Accounting, Crew Portraits, UI

Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. I think a lot of our catch-up from returning home spilled into the weekend, as it felt like we were still doing a lot of running around. And there's more to come, as we start getting our ducks in a row for the big move. We technically have two months to vacate, but that time's going to go fast between hiring a mover, finding an apartment in a distant city, getting the pets vaccinated/documented, and the other seemingly endless things that need wrapping-up.

I'm also trying to find a good lawyer to consult on the business moving across the border. No definite prospects yet. If you know any good attorneys with game industry experience, let me know!

Right, so what did I do today? Unfortunately, accounting in the morning. With taxes coming up (yet another thing!), I'll need to make sure my income/expenses are neatly organized and receipts ready for the CPA. Lots of slips to gather and upload, too.

But what did I actually do for work? Well, crew portraits!

IMAGE(http://bluebottlegames.com/img/screenshots/screenshot-2016-02-01.png) There will be no smiling on this ship. Are we clear, Akiko?

After last week's post, there was a great discussion in the comments about possible dialogue representations. And Kaaven mocked-up a pretty easy-to-read UI possibility showing portraits.

I decided to run with that general layout, and see if I could put together some modular/procedural portraits so players could recognize and/or customize crew.

The above example shows two different faces using a combination of parts layered on top of each other. They include different head and jaw shapes, eyes, brows, ears, mouth, nose, hair, shoulders, and shirt. And background.

My initial thought was to try and normal-map them like the crew/ship sprites, but I quickly shelved that when I realized how hard it would be to seamlessly overlay these different parts. For now, I think I'll go with the more toon-ish style. It also got me thinking about whether the in-game crew sprites should be a similar toon style, to make them easier to spot, track, and differentiate from each other. (Kaaven rightly pointed out that the current lit crew sprites may be too hard to discern one guy from the next.)

As always, this is placeholder art, but I think it shows one possibility for how we can get variety in the crew, and make dialogue more interesting to watch.

The next step is to see how this looks in-game, and decide if it's a step in the right direction. So far, I've only got the UI mocked-up. Getting Unity to do a UI bar for the portrait and text is turning out to be tricky. It's easy enough to just lay them out manually, but I think there's a way to make them horizontally arrange themselves to fit the space if it changes (e.g. other resolutions). I want to try and get that working if I can, so I don't have to hard-code UI sizes/positions.

That's about all for today. Have a good night, all!

Comments

Malacodor's picture
Malacodor

What's so bad about Canada?

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

dcfedor's picture
dcfedor

Nothing wrong with Canada, per se. We're not escaping Canada as much as we're targeting Seattle. We both want to live nearer to a city, and Seattle's one we both can get excited about.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Malacodor's picture
Malacodor

Ah, Seattle it is. As a totally unrelated sidenote, do you like Shadowrun? ;-)

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

dcfedor's picture
dcfedor

I used to play quite a bit of the pen and paper game. And the Genesis cart. So yeah, you could say so.

I've also played the modern CRPGs, though I found myself wanting more role-playing, exploration, gear management, etc. And the loading screens were too frequent. I'm optimistic the series will evolve into a more hardcore RPG as they release new iterations of the engine!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games