Weekly Update 2019-01-25
This week’s teaser scene is less about a scene from the game (though it is) and more about the power of layers. It is unfortunate that in our quest to master Daz we side lined tuning up our Renpy skills, but we’re quickly closing that gap. Utilizing layers to build out the images not only speeds up the writing/coding cycle, but in many ways is speeding up the image generation process as well.
It’s taken a little bit of time to settle in on a new SOP for production, but we’re there now and we have a new streamlined method of development carrying us forward.
As you can see from the cutaway above, each character is now rendered out in three to four layers:
The mannequin is underneath everything and rendered with the background. This ensures the lighting and shadows all interplay with the remainder of the scene correctly.
The skin is laid over the mannequin and can be swapped out for different materials/make ups/skin tones/etc.
The clothing is rendered out and laid over the top of all this. Being a separate layer, clothing can now be changed, altered etc. with a single line of code.
Finally, we have two smaller layers that comprise the mouth and eyes which can be turned on and off to depending on if a character is talking or looking elsewhere in a scene.
We know what we’re doing here is nothing new. But it’s new for us and we’re excited about it because it’s opening up all kinds of possibilities that we’ll discuss below in the What’s Next segment.
Another busy week come and gone. At this point we’ve been splitting our time up between two parallel projects. The first project is completing the new interface. The new structure of the game’s code is going to fully utilize the layered tech as well as encapsulate characters and their choices into easily exportable objects.
This will allow us to export characters as they appear in this game and import them into other games. It’s a complete 180 degree turn from the previous coding structure. So part of the time we’ve been going back and recoding all of the previously released material to work with the new interface. We’re not really changing anything or doing rewrites. Just recoding it so that it will work with the new design.
We’re also re-rendering a lot of the old material. Previously we settled on a 1280 x 720 resolution because for purposes of file size it was manageable. But now that we are using layers and compressing everything into a webp format, we can afford to upscale to 1920 X 1080 and still save memory. (Plus when you blow up the 1280 x 720 image onto a large monitor it looks like shit and this has always bothered me.)
So with the upgrade we’ll be getting some enhanced imagery as well.
Now I know what you’re thinking….Wait, are you fuckers really starting all over again? Didn’t we do this once last year? Don’t worry, that’s the second half of what we’ve been working on.
Because we are still over a month away from having all of the previous content updated for the new UI, we are still moving forward with our plans to release Amanda, Nanami, Jane and Lupita updates over the course of the next month. But to avoid having to rework all of this new material in two months, we’re coding it in such a way that it will not only function with the previous version, but with a couple of small tweaks will plug right into the new interface when it is done.
This has left us a little behind on our update schedule because we’ve been going back and making sure that the new scenes are compatible with both versions of the game. This way we can release them to you now with the version you have, but when we do the launch of the new UI we won’t have to alter those scenes at all. We can just plug them in and keep moving forward.
Just to show off some of the progress we’re making with the new UI, here’s a sneak peek at the Character Creation Scene, Kink Selection and the new Story Menu.
When you start the game in v1.1.X you will begin with character customization. This is where you will name your character and select his portrait.
Next you will be taken the questionnaire that asks you about your preferred choice of kinks in the game. This is all the same information previously available in the “kinks menu” but in a more user friendly format.
The new character menu is a lot cleaner and contains useful information. Now, when a character has a scene available their image will be lit up. Their character image will also change depending on whether you are on the red or blue path. This not only confirms which path you’re on, but will help signal when you’ve made a change to a different path via your choices.
You will also notice in this image that Amana is highlighted in purple. People have been asking for awhile that Amana play a bigger role in the game, so this is our way of implementing it. After you’ve played through a scene this will queue up a “therapy session” with Amana. By clicking on her you can discuss what just happened in the prior scene and dig a little deeper into Roger’s psyche and really drill down into why he’s behaving the way he is.
As we said, these “therapy sessions” will be queued. So it’s up to you if you talk to her immediately after a scene of if you want to build up four or five sessions and go through them at once and have a nice long cry on the doctor’s breasts…..I mean shoulder. I meant to say shoulder.
Alternatively you can just skip them altogether as they are not mandatory to complete the game. They just offer opportunities for more character development and immersion.
So that’s what’s up. Not much to drop in your hands just yet, but we’ve really been busting ass to bring you the best that we can.
Pushing ahead with the update Amanda is almost ready. We’re almost finished with the recode and then we’ll drive that one out to you. We have a little ways left to go with Nanami though in light of the new structure.
We’re all about characterization. We like well developed characters. It’s just our thing. Well to that end, sometimes we write characters that we enjoy so much or that we think are interesting enough that they one day should get their own Dr. Amana game and be the MC. One such character is Val Jones, the detective we are about to introduce in Nanami’s next chapter.
Now it’s going to be odd if we present Val a certain way here but at a later point you play his game and completely change his appearance. Breaks continuity. Now that we’ve got the ability to easily import/export characters, we’ve come up with a solution. Anytime you encounter a character that we think may one day get their own game, we’ll let you pick their portrait and name them right here in this game.
Then, later, should you chose to continue in another game, you’ll have the option of importing your choices from this game into the next and have one unbroken narrative. On our end, it’s not a whole lot of extra work and the end result will be something really fun.
Since Val is one of those characters, we’ve had to delay Nanami a bit while we work out the implementation and get it going. It’ll be a short delay and well worth the wait I promise.
For now, that’s all I got.
Stay frosty my friends.