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Showing posts from January, 2017

Telling a story; Creating a Compelling Narrative.

Telling a story; Creating a Compelling Narrative. In this blog I will talk about my own recent brush with story telling and go on to talk about how tools from creative wring can help you to better author the narrative in your games, whether they have a traditional linear narrative or a procedurally generated interactive narrative.

Narrative and structure in traditional fiction  last week I started writing a story set in the world I'm developing for my game Vinland: 1936.

I hope the story will help me to flesh out my game world and develop my own expanded universe which will be a good place to set my games in the future.

After about a week of work, on and off I've progressed the story to outline stage. For each character thread I have half a dozen chapters which plot a course through the events of the story. Each thread is told from the perspective of a different character.

Actually I started writing as soon as I had my outline, but I've since gone back and deleted what …

Modernizing the UI.

I'm revisiting the vehicle editor currently, partly because of some issues what have cropped up with how vehicles are saved and loaded. If I'm going to go back and dig in to it that deeply, it's better to rewrite it.. and update the visual elements at the same time.

Here's a preview of some of the elements of the UI, I've simplified and cleaned them up a little. I think it looks better already.

On the writing front I blocked out the chapters for the story, I'm pretty happy with it. This is the first time I've approached writing like this, with writing a chapter summary for each chapter and then going back and expanding the scenes to fill in the chapter. It makes much more sense than just starting writing from page one and going with the flow. That's why all my previous stories failed probably. :)

Happy People have no Stories.

OK, following an exchange on Deviant art, I've decided to write a short story:

S7alker117 That sounds really cool. Looks like the kind of setting where you could write some great stories in, a little in the line of 1632, dunno if you know the series?pickledtezcat I hadn't heard about 1632, but I just looked it up. Sounds interesting.
I actually have got a plan to write some stories in the setting, and possibly open it up to anyone else who wanted to.

I love the alternative history novels of Harry Turtledove, the way he uses ordinary people who can enter and leave the narrative at any time instead of main characters who can't die.
It allows him to really put in the background details while sketching out the overarching themes and history. (1632 sounds somewhat like this from reading the wikipedia article)

The thing I love about his books the most though is that you never know who is going …

What is Vinland 1936?

S7alker117 asked me today on Deviant art:

What's the story behind this project, if I may ask?
To try to lay it out as briefly as possible:

It's an alternative history "... if Alfred the Great had been defeated and England had become The Daneland".

From this base, using Anglo-Saxon and Celtic Slaves, Viking settlers were able to colonize North America. However, the little ice age which brought viking occupation to an end in our own history left this fledgling civilization isolated from Europe for around 300 years.

During that time Christianity developed differently, partly merging with the pagan beliefs of the viking settlers and partly being subverted by the Vinlanders as means of controlling their slaves and lower classes.

There are some other departures from our own history;

The Eastern Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire of Charlemagne were (re)united by the political marriage of Charlemagne of the Franks and Irene of Athens to form a pan European Empire…

More Artillery!

I got the artillery converted over to act like a hybrid unit.

I really like how they turned out, though it did expose some messiness in my code. After cleaning up some junk I feel like the project is pretty well organized so far.

Here's an animation of the light artillery:

And the heavy artillery:

With artillery you can set your crews to defensive stance to protect them from enemy fire, but it makes their rate of fire and movement rate slower.

I'm considering allowing artillery to be sandbagged (fortified) and camouflage nets to be deployed when in sentry mode, as a special skill for high level units.

Stress Test and Artillery

I did a stress test with infantry yesterday:

The important bits to look at are "Logic" which is the performance of my python scripts and "Rasterizer" which is how long the scene takes to render.

At this point with around 375 infantry men in the scene Rasterizer is proving a much bigger drain on resources than Logic. In fact Logic costs are really very low indeed. They'd have to double again before you'd get a loss of frame rate from 60fps. That's great news!

Some other things I worked on this week:

Adding the code for units to use binoculars. This allows you to see further but with a limited field of view. Good for scouts or officers.

Began working on artillery units. For now they work almost exactly like vehicles, the infantry modes are just static meshes. I hope to make them a kind of hybrid unit with mesh guns and sprite crews. But for now they work like this.
The have to be deployed before use, and stowed for transport. This takes a little time, depen…

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

It's hard to believe I started the germ of an idea that became my current project over 2 and a half years ago!

Over the last few weeks I've done a lot of work to get the UI up and running and to get infantry movement modes functioning.

You can watch my latest video Diary here.

And here's a GIF of the infantry movement modes and UI status bar in action: