Fiancée Game – 01 – Humble Beginnings

   Hello and welcome to my blog series relating to the game I’m developing for my fiancée. I figure, if anything, this series will keep me accountable towards actually finishing the game for her. I intend for the first few entries in this series to basically be working towards getting to where I currently am with regards to game development. I want to outline what my general ideas for the game are as well as what’s currently working. Once all that’s done, I’ll probably switch to a weekly, or bi-weekly “here’s what I’ve been up to” posting schedule until the game’s finished and in her hands.

   So, how did all of this get started?

   It’ll be romantic, I thought. Make a game for the eventually-to-be-wife. How many gamer girls can say that their gamer guy made ’em a game where they can do violent things to equally violent critters? Not only that, but I’ll be learning some game development, too! Now, full qualifiers out in the open, I’m a programmer. But I’m the boring kind of programmer. Most of my work is website and database related stuff; nothing to do with games (well, I did make a random map generator for my D&D tabletop games ages ago, but that doesn’t count).

   Sounds good right? I’ll make her a game, score some sweet, sweet brownie points, and learn some fun stuff about game development. Plus, y’know, “hey internets, I made a game!” Oh how naive I was.

   Once all is said and done, Fiancée Game (it does have an internal name, but this is what it’s been dubbed in the Twitterverse) is to be a first-person RPG that features grid-based movement and turn-based combat (that will not, contrary to what I’ve said was a possibility, be released to the public — this game is Wife Only™).

   So, how did we get to this point? Easy: I asked her.

   I broached the subject easily enough — I asked if she’d be interested in a “shitty little game” and she was excited at the prospect. Following that, I asked what kind of game she wanted. She knew she wanted an RPG but not much beyond that. First I asked what kind of navigation she wanted and led with “something like Eye of the Beholder?” She seemed to like the idea. After that I asked what kind of combat she wanted and turn-based was an almost immediate response (so she could have time to think out her actions, I’m sure — she’s a smart cookie!).

   Having the above was enough to get me a starting point. With that starting point I got to working on something fairly simple in Unity3D. My first goals were getting a proper movement system working. It took substantially longer than I’d initially anticipated (game development is hard!). After working for a week or so, I had something fairly basic to call my own.

Fiancée Game roughly a month into development.

   Getting movement implemented was tough mostly due to having to learn how to control cameras and properly smooth object movement in the Unity engine. It was very much a case of learning a new language, so to speak. I knew how I wanted it to work, but I had to learn how to tell Unity how I wanted it to work (a recurring problem, as I’ve learned).

   Once I had the basics of the movement system finalized, I then moved on to some rudimentary UI work (as seen above). There has been quite a bit of divergence between the above screenshot and where the game’s UI sits to this day. I’d originally intended to have a separate inventory and equipment window, but have since decided that it would be more prudent to have them combined.

   We’ve all got to start somewhere, and I think the earlier versions of Fiancée Game certainly showed some promise with regards to what was to come.

   Over the next few posts I want to begin talking (probably for several posts) about the various things that are influencing the design behind Fiancée Game. Following that, I intent on going over the game’s current systems. Hope to see you all there!

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