Tag Archive for Story

Telling a tall tale

I’ve been making some decent progress with Paint It Jack, with some art improvements and additional gameplay elements. It is a pleasing, easy going experience and I’m looking forward to building upon it.

One thing I’m hoping to do is include some story.

Jack: “Who am I?”

So who is Jack? I’m still working it out but I’m liking the idea of him being a little dorky. He’s never been accepted or liked but he still has a very positive outlook and has a cheerful spirit about him. He wants to help other people, although perhaps no one has really wanted his help, or even his presence in their lives. But still he’s happy to do his thing.

With the whole paint and colour thing, I’m thinking that a bit like nature, being bold and colourful is hugely important for his kind. Both the world and creatures are very bland. As a result the creatures would absorb colour (paint) to make themselves attractive and interesting. In fact one of the largest industries involves mining for resources to make “paint” to absorb.

Sadly poor old Jack has never been able to retain colour leaving him plain and grey. This is why he is shunned by his kind. He’s a sub standard weirdo. However he has a realisation that rather than being a curse, it means he can “spread” the colour to the world around him. His mission then is rather than focusing on bringing colour to himself, like everyone else does, he is bringing to the world. Awww. How terrible and cheesey.

So how exactly do I convey this? I’m not going to be making long animated videos because my artistic skills are terrible so I’ve no chance of creating a cool video, but perhaps a few storyboard screens? Well as a player I’d be spamming “NEXT”, “NEXT”, “NEXT” so why inflict that on others?

Instead I’m thinking of sharing the story and background on the world, creatures and Jack through short little bursts as you play. Before starting I’ll give a bit of context, with a quick one page storyboard, just so you know that Jack is on a mission to bring colour to the world. Then the level complete screen would give you a little bit of information about the creatures and Jack. Most would be irrelevant to the storyline but would help paint a picture of the “world”. On top of that I can have the odd screen here and there which fills in more story.

Hopefully this way I can share the story and provide some personality to the game but in a much more casual way. Afterall, the story won’t be integral to the gameplay, nor will it be the most exciting, riveting tale (the initial release can be probably played through in ~30 minutes).

Placeholder level complete to play about with Fun Facts.

p.s. I’ve not got a decent name for the creatures yet. Both my placeholder of Squeebles and current name “Takogaki” are kinda rubbish. Weird octopus like creatures that exist on land, have one eye and are a relatively advanced species…

Setting the scene for Invertical

As I plug along, albeit still slowly, with the gameplay side of Invertical I have something nagging at me in the back of my mind… the plot. More specifically how I intend the set the background for the game. Who is the main character and what is he doing in the world of Invertical?

The actual story isn’t so much of a concern for me. Aside from wording, it is pretty much set, but delivery is what concerns me. Ordinarily this is where the animation or 2D art experts in the team get to showcase their skills, however this isn’t something that I’m really capable of. Even if I dedicate just as much of my time to creating the intro as the rest of the game, I have to admit it will come up short. I thought of some simple ways to create a basic video and even contemplated a high school powerpoint style intro with stages in the story appearing one at a time. Not very nice really. Then it hit me…

The main character, Simon’s, main objective throughout Invertical is getting home but the secondary objective and often the more challenging and enjoyable gameplay is finding the books & scrolls. I’ve named my areas of the game “Chapters” and the WIP title for the intro is “Preface”. I should present it as a kids story book! A simple picture with a little bit of text. Press space and you get the next one (or after X seconds). Simple and effective. The main issue of course would be creating the artwork but in truth given the very simplistic art style of the rest of the game, I don’t see it being a problem if I stick to that. In fact having the same character design with happy / sad /scared face and a different background might suit it quite well!

I’m now actually kinda looking forward to making the intro to the game!