Saturday, November 20, 2010

AD: The Price of Memories


Hey! It has been a while since my last blog post and a fair few things HAVE happened within the last two months!


  • My laptop's screen broke. The wires that connected the screen to the computer were a bit iffy so I had to send my laptop away to get fixed. Good news is that after two weeks it is back! Bad news is my hard drive is wiped of all programs and issues with Game Maker mean I have to use my second 'activation' which I'm awaiting reply back from Softwrap so I can get back to making the game (properly). Considering I began writing this blog entry two days ago since then I've reactivated GM8, hooray!
  • Two days of high school left forever! Been busy something mad these past two months but now things are beginning to quieten down so that will leave me with much much more time to work on the game (hooray!). FINISHED!
  • Last but not least - Vest Trials: Approaching Dawn was a finalist in YoYo Game's Competition 6! I feel honored! I actually didn't expect AD to make it past the first round let alone make it to the finals so it's great! Gives me a heap of motivation to finish it off.
Because of the 'glory' of being put on the front page of YoYo Games the game has had its ups and downs and a fair few comments, some of them pointing out the obvious things:
  • Music
  • Sounds
  • Story
Of course all of these will be addressed in the future as, to be honest I didn't have enough time at all to complete the game, let alone get music done for it.

So... despite some comments of people being ignorant towards an 'incomplete' work.. I've decided I would probably be better off answering some of these questions on here.

Q: Why are the first four 'Arcade' levels so repetitive? Think of something new!
A: Well... The first four Arcade levels are my interpretation of original platform games. They didn't all include hundreds of features and were pretty simple and repetitive, which is why I fell in love with them I guess. These platform games inspired me to make the first four levels in memory of them.

Q: No story, poor level design... Gee you spend so much time with the graphics that no other part of the game gets any attention.
A: Actually... I beg to differ. The first four levels took me an incredible amount of time to make and plan, I went through at least 6 different layouts for each level until I settled with the one I liked the most, I still had to tweak things of course. The graphics took up minimal time compared to the actual work of the game rooms, and I really mean that.

The story - even though not implemented at the present stage - is not meant to jump out at you saying "I'm the story!", I wanted to go for something different. OK you're an explorer, and you want to be the greatest explorer, understandable... But why? What is the world outside like? Why is there no one around? These are the questions I want people to be thinking throughout playing the game. The story is split up into 9 'secrets' which are hidden around the Temple (some have to be earned) that give information about the world around you and to help you get a slight grip on what's going on. Of course this is part one of a two part series and all it does is help 'set-up' the scene for the next game.

Q: What's to come? Seems pretty simple as yet...
A: I agree, but there are 6 more levels are yet to come! Ranging from the Quality levels to the Final level and the two 'bonus' levels. Not only this but nine secrets will be available, 11 more HUB rooms (including five 'secret' rooms), more cutscenes, more sounds, music and a few more additions are yet to come!


Q: When do you think you'll get this finished?
A: Soon. I've put many dates on when I'd get this game finished in the past and it never happened, mainly because things kept coming up. But now... I should be able to finish it rather quickly, not too quick that it'll hurt the gameplay!


Q: What was your inspiration for the game?
A: A few games inspired me to make Approaching Dawn:

  • Seiklus - one of my all time favourite Game Maker games, I love the way it doesn't include violence and can still be bloody entertaining and fun to play.
  • RuneScape - OK, OK. This is actually where I drew most of my inspiration from, with the release of the Dungeoneering skill it actually influenced the whole plot of the game, the dungeon, Temple and lots of other things. Not to mention the Runecrafting skill influencing one of the game's levels - the Persistence Quality level.
  • Vest Trials - the first game I ever 'created' (even though it wasn't finished). The game itself had a very sloppy storyline because it kept changing all the time which led to it being scrapped. Approaching Dawn began being made under that name, but after I tweaked the storyline I figured that this game is pretty much what I wanted Vest Trials to be, so I decided to have this and its sequel THE Vest Trials game I wanted to begin with.
The graphics scheme of Approaching Dawn really wasn't inspired by anything. I've been testing doing different forms of graphics - Vest Trials had really smooth detailed sprites, Bulb: Circuit Problems had simple sprites. So I decided to combine the two - have smooth sort-of detailed simplistic sprites. Maybe that was my inspiration after all... Meh! Who knows what goes on in my head sometimes!

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Well... I think those are all the Frequently Asked Questions that I've been getting the past few months, if anymore pop up I'll be sure to make an entire page of them for the fun of it and also to give a bit of background insight into the game.

Enjoy!