Day 3 – Text Editors and Placeholder Art

Now that it’s clear I may not have to make many of the game mechanics from scratch, I set up an intro scene with some stock photos and I’m going to initiate the calendar and farming system from there. Here’s what that looks like on my end:

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A little lower down:

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And on the user end:

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Ma you’re looking a little flat today, lol

Renpy lets you use whatever your preferred text editor is. Mine is Atom, because that’s what I learned on, but I’d recommend whatever you’re most comfortable and can work the fastest with.

Next up: Calendars, calendars everywhere.

 

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Day 1 – What are you even doing

The summer after I graduated college was confusing. I felt like I could do everything, thus it was impossible to do anything. I took some weird job and partied constantly and played a lot of games to avoid addressing my total life dissatisfaction. It follows that that summer, I accidentally read the entire Little House series cover-to-cover in about 4 weeks. Something about Laura’s child-view of homesteading was intoxicating in comparison to my cramped, hurried, urban lifestyle, but also that is a damn good series.

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There’s nothing like calming your existential dread with children’s lit on cheesemaking.

So in this process of little house, game, drink, little house, game, little house, drink, I realized I’d like to play a game with Laura. I knew what I liked, and that I wanted part Harvest Moon, part Princess Maker 2, part Oregon Trail, and part something a little grittier, that I wasn’t getting in the source material.

This blog is going to chronicle the process that I, a computer-literate child of the 21st century and a “creative,” am going to undertake, to figure out how to make this game. The past six months have gone like this:

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Month 1

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Month 2

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Month 5

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Month 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which brought me to Ren’Py, a cute japanese-y branded engine designed with visual novels in mind. A visual novel, I discovered, is a kind of point-and-click game that focuses on a story, and usually includes a way to track time passing in a calendar, relationship points, an inventory, and includes many possible endings. ‘Yes,’ I thought, ‘This sounds familiar. Optimal, in fact.’

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Adorable.

Up next: watch as I dive headfirst with no overarching story structure and only vague ideas of characters and systems I want to include.