Character Drama, and Caffeine.tv Stream
Hey Folks! Busy day today, so not a lot of work to show. However, a lot of thinking/planning about character drama, so I dug-up some character art ideas for today's screenshot.
Probably the most exciting thing today, however, was the Caffeine.tv IndieMegaBooth stream. Pnubis hosted an hour stream of him playing NEO Scavenger while we chatted over Discord, and it was a good time! I don't always have free time to do streams, but I pretty much always enjoy them. And Caffeine.tv is sort of a new take on the experience, which nixes the chatlog and replaces it with speech bubbles along the bottom. And being live on Discord certainly beats trying to type answers to everything :)
Unfortunately, I kinda dropped the ball on today's event.
For one thing, I didn't advertise it as well as I should've. I mentioned it in the news here last week, and a few times on twitter leading up to it. But I should've gone the extra mile and posted alerts on Reddit, Discord, and Steam.
Also, I screwed up the VOD. I had everything all ready to go, ran several successful tests, and there's this beautiful 9GB 720p file on my hard drive. Except my voice is missing. I had set it up to record the stream audio, thinking I'd get both the host and my voice, plus game. Unfortunately, I had to mute the stream window to avoid feedback, and it only picked up Discord. Which would be fine, except Discord doesn't play mic audio (for obvious reasons), so at several points in the video, the host is just looking at the screen and nodding to silence :(
Sorry about that! I know Rovlad, in particular, was hoping to catch the VOD since the show was at a bad time.
I can still upload it if folks want to see it. Just a forewarning that it'll be weird watching :)
Right, on to characters. There's a good chance I'll be announcing the space prototype officially soon. Including the game's title, setting up a product page here, and (perhaps most importantly), a "Coming Soon" page on Steam. The coming soon page is quickly becoming the new measure of success on Steam, since it gathers wishlists up until launch, and on launch day, all of those folks get a heads-up. And if enough of those folks pull the trigger, the sudden surge of sales propels the game into the Steam homepage, and that starts the virtuous cycle of more sales->more feature placement->more sales.
So that's the plan.
But before I announce anything, I'm thinking I'd ideally want the character interaction stuff to look more interesting. It's still fairly "under the hood," and wonky. So I've been thinking of ways to make it clearer and more engaging. And current ideas include portraits (like the above) with dynamic facial expressions for happy, sad, etc. Plus, maybe some buff/debuff icons for certain things like poison, freezing, etc. Between facial expressions, buff icons, maybe some decorations like bruises/dirt, and color tinting/desaturation, maybe I can communicate AI state really quickly and clearly.
Heck, maybe I could even put mini versions of that portrait over each walking character? That might be redundant.
In any case, I have some thinking to do!