It’s time for something a little bit more personal than usual – we don’t talk as much as we should about our development process. The two of us at Tea-Powered Games have a tendency to avoid spoilers of every kind, for any forms of media, if we’re in the middle of experiencing it or we think we’ll get around to it in the near future. Discussing the media we love with others is valuable and enjoyable, but we like to come to that discussion uncoloured by others’ opinions when we can (except between the two of us, but we’re married and working together so that’s bound to happen).
Hello everyone! We’ve been pretty busy in the last month or so – Dialogue launched on Steam and Flo released two free games: The Felidae Phylogenetic Tree, an interactive exploration of feline species, and The Dream Self, an entry to the 2017 Interactive Fiction Competition.
Now that all those are out in the world, we’ve been focusing on Elemental Flow’s new demo, which we’ll be showing at Adventure X. We learned a lot from watching people play the previous demo, so we’re taking everything we learned there (and adding a few other ideas) to make this new version. We’ve outlined a few of the larger changes we’re making, but do note that these might not all make it to the final game – they’re steps towards a better version of Elemental Flow!
Here at Tea-Powered Games we talk about dialogue quite often, but what is it that good dialogue could add to your game?
In the case where you use dialogue to add new kinds of play to your game, it gives players a change of pace, a new mechanic to play with, or different kinds of goals. If you tie dialogue to your game’s current mechanics, fans of those mechanics will get to interact with them more, and experience more interesting variations. More importantly, entirely new stories and games become possible when you start thinking about conversation as a part of the game rather than just more words on screen.
It sounds great, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, figuring out what kind of dialogue your game needs is not very straightforward.
Firstly, a bit of news: We’ve re-launched Dialogue on Steam Greenlight. We’ve had a positive response to the game from many people, but we thought we could do a better job of giving this unique take on conversations its best chance. After pulling together feedback from a variety of sources, we’re happy to present a new version of Dialogue, with a complete visual overhaul of the user interface.
In response to our Accessibility post, we received a comment about the lack of failure in Dialogue, and how that affected the game. This is something we thought about while designing Dialogue, and it seemed important enough to share these thoughts. The comment is found in the Accessibility post, but here is the part we’re responding to.
One of our goals as Tea-Powered Games has always been to make our games accessible to as many people as possible. There are many different things to consider, but we tried to ask ourselves at every junction what we could do to make our game easier to play. We’d like to share some of the decisions we think helped Dialogue’s accessibility, and (because we can always do better) some which we wished we could have made work.
In this week’s post we want to talk a bit about the process of making our game, focusing on an individual scene. Hopefully this will give you a bit of insight into the kind of process that lead to Dialogue being the game it is.
We have to start somewhere, so we’ll go from the scene outline. This is just a few sentences on what the scene itself is about and which characters are in it. It’s already been placed within the story as a whole, so you can see the conversations that happen before and after it, as well as its own relevance to the plot as a whole.