2020/02/21

Weekly update #29

Art

Imagine these concepts were considered for the dev spotlight workshop character.

(They weren't really, they're just something I doodled afterwards)

Dev spotlight


Character workshop, part 1: The setup.

In this multi-part dev spotlight feature I will demonstrate how I create a simple character for TU. This character will be included in the version 3 of Teraurge. This content will also be different from other story content I have planned for V3 because most of this character will be discussed and dissected during this workshop. So if you don't want to be spoiled on this character before experiencing it yourself as intended in V3, stop reading now.

I have tendency to do my work in a messy and ass-backwards way, which then usually evolves into something decent/bearable. Don't do what I do, just treat this as a day in the zoo.


Name

Names are one of the most useful useless things. I don't think about character names much. My main concerns for a name are: How alien it is, no apostrophes, how easy it is to remember.

How alien it is: I could name a character "Jack" but that would hit player's sense of immersion hard. It's perfectly realistic (but unlikely) that aliens would use same sounds/wording for names as us, but I will avoid naming my characters with normal human names. (Google the name too, so you don't accidentally pick a name of a known/famous thing you didn't know about).

No apostrophes: This is simple, no apostrophes. Dumb cliche that makes names more complicated and elvish.

How easy it is to remember: A writer always feels a pang of shame when a reader doesn't remember the name of the character they're talking about. Not being able to remember names of characters when experiencing the writing also makes the story more confusing and harder to follow for the person experiencing it. This can sometimes be lessened in games by just giving a "Who was that again?" option in dialogue for the player, but in general I write content assuming players can remember characters when they're mentioned. Short, simple and distinct names are easy to remember. If there's a character with a long and complicated name, take into account how shortenable it is. I wouldn't want everyone to refer to Nkaan as Nkaanmykiunsuns all the time. (I don't take the pronunciation of a name into account when I create it. Your pronunciation is just as valid as anyone else's).

How to come up with the name? Just write weird words and add/remove letters from them until it feels less like a random mess of characters. Amnk... Amnuh-  Amnukhel. There we go, that's the name, Amnukhel. Sounds vaguely Egyptian but we can't tell for sure. I just have to make sure there are no Egyptian styled design elements in the character's design to avoid making it too familiar and less alien. Additionally it can be shortened to just Amn or Amnu. Great. I don't usually spend more than 2 minutes on a name. The name itself doesn't matter, the character itself will define the name through their interactions with the player.


File setup

Next, I'm going to make a folder named "Amnukhel" into the database/characters/ (Remember not to use UPPERCASE characters).

Poof! Easy.
And then I'm going to create two new txt.files and a folder, and then name them "diag", "stats", and "pictures" respectively. 
Badaboom! Done.

Then I'm going to copy the default list of attributes I have on hand into the stats.txt. 

Imagine intense copy/paste action here.

The default environment doesn't have to be defined from the get to, the game will load a placeholder grey thing if it's not set properly here. The color settings are just white for bubble and black for text. They're set as hex colors and if you want to be efficient/lazy you can just google that shit.

Yes, you can just google that shit.
To finish the setup of the character to be ready for content, I'm going to copy the most basic script structure in the world into the diag.txt.
This will be super riveting and erotic at some point, I hope.


I still need a "character.png".

At this point I have a very vague grasp about the character that I won't elaborate here. To help with the creative process I'm going to doodle a picture of the character so I can do a thinky during the drawing. I used to draw character sketches on a blank background, but I find it faster to implement them into the game if I just use the perspective template I use for drawing backgrounds for this purpose.

I wasn't sure what I was going for, but this one's good. A colorful frog alien thing that rests on it's belly with droopy ears . I wasn't going to render it this much but I got carried away. The ominous human scale shadows are harmless.

After some doodling, I export the character layer as a "character.png", and put it into the character's folder. After all this setting up I can boot up the game, press ctrl + d and open the character from the debug menu. (You might need to activate the debug function for your installation to be able to do this, see the file "debug_functions_plz.txt" in your database folder for the instructions on how to do it).

Amazing what you can accomplish in an afternoon of fucking about.


2020/02/17

Weekly update #28

Art

End to End

Dev spotlight

Here's the FAQ.

I'm going to answer few more specific questions that are not addressed in the FAQ page, here:

Release ETA?
No. Refer to the new FAQ for more information about this.

Will Naigad return/have more content at some point in the future? 
Yes. Not in V3.

Can you give us hints to decode the sock mystery.
Stop messing with the sock.

How much more explorable area in V3?
On the world map there is a small cluster of tiny islands above the peninsula which will become accessible. There will be something else as well that is not seen on the map.

Are majority of the characters built like humans?
The shapes will definitely not be limited to standard bipedals.

Any plans to make a gallery, or a way to replay sex/romance scenes?
Currently, no.

Can this question be in the FAQ?
No.

Please post more simple line art sketches, they are fun to color in.
Okay.

How much of the update is going to be centered around the characters already in the game?
Half and half.

How big is V3?
Probably too small for people waiting for it, but too big for the person making it.

What kind of combat and weapons will we have access to?
The V3 update brings some needed changes to the combat mechanics to mix things up a bit, but it will generally remain as 1v1 and turn based outside more elaborately designed and scripted battles. The weapons will mainly be melee focused, but more advanced/ranged weapons will be included later.

