Thursday, April 19, 2012

Gameplay with Ki(ll)s(me)t

     Two days in, and I think I'm about 50% done with setting up the (main) gameplay...quests...that are storyline essential.  Creating riddles to explain the puzzles is turning out to be extremely difficult.  I'm worried that they're either way too vague, or way too specific, and unfortunately the only way I'll know is by grabbing playtesters for some QA runs.  For example:

     The other difficulty is that so many of the quests change based on events completed within other quests, that keeping everything bug-free is taking a lot more effort than I initially anticipated.  A lot of the issue (I think) stems from the oversimplification of kismet scripting.  It's absolutely ridiculous that in order to do something as simple as a password input system, that I'd have to learn flash AND actionscript.  Moreover, I'd possibly need to code a custom kismet event to handle storing the input and evaluate whether it's the correct solution or not.  I guess I shouldn't complain too much though, as using kismet to create game events is a hell of a lot easier (and faster) than writing everything from scratch in code (even if it does look like an absolute mess).  This example is just a portion of one of the quests:

     Luckily, I've done enough projects in the past to know how to keep everything in the kismet window readable (even if it looks unorganized in this screenshot).  Thank Epic for comment blocks.  On that note, hopefully I'm not spoiling too much of the gameplay in these screenshots/updates.  I'm already terrified that this will end up being a very short, very boring game to play through.
     I'd like to have the gameplay finished, and as bug-free as possible by this weekend.  I've still got a bit of modeling to do, largely the monster creature that is the catalyst for the entire storyline.  I hate character modeling, and admittedly, it's been a super slow and difficult process.  I can't even count the number of times I've started trying to model it from scratch.  I have a feeling that'll be the biggest difficulty down the road.
     In the meantime, once the gameplay is done I'll start layering in the storyline and directives to guide the player.  I'm not sure if I should implement a help system or not.  If I do, it'll probably just be a simple hint system bound to a hotkey that will give simple directives or reminders.  Hopefully, this should alleviate any issues with players abandoning the game due to being stuck or lost.  If that's not enough, I will definitely be hiding a walkthrough somewhere inside the game for players who are just absolutely hopeless, though,  I hate using those solutions as they feel like a gross cop-out.  Preferably, I'd like for the riddles to handle all of the directing, they'd be more immersive and organic than an omnipotent narrator.  I'm really trying to evoke a sensation of uneasiness and loneliness.

Anyway, cheers for now!  Back to work!  Fly-fly, and all that!

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