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The scenery: a rural French aesthetic

2021-12-16

After a few technical articles, I wanted to do a making-of that's a bit more focused on the artistic aspect of the game. In addition, it will be an occasion to show you some images. Since most of the work I'm doing right now is on the graphics part of the game, this seems like a good time to do it.

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Porting an SDL game on Android (2/2)

2021-10-20

Last time, I discussed the whole technical aspect of “setting up” an Android environment to run our game: configuration, compilation, etc.

Now, we get to the heart of the matter: what does it change, on the code side, to port an SDL2 game on Android?

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Porting an SDL game on Android (1/2)

2021-10-15

Very early in the development of the game, I had the idea of porting it to Android: the game style (point and click) fits the platform, for example I really enjoyed playing Thimbleweed Park on tablet (and being able to play old LucasArts on your phone via ScummVM is a pleasure too).

This is one of the reasons that lead me to switch from SDL1 to SDL2 which, in addition to providing welcome hardware acceleration to display high resolution images and animations, offers Android support (and even provides quite a bit of tools to manage this platform, we'll come to that).

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Superfluous Returnz is on Steam and Itch.io!

2021-09-14

A quick little article to let you know that Superfluous Returnz is now registered on Steam and Itch.io! It will be published on these two platforms on its release date, for the moment set for June 2022 (but it is possible that this date will evolve, in one direction or the other).

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Writing a puzzle game

2021-09-10

For this new making-of, I'll start by reminding you (or teaching you, perhaps) several features of Superfluous Returnz:

  • it is (it will be) a video game which will consist mainly of a succession of more or less twisted puzzles: pick up this or that object, use it on something, talk with this and that character, find clues, solve codes, unlock padlocks, etc. Nothing very innovative, it remains in the great tradition of point-and-click games.
  • the player will evolve in an open world. I mean, don't imagine something as huge as Breath of the Wild! The number of places to visit will be much more modest, but you will be able to come and go as you please in the small village of Fochougny (even if some places will have to be unlocked), it won't be a linear succession of well-separated rooms (except for the introduction)
  • it will be impossible to lose or get stuck: if you forgot to pick up an item, then it will always be possible to get it back when you need to use it (you will never need to load an older save to unblock you). Neither will any action lead to death or a dead end that would force you to reload another save. The only difficulty will come from solving the puzzles and the time it will take you to understand and solve them 🙂

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The basics of a cross-platform game

2021-04-07

From the start of the game's development, it seemed obvious to me that it had to be cross-platform: it had to run at least on Gnunux (makes sense, this is the OS I use), on Windows (the most popular OS on desktop / laptop) and on Android (the most popular OS on tablets and phones). Derivatives like LineageOS are included in “Android”. Also, I wanted to make a web port to be able to play it directly in the browser.

I will now explain to you how I managed to create these different versions using the same code base as much as possible (apart from a few adaptations, I'll come back to this).

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Superfluous Returnz, playable demo

2020-12-25

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Action!

2020-10-23

This is what will undoubtedly be the last making-of of the year before the release of the playable demo of the Superfluous video game scheduled for the end of the year.

I already discussed, in order:

We will tackle the last big piece that is necessary for the game: writing and storing “levels” (which we should rather call “rooms” since the game is separated into different rooms connected by doors and corridors).

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Musical themes

2020-09-28

After talking about graphics and programming, we are going to tackle a third facet which is: music!

Most of the musics that I'm composing for the game are ambient musics, they are relatively discreet and their goal is to provide a background sound that is neither boring nor annoying (since it loops), and that is not a distraction for the player either (the goal is to solve puzzles). Nevertheless, I still had fun composing big musical “themes”, especially specific themes for the characters. These themes will likely be used during cutscenes and transition sequences.

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Characters with characteristics

2020-07-15

Last time, I told you about the algorithmic aspect of travel: today explains how I handled the graphics part.

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Location & Moving

2020-05-20

For this first making-of, I will present you one of the first problems I had to deal with: displaying and moving a character in a scene.

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