0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

48

49

50

51

52

53

54

55

56

57

58

59

60

61

62

63

64

65

66

67

68

69

70

71

72

73

74

75

76

77

78

79

80

81

82

83

84

85

86

87

88

89

90

91

92

93

94

95

96

97

98

99

100

101

102

103

104

105

106

107

108

109
Tobias
1401 12 41

Soulmate Development 5: Conversations

Posted by A Tobias 2 years ago
I've gone beyond the concept stage (though there's still a lot of that left to do) and actually started on the actual game part of Soulmate! Well, I mean, I'm just reusing Taming Dreams' engine, so most of the work was already done, but still. Progress!



I'm developing it with the intention of releasing on Steam this time rather than just mobiles, so this screenshot is of how it looks on my 1920x1080 monitor. The pixels look a bit big, but I personally like that, so I hope other people will too.

I'm reusing some of Taming Dreams' assets at the moment until I make proper new ones. These things take time! Oneira's model - which still needs a lot of work - took thrice as long as I predicted.

The most notable thing about this screenshot is the riveting and totally-a-part-of-the-final-script conversation, or rather its format, which resembles text messages. I can't imagine this is the first game to handle dialogue this way, though I've never played another that did. It's breaking from the traditional way in which dialogue is displayed in RPGs, but I think that's a good thing. I'd never sent or received a text in my life until about a year ago, so there's a sense of novel excitement about it for me that I tried to tap into here. I can't imagine other people more used to texting will get the same feelings from it, but perhaps it'll be pleasantly familiar or something? I don't know. I got the impression that Homestuck was so popular partly because its dialogue took a form that was directly relatable to people's real lives. Also, this format has the benefit of allowing you to read previous messages in case you skip one or you just want to check back to an earlier thing someone said. The message bubbles will be coloured according to the character, of course.

I've planned out all the tasks I'll need to do to finish the game and added them to my task list on this site, so the progress bar on the blog page - which has been hilariously inaccurate for months (it said my current project was 'MARDEK Episode 3' or something) - will now update as I work on this. I imagine that my current estimates are ridiculously optimistic and that it'll take much longer, but I'm going to try my best to work as fast as I can. And of course I'll keep posting updates here!

I do understand that people would rather I worked on MARDEK 4 or something... That this project probably isn't appealing to others as it is to me. But I'm hoping that once it gets going, people might find it more interesting than they expect, or it'll draw the attention of people who it might naturally appeal to. It's where my passion is at the moment, though, and working on it could help me with some real-world issues that have been getting to me a lot recently (taming my own negative thoughts, basically).

So yes. Progress. Good. Also, it's 2am; my work hours aren't sensible at all.
41
If you liked this, please click the Appreciate button there

on 5 Roots

12 Comments

27 United States 1w9 rcxaI CholericMelancholic
SilverShoelaces
3
Middle schoolers said:
Your mother is a puerile concept!


Hahahahaha, I'm so good at comebacks.

I'm happy to see Collie's art in this, even if that's just a placeholder. Collie makes everything better.
20 Hong Kong INTJ 612 ICR MelancholicCholeric
Dingding321
3
I love the chat bubble concept, because it'd always bother me if I accidentally skipped a line or two and couldn't go back to it (or if I wanted to reanalyse the meaning behind the words--I have a feeling your work might have a lot of lines with intended double meanings).

Not sure how old Oneira is meant to be from the sprite any more, though I don't suppose it matter all that much. It's just that I found the idea of an older woman being portrayed quite novel and interesting in the gaming world!
29 United Kingdom INFJ EII 459 SxSo RLxaI AIS MelancholicPhlegmatic
Tobias
1
She's supposed to be of an indeterminate age; anywhere from her teens to possibly her thirties. Does she look younger than that? Older?

I wonder how popular a game about an older woman could be... There'd definitely be people who'd admire such a thing for its subversiveness, for representing an underrepresented group, but as that group isn't all that likely to be playing games anyway, and the vast majority of people who are might just be driven by base urges and intolerance or something, I wonder if it'd just be rejected or ridiculed? Horrible to think that might be the case, but I can't help but think of the latest Ghostbusters film...
20 Hong Kong INTJ 612 ICR MelancholicCholeric
Dingding321
2
Personally, she looks like like she's far younger, in her teens or even before that--not sure why, though I suspect the freckles may be a large part of the reason, or maybe the chibi proportions. Or maybe I just assume that she's young, since thats generally the age range represented, I don't know. It's probably not a big problem if you don't specifically mention her age though.
29 United Kingdom INFJ EII 459 SxSo RLxaI AIS MelancholicPhlegmatic
Tobias
1
I suppose freckles like that usually are associated with children... I hadn't really thought about it until now, though! I might remove those if other people get that impression too... I wonder also if wearing pyjamas would suggest youth. Hmm.
23 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic
Eclipse
2
I'd say it was the eyes that give that expression off. They're 'bigger' and seem more wonderous, which often give off a child-like thought for most people. Bigger eyes are often used for babies (or really small ones) as it's 'cuter' to some. Simply by changing around eyes, you can change the look of someone's age... I rather like how they are now though, as anime or too cartoonist-based eyes would just be extremely generic or off, and realistic is a no for this as well... the freckles DO boost that thought of 'young character' since most people lose freckles at a young age, and they also highlight the cheekbones here, which also can be stylized for gender or age be brightening or darkening them as well as lowering or raising them... though you know all that.

