Posts Tagged ‘Black Yard

15
Sep
19

Development Diary – 9/15

Screenshot (1)

Black Yard lumbers along, though to what purpose I know not. Unlikely to be slouching to Bethlehem or anything else so portentous.

I think I’ve determined what the overall gameplay loop is supposed to be; that’s good, since when I started, I had no idea. I just wanted to tell the story of the unpleasant things that might be sleeping under a parochial school. I ended up tying it back to the fact that it’s a recurring nightmare of mine. The main character is hunting through the school, looking for memory fragments. With enough of them, he can confront the nightmare.

Then comes the part where I have to decide which fragments are in the game; I have plenty of source material, since to a degree the game is autobiographical. Which ones are important enough to be here? How far back should I go? How far forward?

Once I have that narrowed down, I have to start peppering the environment with them. This is where I am currently; I’ve done one of the two school buildings (specifically covering the 4th through 8th grade classrooms) and have dropped a handful of the artifacts into the environment. I don’t know if I’m doing it “right” or not, though.

In the fourth grade room, there are four memories to be found, one trigger that will lead to another memory elsewhere, and two general items that will lead to other memories. Seven important items in one room.

The fifth grade classroom, in contrast, has the entrance to a hidden area where a memory can be found (if you’ve done a few other things first), a potential game over (if you didn’t do some of those other things) and a clue to another memory. Three important things.

The sixth grade classroom has one memory, one item that is used to obtain a memory elsewhere, and foreshadowing of another memory that will be found later. Again, only three items.

The walkway between the classrooms has three NPCs in it; one who is mainly there for flavor text and can’t really be interacted with, one who sends you on a fetch quest that will ultimately lead to a memory, and one who, if you help him out, will provide you with something you need to get another memory elsewhere.

I suppose what I’m wondering is if there’s too much junk in one room and they need to be spread out more, or if I need to cram more crap into the other rooms that are “done,” or if I can leave it as is. I just don’t know.

But that’s where I stand. I would say this is roughly 12% complete. Yes, I’m mostly pulling that number out of my ass. That number also only indicates what I’m doing with the resources supplied with RPG Maker VX Ace, so if somehow I get the time and money to obtain non-generic tiles and the like, the number changes. But we’ll see.

What are your folks’ opinions? Too much, too little, who the hell cares? Let me know down below.

As always, if you like the stuff I do and want to help me keep doing it, you can always stop by my Patreon or drop a dime in the bucket for my surgery GoFundMe. Contributions are always appreciated but never required.

KA Spiral no signature

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10
Sep
19

Is it worth it?

I mentioned yesterday I finally got through the assorted barriers of procrastination to finally begin work on Black Yard.

The question I have to ask now, though – which may well be that procrastination, my depression, or my general lack of self-worth talking, mind you – is: is it worth pursuing?

I don’t have the artistic or musical skill to create images, sprite maps, or music unique to the game. Since I’m still arguing with six doctors and three different insurance companies for someone to process my disability paperwork, I don’t have funds to buy resource packs for RPG Maker or to commission folks on Fiverr for it. That means I’m stuck with the default stuff, which is obviously designed for generic medieval western European fantasy settings. Not such a good fit for a game set in America in the 80s. I’m doing what I can to make it work, but it still doesn’t feel “right.”

Which leaves me wondering: Should I bother? I made some headway yesterday, getting most of the “special” items sorted out, I have placeholders at least for the map screens I need, and most of what’s left is doing my best to make it look pretty and hooking them together with the narrative. But knowing, as I do, that it’s still not going to be “right,” even when I expend everything I am capable of on the project and render it “as done as I can make it” seems to beg the question of if it’s worth doing at all.

I don’t know. What I do know is that a large chunk of my afternoon today will likely be working on the “Memory” events that form the bulk of the narrative, and I’ll figure it out from there. For now, here’s my crappy title screen:

Screenshot (1)

The name probably should change, too. Someone will yell at me about it at some point, I’m sure. I don’t even know how or why I settled on Black Yard.

That’s all for today folks; lemme know your thoughts down below. Or if anyone is familiar with the process of what to do with it once it’s done so people can play it, that’d help too.

As always, if you are of a mind and are interested in helping me keep my prescriptions current and filled, or want to chip in for my surgery situation, you can do so via Patreon or GoFundMe. Anything helps and is always appreciated, but never required, and I’m more than happy to give whatever shout outs you request in return.

KA Spiral no signature




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