Hello again. Josh here with a lot of this and that for You, our Best Beloved Kickstarter pledgers.
Some weeks back, we promised you a video from Dennis Flath, Larry’s Technical Art Director at N-Fusion and your pipeline to N-Fusion on the Replay fora. That video had to take a backseat for a while, as the game takes precedence over all. But things are settling down to an even, albeit frantic, pace, and so Dennis is back focusing on the video. You’ll probably see it before the next regular KS update.
Dennis will also be doing a series of twice-monthly updates on the Replay fora. Keep a watch there, as these updates promise to touch on all different aspects of the production, different aspects than those we cover here in the KS updates.
At this point, we have all the information we need from those of you whose names and/or likenesses are going to appear in the game. As we said during the Kickstarter phase, we consider ourselves very much at liberty to make jokes at your expense (gently, of course), because this is Larry and we’re simply not interested in being serious. If we inadvertently end up offending you deeply, then we’ll call it a job well done!
There is one exception, one person we’ve been unable to reach: a Walk of Shame-level contributor who simply went by the name “INT.” INT, if you’re within the sound of my voice, please write to us. Mom is on the roof.
I’m going to drop three more rough animations on you today. The first is of Lefty, the bartender. The second is of Larry, stumbling drunk. I’ve included these two because I think the motion (especially in the “stumbling drunk” sequence) is practically poetic; Colin Merlo is doing an outstanding job (both with the animations and backgrounds) and he constantly impresses me. And this is without the tweening that Al explained last time; these are only the key frames. Lastly, I’ve included one of Larry’s “idle” cycles. An idle cycle is a kind of “fidget” that the character does when the player doesn’t make him do anything for a while. I love idle cycles; they’re rare moments in which a character forgets that he/she is being watched, and does something unguarded and habitual.
One of the requests we saw numerous times during the Kickstarter was for branching dialogue, and I’m committed to obliging that request, at least for the game’s major ladies (the hooker, Faith, Fawn, Jasmine, and Eve). In years past, when I’d work with a developer, they’d usually have some sort of homegrown dialogue tool, but N-Fusion said they’d accommodate any tool I wanted to use. So I set about looking at a number of programs, and I ended up with Urban Brain Studios’ powerful Chat Mapper program.
Chat Mapper, as its name suggests, only does branching dialogue. But it does it with just about every kind of option I could possibly want, and it has an extremely powerful feature: the program fully understands all the dialogue logic and conditions you attach (e.g., “Don’t display dialogue options Y and Z unless the player has already played through dialogue options W and X”). Once you’ve attached the logic, you can test the entire tree from inside the program and fine-tune it. When you’ve got it the way you want it, you can then export the tree as an XML file, readily usable in Unity (LSL1’s engine).
In a conversation with Urban Brain Studios, I learned that adventure games from Sierra were, at least in part, what inspired the creation of Chat Mapper. I can tell you we would’ve killed for a utility like this at Sierra “back in the day.”
Lastly, I’d like to pass along a message from our Social Media department:
If you haven’t already, please consider becoming a fan of our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/replaygames. We have regular updates about the game, we have surveys, contests, and more. If you’re willing to tell your friends about us, so much the better: if we hit 2,500 fans before the next Kickstarter update (that’ll be October 15th), we’re going to have a special contest to let one of our fans have their name in the game. That’s right, your name could appear as someone who used to beat Larry up, or a girl he once lusted after, or maybe both. We can’t tell you ahead of time in what context your name could show up, but it would be forever memorialized in the world of Leisure Suit Larry. And all you need to do to have a shot at it is to “like” us, and help ensure we reach 2,500.
And lastly, if your day needs just a little extra comedy in it, you should follow the man himself, Al Lowe, on Twitter. Just add @allowe and tell him Ken sent you.
That about wraps it up for now. See you in a fortnight!