Too much reading

So this time I’m going to give you some raw data, no estimations, no dates or anything, you make your own conclusions, your guess is as good as mine.

I have to say though, I’m not that much of a fan of knowing this kind of process before playing a game, I like to know this obviously but only after I’ve played it, it kind of ruins the magic, that’s just me I guess; I know it sounds counter intuitive because this is a blog and all but I never really intended it to be a detailed development blog but more of an informational one, but since I’ don’t do that either then whatever.

First, what I’m doing right now are the so called events, you get to a point in any given area and a dialog or character interaction is triggered, you can call them cutscenes, you could say that’s the gimmick I tend to rely on the most. So, for that I’m making everything with placeholders and a basic layout, everything working as it should but no final graphics yet, a debug version with no level design to go through, I can teleport to every new event in order to test it faster, and of course no final dialogs for easy testing, only the first few lines, and because it’s really not necessary for now, those also need to be coded and numbered one by one and will be completed later. It’s a skeleton pretty much.

postd1

This down here is my list of main events bullet pointed for easy reading, there’s another document where they go into detail; each one of those sometimes take 1 day sometimes more to complete, there was a complex one that took about 5 days, and sometimes 2 o 3 in a day when they are relatively simple, it feels like they shouldn’t take that long but for some reason there’s always flaws that need to be fixed and that end up taking a lot of time.

postd2

So, the upper arrow is where the demo ended, the green text is what’s done so far, and the blue text is what’s still left to do, the first part doesn’t have that much detail because I thought I didn’t need it but I ended up going back and forth between documents so much that it became annoying, so I started to write more detail to have a better reference.

After all of the events from beginning to end are done, up until the ending, I’ll go back to the beginning and start replacing the placeholders with the final graphics and polishing each event accordingly with sound and proper timing, a lot of those final graphics, animations and sprites are not done yet, so that will be the next big time sink, each animation takes from 1 to several days to complete, even up to 5 or 6 depending on complexity, individual sprites with no animation can take hours up to a day.

Once that’s finished and already has the final look, I’ll add the final text, as I said, for now it only has the first few lines of every dialog , so I’ll have to reorganize and renumber all the lines, is not as complex as it sounds since everything will be working properly by that point, it will fit automatically. The part that takes the most time here is the line break fixing, that is, making the dialog fit into the dialog box, I’m sure there’s automated ways of doing it but I don’t know how, so I have to do it manually line by line; pictured below is not the current spot I’m in but a previous one more representative of the process, is not final either, but I guess you can see that.

postd4

By this point I’ll have to add some extra traps and polish some enemies, I know some are not working properly anymore since some things changed along the way, especially some at the end.

After that comes the level design, backgrounds, enemy placement, door/key placement, etc. and most importantly, connecting the events already made, since right now they are placed one after the other for testing purposes, this part will properly space them in the areas and put obstacles and enemies between them. The backgrounds for me are one of the most fun parts to work on but the level design itself is not that much fun and can get confusing, there needs to be proper planning before doing that, mainly a map, but is likely that the game itself won’t have one, instead I’ll try to place landmarks so it becomes easier to navigate without map, also I’ll try to have smaller areas. Something else here to take into account are the transitions, each room needs to lead to another room through doors and by walking right or left when available, you need to calculate the x and y coordinates of the starting points of every room individually and connect them properly, that can take a bit of time but not as much as previous tasks.

postd6postd3

By this point the game would be playable already, things left would be music, some more polishing, difficulty balancing and adding galleries and stuff like that… and lots of testing.

This may sounds like a messy process, but I very much disagree with the idea of making a game as if you were playing it, that is, making level 1 and all of its elements, then level 2, then level 3, etc, that doesn’t really work for me, and I would say is a very unproductive way of doing it, making the layers, then combining those layers is in my opinion the best way of doing things, it’s a wonder why I have the patient for that, the process of putting levels togheter comes at the very end. Think Mario Maker, all of the elements are working and the final process is building with the pieces you already have, that’s why although Mario Maker is cool, is a level design tool not a game design tool as some have named it, I don’t know why anyone would call it that; as long as it makes you interested in game desging though then  it works as such I guess.

Progress in this manner is not very noticeable for an outsider, I can see how things move but if I were to show you this in a week by week or even month by month basis, progress it’s almost invisible and not very interesting.

