I’m back! I buried myself in development of the game for the past month and finally I realized…I need to write in the blog again! People might think I’ve been kidnapped… or lost my apartment keys for a profoundly long period of time. From here on out I’ll be only blogging when there is significant news to share (That’ll be more than once a month!) Good news though, there’s lots of new stuff to share! Let’s get started.
Updated Task Sheet!
Most tasks now have a first pass implementation. Should see a lot of those check boxes getting filled out now that we have the basics down.
First Public Demo of the Game
We recently had members of the public see the game at Gamma Space in Toronto. While the build still had lots of work left to do, the feedback we received was very positive. I was extremely nervous prior to showing the game, I was positive that people wouldn’t get the idea of having a JRPG set during 1980’s Wall Street. But as people were lead through the game they really got into it and were frequently delighted by all the twists and turns that occur with the gameplay during the title’s opening chapter.
New Intro Sequence:
It’s a small change, but we now have you beginning the game in New York and talking to the CEO of Stanford Investments before we move the player to Japan. It helps to give the player some basic context and give the opening gameplay in Japan greater grounding. We also use the opening moments of the game to give the player a tiny bit of back-story to help ground the story even further.
Okay, it’s not much visually (There’s not even 1st pass art yet), but getting the mechanics figured out was a bit of a mountain. During this sequence you’re out drinking with employees from Nishitani Capital and you’re attempting to close a major deal with them the next day.
The player’s goals are:
- Be the last to pass out.
- Get the highest bar tab possible
The rules are:
- Everyone takes drinks in turn.
- Each drink makes the drinker closer to passing out.
- When you buy someone a drink, they reciprocate by buying you the same drink.
- each drinking round new drinks are available that have a higher cost and a higher alcoholic content.
We will be adding a mechanic where the player can use opiates while drinking to stave off passing out. Yes, there are…repercussions.
Dream Sequence Gameplay
Okay, so after all that drinking and drugs the player passes out in their hotel room bed. This is where we introduce our dream-sequence gameplay. The dream sequence are a very important cornerstone of the game’s story, and like most dreams are packed with symbolism and foreshadowing but probably won’t be clear what their meaning is until you’ve gone through the game a few times.
Effectively the player imagines themselves as a Japanese Tokusatsu superhero (Think Ultraman or Power Rangers) fighting off a monster who’s attacking the city from the forest.
The player’s Goals are
- Push the monster back into the wilderness
- Raise your ‘power level’ as high as possible (Power levels are: D -> C -> B -> A -> S)
The rules are:
- The monster and the player push back and forth along a progress bar at the top of the screen
- The player wins if they push the monster all the way to the end of the progress bar.
- The player loses if the monster pushes them all the way back to the beginning of the progress bar.
- Each move the player and the monster does, raises their respective power levels.
- Higher power levels mean higher damage output. If the monster gets too powerful they can take you out in a single hit.
The screenshot below is pretty rough. (The background is nice though), there’s lots of UI issues going on and we don’t have monster art yet (Hence the colored squares). But the basics of the interface and mechanics are all there. What’s needed now is the final art, UX polish and some mechanics refinement and balance.
New Navigation Menu
So the game doesn’t have an overworld but rather a series of discreet locations you can visit. Whenever you goto leave a location you get access to the game’s navigation window. The basics of the window are the same but I’ve added in several refinements.
- Locations now have discreet open and closed hours
- Locations are grouped by their building and area of town
- Location listings now include important information (Building name, room name, hours until open/closed, travel time)
- You are shown a complementing UI that displays your next major upcoming event.
- Navigation menu now has several little animation hints and UX effects to make it clearer how things work.
- Lots and Lots of polish (still more to come though).
It’s not done yet, but it’s come a long way since where it was a month ago.
Gamepad Support / Input Hotswapping
The game now fully supports PC and Android gamepads. This should work across all (current) platforms for the game. Also UI input prompts have been implemented across almost all buttons and will update with the appropriate input icons as soon as a button from said input is pressed.
(Text is much sharper in game)
People in the game can now ask you questions!
Information Lead System
The primary currency during meetings is information, but the player can only research things that they know about. The player can read Newspapers, internal company memos and other resources to get knowledge of additional topics to research before a meeting. The demo currently has one sample of this available, a simple Newspaper interface. Reading the newspaper costs 1 hour but reveals 2 additional research topics for the player.
We have updated art for the game’s Nishitani Capital location:
The game’s Cutscene system is finally in place and active. For animation heavy sequences the current plan is just to use Unity’s built in animation system. However, for a sequence where we want to link together several gameplay behaviors (Eg, NPC walks left, says some dialogue, then walks North, waits for 2 seconds, then exits the room) the cutscene system is ideal. Right now it’s being used for the very end of the demo where the player and their senior manager, Alan Moab, have a walk-and-talk regarding their meeting with Nishitani Capital as they go through airport immigration.
We’ve receive another track from our musician Charlie, really excellent work that adds a lot. It’s currently being used in the demo’s opening sequence and in it’s closing meeting sequence.
- Further refinements to the story
- Much more art
- Refined UI for navigation and communication of current tasks