Monthly Archives: April 2010

Not Your Mother’s Integrated Graphics

One of the things I noticed when I posted the request for beta testers is that a number of interested people didn’t quite have the system specs I believed were needed to run the game smoothly – namely, a dedicated graphics card with a decent amount of video RAM. Systems with integrated graphics chips, at least in my mind, have not traditionally handled fairly intensive 3D games very well, hence the decision to exclude those systems, at least at the start.

That, and I didn’t have access to a decent system with an integrated graphics chip to test the game. That has now changed.

I’ve been wanting to upgrade my little server box for a while now, and with Apple’s recent tax-free sales event, I [More...] Read the rest

Posted in Vespers | 3 Responses

Adventures with NPCs Redux: Constantin

We continue on with our efforts to bring our NPCs to life, beginning with bits and pieces of text from the IF version of Vespers and ending with a modeled, animated, and voice-acted 3D character. Last time I discussed the development of Matteo, the oldest monk at the monastery; the second character we tackled was Constantin, who had some interesting and unique challenges of his own.

We started out with a very general picture of Constantin; he’s middle-aged, a handyman around the monastery (he was a former blacksmith), and a notably large man with a short temper. Again, we didn’t have a lot of text to go on initially aside from a short description (which was actually removed from the game prior to the final [More...] Read the rest

Posted in 3D/if, characters in games, Vespers | 3 Responses

IndieCade Submissions Open; Panic Ensues

Another year, another indie game festival deadline.

IndieCade, the International Festival of Independent Games that takes place each year in the fall, is now open for submissions for the 2010 event. The deadline for submissions is June 1st, which means we have less than two months to whip Vespers into shape — or at least into enough shape that it doesn’t embarrass itself in the weight room.

I’ve never been to the event, but a number of notable games have been recognized the past couple of years during the festival. Last year’s finalists included Brenda Braithwaite’s Train, Tale of Tale’s The Path, Hemisphere Games’s Osmos, and even an IF game, Jim Munroe’s Everybody Dies. In 2008, Amanita Design’s beautiful Machinarium [More...] Read the rest

Posted in indie game competitions, indie games | 4 Responses

Adventures with NPCs Redux: Matteo

Things have been moving forward lately with our NPC development, which has been a very gratifying experience. Watching a character go from a text description to a fully animated and speaking NPC model is something else. And as we move from one character to the next, incorporating each into the game, the whole project really starts to come to life. It sure as hell beats plugging away night after night on the nuances of text parsing.

It takes a lot of steps to go from point A to point B, and a number of people to make it happen, so I thought it might be interesting to review the procedure we went through for each NPC in the game. Vespers has six NPCs: five brothers [More...] Read the rest

Posted in characters in games, Vespers | 1 Response

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

We’ve been making some good progress lately on Cecilia, the last of the six NPCs to be implemented in the game, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to bring back the old NPC introductions. This was something I started a long time ago — well before starting this blog, back when I was blogging only on GarageGames. The idea was to write an introduction to each of the characters in the game, showing their development from concept drawing to a fully modeled, animated, and voice-acted 3D NPC. I got through the first two characters, Matteo and Constantin, fairly early on. But as animation problems surfaced (and resurfaced), work slowed down. I was able to get to Lucca and Ignatius eventually, but that [More...] Read the rest

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