So there you have it, I think I overdid it but hey, you can’t tell me I don’t share info anymore, this raw data is as much use for you as it is for me to know any significant span of time needed for it, I don’t know you but I can’t really pinpoint a time from all of this (and I dont want to either, there’s that), so you draw your own conlcusions, even if I kind of know how much some things would take, there are others that there’s no way of knowing until I’m actually doing it, I hope this is enough of an information dump for the following 56.7 years, I’ll check back next time on that list of events and see where we are on that.

If you have any questions about the development process feel free to ask, this is the post where all the technical and design information should go in.

BTW, thanks to all for the comments and input on the whole existential crisis business I was having last post, I appreciate it, It may not sound like I do, but I do, I might not answer to every comment but I read all of them, so thanks.

 

100 Responses to “Too much reading”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Came for boobs, was educated instead. Props

  2. This is fantastic, thank you for sharing!
    I mean.. wow!
    Really puts things into perspective.

    Just the planning itself and making it functional looks like a monumental task and kudos to you for tackling it.

    I am very impressed.

  3. a very tired developer Says:

    People spend about 160 million euros for one soccer game, but the everyday heroes don’t get recognised at all. It’s just like if you work for a company which has customers who earn millions of bucks and you don’t get anything from it however your work is the most important…. A programmer’s life is hard man, and you Vos also design stuff etc ….

  4. a very tired developer Says:

    I just saw your start button says “Inicio”. Are you spanish vosmug?

  5. OMGHISALIVE!!11!
    Great! Still no release date BUT now i know in what state the project is. It’s really cool, especially list of events.
    Make more post like this. Maybe they will be not so big, but it will show us that the project moving on.

  6. I would like to say that it’s really cool to see technical-dedicated post here, on your blog, thanks for it:) I guess that I’m not the first developer who was inspired by your games into making my own one, but it would be cool to see more game-development related posts on your blog, maybe they can be marked by different WordPress tags (like “Development stuff” ,etc.), it’s interesting to see all technical info in one place. For example, I remember that you explained to one guy the method of your art drawing process (3d rendering + flash + additional drawing), but it was missed somewhere in the comments and people can’t find it quickly:) By the way, do you calculate or estimate somehow the playtime of each level/chapter before creating the map or placing events in the editor? (I mean, for example, you want to make chapter X and say “Chapter X should take about 15 minutes to complete, so I have to place enough obstacles and not so many events to allow the average player to complete it)

    • Not that much of a fan of doing that, also it takes a lot of time away from the actual work, but maybe, I dunno.

      I never use those tags, heh, evey post in uncategorized, I should but probably won’t.

      Nah, not really, I don’t make any calculations, is arbitrary and if needs to be cut down or extended I do that after, it ususally ends up unchanged but I don’t really think about that, which is not good now that you mention it.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    The event list makes itclook like you are only halfway done, but you said in the last post that you are more than halfway done. How’s that fitting together?

    • That’s just one element out of many, that list has no direct resemblence to the completion of the full thing, only of that part, is like comparing the writing of a chapter over the completion of the book as a whole.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Ah ok, I was thinking that it shows that the game is completely finished up to that point and that everything in blue wiuld resemble the whole game and not just the writing.

  8. This kind of stuff is genuinely interesting! I occasionally prod GameMaker for fun, so any insights into actual, y’know, game making with it, are nice.

  9. First of all I want to thank you for this work update. It may be the case that you are not a very big Fan of this but seeing how a game develops over time is somehow satisfying in my opinion. You can see that someone is working on this game and with every update the hype gets a little stronger, to play the full game. The Demo, now how it is, has better quality in animation and play fun than 90% of the finished DLsite games. It is no wonder that this game takes a lot of time, you are not a gaming company but has to do everything yourself. Such good animations need their time, especially with so many frames (does they called it like that?) that the animations look smooth and not laggy.
    Take your time with the game, just looking at the event list lets me know that it will be good. And if you dont know what you should write in the blog to inform us of the status of the game: every 3-4 weeks or so take exactly what you are working on at the moment (coding, level design, an animation you are working on etc.) post a picture and say a bit to it. Even if this progress update was MASSIVE and cool to read, i can understand that you dont want to post something like this every time (it was quite interesting though),
    Keep up the good work take as much time as you need.
    Greetings from Germany😉

  10. Excellent dedication! These past few months have been pretty barren on the H game front…

  11. Geez. That looks like a frigging lot to program. Then again, I don’t know a whole hell of a lot about game programming as of now.

