Deliberately Monochrome

Here’s a current screenshot of the first scene of my stop motion musical point-and-click adventure game-in-progress.

I wasn’t originally planning on making the game black and white, but after doing some art tests, I decided to try it out. I’m pretty happy with the results, and I haven’t used B&W in a game since Cubert Badbone, so the style’s definitely going to stay. Gives it a neat classic movie feel, don’t you think?

Anyway, I’m hoping to get some music and singing into the game soon so I can see how it all fits together. I have some super primitive automatic lipsyncing implemented for characters (ganked from this tutorial) through which I ran some test sound clips, and so far, it’s looking pretty good. For the game engine as a whole, I’ve been taking a little inspiration from Quinn Stephens’s open source ALPACA engine — I was originally thinking of using said engine, but then found there was so much weird custom functionality I wanted, not to mention built-in stuff I didn’t need, that I found it easier just to start over from scratch. Good thing my AS3 skills are half decent, right? [1]

  1. Yes, that’s right, I’m doing this project in Flash. Don’t laugh at me. They say Flash is dying, but really, they only mean for web browsers, and let’s face it, HTML5 audio just isn’t where I want it to be right now. And did you know that Flash can now export to iOS and other mobile/tablet devices? Will this mean I’m finally going to have a game in the App Store? We shall see!
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6 Responses to Deliberately Monochrome

  1. YAY!!

    Oh, wait, this isn’t Facebook, so I have to have a real response. Okay. *ahurm*

    First off, I like the idea of you adapting the engine toyour purposes, because there really isn’t any practical reason why someone with you skills should be limited us sad wanna-bes. ;) (said with affection and no trace of passive aggressive whatsits).

    Second, I like the b&w aesthetic. I never really mentionedit, but I always wanted to do the original story that lead us to Metropolis Fallen in blacka dn white compute ranimation, and by always, I mean since about 1991 when I dreamed up the idea on the Blend-a-med line as The Great Pyramid Project, but then renamed Metropolis Fallen, because I wanted to cross the Marx Brothers with the classic sci-fi film, Metropolis. I don’t know about these other guys using my title, but I had a reason, dammit!

    And finally, I’m looking forward to hearing this music. If it’s half as good as the soundtrack from LFB, I’m probably going to want to listen to them in the wee hours of morning when all such fascinating curios get played.

    Oh yeah, and Good luck! *hugs*

  2. Deirdra says:

    Thanks, Lee! I hope you do like what will eventually come out of this.

  3. Quinn says:

    Looks cool! I’m really looking forward to this. And I hope ALPACA is helpful as inspiration; now that more people are using it I’m realizing how limiting it can be. Hopefully further releases will be a lot more customizable.

    I think there are still a lot of good reasons to stick with Flash, too. HTML5 is still really primitive as a game platform (especially, as you pointed out, in terms of audio), and although I’ve seen some cool-looking engines cropping up, I don’t think any of them are nearly as powerful as Flash, and they certainly don’t have years’ worth of readily available code and resources to take advantage of. HTML5 doesn’t yet offer a different user experience of any real significance, except for the fact that you can play browser games on an iPad or iPhone, which pretty much no one does. Native apps are clearly what people want on their Flashless devices, and of course, Flash does that too.

    On that last point, I came across a really great, comprehensive guide to getting a Flash project up and running on iOS: There are a TON of hoops to jump through, but the most painful parts you generally only have to do once. Good luck!

  4. Deirdra says:

    Thanks, Quinn. Yeah, I completely agree, and I have been following those articles from Untold Entertainment — it’s great to have all that info all in one place!

  5. I honestly got to get you over to Babycastles here in NYC. You are TOO good!

  6. Am I the only one that read “Here’s a current screenshot of the first scene of my stop motion musical point-and-click adventure game-in-progress.” and thought “wow, marry me”? Yes?

    Oh, well.

    This looks absolutely LOVELY. Please, please, finish and release it, I am so curious!

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