"I Look Around" (GameJam Ver. Devlog)

in Hive Gaming4 months ago

This is a Game Jam post-mortem for my latest Game Development project. Another Kinetic Novel: "I Look Around." As a VN, it's simpler than my previous attempt "White Room Journal" while sharing the same engine as my Game Boy game attempt "Procrastination Simulator."

This is a story told from the perspective of a Tree. A Palm tree. It lived attached to the people as it was attached to the ground. The people who made it happy.


I Look Around

ilookaround_itchio_cover_gboverlay_postthumb.jpg

[ PLAY HERE ]


Simple and Deep Life Experience

Experience a lifetime through the eyes of a tree in this Visual Novel.

Observing people.
Knowing them.
Liking them.
Missing them.
Dreaming.


This is a story of a being, stuck in place. A being who can only look around.

The game is told only in visuals and story, there's no audio.


Controls:

  • On mobile: (Touch Controls)

    • A: Confirm
    • B: Cancel
  • On PC (Keyboard Controls)

    • Z: Confirm
    • X: Cancel

gb_ilookaround_0_thefirst.gif


Devlog

The preparation to make this game started while I was making Procrastination Simulator GB. I found a game jam with a GameBoy theme on Itch.io, so I was waited for the theme thinking "If I can make a short story about whatever theme it was, I'll participate in the Jam."

The Jam is called Game Boy Showdown Jam!

The Jam had different prizes, but I only cared about the first prize (actual GameBoy.) I knew my chances of winning were slim at best, so I took part without considering the prizes.

The theme was "time" and my first thought was a story about zombies. It's an old idea of mine, a story that explores what happens in the year after the apocalypse, or a pandemic, but I soon scrapped this idea because I thought the art will be hard to make.

Then I decided to go back to another old idea of mine. A story of a Tree. It's an idea I had for years but I didn't know where to start with it. I thought the limitations of GameBoy will help me focus. (They did!)

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I imagined the first scene and the rest wrote itself. While some parts took a bit long. The only hard part was the ending because I didn't know where to end something like this.

The story took one day to finish. I posted on Twitter about my entry to this game jam.

Next, I wanted art for it, but I didn't know how many drawings I needed, so I re-read the story a bunch of times trying to figure out places that can use the same art.

Each different scene, (a period,) became a chapter. I titled all chapters so I have a good reference point when I make the art of this game. In the end, I decided to give all 13 chapters a unique drawing each. A decision I almost regretted.

I wasn't sure what tree I should have at the start. I started drawing on my tablet without even deciding. In the end, I drew a Palm, (Date Palms are symbols in the Arabic world,) and it was decided then: The main character is a Palm tree.

I spent the next 3 days drawing. I showcased one WIP picture in a tweet. The last three drawings

I changed my art into pixel art via a Japanese tool called Gameboy Pic.

Only after converting and putting my images then I realized a problem: My line art was too thin! I decided to leave it like that, but if you felt some scenes weren't clear, it's probably because I thought it looked fine enough in my original drawing.

By the third day of drawing, I started to lose patience and felt I was racing time before I completely run out of it. I drew the final photos quickly without caring too much about quality. I just needed to finish this game. Compared to the time spent, I believe the quality was good enough, so I'm satisfied.

With that, I finished my entry.

gb_ilookaround_4_jelly.gif

For the Itch.io page, I tried to apply everything I learned about marketing from GDC talks. I knew gifs were important so I used Peek to take animated gameplay images and I used Ezgif to edit them.

What's Next?

Actually, I think this game is finished. That's why I didn't put a version number in this Devlog. I might add sounds to it or fix the story a bit, but other than that I'm very satisfied with the result.

What do you think?


Sort:  

I was gonna ask if you were gonna add choices to this one as well but then I realized a tree doesn't really have much choice as to what happens in its life.

A Tree just watches, that's a good thing. I hope the people it didn't see again are okay.

Looking good man keep it on!

Thank you, if you played the game (takes only 5 minutes,) can you tell me the thing that stood out the most for you? (Good or bad.)

Nice project.

Observing people.
Knowing them.
Liking them.
Missing them.
Dreaming.

Looks promising. Good luck.

Yay! 🤗
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 4 months ago Reveal Comment