She seems more around the age of 15-18 to me, as she is now. I don't know if that's the intention.
29 United Kingdom INFJ EII 459 SxSo RLxaI AIS MelancholicPhlegmatic
Tobias
1
I'm aware of the connotations of 'baby eyes', and here I wanted hers to suggest agreeableness, shyness, and an innocent, idealistic naivete that'd contrast with the more jaded eyes of her alters.

It felt appropriate as she's idealistically deluding herself into thinking that some kind of 'soulmate' exists, but perhaps it'd be more appropriate to give her eyes that suggest someone who's trapped in despair. I'll experiment with it.

(The limited number of pixels I have to work with plays a big part in what I can feasibly do, though.)
23 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic
Eclipse
4
I find the idea for the chat text log cool! It'll be nice to be able to skim backwards in the dialogue to look for stuff we may have missed or accidentally skipped over. It feels like it could use a scroll bar on the side though, to make navigation easier if you have to go back a long way to find a certain message. Another thought of mine was that the text boxes pointing towards the characters seems off to me, at least the ones well above their heads, as it's 'floating in space'... perhaps making it a solid compact box or adding a small 'avatar/character representation box' to which the dialogue boxes stem from would look better... I'm sure you like how that works or aren't done with the overall design though, especially knowing you're using the Taming Dreams engine but adding models. I like that you are exploring this whole concept nonetheless!

It's great you made yourself a schedule for all this and plan to update the progress bar. Not only will things go much more smoothly this way, but it will also allow you to know how much further you have to go (though looking at it when at the halfway point can be daunting sometimes)... it will also allow fans like us to help motivate you and keep excited about all this, and I feel it'll boost activity within this community as well!

The way you're updating this site now has made me more interested than ever before on your work and life, as I'm sure it has with others. It's just so fascinating to learn your thoughts behind each action you take, as well as your ideas to keep everything together. It also feels more involved and focused than before, and I hope you can keep it up, though I know managing this kind of stuff can be hard at times...
20 Morocco ENFP ESI RLOAI ISC PhlegmaticMelancholic
Eriksen
3
1) I finally liked tha you will release this game (Whom I can't wait to play it) on Steam, it was not a good idea to release Taming Dreams on mobiles only because Steam Servers are really popular and many people like us pay for Great RPGs and many other Games of this kind

2) Like how you took the Chat log from Mardek Series and put it here in Soulmate because in Taming Dreams I used to like reload my game because each time I bring the Bar containg shortcuts down, the dialogue continues and I don't quite read it so it's good to have Chat logs to see previous messages

3) Taking Taming Dreams Engine is also great since you don't have to like create and encode another gaming engine which will take ages and people won't like, I personally like the Taming Dreams Engine due to it's simple yet well detailled graphics and living the Characters feelings (When they are sad, happy...)

4) I don't see anything wrong with the dialogue although I do like to see other bubble designs as this one seems old-fashioned, but again it's my opinion and you're in the early stages of making the game so there's no rush and I know you'll do the right thing
19 United States INFP LII SoSp RLUAI AIE PhlegmaticSanguine
IAmNotSmartest
4
Having never read Homestuck, I wouldn't know much about how dialogue becomes relatable. But I do like this format, it always rather bothered me if I accidentally skipped text in games.

That sprite for Oneira is, well, adorable! I love it. The cloud-brain pattern translated surprisingly well there, for her pants.

The notion of Ego actually being Collie all along is amusing.

I'm glad the progress bar is back online! It's nice to see some projection of advancement, even if it were inaccurate. (If it were to come out in August, that would be impressive, but don't crush your enthusiasm for the game be quelled by the need to meet deadlines!)

(I've been meaning to ask, how is her name pronounced? One-ee-ra? On-I-ra? Onion-ra? )
29 United Kingdom INFJ EII 459 SxSo RLxaI AIS MelancholicPhlegmatic
Tobias
3
Homestuck's dialogue was in the form of chatlogs like you might see in an IM program or chatroom; I think some of them were actually even based on real interactions the author had in such places. Seems less 'at a distance' than more artificial dialogue shown through text balloons, I think.

I had to look up the pronunciation myself just the other day because I wasn't sure! It's based on the prefix ∞ oneiro- ∞, which means 'dream', and the pronunciation of that suggests that Oneira would be "oh-NYE-ruh". So that's how I've been saying it in my head! (Though "Onion-ra" makes me laugh, so I should start using that; sounds like an Egyptian god of vegetables or something!)
19 United States INFP LII SoSp RLUAI AIE PhlegmaticSanguine
IAmNotSmartest
2
That would be a funny first encounter.
Oneira: "My, uhm, name is Oneira..."
Judgement: "What? Onion Ra? You supposed to be some kind of wizard?"