This demo provides some of the first few basic areas of the game and how the game is played in its most fundamental form. Decided to upload to IndieDB...
Along comes a dude...
Pretty much, this game will have lots of content from various real-life and internet sources. Almost everything will come from various people's experiences and even the people themselves. Every single NPC will be a real person.
First of all, Matt Jordan is also a real person. He is a great friend and a corky guy I attended college with. In this game, he assumes the role of a stray hero who comes along to help out the town of Osbourne. There he will meet a variety of people and things that are also taken out of various experiences and life. Pretty much mashing as much hilarity and life-related material in this simple format of a game as possible.
Is it that time for an article again? On April 2nd, I said that things will be quiet for two months while I hammer out the story. It's been a little over two months, also within that time span, I've created a simple to play slot machine game that has nothing to do with Super Matt Jordan. It's enjoyable nonetheless so check it out. Mostly in the 3 months I've been writing on the story script and I've finally have a completed draft. Overall, it's about 90 pages. I crunched some numbers for fun and I wrote the same amount of pages as 26.1% of Final Fantasy 7 … disc one. Ok that's not that impressive. Let me try another example. I wrote the same amount of pages as 290.03% of God of War. Yeah that game's script is only 31 pages long. Super Mario RPG is 91 pages long so there's an interesting model of pacing and length to chew on. In fact, there are quite some similarities between the two as far as how the chapters are divided and the length of them. I love SMRPG, it's been a really strong influence on scale and storytelling. It was low scale and comfortable for players to learn. Above all else it wasn't a kids game, it was a game anyone could enjoy. This similar approachability was something I took very carefully to heart as I wrote the SMJ story, and how I will continue development.
In the last three months, I watched every episode of Extra Credits, and took notes, and applied as much wisdom as I could. It has been mentioned before that appealing to children is a valuable investment for any game title. I don't think making “kids' games” is a very effective prospect. Going on my own instincts here, I believe a game that is playable by anyone of any age is far more prospective than making a game that is geared for a specific audience. Seems obvious in the abstract, sure, but think about when you were young and all of the grown-up stuff you wanted to do. You couldn't wait to grow up. Grown-up stuff is attractive to kids, so I decided to make a mature story for the game that doesn't talk down to the player at all. Mature as in fully realized, maturity as in responsible storytelling and not holding back the theatrical punches. It only holds back a lot of the visuals that could be bad influences. Wayne no longer smokes, there's no more blood, no foul language in any of the dialogue, etc. This is simply responsible design (or even professional design), and it has zero impact on the weight and emotion involved in the story. A story like this one holds the player very responsible for their actions and decisions as well. When you get something done, or do something right, it is really rewarding. Your hand isn't held as you walk through the game like a carnival ride, and not everyone is a winner. In some stages of the story, things are meant to be lost to propagate more story, and those situations are hard to witness but are endurable events as the player. Extra credits enlightened a very clear sea of points to go on when making any video game. I suggest watching their show, whether you're a developer or not.
SMJ has a unique element to it that was interesting to work with. The game has a cast of real people, and for the most part, real events to propel a bunch of scenarios that happen throughout. Instead of developing a deep and rich back-story for each character, all I had to do was just look back at the actual person. I realized that there are no cliché characters in the story. They each have their roles but each one is completely unique on a level that could only be developed over that person's entire life so far. To think about what a character would do, what that person would do, made writing some of it easy and engaging. Some of you I need to probably talk to just to straighten things out a bit. Writing like this, I found something I never thought of and that was a paramount element for the story. The people in the game are endearing. There is something to like about each person that is something right out of real life. You often see the tough guy trope in video games, either be Barret of FFVII or Bowser from SMRPG. They often have a tough shell (pun intended) or hard exterior but often open up to express a soft and sensitive inside. This is a cliché if there ever was one, even with a new twist on it (thanks to the Catherine series) with instead of a soft gooey center, the tough guy is secretly homosexual. There is nothing like that in SMJ, or at least nothing that obvious. You learn a lot about a bunch of people before you learn about what they are capable of, which is entirely different from the role they play. What each individual is capable of also changes throughout the story, and at different intervals from one-another as they develop in the story. Imagine it like a roller coaster where each car has its own track, but they all start and end at the same places, each individual journeys through their own story. It's all very deep stuff. Oh yeah, one more thing, everyone has powers specially fit to them. It's the way this world works and everyone having special powers is a part of mother nature. Chew on that for a moment.
So the script is in its proofreading and refining stages. It's been through a lot already and there are many more pages to write in smaller parts or perhaps elaboration. I'm quite proud to say that I have run out of ideas, though I hope more come to me as things move forward. I must now trust my proofreading team. I'm scared to death but I fully acknowledge what has to be done to make this good. I've made it this far, can't turn back now.
Apologies for the lack of random character sketches. I'll do some later and post them.
Latest tweets from @rimrook
Updated player sprites for Super Matt Jordan today. Throwing it way back the days of the SNES ROM hack, using similar poses and animations.
Nov 2 2014, 6:28pm
The player entity is fully functional now, though the lulzy moonwalk glitch was fixed. There is a way to still do it but it's less common.
Nov 2 2014, 12:14am
Really bad error in something I scripted. Getting help on this one and hopefully I never repeat it because it breaks the game.
Oct 27 2014, 4:39pm
New game resolution is 16:9 widescreen, 576x320 resolution. It runs in fullscreen too.
Oct 27 2014, 1:42pm
made the world solid and got a basic Matt Jordan to run around, stencyl fails to build the game for some reason. Getting help on this one...
Oct 27 2014, 12:51pm
@mandel59 Thank you for the re-tweet. I hope to have a Japanese translation of my video game some day.
Oct 24 2014, 11:21pm
Copying and pasting from Stencyl 2 to Stencyl 3 automatically translates the code from Java to HAXE so it works. This makes it ALOT easier!!
Oct 24 2014, 8:41pm
Looking at code from the old version and typing it into the new. Making lots of tweaks and improvements as i go. This will take a while.....
Oct 24 2014, 5:53pm
Briefly started porting to new engine, it's 16:9 res and fullscreen. Soon I'll re-write code while looking at the old code. It'll be cleaner
Oct 22 2014, 1:15pm
I guess it's time for a new tweet. SMJ's story is still in editing. Just trying to iron out the wrinkles, also need to port to a new engine.
Oct 15 2014, 3:38pm