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  • Writer's pictureJack McPherson

I AM JOE Dev Diary 05/09/2020

It's fitting in a strange way that today marks the development of this passion project. I AM JOE, (the working title), is an isometric sci-fi adventure game. It's a way for me to pour everything I love into one big project and the protagonist of the game Joe, is named after my late father, who left us 5 years ago 05/09/15. My dad got me into video games. I simply wouldn't be doing this project if I had not played street fighter with him as a toddler, if he hadn't got me and my brothers a Sega MegaDrive where we could take turns playing Sonic. In my teens playing Diablo 2 on PC with him and my brothers. Adventuring, being a family and playing together which is probably what I cherish most about those memories.

I remember years after his passing learning that he played Dungeons and Dragons with his friends. A pass time I now also love vehemently because it makes me feel connected to him even when he's gone, every time I roll those dice. This game and the development of it gives this day for me, new meaning in that it's the stamp in which I started to immortalise him or at least his essence in something he taught me to love.

The story of the game centres around a pilot stranded in unknown space and is essentially a road trip through the universe to get home to his family. I'm starting this project with developing a vertical slice, a small slice of the cake that is this game. Or at the very least a sampling of what can be expected from the full game.

SO with that allow me to set the scene!

Our vertical slice will be based around a mission in which Joe the hero of our story has to find and collect a bounty he's tracked to this space station. He will need to use his wits to overcome enemies and talk his way in, out of and around trouble. The game will have some DNA from a couple of games I love. Disco Elysium is hands down one of the best adventure, role playing games I've played and it's camera use,extremely well written dialogue filled with humour and very real human moments is a big influence. There will be combat in the game, optional combat because not every situation needs to be settled with bodies on the ground. But the combat will be my own take on Diablo style combat, similar but a bit more versatile as will be explained in the next Dev diary when we focus on Joe himself.

Currently I've had a first pass at writing out the scene and most of the dialogue. of which I'll attach the PDFs to this. I've started blocking out the opening of the scene of which I'll post some pictures. I'm currently using ProBuilder in unity as it's quite versatile and has a lot of options for changing the meshes like extruding, smoothing etc.

Here is the beginnings of building the landing bay, I'm going to block model everything first, then add textures, lighting, more refined models. I'm thinking of having the landing bay set on the edge of a cliff face, could get some cool moss on rocks maybe some kind of alien bird nest... Then hell! We could even do something with the birds and the nest like in Grim Fandango! There's a lot of potential here. Approaching each paragraph of the vertical slice scene description as the north star, finding reference images that best mirror what's in my head and going from there. So the Next to block after this area will be the bar entrance which is exciting!

I hope you've enjoyed this small insight into what I'm building! I hope you come along for the ride. If I come into work in the industry I'll have this as a side project. The goal for the vertical slice is to get it entered into Adventure X next year and a few other shows. Hopefully I'll be able to secure funding if I can build a big enough buzz around this.

If you like the project and would like to give any insight/advice I'd greatly appreciate it.

I'll be streaming the development on weekends so keep an eye out on my twitter

I AM JOE Vertical slice scene doc.
Download DOCX • 16KB

Download DOCX • 20KB

Thanks again

be excellent to each other



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