Saturday, October 12, 2013

And Here Comes Jack

Another week of pre-production. I'm still working in the general look and feel of the Bloodhunt. I like the red HUD, so I've tinted the portrait background in the dialog screen. Here's how the new bloody red dialog looks like:

Also, I've managed to make another character portrait. Instead of some random female character in a purple dress (?!), I've decided to make a "real" character portrait so I can estimate the cost of making a detailed character. In just a couple of hours, Jack's pixelart portrait was done. It was tons of fun. Here's the result, with the text of Bloodlines famous tutorial scene. 


Note that the dialog choice in Bloodhunt offers no reminder of the previous text of the NPC. Instead, each character choice is reinforced by a self-talking question. This makes dialog choices a bit more personal, since the player sees a picture of his character deciding. They both are deciding. So hopefully a strong player-character relationship is created thoughout the hundreds of choices in the game.

Another important screen that needed some thought was the Quest Log. I've redesigned Bloodlines quest journal (which by the way I totally adore). First, I've removed all peripheral information (like Humanity, Masquerade violations and such). Also, I've eliminated the location filter, since Bloodhunt is only played in Santa Monica.

Then, I've added my own perspective on what should be a quest made of:

  1. A catchy title. I love Bloodlines quest titles. I'm definitely keeping that.
  2. A solid description, including who tells you to do what in what location. 
  3. A portrait of the quest giver. It's important to keep in mind who are you questing for. The NPC portrait helps you visualize that. Note: In the screenshot, I've cheated since the quest giver is Therese and I've used Jack's portrait. But you can get the idea anyways.
  4. A list of to-do tasks in the form of checkboxes. Just like shopping, questing needs careful preparation and guidance. Sub-tasks are automatically checked when you succeed completing the mini-goals of the quest. If you fail, they're marked with a cross. The challenge here is to write the checkboxes without anticipating the surprises of the quest.

And as a dessert, here's a pixelart concept of the sewers (with the female character back and a mirror effect in the water). Hope you like it.

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