    I salute you for your hard work. Keep up the progress, and I’ll be looking forward to any other good news you can give us.

    • That is a really inefficient way he is doing it, but *shrug* whatever works for you.

      • Anonymous Says:

        How would you proceed?

      • “How would you proceed?” I know this is cheating a little since it is C# but I don’t have Game Maker installed and don’t care to so I can’t give a GM example. Here is example code http://pastebin.com/G51KxT8V (expires in 1 month) 100% untested and written in 5 minutes. It reads all dialogue entries from a file where events are prefixed with #(hashtag) and lines have speaker names and can be split with %%. That is just some generic way I came up with for telling the code what the format is. There are helper methods to then programmatically read the spoken lines for any named events as well. It is missing robustness checks that I would normally include but this is just an example so forgive that. What this code DOES avoid is the hundreds or thousands of IF statements that are shown in this blogpost and it saves hundreds or thousands of seconds spent doing tedious work🙂 I don’t have any contact info other than ‘boned’ on hongfire/ anomaly1k on ulmf. I’d help projects I like for free probably but nobody is asking so *shrugs*.

      • You didn’t specify what you were talking about, I didn’t know you were talking about the text dialog bit in which case, yeah you’re right, I’m not sure how to do it in a more efficient way, I got some shortcuts and ideas but since most of it is already done that way, I don’t know if changing it now is worth the effort, but yeah, you’re not wrong.

        I do something similar with portraits, where portraits are shown according to a prefix number in the text file, but only from the specific line I’m reading, I don’t know how to find a specific number or tag in a different line though, I’m sure is possible I’ll have to check, truth be told I never bothered to go deeper into text file functionality, as long as it worked it was fine with me.

        Uh oh, looks like I’m going to get obssesed with that even if I don’t end up applying it, I’ll check back with results, damn youuuuu!!!1

      • Well the pastebin link I added does show exactly how to automatically read and assign all dialogue to a dictionary that you can access and progress through with a single while loop. Shouldn’t take much time adapting it to gamemaker logic or changing it to better suit needs.

      • I don’t know much C, at all, I get the basic idea but not the details, not sure what are the benefits of creating a dictionary over reading directly from the file at any given time, either way, after a day of hitting my head against the keyboard instead of a while statement I noticed the do statement and ran with that and it came up it even shorter, it’s the exact same I had before but automatic:

        And as you said is just a matter of tagging the text file with the same numbers as the event, instead of using two different number for the same task, that doesn’t make much sense anymore.

        Thanks for bringing it to my attention, that saves a lot of time now and especially later on when adding the final text.

      • That is certainly an improvement. Two assumptions I make for this kind of problem is 1) the amount of text you have in the game is technically very little and can be read and stored in RAM without impact and 2) a fundamental of performance is that I/O (input output) is your slowest operation, so the less you do it the more performant your application will be.

        A dictionary in any programming language is a data structure that behaves very similarly to a… dictionary. You know the word, you look it up in the dictionary and you get a description of what the word means. So in your case, you have an event which is probably triggered by touching something in your game. That event could have a dictionary “word” aka the key which retrieves that event’s dialogue. To fully implement reading the dialogue from file, serializing it into a dictionary and read from that dictionary based on events, it is no longer a beginner level task. I wouldn’t get side tracked with it until you want to streamline your game development process. Facilities like those should result in art, sound and story being the slowest part of game development hands down.

  12. This is my first time commenting but I’ve been following your blog for quite sometime and I just want to say, keep up the good work.

    I’ve played Xenotake and had a blast playing it. Even if there was no H in it, it would still be a great game.

    The demo of Ghost Hunter Vena was a perfect followup and I can’t wait to buy it when it comes out.

    Keep up the good work, Vosmug. Glad to see you getting close to the finish line, you earned it.

  13. Hapsthehamster Says:

    Cool to see how game development is done🙂

    Looking forward to seeing the game released, but I can see you got a good deal of work left.

    Keep up the good work man

  14. Footguy Says:

    That’s a lot of programming. I’ve only done first year level programming myself. I’m no games developer though. I already have my set path.

    Anyway, whoa! Also all of that programming will be done by just you! You know this could be a showcase if you ever want to get into major games development on massive projects, working in teams.

    • I don’t think so, GM is not a “respected” language, most languages share basic logic on how they work so some knowledge can be trasnfered but this alone wouldn’t be enough, also, it’s adult oriented, not many would accpet that as a resume, or maybe who knows, not saying I’m interested that much really.

