Taking the Best of Two Builds
Before this week, Robbie and I had created a handful of prototypes. In doing so, our combat system (my job) and our dialogue system (his job) weren't built to easily integrate with each other. One of my jobs this week, after implementing some minor changes based on initial QA feedback, was to take his dialogue system and get it working in my build.
We needed this done before challenging because we can't push this game forward without proving it can handle having NPC interaction and combat. If we can't prove that it's feasible technically, it'll be damn hard to prove it's feasible in its design as we move forward. As a team, we're confident that we can make this work, and have many plans circulating through our chats both in person and online. The cutscene I made this week, after getting dialogue integrated, is the first real instance of us taking an idea we all like, and putting it into the build for others to see. The execution isn't quite there yet, but it's a very big step in the right direction.
Blocking out a cutscene
Without proper animation tools (and no, Unity's Animator component doesn't count), making a cutscene proved to be difficult. The cutscene we wanted is interactive, so player action is freely woven throughout when there isn't a separate key action occurring. This may change later, either to restrict player control a bit, or to avoid creating any restriction on the player.
We all agreed that this sequence (a better word than cutscene in this case) would take place right after the character falls into the sewer. It would showcase the most basic form of combat --swinging your weapon -- and would help ease players into the quirky, lighthearted humor we have planned. Another focus of this sequence's early stages was on visual effects. As this is the first pass at it, many of the ones I implemented are rigid and experimental, but get the point across well enough to start getting feedback and steering us in the right direction.
When all is said and done in this sequence and you've collected your first frog, you can move on into the game's world. The only prerequisites for this are: knowing how to move, knowing how to attack, and knowing that frogs are very important, which have all been established by the time you've completed the sequence.
I'm excited to make tools to make sequence/cutscene creation easier in the future, and to see how this specific sequences evolves after feedback and subsequent iterations.