So this week I was working on getting the job system up and running till I couldn’t go any further without needing to finish hooking up the dialogue system. I panicked because I lost a lot of time to the dialogue system in jalopy, and need to get a working build ready by end of next week.

Fear not, because I am a cunning bugger, and have knocked out a workable dialogue system. Details below:

The dialogue system in Jalopy sucked, so like everything on this project I was excited to start from scratch. With the dialogue system in Landlord’s Super, I wanted to keep something that feltĀ more alive than the canned animations in Jalopy, but was also fast and reusable and didn’t hamper development speeds for a solo developer like myself.

With these two compromises in mind, here’s the current solution I’ve come up with:

There’s a lot of dynamic stuff going on here, so as to avoid the pitfall of creating endless canned animations.

  • The character has a static, full body idle pose
  • The character has an emotional reaction layer (happy, sad, angry, etc)
  • The character has lip sync tied to the typewriter effect in the UI
  • The character also controls blinking independently

Screenshot 2018-08-03 15.54.43.png

By separating all these and allowing them to work independently of one another, I can crack on with writing dialogue, and building the rest of the game. It doesn’t look perfect, but this system took me about one long day to get in, so it is fast. That’s also thanks to a little time saving elsewhere, though…

noTrousers.gif

Sage advice: You don’t need to model pants if the player isn’t ever going to see them.

Also, talking of time saving, Jimmy pays the player after a days work, so I was looking for the AdjustWealth function and came across these.

I vaguely remember coding in the ability to change the player’s urine. The idea being if they get beaten up too bad they’d piss blood, or if they drank too much Stout they’d piss black, but I can’t for the life of me remember why I thought this was a good use of my time.

Anyway, as the project starts coming together I look forward to sharing more with you all.

Greg

Here’s Landlord’s Super.

This is the next game I’m working on. It’s about being a builder 1980’s Great Britain. It’s life-simy / simulatory type thing. I hope the idea interests you.

Very few of you will probably know that before working in games I worked as a concrete erector, and later a steel erector. With Jalopy, I was drawing inspiration from my days driving a Minsk motorbike through Vietnam. With Landlord’s Super, I’m drawing from those days travelling up and down the country erecting and installing things.

The setting is a desire to show the Britain dear to me. A Britain that isn’t just tweed & jokes about being posh, but one that’s more diverse, more northern, more working class. For a visual idea, I’m drawing from the work of Chris Killip, Ken Grant & Peter Mitchell and from directors such as Ken Loach & Shane Meadows. If I buckle down and put in the graft, I’m hopeful that this game can be worthy of similar regard.

With how badly Jalopy’s code turned out, and it being stuck on an unsupported engine, I’m building Landlord’s Super from the ground up. This means it’ll take longer, but it also means I can learn from what didn’t work with that project.

The gameplay will focus on allowing the player to engage in an as real-to-life construction experience as I can achieve, whilst being wrapped in a life-sim layout. Some days you’ll be building scaffolding or mixing mortar or building a wall, brick by brick. Some days union interference might just mean you spend the day down the pub playing darts.

Another thing I found while showing the announcement page internally to non-brits, no one could understand the colloquialisms. So instead of dialling back the flavour, I’m going to localize the game in both American English & British colloquialisms.

Hopefully I don’t make a dog’s breakfast of the whole thing, but either way I invite you to join my progress as I make this game a reality.

Be sure to sign up for the mail list, join the discord, and follow @minskworks to be the first to see what becomes of all the ramblings above.