      • I’m fairly sure you can’t market h-game skills to companies that don’t make h-games. That is actually a major factor in how I spend my time with the major game engines now. I *could* spend time making h-games but I have to pay bills and I have zero art production capabilities. Luckily my corporate resume is already stacked though so I don’t have much of a need to beef it up. GM shouldn’t be used for heavy lifting but definitely by all means DO NOT use Unity. If you are curious about other workflows, bother me on forums or email. I can probably get you set up with big boy toys that *should* make your progress on future titles only as slow as your art output. Licensing is tricky, but I have a very good idea how to get around royalties or content restrictions.

  15. This post seems like a good time to say it, I’ve heard that you use Rotoscoping to make your sprites, that is, you animate in 3d first and then trace over it to keep smooth lines and proportions, I’ve always been wondering what those models looked like, or what that process looks like.

    • I don’t now if I would call it rotoscoping since it’s not 100% accurate to the original, there are variables and additions, it’s mostly a base guide, also I don’t use it all the time for tracing aniamtions, sometimes I just go with previous guides and work from there: Example

  16. It was Tl;tr, but I’m still rootin’ for you!

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Your hardwork is very impressive, and i’m glad the game will probably be finished soon, can’t wait to see your work plus the game itself seems very interesting. I’m curious, i want to ask about some technical information like, what do you use to create this game, what program languages, 3d models, or what programs do you need? I’m at university studying Computer and now it’s interesting to know that kind of things.
    Also, where are you from?

    • Footguy Says:

      Yipee! Another student studying computers at University, just like me.

    • Game Maker Studio, and it uses a language called GML, For graphics and 3D I use 3ds max, adobe flash and sometimes photoshop, but there’s many alternatives, just use what you feel more confortable with.

  18. Wow, impressive the amount of work and effort that is being put behind a game.

    After reading your post you’ve made me realise the complexity and difficulty behind the creation of a game. I want to become a Game Designer some day. I tested Unity and CryEngine as well, but I merely scratched the surface of the engines when I tried to do like a sort of “game” for my school projects.

    Now, I’m going to try the engine you are using, Game Maker, because I would like to create a hentai game with my own ideas and with a similar visual style (because I like yours). I hope I have the amount of perseverance nedded to not give up. Now I feel lost with this engine, but I suppose that with Youtube tutorials I will be able to do it.😄

    Do you have any advice for me? I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks and good luck with the game. 😉

    • I would say don’t try to go too fast, understand that the basics are very important and focus on that, getting frustrated because you can’t do exactly what you want is very easy, instead focus on understanding the basics, variables, timers, functions, syntax, logic thinking, etc, and work your way up from there. Learning something new takes time, be patient.

  19. I’m waiting this game really hard >_<

    Good luck, Vosmug! ^_^

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Good work my friend, I’m proud of you.

  21. seung-gi Lee Says:

    If some money can support your game
    i have will to patron on you about 10$/Month
    I am supporting ‘ Anthophobia’ too 10$/Month

    p.s I bought ‘Xeno’ , It was good

  22. Anonymous Says:

    Wow, it’s crazy when you can visually see all the work that goes into making a game. Keep it up!

    Also just a side note, have you heard of a site called ulmf.org? It’s a forum for hentai game creators and and hentai game lovers alike. It’s a decent sized forum and very lively. You should check it out and give yourself some exposure.

    • Yes I lurk sometimes but I’m not a forum/social media person, so I probaly won’t make an account.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Same here. I kinda signed up on a whim and now I love it! Well, when this game comes out, maybe somebody will make a post about it. Hell, maybe I’ll even do it.

    • Anonymous Says:

      there’s already a thread of it on ulmf for awhile now, its just buried in the log for probably a few weeks.

  23. impressive!! Seeing your game code and animation, you’re real strenuous and creativity.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    Could the gallery have different sex speeds for ghost grabs? Random (Of course being the thing you see in game) slow, medium, and fast. Dang now I wish I asked this to be in Xenotake in the past.

    • I guess that’s how it’s going to be, xeno didn’t have it because it was just enemies attacking normally so it was predetermined, this time I won’t do the same prison-like room so it’s going to be more controlled.

  26. Not meaning to offend by asking this..

    Will you be releasing any new demos anytime soon, or are we going all the way to the finished product from here?