Does this game close off content depending on the sex you pick?
Yes. The characters react differently to the player character depending on their sex, so this means that female and male player characters will continue having mutually exclusive content.

New art? I mean, more detailed lewd scenes?
New art, yes. More detailed lewd scenes, no. The sketchy style of the art is a deliberate production decision to make creating art for the different scenes quick, because the amount of pictures in the game is and will be fairly hefty. Creating art is not a problem for me but writing/coding/scripting needs the saved time.

Will Tornoth ever be a gay romance option?
No.

Will there be more Sulie or other snake girls?
Maybe.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the next version coming out?
When it's done. I've tried several times to make estimates for ETAs on the previous updates but they've all been terribly wrong. Because of this I've adopted stance of not giving ETAs to anyone. If someone says they know the release date, they're wrong. This is about practicality and stress management for me, so I'd rather keep things this way.

How much is done for the next version?
I don't know. If I knew, I could predict ETAs. Tasks vary in difficulty and my available time to work on them varies as well.

Can you show a preview from the next update?
Yes and no. I will only give out previews/teasers for content unrelated to the story or the characters, which includes code/UI/other improvements.

Why don't you do content previews?
I don't like giving out spoilers of any kind.

Is there going to be a way to increase our attributes and stats?
No. The character attributes act the same way as the player character's sex, they create a character with definition that reacts with the world in a believable way. A player tweaking their character's attributes actually means they lose definition as a character. You can improve your ability to fight by learning new combat cards and acquiring new equipment, but the base attributes will remain unchanged.

Is there going to be more gay/lesbian/etc content?
Yes.

Is there going to be more feral content?
Yes.

Will *character here* get more content?
If the character's story/arc feels unfinished it probably is, and more is on the way. Note that some characters will get less content than others because I simply cannot consistently update all characters as I keep adding them.

Will you make *fetish here* content?
I do not approach writing from the starting position of including specific sexual acts or fetishes. I am unlikely to cater to specific fetishes other than xenophilia. Possible contributor content might include specific fetishes but I curate contributor content the same way as my own content, so characters that act as simple fetish content dispensers are unlikely be included.

Will pregnancy be part of gameplay/mechanics?
No. Pregnancy is a story/writing thing if and when it happens. Depending on the specific circumstances of the pregnancy it might mean that the story has reached an ending for that player character.

Can you make *character here* gay/hetero/bi/other content?
The characters in the game have their own sexual preferences and I am not inclined to change/tweak those if requested by anyone for whatever reason.

What does the sock tree mean?
Stop messing with the sock.

2020/02/10

Weekly update #27

Art

Knuckle draggin

Purple butt


Dev spotlight

Still working on V3.

I will be compiling a FAQ for the next weekly update, which will also be added to the blog as a page. If you think you have a possible Frequently Asked Question, do post it in the comments and I will take a look at it.

2020/02/03

Weekly update #26

Art

Pointy Booby


Dev spotlight

Still working on V3.

I've taken two screenshots from my V3 changelog file. What you see does not contain all the changes that will appear in the update. The changes present on this list are usually large collections of smaller tweaks and additions, so the actual workload may vary wildly between each entry.

The changelog screenshots are provided as is, and I won't be elucidating any weirdness or things that are spoilered in them. These are just my own notes on the progress of the update, and they aren't necessarily meant for public consumption. I'm only presenting them here to reassure people that the project is still very much alive, and that I have a plan for the additions I want to do for each update.

Different bullet points in the "Character" section of the changelog can actually represent environments with complex player interactions or several different characters that are intertwined in a single story arc, so counting the lines won't give you an accurate count of the new faces that are planned for the update.

"V" Means the feature is work in progress. This can mean anywhere between 1% to 99%
"✔" Means the feature is done and works.



2020/01/24

Weekly update #25

Art

Butt butt

Robutt monster


Dev spotlight

Still working on V3.

Just to remind people, the art that's posted on the blog with the weekly updates isn't necessarily directly related to the V3 content and can be just random scribblings. This was mentioned in an earlier blogpost way back.

2020/01/17

Weekly update #24

Art

Amorous slugstalk

Jelly head

A bonus picture from the archives. This one's fairly old now.


Dev spotlight

Still working on V3.

Writing is one of the hardest parts of the Teraurge development. There's a constant battle I have with self doubt and I tend to second guess the text I produce. Starting the writing process itself is often a huge hill to climb, even if it's something very simple and short. This means that writing is often put into a mental box of "Too intimidating, I'll do this later". I've tried several ways to improve my ability to produce text consistently and to lower the barrier to start writing. I can draw whatever whenever, and I'd like to get that same confidence for writing.

Few days ago I discovered a website that has massively helped me with the anxiety of writing. It works by reframing writing as a habit you would do every day. 750words is a simple website that gives you an empty page with no formatting tools, just text, and challenges you to write 750 words every day. I just write everything I want to write today and afterwards format it into the final context (blog post, TU characters, etc). Removing all of the peripheral things and just writings words is very freeing to me.

The website also analyzes the text you've written and it employs some gamifying elements to push you along, like points for consistently writing everyday. The constant word count tracking of your work is also very good for maintaining motivation, because it's a proof of the work you've done today. This is a lot better than trying to guesstimate the amount of writing you've done that day. The site has a free 30 day trial, and membership is 5$/Month.

So, the dev spotlight this week is just me shilling a website. I don't know anyone related to the website and nobody is paying me, I've just found the website immensely helpful with my writing.