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MA Game Design: Final Pitch & Oodles of Writing


I remembered to get another post out before the week ended! Noice. Its felt like an intense and stressful week because assignments were handed in for another class and a practical exam took place for the Game Design class. That exam was for me final pitch, so let's talk about that first!


The Final Pitch

I had my final pitch this week which was pretty fun, especially since I got to see everyone's clever ideas (some of the visuals people had made were so good!). The pitch I gave ran for about 13 minutes which was over time by 3 mins, so hopefully that isn't penalised too badly. It was trickier than expected to fit in everything that I wanted to say, even after cutting things out. I don't think it helps that I tend to talk about things in detail when I am, well, talking, so I guess that still needs some work!

Content-wise, there were some small changes. Most of the audio was taken out since I didn't get around to balancing the audio clips out in an audio editing tool, with the exception of the title track that I kept in for just the first slide. Some more characters were added along with some more explanations for the world navigation, but I forgot to add in info about some of the new skills I had noted down. Luckily I was given a chance to talk about them during question time!

Like before, I don't know if or when we will get access to the pitch recordings, but when we do, I'll make it a post with the video included.


The Mountain of Writing

I have also had to do a lot of writing. Like, a lot a lot of writing. Serious amounts of it. I don't mind doing it, but man it feels awful when I can't get the words out of my head onto paper. Its like my mind has been paralysed and it sucks! It doesn't help that I feel behind schedule in my mind, so that's been causing some stress.

Since actually building a prototype isn't the most important element this time around, I've decided to hold off on doing more things in Unity until the written elements are complete. This means that I've gone ahead and made use of Stornaway's interactive screenplay document, since I can effectively create a "Choose your own adventure" screenplay out of it. Its not the same as an actual visual novel, of course, but its got the basic gameplay elements within it for a reader to engage with. What I mean is, there are choices with hyperlinks that will take you to a different page within the document, including for when you want to investigate a scene or speak to a NPC. You can also go back to where you came from so that you can keep moving forward. I've had to try and come up with a sensible system for this which I think is working - certain actions are associated with a letter so it is easy to work with. For example, choices that start with "B" are exclusively for when you wish to inspect the location you are in for clues.

The script is not yet complete for either main character and will likely only go up to a certain point within the first case due to timing concerns, but this is what the cover page looks like for Allan's route (Ace's is the same but with different words and a different image):

The GDD is also underway and is currently the priority to complete first. Once ready or close to being ready, I'll finish up on the character bios for the playable characters and the main NPC cast. I'll also need to finish up these screenplays and hope that they will be worthwhile!

Oh, I've also been working on some new art assets to help illustrate some concepts. One that I like took some inspiration from a game I enjoy that brings up sudden, big pop-ups whenever a player has correctly done a specific action. So, these will appear and would be accompanied with some sound and a voice speaking the text when either player has correctly presented a clue to an NPC that isn't being entirely truthful or cooperative:

I'm not sure on which is the best font, so I'm experimenting with different ones to see what could fit best. The font has to work with all the exclamations, but sometimes they just become hard to read. The "A-ha!" font is a good example, since it looks nice there, but for the "Got It!" message it becomes very difficult to read, so it wouldn't work. Its unlikely I will get time to decide on one, but hey you never know, maybe there will be a change in the wind!


Closing Thoughts

This one is pretty brief since most of the work is basically in Word documents, which don't make for the greatest images! Thankfully this is the only project I need to focus on this week, so all my efforts are going into trying to get this finalised. It will be nice to get this into Unity and have a proper, playable version, but this is at the bottom of the priority list. Other things need to be completed first before worrying about that.

And now I think it is time for bed, so thanks for reading and see you soon! Buh byeeee :)

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