Haha! Once again I have taken The Scissors of Mediocrity to the script of Ebenezer, my Bible-teaching computer game. Less than six months ago I threw away the entire first act of my script, when I realised that it was entirely unnecessary for making the story hang together. Last week it became apparent that I had to do it again, once I recognised that my (new) first act was still entirely unnecessary. Not only was it increasingly evident that the introduction was yawn-inducingly boring and entirely without merit, but I wasn’t even happy with a single puzzle in that section of the game, not to mention the fact that it totally screwed up the flow of puzzles – progressing from more complicated non-linear puzzles in that act to a much simpler linear structure in Act 2. What’s more, I keep reading interviews with Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer, creators of the legendary Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle respectively, in which they speak of the importance of each and every puzzle actually having something to do with your story, rather than just being filler material because you have some kind of guilt complex that says “well this is supposed to be a puzzle game so I’d better stick some puzzles in there somewhere”. So all in all, it wasn’t really a very hard decision to make. Bye bye Act 1!

This week I have been reading and putting into practice the ideas presented in this very helpful article, trying to boil my story down to one sentence, then one paragraph, then one paragraph per character, and so on. It’s been really helpful, and has helped me to improve the story by making the player character more integral to how the events unfold. It was beginning to feel a little like you were just an outside observer who really had no bearing on the story at all, which makes it much harder to draw the player in.

I have also finally made some progress on a bug in my DirectX exporter for Blender that was preventing me from using an excellent new 3D model that was made for me. So I spent last night using the tips in this article about animating walk cycles to mock up a quick walk animation. The results are a bit clunky, but slightly better than using a low-poly cowboy to represent every single character in the game!


One Response to They Call Me the Dustbin Man

  1. […] on the one hand, and what’s actually practical on the other. Whether that’s a case of ruthlessly culling content or choosing to do the game in 2D rather than 3D, you constantly have to make these kinds of […]

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