Friday, November 30, 2012

Locus Magici: sketching sprites

While November seems to try everything it can to halt our progress, we still managed to work on some things~

Sound effects will be completed soon, we have three (out of fifteen or something at most) music tracks done and all sprites are being neatly sketched. Since it's a bit hard to talk about music and sound effects, I'll just tell you guys a bit about the sprite-progress.
Lloyd/MC - with each design his belts decrease.
Sketches first
Not a single sprite is going to be finished (i.e. properly coloured and lined) before all of them and ALL poses and expressions are sketched. We have three reasons for doing this, the first being that it's easier to make the sprites consistent if you do it this way (I noticed this while making Nanolife). The other reason is that Kiki can use these sketches to start coding, to see what should be added and if everything is all right. And finally, I am going to try out a new (for me at least) colouring style, so I don't want to focus on two things at the same time when I need to colour them.


From rough to final sketch
When sketching the sprites, I have a lot of anatomy reference stuff opened next to my art program, ranging from photo's of models to pictures of how the human muscles work. I can really recommend always using tons of reference to get an idea of how things work in real life. Also, this gives you a marvellous excuse to stare at bare chested (wo)men; it's research, man :D!

Anyway, I usually go through about three sketches until I reach the final sketch. The first is just a bunch of shapes, the second is made up out of muscle-shapes/lines and the third is like the 2nd but with some unnecessary lines erased and details (clothes, hair, eyes) added.

Below is a 3rd rough sketch and a final sketch to give an idea. I sometimes sketch new poses on top of the previous one, but sometimes also next to it. *shrug*
Sirus the Serious. >:[
After the sprites are sketched, I add some place-holder base colours so Kiki can see if she agrees with the colour scheme and check whether the light effects and other stuff she codes work well enough.

Since Lina is completely done, here's what the final sketches look like:
Lots of Lina.

And that's all I can show/tell you at the moment. Next time I will try to have most of the sprites sketched, Kiki will start doing some real code-work (long live vacations~) and Triah will probably have a few more tracks done too.


Also, the day we can create a Lemmasoft work-in-progress topic is getting closer and closer~

~Anna


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Locus Magici: Finished GUI!

After a lot of work, the graphical user interface (GUI) is finally done, so it's time to show off! Some of the content inside of it is still made up out of placeholders though, because those assets don't exist yet (such as sprites), but let's not ruin the fun. Below is a selection of the more interesting ones.

Chapter page

The chapter screen will appear whenever you begin a new chapter (a grand surprise). Because some of the chapters end in night, we made the chapter screen a bit dark. This way it's a little easier on the eyes so you don't get blinded suddenly.

Dividing the story up into chapters will hopefully help people find a nice break in the story flow so they can resume another time, since it was something people had some trouble with while playing our first visual novel Firefly. There is also a more plain version for the interludes in between chapters, but you'll get to see that one another time.

Journal

This is the in-game journal which can be entered at any time you wish while reading the visual novel. It gives a short summary of each chapter you finished, making it easier to jump back into the story if you need a little refresher.

On the left, you only see one journal entry now, but more will pop up as the story progresses. The map you see on the right will also be updated, portraying the route as Lloyd travels on. Furthermore, the summaries will be written by Lloyd himself, so prepare for some snark and doodles while reading these.

Savescreen

The savescreen will present a screenshot and other information of all your save-files, while marking the latest save as 'new'. It will also have a few autosaves (created after each scene) and the quicksave, should you wish to override it.

Novel mode
Novel mode will appear whenever there is no dialogue, but rather a monologue or an explanation where there is little movement on screen. Now everyone can read those in style. And in all other cases, we have...

ADV mode
We showed this one last time, but now has a small 'end of text' indicator for good measure. Also, a certain main character's developer nickname has been leaked out thanks to this image :D...

The other screens (e.g. profiles, dead ends, etc.) are also done, but they lack too much in-game content, making them feel rather empty now. This post is long enough as it is anyway, so this is all for now.

Next I'll begin sketching poses and deciding on colours for all the sprites, while Kiki is still making sound effects. On we go!

~Anna