[006] Beginning of November Update


It's time for another monthly update!

(hey, you clicked on the devlog post! thanks! maybe wishlist Anodyne 2 on Steam??? )

.. Oops, I'm about a week late on this one... well, no one is grading me. So!

Well, we had three main sprints this month - demos for two playtests, and a demo for business reasons.

More or less we finished all of them. Oops, also it seems like we're sprinting all the time! So we're taking a break this month. Just kidding, no we're not! Expect a cool announcement, or two, this month! I'll have a break at the end of this month... for about a week... sigh.

Developing games is pain.

When I saw Sakurai basically say "I am tired, please help," during that recent Nintendo Direct, boy, did I relate.

Anyways,

Let's play "So what changed?", a.k.a. "Sean makes a spreadsheet with numbers going up to feel good about development"

CategoryStart of Month
End of Month
"Infrastructure"60%80%*
Intro (2D)
75%
100%
Intro (3D)
55%91%
Act 1 (2D)
55%
93.4%
Act 1 (3D)
50%
85%
The rest of the game..
"working on it"%
ask us next month%

*60%, based on the "Infrastructure completion deflation rate" in Coder's Almanac 2018.  This is the curse of the programmer. This is our fate.

Honestly, the updates are numerous. Here's probably what's interesting.

Design Tweaks (mostly the Intro of 2D)

We did some playtesting in the middle of the month and got some useful feedback, which led to some design and writing revisions in the intro. They'll be nice to have.

For example, in the 2D dungeons, instead of having dialogue pop up to tell you what to do, now, only if you do the wrong thing, does dialogue pop up.

Uh... like, if you shoot a rock at a gate, thinking you can destroy it (lots of people do this, Thanks A Bunch, immersive sims!), the gate will tell you to "please stop, as you might chip my paint." It will kindly suggest you do something else like clear the room of enemies. If you try to suck up a friendly NPC, it will say "please don't do that".  There are also rocks that tell you what to do, but of course no one reads them.

Please read the rocks, I worked hard on them.

In 2D Zelda games, the design is extremely simple - you start with literally Nothing (or a sword), so it's easy to learn about using those to clear enemies from rooms. But in Anodyne 2, you have a vacuum, so there's complexity in that you can suck and shoot stuff and now everything looks like a target I guess. But some well-placed NPCs, tweaks, and talking rocks, the tutorial is basically fine

(...for now. "Basically fine" is fine until it's not fine...)

Writing Tweaks (mostly the Intro)

The writing changes weren't significant but we did change the pacing of Important Proper Nouns a bit to be less frontloaded. So no "Lord Yggdrasalord of the Dyvyne Kingdorm hath brought The Lighting to Drimbledom".

Also a fun thing is we added a disclaimer that you aren't missing out by not playing Anodyne 1.

Mostly revisions for clarity. We also did some stuff relating to how the game ends and goes towards that ending, but we can't talk about that obviously!

Also, a ton of NPCs got added into the main Act 1 area. Finally it doesn't feel like (as much) of a ghost town.

Other stuff?

Well, as you see by the handy Chart, a bunch got done in the first hour of the game (the intro and Act 1). I added a ton of missing music, some minibosses, as well as important subsystems like the Thing That Gets You From 3D to 2D. We'll have more to say about that later. It's cool! It's also not 100% done...

We also finished texturing a bunch of intro 3D areas which I've been showing off on Twitter (links below). They look "hot". Oh, I finished cutscenes for these areas too. And cool stuff that lets me do neat camera angles.

I also added the pause menu! Ha ha! Ah, maybe I only care about that. Well, it's a good pause menu. I hope you enjoy pausing the game, for my sake.

There's also a mode that... lets you move fast... but only in 3D... but I'm not talking about that yet.

Uh, and the UI got some tweaks and updates. The game now makes backups when you save, in case things crash.

Basically, everything's coming together. I'm REALLY looking forward to not working on this first hour of the game. I'm so tired... but a lot of what we're doing is hard Because it's the intro. After this first hour I don't think our design has to be as finicky/worried about explaining how the game world works. There's also just a lot of short cutscenes in the beginning, or tutorial things. It's a pain, but for you, it'll be a pleasure! I hope.

We also did some Business Stuff which hopefully we can announce soon. It's exciting! Before you ask: No, it's not a console port.

I also maybe worked too hard on marketing last month but it worked pretty well! I will continue to work hard because I want more people to play this game.

LINKS

  • Well, first, if you're reading this, you might be interested in my studio Analgesic Productions's Discord Server. You can join here! https://discord.gg/7snxjmj
  • Also, I'm not posting any pictures here... mainly because it's time-consuming, and there's tons of stuff over on my Twitter, so you can check that out! https://twitter.com/sean_htch
  • ...Also, not that I expect anyone to notice, but, if you're wondering why everything on my Twitter is basically Anodyne 2 related, well, I moved my personal stuff over to https://twitter.com/han_tani  a few months ago. Follow if you so desire! My main will pretty much be heavily content-focused until I'm able to tweet a sandwich I ate for lunch and get 5,000 retweets and 10,000 new followers.

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