BMC Production blog 3 (predraft)

April 17, 2008

Today I will hopefully have the introduction and first two chapters of my IF finished and ready to go for class.  I’m just finishing the intro and finalizing the basic game shooting engine and also finalizing the contents of chapter 2.  So far it’s looking good, and all I’ll have to do after this is the other 4 chapters.  I’ve got an ending planned, I just need to make a path there.  The ending is heavily involved with one of the player’s choices in the second chapter.  I figured the second chapter due to the fact that player has to readjust to his surroundings after the cascade at the start of the first chapter.  It wouldn’t be fair to give the player the bad ending just because he messed up due to the fact that he wasn’t fully acclimated to his environment.  I’m also really not liking this new WordPress interface, it’s missing a word count.

BMC Production Blog 2

April 10, 2008

As my IF is based off a FPS, I figured it best to include a combat system.  it’s got the basic Half-Life weapons, plus a few new ones.   I had a lot of trouble with implementing shooting actions, an ammo count, and even reloading.  I’ve finally figured it out, (thanks to the kind people at Rec.arts.Int-fiction Usenet group) and have almost completed the whole of my new actions (even being able to hack doors with the laptop is now functional).  I’ve already got two of the story chapters finished, but I’m adding an interactive intro that will be the beginning that leads to the six story chapters.  One of the main issues I’ve been running into is things being ambiguous, or that alot of my code is written in a way that I7 recognizes two or more parts as the same thing, and ignores all but the last part.  One more problem is that since I haven’t finished the intro I cannot test the weapons in the later story chapters.  I’m also having some problems with size.  Because of the audio effects I am incorporating, the file has gone from 26kb to 26mb.  this a very large difference, and it could cause some distribution problems for the finished product.  I also found a forum friend who does amazing musical work.  He goes by the user name “Rezter” and agreed to make some background music for me.  The one catch is that I’m going to recode in flash and submit to Newgrounds so he can get more widespread of credit for doing the music.  I don’t really think that Newground’s ADD, sugar injected preteen fan base will be able to accurately judge an IF though.  At worse it will get “Blammed” which I wouldn’t care about, but Rez is quite popular on NG and that could affect his overall reputation.

Pre-production and Production Introduction to BMC.

March 28, 2008

I had already spent alot of time making my IF before these blogs were assigned, but I figured I can still blog about Pre-Production aspects of parts of BMC (Black Mesa Chronicles, my IF) that are still in development as well as introduce everyone to what I’ve done so far.  My basic concept is Half-Life from another point of view, much like the GearBox Software expansions except mine is not a Half-Life mod, it’s coded in Inform 7.  It centers around the player who is a scientist that must escape from part of the Black Mesa Facility not shown in any Half-Life games or expansions.  Half-Life differed from many FPSs at the time by using scripted sequences instead of cut scenes.  The difference is that the player has control during these sequences, allowing for more realism and intensity.  This makes Inform 7 quite a suitable medium for my version, as one of it’s key features is that during it’s scenes the player can still remain in full control.  In fact the player’s choices during these scenes are going to be what determines the overall outcome of the game.  I am also incorporating sound effects, music, and pictures that make the player feel more like he/she is in the classic Half-Life environment.  This will hopefully make players familiar with first person shooters and/or Half-Life feel less alienated by the fact that they have much less control in aspects of first person shooters, along with more control along the lines of Inform capabilities.  I also plan to integrate a help system uniquely tailored to the capabilities of my game for players new to IF.

HyperText Report.

March 13, 2008

In the beginning I was questioning how orignal I could be when everyone in our class had to do the same concept. I’ve avoided that aspect now and stuck to adding complexities to my story.  As you can see the main aspect I’m functioning around is the stories of the people in the store, and how they connect.   I converted all my pages to HyperTexTopia.  I even added quite a bit more to the story, so that it is much more visible how all the characters interlock.  With my link names, I always try to anticipate/ describe future events. I normally do this with “The (verb/noun)” to be as simple as possible with still foreshadowing future events.  I still plan to add a lot more stories and have them all interconnect.  So far, I have the security chief who discovers the punks stealing milk for kittens dumped by the Wife and husband who wrote a book slandering a former founder of a company but now works in the store due to the book. It’s complicated, yet simple how they all connect. Right now I only have three stories in the store.  I plan to do eight.  and I might move my current three to the end so that they would be the last three.  HyperTexTopia is not the best thing for hypertext.  If you want to link from a word in the text, you can’t do it again from that link. it’s called a shard and it doesn’t even show up as it’s own page.  It justs pops up when you hover over that word. I decided not to use shards and just use the basic navigation system to avoid these problems.  I think I’m an intuitive thinker, as I just write whatever pops into my head. then I refine it until I actually like it.  I have had many successes so far, But when faced with a problem, I tend to search for a solution, or another solution if the solution is the problem.

Mapping Space of the New Tunxis Library

February 21, 2008

The new Tunxis Library is quite large and dense yet it still manages a flow of movement with freedom in directional choice. There are three entryways to the main hall of the library much like different links to access it through a web page. While they all start somewhere different (south, east, or west end) they all end up at the main library entrance. Interactive chairs and tables in the main hall are fully modular and can be arranged with ease. As one enters the library they have two main options, current floor or top floor (basically the equivalent of another web page). You can also notice the shelves on the walls are modular as well, along with less modular floor shelving units for holding the data or more specifically books. Even the stairs have interactivity as they twist away to both sides of the upper level from one main staircase, giving you more freedom of direction. There are reservable discussion rooms for the SGA that seem to represent topics on a talk page or forum. Also, even the floors and walls of this building show modularity as they are covered with a selection of topics ranging from Black History Month to Information on the Library. as one leaves the library they may notice one or two areas still under construction. I am unsure what function one will serve, but the other is clearly a mini food court. This is particularly useful as the nearest vending machine is about 250 feet away.