This is a Game Jam post-mortem for my latest Game Development project. Another Kinetic Novel: "I Look Around." As a VN, it's simpler than my previous attempt "White Room Journal" while sharing the same engine as my Game Boy game attempt "Procrastination Simulator."
This is a story told from the perspective of a Tree. A Palm tree. It lived attached to the people as it was attached to the ground. The people who made it happy.
I Look Around
[ PLAY HERE ]
Simple and Deep Life Experience
Experience a lifetime through the eyes of a tree in this Visual Novel.
This is a story of a being, stuck in place. A being who can only look around.
The game is told only in visuals and story, there's no audio.
On mobile: (Touch Controls)
- A: Confirm
- B: Cancel
On PC (Keyboard Controls)
- Z: Confirm
- X: Cancel
The preparation to make this game started while I was making Procrastination Simulator GB. I found a game jam with a GameBoy theme on Itch.io, so I was waited for the theme thinking "If I can make a short story about whatever theme it was, I'll participate in the Jam."
The Jam is called Game Boy Showdown Jam!
The Jam had different prizes, but I only cared about the first prize (actual GameBoy.) I knew my chances of winning were slim at best, so I took part without considering the prizes.
The theme was "time" and my first thought was a story about zombies. It's an old idea of mine, a story that explores what happens in the year after the apocalypse, or a pandemic, but I soon scrapped this idea because I thought the art will be hard to make.
Then I decided to go back to another old idea of mine. A story of a Tree. It's an idea I had for years but I didn't know where to start with it. I thought the limitations of GameBoy will help me focus. (They did!)
I imagined the first scene and the rest wrote itself. While some parts took a bit long. The only hard part was the ending because I didn't know where to end something like this.
The story took one day to finish. I posted on Twitter about my entry to this game jam.
Next, I wanted art for it, but I didn't know how many drawings I needed, so I re-read the story a bunch of times trying to figure out places that can use the same art.
Each different scene, (a period,) became a chapter. I titled all chapters so I have a good reference point when I make the art of this game. In the end, I decided to give all 13 chapters a unique drawing each. A decision I almost regretted.
I wasn't sure what tree I should have at the start. I started drawing on my tablet without even deciding. In the end, I drew a Palm, (Date Palms are symbols in the Arabic world,) and it was decided then: The main character is a Palm tree.
I spent the next 3 days drawing. I showcased one WIP picture in a tweet. The last three drawings
I changed my art into pixel art via a Japanese tool called Gameboy Pic.
Only after converting and putting my images then I realized a problem: My line art was too thin! I decided to leave it like that, but if you felt some scenes weren't clear, it's probably because I thought it looked fine enough in my original drawing.
By the third day of drawing, I started to lose patience and felt I was racing time before I completely run out of it. I drew the final photos quickly without caring too much about quality. I just needed to finish this game. Compared to the time spent, I believe the quality was good enough, so I'm satisfied.
With that, I finished my entry.
For the Itch.io page, I tried to apply everything I learned about marketing from GDC talks. I knew gifs were important so I used Peek to take animated gameplay images and I used Ezgif to edit them.
Actually, I think this game is finished. That's why I didn't put a version number in this Devlog. I might add sounds to it or fix the story a bit, but other than that I'm very satisfied with the result.
What do you think?
- This devlog is also on Read.cash & Publish0x.
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