Friday, August 26, 2011

Emerald City Commentary (part 5)

Hola!  Another day another episode:

Most everything in this episode I've covered in some way or another on this blog, mostly how the VO got processed a little too much.  I also address another concern that a lot of reviewers had - the lack of save slots!  I did try and lobby for them, but I was successfully convinced that they would be "too confusing" for the casual audience.

In retrospect, I still wonder about this.  Would they have been as daunting as the market research led everyone to believe?  It's hard to say.  When you think about it, not many games use multiple save slots anymore.  It's just gaming dinosaurs like me who enjoy the security of having them.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Emerald City Commentary (part 3)

What a great excuse to update my blog every day.  Here is part three:

A bit of a followup. As you can see from the thumbnail, one of the characters looks like a certain former Alaskan politician that I'm sure you all are aware of.  It was a total coincidence.  The character had been designed six months before Sarah Palin came on the scene.

In August of 2008, I was visiting my parents in Virginia.  Since I had a deadline and I'm a stupid nerd, I brought my laptop along to get some work done.  They were watching the television when John McCain's running mate was announced.  I brought up Glinda's image in the game, turned my laptop so my parents could see, and said "Check it out.  The game has political commentary now."

I'm also still quite proud that the whole Betsy Bobbins thing didn't get nixed.  Perhaps I was too subtle.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Let's Play My Own Game: Part 2

I've gotten some nice feedback from various sources, so I've decided to make this a daily thing!  I'll be posting these LPMYG vids until I finish the game. And I think I'm going to call this "Emerald City Commentary" from now on.

A bit of a followup.  I have NO IDEA how the whole missing textbox thing happened.  Every version I played on my computer had the textbox, but somehow the game shipped without it.  I vaguely remember PlayFirst QA telling me that a lot of the description text wasn't voiced, and I vaguely remember replying that PlayFirst had told me to do it that way.  They didn't mention that the textbox was missing, but if they never saw it in the first place, maybe they never knew it was supposed to be there? 

Oh well.  It'll remain a mystery.  It happened, and it's a bit too late to fix it now.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Let's Play My Own Game

For awhile now, I have become fascinated with the whole "Let's Play" phenomenon on YouTube.  For the uninitiated,, here's the gist: someone plays a game and records themselves doing it.  While they play the game, they give a running commentary on what they see and do.

When I first came across one of these videos, I couldn't believe it was for real.  But yes.  Apparently it is, indeed, a "thing."  There's thousands of them.  There are even several Let's Plays of my own games out there (and a special shout out must go to Resulka, who I think has Let's Played my entire catalog), which pleases me to no end.

Eventually it got into my head to try doing a Let's Play of my own, but instead of playing any random game I decided to play a game that I developed myself.

I chose Emerald City Confidential because, of all my games, I probably have the most to say about it.  It has an interesting genesis.  PlayFirst (a casual game developer) approached me (a old school point-and-click developer) to make a game for them.  Their goal?  To make a point-and-click style game for the casual audience.  We came from two totally different mindsets, and the road to finishing this game was an interesting one to say the least. 

Anyway, here's the first episode. In this first episode, we learn how to pick up and use a crowbar, why dialog options can be intimidating, and the story behind the quest gems.

(If the video is too small, click the "YouTube" button on the lower right to zap yourself to YouTube")

Please let me know in the comments if you find these interesting! I'll probably do more.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Placeholder art: The big reveal!

Wow.  Has it been almost a year since I posted this placeholder art image from Blackwell Deception?

How awful of me to leave you hanging for so long.  You all must have been tearing your hair out trying to figure out what it was.  This could be a wedge of cheese, or a network of tunnels, or a box of bagels, or even...

A knotty pine wall! Can't you feel the excitement and pulse-pounding gameplay leaping off the image? Aren't you PSYCHED?  I know I am.

On another note, remember when I said on this blog that the game would come out in April?  Ha ha ho.  This is why I don't officially announce release dates anymore.  But, the game is almost finished and I can safely say that the game is coming very, very soon.  On September 14th, we will be making our official announcement, with a PR campaign and trailer and website and everything.  So set your calendars.