Development Update #4

Welcome back folks!
After a way too long break I’m back on IGS development right for the holidays!

I’ve been hard at work on the basics of the alpha 2. The crazy thing about alpha 2 is that it’s a complete rewrite of the game we had so far. Now using the super strong Unity3D game engine, we had to rewrite everything in C#, re-import every sprites and assets and get a second chance on designing the game.

Game Design Changes

Initial design had a few major flaws, I tried to shoot for the stars and I ended up shooting in every direction without achieving any progress. Now I went back to notebook sketches, re-designed the entire game so it can deliver the good old kind of simulation game we all love.

One of the biggest change in how the game will play is the hybrid approach we have with the gameplay. Instead of selecting characters and right click to do an action, which would be a lot repetitive when having a big 100+ employees office. To fix this problem, the player will only control his own character. So let’s say my character name is Tommy, I have a 20 employees studio. I’ll have to move Tommy to interact with the environment or other employees but employees will be AI controlled so you can only focus on your projects, your own character and your growth in the game.

Development Updates

Game engine is now pretty stable, lately the focus has been on the introduction and on the user interface. I scripted the whole introduction, with a very short user tutorial so alpha 2 testers get to know how the new game design work. Otherwise big progress has been made on the user interface engine, greatly simplified code-wise.

Another good chunk of code I got down is the dialogue system. Built with callback support, it’ll be super easy to script your own interactive dialogues whenever we get mod support down in alpha 75! ;-)

Dialogues!

What’s Next?

Next, we’ll be working on the interactivity with the objects and the environment around your character. Cool things like a neat little HUD system to display actions available to play with.

We’ll also be sending more picture request to those who donated for the Get Yourself In The Game offer so expect new faces in the game soon!

Hacking for a Living

This is a cross-article for my Medium/blog and my indie game project Indie Game Story. Go check it out!

My name is Tommy Bergeron and I am a freelance developer. Basically what I do is, look for contracts wherever I go or on the net. There’s always people looking for a good programmer who’s willing to give a hand on a project.

Usually my clients are happy and I stay with them a few months, sometimes it even ends up with great opportunities like working on successful projects.

The thing with what I do is that I do my passion, for a living. I hack whatever needs to be hacked and I jump onto the next problem. It simply never ends. I could work 24 hours a day if I would like to, that’s the thing. Freelancers, most of the time, are alone at home. That’s where work and life must collude with eachothers, that’s where most of the time things fuck up.

I, sometimes, miss being part of a team, a physical one. I tweet, facebook, google and everything at any given time but never I would have thought to say this, I miss people and I feel myself introverting. Thought I was a little anti-social but nobody really is in the end I guess.

That might only be because Rdio is playing some sad tunes, or maybe I’m just getting bored with that I do for a living. What I really know is that I deeply want to spend more time on my personal projects. Which brings me to the next subject:

What’s happening with the game?

It’s pretty self-explanatory at this point I believe. Time is flowing through my fingers, after many attempts at getting back at it I took my notebook and started brainstorming about what was Indie Game Story, what it needed, what was the current problems, what solution I had in front of me and I came to the simple conclusion that I went full retard with the features.

So after many pages of insanity, I thought of an exercise that would help me decipher what was going to happen with the game. I described a few other games with one small sentence/paragraph.

That’s where I had to separate which features were primary and secondary. In IGS, building comes secondary, it’s more personal, about your character and his/her lifetime achievements. You’ll still be able to build an awesome office, but that’s not the first thing you’ll learn in the game.

Based on this train of thought I came with that final sentence: Indie Game Story’s goal is to become a succesful CEO by gettings jobs, hiring good employees, achieving lifetime goals and publishing kick-ass games.

That greatly helped to get back the focus on the right features. There’s still a lot of confusion about the whole game completion process, but that’s next on the “un-fuckup list”.

It’s easy to get fucked by the amount of details I want to pour into it and it’s hard to rationalize in that instance.

That’s all for this first sign of life after my long absence, to get more updates about what I’m doing please follow me on Twitter at @tommybergeron and check out my personal blog at www.tbergeron.com

Thanks for the on-going support!

Checkout the original article and much more on my personal blog.

