The development of the second act of Teresa Moontyners – In the lair of the beast it’s almost finished.
I’m still missing a couple of graphic assets to put the last touches to the level assets, after the accurate tests performed by trusted people, I can finally declare closed the second chapter of the game.
What happens in the second episode:
If you’ve played the first chapter of the game, you probably noticed that Teresa, at the end of it, didn’t fare very well; in the second chapter, I introduce Teresa’s entrance into the cavern and give her the chance to start investigating inside the caves.
You will have to deal with increasingly narrow tunnels and moments of discomfort… imagine waking up inside a cave, not knowing why you are there, but knowing you want to get out at all costs. Here comes into play your survival instinct, you will use the lighter to illuminate the darkest places, and everything else to try to resolve the situation in which you will be. .. but alas, this will most likely not be enough, leading you towards the end of the chapter to deeper and unexplored depths.
With a bit of research you will be able to confront some characters with whom to interact and get some help to proceed in your adventure.
What I learned from this level:
During the development of the second act of the game, I got to know the “canvas”, a graphical interface that interposes itself between the player and the game, basically a layer that is displayed during the execution of the game without interrupting it.
This canvas has been very useful for the compass, at the moment not necessary yet, but the player starts getting used to it for future needs.
I also refined the dialogues with characters met during some of the scenes, essential to obtain more or less useful information during the game.
Finally, I have practiced a lot with the variables indicating that a lighter is on, and consequently a lighting is active. In this way I can decide in which points of the game the player has the possibility to explore the environment around him and in which points a better or more powerful tool is needed.
I started with the idea of developing a simple and very short adventure game, but during the execution phase, I found myself at a crossroads, and I decided to take the more complex route.
Developing this adventure I learned so much information and notions, that I would be disappointed settling for a trivial or rushed ending.
I’m aware of the fact that it will probably be a title without a lot of players, I decided to make the adventure longer, so that anyone willing to get to the end, will enjoy something original, with a nice and “complete” story arc.
That said, after finishing this second chapter I will start with a third, and that too will not be the end of the game, but the prelude to a fourth part.
I noticed, during the development of the adventure, that sometimes you find yourself imagining what would be the most correct way for a character to speak.
For example, Teresa is a woman in her fifties, she’s an investigator; so she has to be attentive to details, quite knowledgeable about what’s going on around her, but she doesn’t necessarily have to be an expert.
For Samantha, the youngest of the group, I imagined a jovial character, sometimes impatient, an expert in her profession but still a bit immature, she loves music, she has a cassette walkman with her (in the 90s it was our ipod), and at some points in the adventure she will not fail to turn it on and start dancing.
Ham, on the other hand, is the expedition leader, an expert researcher, ready to give an explanation to everything that happens, based on his studies and impressions, always friendly with his fellow man, and willing to step aside out of chivalry and if the situation requires it.
And finally Jabert who, as I say at one point in the game is “the strong arm of the team”, an ex-military man, trained to deal with the most difficult situations to survive in extreme conditions, those who have already played the first act of the game, advancing in the adventure, will have already met him, thus discovering some things that I avoid writing in order not to spoil anything.
And so, following these ideas, I try to imagine a certain situation and write dialogues and sentences that are relevant to these characters, with their beliefs and fears.
For phrases and dialogues, the tool I use for the development, offers me many options, starting a conversation with an NPC you will have the possibility to decide on a series of questions to ask or answers to give (as in the best graphic adventures), thus creating real plots of communication that can lead to useful information and in some cases the progress of the state of the game, or just end in a chat.
By setting up more cameras in strategic points, I can decide to change the shots giving variety to the conversation and importance to a certain sentence, maybe with a close-up on the character who is talking and then going back to a more distant view.
In conclusion, this experience that I’m doing, is teaching me a lot, in trying to get good results, I find myself thinking and learning about issues that are not strictly related to the development of video games, thus enriching my wealth of experience.
Implementing the compass for my inexperience, it was quite problematic, but in the end I managed to get a result that satisfies me.
I start by modelling 2 objects; the compass case and the pointer, I need them separate because the pointer must be inside the case and move with it, but its rotation must be independent.
For the in-game display of the compass, I thought of doing the following:
when the player clicks on the compass icon, Teresa stops and performs the animation of pulling it out and looking at it, and at the same time the image of the compass with the pointer rotating towards north appears on the lower part of the screen, clicking again on the compass icon, Teresa will perform the animation of putting the object away, returning to the idle animation ready for the next input.
For the logic of the compass operation I reasoned in this way:
during the moments when the compass is active, I take the rotation on the vertical axis of Teresa, this is also the rotation of the compass case; while the pointer acquires the rotation from another object that is not seen in the game, which I called “north point”, in this way the pointer will always point in the direction that I have set the object “north point”, while the case of the compass will have the rotation of the player, some tricks on the camera that frames the compass so that it displays the stationary case (because it actually rotates the same degrees of rotation of the player), and instead leave the freedom to the pointer to indicate the correct point.
In this way, looking at the compass I will have the exact position of the north point, which I can decide from scene to scene by simply changing the rotation of the object that is not seen as the “north point”.
This week I’m back on the blender 3D program, to start the work of modelling the caves.
The second act will take place all inside the mountain; and it will start with a movie that will be the link between the end of the first chapter and the beginning of the second one, in order not to perceive an abrupt change with the player that could ask: “why am I here now?”.
Here are some screenshots of the work in progress and a final render made with Blender 3D of one of these caves, already finished and textured.
See you at the next update.
A self-respecting graphic adventure must have characters with whom to identify, and characters with whom to interact.
In Teresa Moontyners – In the lair of the beast, the player controls Teresa, the protagonist, and as the story progresses, we’ll have to deal with other characters, who add colour and fantasy to the story.
We begin by showing the three-dimensional model of Teresa that is used in the game.
A low-polygon model with simple textures, deliberately maintaining that angular effect.
After having created the model in Blender 3D, I created a skeleton (rig) with which it will be possible to animate the character to obtain the walk, the run, the rest position and all the animations that I will need to insert in the game.
And here is the model of Jabert Baldvin; one of the three missing researchers.
It’s safe to say that Teresa will have some “unforgettable” moments with him…
Now let’s talk about Samantha, the youngest of the group.
She is the team’s colourful figure, carefree, jovial, fond of music and her Walkman, which she always carries with her.
For the success of the adventure, it will be necessary to interact with her, because only she has the “key” that will help shed light on the darkness of the cavern.
Ham Samadel, the eldest of the group and also in charge of the expedition.
He is in charge of all the most important decisions and thanks to his experience it will be possible to find information that will be useful in re-establishing the interrupted communications.
It was he who had the first meeting with Yoragh, and it was from there that everything began.
Today I’m here to talk about how I approached the labyrinth section.
In the second act/chapter of the game, Teresa will find herself wandering through dark tunnels and narrow passages, looking for a way out.
This is where the “labyrinth” part comes into play. That’s not really a labyrinth like the ones we are used to seeing in puzzle magazines, but more of a chain of intersections and corridors that, experienced from the inside and not from above, make it more difficult to find your way out.
It has been the first time I tried my hand at the logical construction of a labyrinth in Unity. I decided, during meshes modelling, to avoid creating a single object, but to model several pieces: corridors, intersections, tunnels, and to assign to each of these pieces a name and a code for each exit, so that I could create a modular labyrinth that could be modified at will.
To make it clearer I did it this way:
A corridor will have the name “burrow1” and its 2 exits will be called “burrow1A” and “burrow1B”. A junction will have the name “burrowcross1” and its 4 exits will be called “burrowcross1A”, “burrowcross1B”, “burrowcross1B”, “burrowcross1C” and “burrowcross1D”. A crossroad will be named “burrowcross1” and its 3 exits will be “burrowcross1A”, “burrowcross2A” and “burrowcross3A”. And so on for each module that will make up the maze.
After having drawn a map on a sheet of paper, I created my list of rooms, exits and entrances, so that when the character enters a room, he gets a string variable with the name of the place where he is. He brings with him the string until the next room; in this way I always know the starting place of the player and, making a query on the string variable, I can present the correct room that he will find after the previous one.
This choice gave me the opportunity to reduce the time devoted to modelling, allowing me at the same time to obtain complex and modifiable mazes.
Thanks to the light and sound effects inserted in the right places, the result it’s, in my opinion, pretty good. The player finds himself wandering in dark areas, only helped by the faint light of his lighter, offering an entrancing and in some cases claustrophobic setting.
See you in the next update, in the meantime if you are curious and want to try the first part of the game, you can download the executable file from here:
p.s. the game is developed in Italian and for now temporarily translated into 4 languages (EN,FR,SP,DE) with automatic online translators, so it’s likely you’ll find some translations errors, but it should be possible to make sense of the story.
First tests of volumetric lighting with the Aura2 tool for Unity, what do you think?
God’s rays look good in caves.
Despite the fact that it has been a year held to ransom by this pandemic that shows no sign of abating and continues to frighten, here we are at Christmas time.
At this time of year, people are more willing to stay indoors and enjoy the family warmth and festive atmosphere.
Between a family Christmas lunch and a New Year’s Eve dinner, we will find some moments to devote to continuing the development of future game environments.
At the end of the first act of Teresa Moontyners, an unforeseen event happens. Few of the players predicted it, and now we are thinking what kind of scenario we could focus on, in order to give the game the best plot development possible.
The second act of the game will take place inside the cavern, in dark tunnels and large caves, this will be the background to the resolution of puzzles and riddles that will allow access to new locations.
Making the right choices will lead us to meet some characters that will be necessary to investigate further.
We leave you with a couple of Screenshots taken directly from Blender, showing the level of modelling and texturing that you will encounter in this adventure.
Happy holidays to all and best wishes for a peaceful and better New Year.
The 1Monkey2Brains team
First act of the old-fashioned point-and-click graphic adventure.
Available in 5 languages (IT,EN,FR,ES,DE).
Added in the options menu the possibility to set graphic details and resolution.
Changed some aspects of the game after player feedback:
-Now the hangar back door has manual opening and closing.
-Fixed the bug during the tutorial that prevented you from replaying it.
-Added sound effects to some objects that were previously without them.
-Revised some translations after player reports.
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