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  • Jack McPherson

I AM JOE Dev Diary 12/09/2020 "Romanticising Nostalgia and progression!"

Hello all and welcome to the second development diary for "I AM JOE" this entry is to showcase the progress I've made from the last entry, some realisations made about the project and the direction the project is moving in. With a surprise at the end!


Progress! I love that word! With this being an endeavour undertaken during my spare time any progress seems to be a blessing. I made progress in creating the landing bay for the beginning with a cliff face, modelled space ships, some gargantuan in size, some more subtle and humble with a nod to some classics. I'll elaborate worry not! And began creating player movement with some surprising realisations which I assure you only effect this project for the better, more agency, more control. All good things!


Here is a finished image of how the landing bay currently stands.



We have, the landing bay itself, 4 ships some original some inspired from sci-fi classics. An Alien birds nest of which I've been pondering, imagine a giant alien 8 eyed raven becoming more aggressive as gunfire happens in the area. Some with hilarious and for NPCs horrific consequences. As you can see from the image, the bottom left we have "the peregrine falcon", right of that is the players ship "The Atlas 01" above that the swordfish from classic anime cowboy bebop, and above that to the left the monstrosity I'm for now calling "The Molten Moon" And because the game is supposed to be funny I'm going to name the crew, "the moon men" with their own conflicts, the crew will have women too so they want to change the name but they can't think of anything as on brand for the name of the ship. Anyway the next section to model and build will be the runway to the entrance of the bar/cantina. Then onto the next scene where I'll be designing the inside of the bar and all the NPCs that go along with it. I'm also thinking of creating some cool cinematic for the beginning of the level, I was moving the camera around and found this nice shot.


Once this is all textured and with proper lighting from the bottom of the molten moon I think this would be a cool opening shot. You can also see Joe in the distance which is cool.



Onto the realisations for this project. I think during the conception of this game I've romanticised the adventure game elements of the game, imagining the game as almost a point and click adventure. Now the game will contain elements of that, but I'd like combat and versatile character movement to be a part of the game. This way I can create more unique game play with opportunities for stealth and amazing sci-fi combat. So I'm moving away from the point and click adventure model I had originally planed for the project. After building a small Joe just chasing the mouse movement, it didn't really feel like you where moving him. This project is about agency and making you this man away from his family, so I'm moving more towards a twin stick model for the game. I do have a sentimental attachment to old school adventure games, broken sword, beneath a steel sky, monkey island & grim fandango to name a few, shaped my view of what games can be with regards to narrative and dialogue. The nostalgia for those games somewhat blinded me to what my actual vision of the game was. I thought I had to check all these boxes for the game to have a robust and meaningful narrative but every game is it's own beast and this is mine. I'm planning to mix elements of both together giving the player agency on how they approach this. I want their choices to matter and I want to give them control I want to allow them to talk their way in and out of situations, but some situations call for a gun, a fist or a blade. This is the most loyal interpretation to the games north star. So I'm letting that north star guide me.


Character movement! I've started working on character movement in a small play scene I've created outside of the vertical slice mission.

Now this is by no means the final character movement, but I was ushered by talented friends https://twitter.com/BeardyKing towards https://catlikecoding.com/unity/tutorials/ a series of brilliant, ground up tutorials on character movement.

Now I'm sure some of you have noticed that this handsome cube is not our hero Joe. Well observed gentle reader! A good standard to know if a movement 'is good' is if it 'feeeeeeels' good. You see I'll be ready to be make Joe, dive and slide and all sorts when I know it feels good to do so with this cube. Half the fun of standing in the boots of a character is doing cool feats you normally wouldn't be able to do. So until this cube feels how I imagine Joe should move, he shall remain centre stage of the process. This also gives me more time to do some remodelling! I'm proud of Joe's current character model, but he could use some more life. I'm in the process of learning blender (which is REALLY cool!) after having used 3DSMax for the past two years and plan on doing a remodel when I have the time and ability to do so! The big inspiration actually comes from a recent adventure game Roki and this tweet! https://twitter.com/PolyTreehouse/status/1302152244393984000?s=20 , their character models are so full of personality! And I'd like that for Joe! He'll keep the same proportions he has (for now) but he could use a bit more of a spring in his step.


The next dev diary will be more building of the level! Modelling the crew of the molten moon crew I'm thinking this kind of armour for the crew. Some without helmets, some small, some fat! I really like the idea of their armour being silver so when in space they're almost translucent.

Also there will be more development on character movement. I'm hopefully going to get far enough along these tutorials that I can have a dive and slide for the cube.


And as promised a surprise! With the release of tony hawks pro skater 1 & 2 and it's epic sound track I decided to make one of my own! You can find it here on Spotify!

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/29BtSrSxptlph7ol1KZWdE?si=uB9_x-0cTH2eDLgP8OBMWw


you have now gained a small insight into the sound of the game! Rest assured there are artists I'd love to get the rights to one day to put in the game, most of these I doubt that will ever happen but SOME. I have a couple leads and contacts! :)


Thanks for joining me for this weeks dev diary, as always you can find me on

Twitter https://twitter.com/JackMcPGamesDev,

my website! https://www.jackmcphersongames.com/

Feel free to drop me a message on where ever I happen to be posting this! I'd love chat, get feedback on ideas!



be excellent to each other


Jack