“Get Yourself In The Game” Showdown!

Hey everybody!

I’m super stoked as we’ve started working on the graphic design of your own employees!

Wondering how people got in the game? They backed during the Indiegogo campaign or directly donated using the Donations page.

That’s quite exciting, just think about all of them, in the game. All different characters, working for you in your own game studio. Sounds pretty fantastic isn’t it?

Here’s our first ones! I present you, roflnoob, theNotOP and a few of the good old employees (including myself!):

Marytommy_final
roflnoob_finaltheNotOP_finalwoman_final_fixedman_final

To see more please head into the screenshots section.

I have to say, Kahlief our graphic artist, did a great job with that first one. I can’t wait to see the next.

If I’m not mistaken, next one is due later this week! Come on the showdown thread to see more of them!

If you have any questions about donations, custom avatars, Indie Game Story, etc please refer back to the original announcement thread and ask questions there.

Stay tuned because there’s a lot more of them coming! Thanks :-)

Current State of Development – June 2013

You might have noticed that it’s been pretty dead lately. It’s because development has been on hold for the last weeks.

Let me explain myself. I’m currently working on some other projects for clients and investors that need a big push from my end to get up on feet. That’s what I’m working on right now.

Don’t get me wrong though, ideas have been rushing through my brain for the last month and I’ve been noting them all. More the idea will mature, the more good the result will be. This time helped me decide on critical mechanics for the game which is great.

Now what’s up for this summer?

My plan is to rush on the projects that help me live and then go back to my normal development weekly schedule, development updates and vision articles. (I miss those! Feels like years!)

So expect a rush of updates by the end of summer!

What about the September estimated released date?

Keeping this release date would be unrealistic. The idea is like a rough gem, it needs more to it, it needs depth and personality and this takes time to build. Building toys and demos is all good and fun but building a relationship between you and the characters are another thing.

So to be fair, I’d like to remove that release date and replace it with the so boring “when it’s ready“.

What about next Alpha?

You can see the current progress on the Roadmap, As of today we’re 37% done with it. There might be lots of change when I get back working on it, since I’ve been having so much epic ideas for the game: lots of changes to come!

I know I’ve been talking about lots of surprises, those still exists and are in the works (talking about ideas that needed more maturity hehe ;-)

Where can we read more about you and what you are working on?

I’ve switched my old personal tbergeron.com page to my Medium account, so I’m now publishing weekly articles on video games, technologies, development and more. It’s a quite interesting platform that I have the pleasure to test, so please check it out at medium.com/@tommybergeron

Also don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, where I usually rant about random things, you can easily reach me there and finally it’s always fun to share stuff and opinions on the IGS forums!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

First UI Preview! aka Screenshot Saturday!

We’re really excited to finally show a preview of next alpha’s UI. We’ve been working on it a lot in the last months and kept it secret all the way but today’s the day!

You’ve been linked here and you’re wondering what is this game? Go check our “About The Game” page!

So here’s this week’s Screenshot Saturday entry!

UI Preview

UI Preview

If you put some attention to the details in this screenshot, you’ll notice a few unannounced features. Some might or might not be in the next alpha, such as time controls, etc.

There’s still a few tweaks to add, but all in all we’re really satisfied with the results. It’s going to be even more cooler once it’s integrated in the game and you’ll be playing with it ;-)

Meanwhile, Indie Game Story has been slowly forging its own game genre playing between standards simulation games and story-driven RPGs. I’ve been planning for the whole month and I think we really found something no one did in the past, a way to make you feel like a real indie game developer. That’s the RPG side, the morale, the depression, the determination, the consequences coming with each aspects. We’re working on a totally immersive player experience based on your own character (you’ll have to pick a character at the beginning which is the reason why people are donating. You can have yourself drawn in the game with your own name

We hope that you’re as excited as we are about this one, this is the first time we show the UI which is a big deal for us.

We published a Roadmap last week, giving you the opportunity to sneak on the game’s development, with detailed feature list, percentages and more goodies! Go check it out, it’s definitively exciting to look at!

Stay tuned for even more awesomeness coming in the next weeks! Thanks for reading and don’t forget to like our Facebook page and follow our Twitter feed!