Monday, July 16, 2012

Middle of Month 7

This isn't as big a deal as it sounds, but I'd feel weird not mentioning it.  The day after my last post, I climbed up a ladder to get my cat off my roof when I fell off the ladder and fractured one of my vertebrae.  It's not as bad as it sounds.  It will heal on its own without surgery, and as of a couple days ago, I can even walk around without my walker.  So the injury is a lot more annoying than serious.  Still, it's slowed me down quite a bit from being able to meet and recruit people, but I'm finally out of the woods on that.  I went to the next Dawnshine production meeting, and I think it might have been a little jarring to the team to see me stumble in on a walker, on heavy pain medication, and struggling under the pain and stress just of sitting upright.  But like I said, by the next week, I was ok.

With that out of the way, I mentioned in the last post that we severed an important tie.  I was hoping a partnership with them would lead to exposure for the project and a few other things, but we're now officially on our own in that regard--and I'd say, far better off now.  So because of that, we've decided to start promoting the game and leave stealth mode.  So far, the only function of our website is to do just enough to show other game developers in town that we're a serious enough project that they might want to join us.  The site isn't meant to attract fans or investors, but that should change in the next several months.

As part of this shift, we decided to start work on a cinematic.  We'll eventually make many of these during the course of the project.  I've been writing a new script each week to see what the team likes.  In a couple more weeks, we'll take a vote.  Some of the scripts could be easily adapted to being done using gameplay footage, while others could be closer to movie quality.  The difference would come down more to how much art assets would be required for which.  We have about 5-10% the team size of most companies out there trying to make a big MMO(plus we're volunteers without a lot of industry experience) and we have no budget, so we can't outsource this to another studio like the big guys would do, so unless we can do two characters talking in a dirt field, chances are, we'll probably rely on game footage instead since we'll be using assets we're already creating for the game.

These cinematics could take a while, so it's still possible that no one (other than our friends), will hear anything about us until next year when they're ready to go.  One of the main attractions to RPGs is that you can gain accomplishments in a short time span that could take years in real life.  Unfortunately, the process of making these games isn't the same way.

Aside from that, I'm slowly building an animation team.  Dawnshine is going to require far more animations per figure than what's available in other games, so the animators will be busy for a while on more than just the cineamatics.  It seems we might have a mocap suit available--you know those motion capture suits with the ping pong balls velcro-ed on?  That will certainly speed things up, but it doesn't replace a good animator.