course. As most graphic Adventure Games, the pieces of story are revealed through a combination of puzzle solving, world exploration, dialogues and short cutscene animations.

A rehearsal of the First Act with the main actors.

📋 This week: Not much mystery on what’s coming next. Act II is awaiting so I hope to complete it by the end of this week.

By the way, I would like to find a volunteer to test the progress done on each sprint (Act I for now). Vaida is helping me with that, but she already knows certain details of the story, so I need someone else to contrast a bit more. This is just a preliminary test, not the full test sessions that I hope to run once the prototype is ready. It won’t take long, and you will have the honour of being the first official tester for this game.

Important: Please note that the candidate has to have beaten the Sword Master at least once.

The first one leaving a comment here or at Discord will be the chosen one!

NEW! Follow this Development Diary on Discord!

2 Comments

  1. David

    Nice job! If you still need a tester, next week I might have a gap.

    I beat the Sword Master, indeed. I’ve got my certificate on a T-shirt accounting for it.

    • Guillem

      When there’s only one candidate, there’s only one choice…

      Application approved! I will contact you soon.

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