The Angst Affairs #8



from: Pippin
date: September 1, 2014

Hey Teddy,

I think, I think that there was no Angst from you this last week? Which is weirdly a good thing I guess, right? A no-angst week is a good week indeed. Unless it was a week of such angst that dwelling on the angst in an email was simply too much angst? I hope that’s not the case. At any rate, we here in Camp Barr await news of Need eagerly, as a welcome respite from the blues of Jostle Parent.

Actually I suppose it could be characterized as going OK. I had a quiet week, but I did put together a few more elements of the game since I wrote last time. As per my determination last week, I’ve decided to just not give a crap about certain sad truths about apartment physics and to let players trap themselves in rooms etc. (I mean, there’s probably a whole other game in it, if we’re being honest…Apartment Physics…) So, that has helped and I’ve focused more on trying to build in some of the actual gameplay (such as it is).

Thus the game is now aware of the idea of the player needing to complete a series of tasks from “take a shower,” “wake up the kids,” “feed the kids” and so on, and it can even sort of tell that they’ve been done. There are no interface bells and whistles so it doesn’t look like much, but underneath the hood it’s more like a game than it was. Next main thing is just being able to tell when the player’s managed to shepherd all the kids to a particular room or space. Not the most interesting thing, but not that hard either.

Still, implementing some of these tasks has meant much more time moving the kids around between rooms and so on, which is, in the end, the core of the game – especially in the apartment. It’s pretty freaking annoying. It’s still slightly too annoying, I think, so I need to think of ways to make it a bit easier. And one way is to make the kids weigh much less, so I think I’ll do that.

The weirdest thing in all this is that the Parent can only ever push, not pull. So if a kid is aligned to a top wall, for instance, you have to get on side of them and kind of use friction to sweep them downward. It’s really frustrating. But I think it might also be a good thing too – like this inane, very videogame-y thing you have to do to look after children. So I’m moderately hopeful it’s going in the right direction, maybe?

Very desperately want the game to be suddenly finished because it’s defeating me a little bit, but I shall soldier on. As, I trust, will you!


P.S. Sorry, no media excitement, the game looks exactly the same as before!

from: Teddy
date: September 4, 2014

Hi Pippin!

As I professed in the last installment I did indeed miss my window to Angst last week, but did it anyway. Here I am, more on time, this time.

Sounds like you’re making good progress, and venturing into parts of development that are a bit less sexy to work on, or at least that feel like the second act of your 3 act development structure.  I think this is good, and trying, and sometimes feels slow, but it sounds like progress!

The children against the wall thing sounds frustrating.  Perhaps you could simply pass it off as the sort of frustrating minutia a parent may have to deal with. I think that could be all right, given the presented fidelity of the game.  You could perhaps do a little cheating to make this easier on the player, like having children subtly slide themselves away from furniture. I don’t know what engine you use (funny I don’t know that by now), but I could think of a number of solutions, the dumbest of which would be giving the children two collision boxes – one that collides with the environment, and one that collides with the player. This would let the player get closer to the kids than the environment is permitted to, and thus give the player a little room to squeeze between the wall and a child.

Just a thought – a boring, technical thought.

Need continues to be on-pace, wherein that pace is non-existent.  I ask myself each time I write you whether I should just postpone Need and treat Unwinnable backers to a short preview of Kyoto Wild at some point. But maybe having (and ignoring) Need is good for me, even though ignoring need sounds like a terrible thing to do 🙂

Perhaps what I need is to make progress on Kyoto Wild. I think I may..

So hey, Kyoto Wild is going well. I’ve been thinking about what the point of the game is, because I don’t think I’m satisfied with the “kill the most people the most quickly” usual brawler win-state, or the “survive the longest” win-state.  Instead, I’m starting to think of the game as more of a sport, with rules that are less specifically tied to death, and more tied to traveling around Kyoto. I’m experimenting in my head with the idea of each player trying to get to their own temple or goal – the endzone, if you will.  This could be really interesting, and I hope I have something to show for it next week!

Oh, here’s a thing to angst about – and really the main thing I should have started with this week.  I’m extremely stressed about collaborators and business decisions for Kyoto Wild.  I think by the end I’ll need a composer or a sound person, a graphic designer and perhaps a character artist, but I’m not sure.  I’m very, very wary of asking for anyone’s work before I feel like the project is cruising, and while Kyoto Wild is coming along, it seems early.

I’m trying to free my mind up to the idea that people may be happy to work with me for free. Hell, I’m working on it for free. At some point the hope would be that we’d all be compensated fairly.  But yea, I respect people’s time and finances, and this has kept me from committing with any potential collaborators. It’s very frustrating.  (Put it right up there with “why in god’s name can’t I pick a pseudonym?” I suppose.) 🙂