  27. Anonymous Says:

    hey man im glad that you are feeling better from that situation you had last time, just remember, we love you and your work and we will always be here for you *thumbs up*

  28. Anonymous Says:

    Crazy how this month last year was when the story demo came out… Hows about adding the library part and ending it after the smith boss fight?

  29. Anonymous Says:

    I love your work Vosmug😀 I have a question: Do you speak spanish?

  30. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks for all the hard work.

  31. Hey Vos if you need a dedicated tester for the pc or mac I can help you out. I have tested a lot of games before and can send you the whole bug list. If your interested email me.

  32. Anonymous Says:

    (╹◡╹ ) ( ╹◡╹)
    ( ╹◡╹ )
    I have no idea what
    the fuck I just read.

  33. Anonymous Says:

    I’d like to see the animation process. Something simple like the running or crawling.

  34. Anonymous Says:

    When Vena strips herself to masturbate (if strip feature is in the game) could the animation have her lift up her shirt, pull down shorts, and throw them to the side? Sorry to ask for something this big.

  35. Sorry for off top
    Prisonkage still in development?

  36. Hello, mr Vosmug! I’m curious – why do you always work alone? I mean, you can arrange or hire some peoples. One or two, for example. I think, some people would be happy to work with you.

    • I do when there’s things I can’t do myself, but other than that if I can do it then I don’t see any reason for somebody else to do it. These are still personal projects done as a hobby, I rather do as much as possible myself.

  37. do you play other creators game? and if so… then have you or will you try the moral sword of asagi and the new game unbreaker? i suggest u try unbreaker cause its an act game like your style from the maker of splatter school and beach without the gore.

  38. Anonymous Says:

    damn i dont think ill be able to pirate this, youve put too much work in to this for me to do that

  39. Anonymous Says:

    Not to be rude I’m just curious. Is update this month going go be skipped?

    • Don’t know, will post if there’s something worthwhile to talk about, there’s no monthly schedule or anything like that though.

      • Anonymous Says:

        I’d like to see the animtion process from scratch to finish

      • Maybe not, animamation is the procees that takes the longest, I really don’t want to add extra anythig to it, maybe as an example when I’m done with the game, but not now.

  40. Anonymous Says:

    Can you give us some hints about idea of your next game? I mezn, after Vena. Or you will just work on Prisonkage after this game?

  41. Anonymous Says:

    hello, vosmug
    how are you?
    Can I ask if you’re done with the sprites and level organization? I mean floor sequence.

    thanks

  42. Anonymous Says:

    This is a great game sir, I can’t wait for another demo or the finished product. Probably the best H-Game, and honestly overall game, I’ve seen in awhile! Keep up the great work!

  43. Hello! Mr. Vosmug, what do you think about monster girls? About more monstrous girls… hmm, for example like reptile girl (with claws, sharp teeths, tail and scales)? Less monstrous (like some succubus with small horns and maybe non-standart eyes)? About various other types of monsters girls?

    Are you interested in this issue? In theory, you could make a game about monster girls? if you had such desire, of course. Maybe game with a monster girl in a role of the main character? Could you? Would it be interesting for you? Or you are completely indifferent to this theme?

    It is very interesting for me. Sorry, if this sounds annoying!

    • Not really a fan, the more human looking ones I don’t mind though, I don’t think I’ll make a mosnter girl focused game, maybe a succubus character would be fine if the setting allows for it, but in general I’m not really into it.

  44. definitely a person Says:

    So what is it that inspires you to keep on trudging through all this programming anyways?

    • Because I like doing it, you make it sounds like it’s a bad thing, it’s time consuming and it requires a lot of patience, but I still like it enough to keep doing it, seeing the final product once it’s all done it’s also a good incentive, the prospect of seeing your ideas realized at the end it’s good motivation to continue… and let’s not pretend that selling the product at the end is not an incentive too but that’s less cool to say, but mainly though, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy doing it.

      • definitely a person Says:

        I wasn’t trying to imply it was a bad thing. I was just asking what keeps you going. If you enjoy it, good, and if you wanna get paid, that’s fine too, we all do at the end of the day. I was just curious, is all.

      • That is programming in a sense. There is a lot of frustration during the creation of the program, there will be a lot of errors to fix.

        Yet when you see the final design then programming is a lot of fun and seeing it work as you intended makes it all worthwhile.

  45. Anonymous Says:

    Well, wow. Not what I expected. Either way, though, keep up the good work. We’re all rooting for you, wallets at the ready.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s