I've been toying with this idea of using my Hondenkat Engine to provide a game experience that's different from its original design (puzzle-based-star-collecting-game). I wanted to see if I could apply the turn-based movement with the dialogue of a narrative driven experience.
Here I'm illustrating one of the beginning scenes from the movie Office Space. I'm having the player control Peter where he leaves his cubicle and shows up at Samir and Michael's cubicle. He then asks them to go to Chotchkie's for coffee.
After releasing three puzzle games with additional features on each release, I realized what I needed to add was the ability to make adventures with this engine as well. Everything is the same, but rooms are no longer "completed" by reaching the exit and collecting all of the stars. The rooms are now connected like a map in an old school top-down RPG.
In order to establish this type of game, I needed to implement the ability to run a dialogue script. A dialogue script, in this instance, is simply an array that a player progresses through as it unfolds on the screen with two profile pictures and some text.
The structure of each dialogue element is basically: entity name, entity dialogue, frame to show on the left, who is talking (left or right), frame to show on the right. The importance of "who is talking" dims the non-active entity. The game takes a 2D array of all of these dialogue elements and just plays them out in order. Once it reaches the end, the overlay is closed.
You'll also notice on the top of the screen is a status bar. I'll probably use this for adventure specific elements, like the number of keys you have or found inventory items.
I'm thinking the next game will use Ritz the Robot from Robot in the City (a comic I did a long time ago). He needs some attention.
It took a while, what with all of the new artwork I did for both the game sprites and Animal Crossing museum, but I'm done! My tribute to Animal Crossing is out and I'm hoping to get some press from it soon. :) Regardless, I'm happy with all the improvements I've made to the engine and am even more excited to make it better.
September 25th is coming up soon and I'm really doing my best to finish up Happy Friends Museum in time. I should be done with all of the hand drawn art now, just pixel stuff to go. It's pretty exciting to actually be at this point!
What's funny is that I'm working on my own museum while having "Tank Kings" on in the background.
The cool coding thing I was able to take care of today was being able to use the same four tile IDs and then based on specific conditions have them warp the player to different maps via code. Specifics: I used to just add new IDs and it got pretty messy. Now the four tile IDs (those green apple mats with arrows) will take you to different maps based on the current location, tile ID, xPos, and yPos of the tile. So even if it's the same xPos and yPos, for example, the current location will be different and that "up arrow", for example, will send you to the correct map.
I'm just about to the point where it's a bunch of pixel art left and that's exciting.
I did something pretty cool today. I created a tool for my game tool! The level editor in the engine spits out level layouts as an encoded string. I can run a console command to give me the raw data, but then I have to go through and manually format it into the way the levels are stored (9x9 two-dimensional array). That's a lot of busy work. The console command also only works when I have the actual IDE open because I don't spit the log out as an actual file.
Now with this application I can just take the encoded string and it will give me the formatted level array with a touch of the button. That means I can run the Hondenkat Engine by itself, or on a tablet, and still do level creation on the go.
So here are some blown up (4x) shots of the plinths in the museum. When you walk up into one of these plinths, it will open up the detailed dialogue box. This will show an original piece of art with a small description.
The only museum room will showcase the different Animal Crossing releases (N64, GC, DS, 3DS) as well as some accessories (e-Reader, cards). There will also be a separate room showcasing the new Happy Home Academy and NFC reader (for those with old 3DS systems like me).