lost contact devlog 3

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The following content is a transcript of the video.

lost contact devlog 3

I’m working on a narrative-driven, hidden object game about loneliness called lost contact.

The art pipeline for lost contact is intentionally designed to shorten the iteration loop as much as possible. In order to do this, I’ve designed a coloring plugin for me to use when building levels.

For example, here’s a level that I built yesterday. We’ve got this desk over here, and maybe I don’t like the way that it looks. Maybe I want it to be a different color. You can see here that right now it’s set to this brown color, but maybe I want this desk to have more of a gray-ish color. So we can move this color here and you’ll see that it updates immediately in the scene. This allows me to iterate very quickly on what my scenes look like. I think that color’s okay.

We can also reference a color. So, for example, all of these floor tiles have the same color right now because they’re referencing the floor swatch in the palette. And if we look at the palette, we can see that the floor swatch has its color defined here. And if we change this color, all of the other floor tiles will update as well. And of course, we can always ask this specific tile to use a different color. So maybe I want this color to be green, for example, for whatever reason. Maybe there is some gameplay use for- for doing that.

This plugin works by taking advantage of the fact that everything in the scene is texture-less and uses the same shader and material. However, this does mean I can’t have transparent materials since the shader isn’t transparent, so I’ll have to figure out something for that if I want things like glass in the scene.

I also updated the distance fade effect. So, when you click on an important item you can see that everything between it and the camera is faded out, but nothing behind it is. So you might notice from this viewpoint that the desk isn’t faded out, but if I pan the camera downwards, the desk does fade out so I can still see the succulent. There is this weird effect though, when I go between something that is an item and something that isn’t. I’m not sure exactly sure what causes this zippy hole to show up. That’s something I’ll have to figure out next week.

In the next one or two weeks, which at the time of this recording is before the end of the year 2023, I’m hoping to get around to playtesting. All I need to do is hide more stuff in this scene for the player to find, add some interaction mechanics, and then find some playtesters.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say for now. I’ve made a lot of progress this week and I feel like I’m almost back to where I was with the prototype, just this time with much better tooling. If you’re a patron, you’re seeing this video early and thank you so much for your support again – your financial support helps make it possible for me to do this. If you aren’t a patron but you are excited by what I’m working on, consider joining my Discord channel. I’m releasing this video in three weeks, so chances are I’m playtesting by now and you could be a playtester for lost contact. And, if you want to be a patron too, you can become one on Discord as well. Alright, I’ll see you next week.

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