A few days ago I was looking for a way to more efficiently write the branching dialogues for Hyperventila. In the game-engine editing the dialogue looks something like this:
A simple array of questions and answers which when you get to the actual writing part is an annoying mess of copy-pasting text from Google Docs and rearranging it so it fits the above format.
This simply would not do and I went onto the Internet to find a possible solution. One such solution was a piece of software called Twine. It did exactly what I needed but exporting it to a format that would work in Hyperventila left me with the same problem as before.
This was when I decided to write my own piece of software instead, how hard could it be right? Turns out it was quite doable and took only about two days to make.
Definitely worth it considering the time and frustration it saves me when implementing the dialogue the old way.
Hyperventila Dialogue Editor
Now that I have this in my toolkit, I can finally start adding fully featured quests and NPCs to Hyperventila.
Stay tuned and don't forget to follow Hyperventila on social media!
A first glimpse at a planet in Hyperventila. These strange glowing plants are a great way of demonstrating the real-time lighting in the game.
The way I figured it worked is that the glowing plants grow from their seeds, the orbs, upwards until these seed-orbs become so heavy they fall back to the ground, essentially planting themselves and the cycle begins anew.
Stay tuned for more updates!
Imagine your ship gets blown up. Your crew and yourself are stuck in a small escape pod, where do you go? The shipyard of course! This is where you can reclaim, repair or buy new ships.
This is also the first video I released on the new Hyperventila YouTube channel so please Like and Subsribe if you haven't already!
There are many things happening in the world of Hyperventila's game development. Having recently started a Patreon and revealed the first footage of the game I can also now reveal that mod support will be coming to Hyperventila.
It is already here! I've spent last two weeks hard at work on a level and ship editor which will allow people (including myself) to create their own content for Hyperventila.
On top of the editor there have been some UI updates in Hyperventila with more powerful interactive abilities when selecting objects and ships around the game world.
Don't forget to check out Hyperventila on Patreon, please share and maybe even support development.
Here is a big milestole in the development of any game; the first footage of gameplay.
While this is more like another showcase and doesn't contain any actual gameplay like you would see in the final game, it certainly is more than I expected the game to do when I started out on this project.
The scale, visuals and level of interactivity with the world is far greater than anything I thought I could build at first.
This video demonstrates the capabilities of what the game can do now, from interaction with every object, ship and planet to NPCs reacting to the player and even more visuals like debris, particle effects and of course lots of lighting effects.
Features I didn't showcase (because I don't feel they are ready yet) are, among others, the dialogue system and NPC interaction as well as my inventory system that contains the items picked up. These features all exist but require some more work before they undoubtedly get a showcase of their own.
A great thing about Hyperventila is the abilty to take a hands on approach to space exploration and actually leaving the helm of your ship to explore unknown stations, ships and space ports around galaxy.
This is a major component of the game. Now after a re-design of the Manta Shuttle interior I can show what progress has been made.
What it looks like in-game:
I also made progress on the weapon designs. That will be a showcase for a later time but here is a little sneak peak:
Another aspect of the game which in my opinion is very important is the visual atmosphere. It's very easy to make a space game that ends up lacking in atmosphere due to space being very empty and dark.
With this update I'd like to share a major upgrade to the feel of HyperVentila through real time lighting made possible by Xor Shaders, check out their awesome work on XorShaders.weebly.com.
These renders show a few of the ships in the game in their full 3D glory. I will be posting smaller updates and showcases like this throughout development of artwork in the game or possibly even things that didn't quite make it into the game.
Updates like this could be work in progress renders, sketches or other experiments.
Welcome to this, the first of many dev blogs which will be the number one way to keep up with development of HyperVentila.
First of all lets start with some background to the game development. I orignally had the idea for HyperVentila as a spin-off for a fantasy universe known as Mikomwood. These were a bunch of silly fantasy shorts I wrote and narrated and then put up on YouTube (look them up at your own risk, they get quite cringy in places).
Mikomwood is this sort of Terry Pratchett's Discworld/Westeros/Middle Earth/Skyrim kind of world where the people living in this relatively small region are at the mercy of maniacal forces that control the fates of man at a whim... and they are very used to it. Suited well for short stories and roleplay, I really wanted to make HyperVentila something similar but I always felt like it was a universe to be explored more dynamically, not through small stories but rather through an interactive medium, so; a game.
My background is what one could describe as 'somewhat techy' but I never studied anything specific only learning on the go as I jumped from job to job. IT support, graphic design, CAD 3D modeling, 3D printing, you name it, if there is a job title within tech you can think of, I've probably quit that job at some point in the past.
Don't think of me as too much of a quitter though, I've always seen it as more of a learning process.
As far as game design is concerned. I've been a long time member on ModDB, with game modding being half the reason I actually started playing video games and it also started me off as a 3D modeler in the first place.
The thing is, I've never been much of a programmer. I've had many ideas in the past, messed around with Unity and the Unreal Development Kit on many occasions in the past however my lack of programming knowledge has always kept me from achieving anything more than a few imported assets and a map.
And while just dumping assets into a map and posting that game on Steam is enough for some developers, I like to set my standards a little higher.
So what was I going to do for HyperVentila? Enter Gamemaker Studio. A modest engine that doesn't promise you the latest and greatest in 3D rendering but has excellent cross-platform support and most importantly of all: it's relatively easy to learn.
Now I struggled even with GML (gamemaker programming language) for the first few months of development but I slowly started picking it up and I feel like I know have a decent grasp of how to make Gamemaker do what I want it to do.
So how long have I been developing HyperVentila?
I started around August last year (2018) and have been building and rebuilding HyperVentila from that point onwards. The game has gone through quite a few changes in the last seven or so months, as part of the learning process I've had to reprogram the core functionality once or twice in the last five months but that's all part of the process. Another major change was changing the art style a few months back from a simple FTL-like 2d artstyle to something in the style of 60/70s science fiction movies which I feel suits the universe and my own design preferences a lot more.
Where is the game in its current stage of development? I would say pre-alpha still, however most of the core functionality is now complete and I can start working on adding more actual gameplay content.
This is also why there won't be any trailers or lots of screenshots just yet. Developing a game on one's own is surely doable but a very time consuming process indeed.
If the game sounds like something you're interested in, please, do bookmark this page for updates and I also have plans for future Discord and YouTube channels. In a few months I will be stepping up promotion for the game a bit more because by then I'm expecting to have a bit more eye catching content however for now just stay tuned and I'll hopefully see you at the next Dev blog!