[This post will contain spoilers about RogueQuest. You were warned!]
Although we’ve been quiet on social media over the past few days, rest assured that we’ve been working incredibly hard to get RogueQuest in tip-top shape so it’s a blast to play! Most of the past few days have been spent working on cutscenes, and we’re really making some progress with it! Check out a snippet of Maddison’s narrative below:
Before we could animate anything, we needed to make sure our dialogue was finalised. One by one, Emily and I are working on the characters’ cutscenes. It’s been particularly challenging for us to figure out the order in which to deliver the narrative, as we want to make each cutscene interesting without necessarily giving too much away at once. They are not in chronological order, so we have had a lot of freedom with how we order them – which makes our job harder! I’m very happy with Maddison’s story (which is now finished), and although Kyana’s script writing isn’t done yet, her narrative is incredible!
I still need to find a voice actor for Kyana and am struggling to think who would suit it best, but I’m confident I’ll find somebody for the role. Maddison’s voice acting is now 100% finished and for the most part implemented into the game; now that we have multiple characters grunting and slashing and ‘ouch’ing, it feels like you’re really fighting as a group of different individuals! I love it! The whole point of the voice acting was that you take on the role of your character much more than just simply wearing a head – after all, you can’t even see your own head when you’re playing! It’s a constant reminder that you’re roleplaying as Joel, Kyana, Maddison or Tyler, and that was one of our goals with this map.
Learning how to use the Mine-imator hasn’t been especially difficult, but we have had some teething difficulties with it. PharmyB and I now feel pretty proficient with the software (which, admittedly, is very well made) so hopefully we can start pumping out some incredible cutscenes! Although originally we had planned to take a static screenshot with some small panning overlays à la Crypt of the Necrodancer, given how easy the software is we feel confident being able to animate the scene in a little more detail. The only thing we’re yet to tackle is facial rigs – that means instead of simply mapping a skin to a character’s head, we manually animate their eyes, pupils, eyebrows, lips, teeth and tongue. As you can imagine, this is a LOT more work than just whacking a 16×16 skin on a face, but in scenes where there is conversation, I fear that there will be no other option!
So far we have a grand total of two cutscenes that are finished, although many many more have been storyboarded on paper and two or three more have had at least one scene animated for them already. This is the most time-consuming task left in the entire project, but if we pull it off, people would very happily just sit and watch the story without even having so much as looked at the game. If it works as a stand-alone product, then we must be doing something right!
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Next – Dev Log #11: Bossing it!