We are working on Sumoman game about 4 years (we are only 2 developers - that is why it takes us so much time). It is a platformer about clumsy sumo wrestler with a lot of puzzles and time rewind feature. We have made all of the levels and puzzles and now it is time to make a good story for the game.
We have decided to tell the story by cut-scenes. With animations and good voice-overs. It takes a lot of time and needs a lot of efforts, but the result is much better than just a text or comics.
I don't know how big companies make their story cut-scenes. And we have no resources to hire professional animators and artists. So I made all of this work as good as I could.
First of all, I wrote down all the information that I want to bring to players:
1. Main hero is a sumo wrestler
2. Why he is wearing sumo belt only
3. Sumoman don't know how to swim
4. and so on
Than I turned it into the script and phrases. And after it I have made mockups of the scenes. I tried to show emotions of heroes without any sound and text. I simplified my work with animations as much as possible. I set cameras that way to reduce amount of animations. And I made animations only for those parts of hero that are visible to the camera. Anyway it took me a lot of time to make mockups for all scenes.
Here are examples of mockup:
Next step is final script for voice-over artist. We almost have no money, and I checked all to ensure that we can record voice-over at once.
We have decided to make all voice-overs in Japanese to make the game more atmospheric. Also we could fix mistakes in text without remaking of voice-over and lip synchronization. So we have found good voice artist via internet and recorded all phrases.
Lip synchronization is a most annoying part of making this cut-scenes. I found that 30 fps is not enough for lip synchronization - a lot of voices are between the frames. So I made audio files with phrases slower into twice and an octave lower to work with sound in 60 fps. Here is the example with the result:
After I have made all lip synchronization work I start to think that I can understand Japanese. I have sent all scenes with voice overs and lip synchronization to voice artist and he made additional voices for scenes: breathing, yelling and other stuff that needs to be voiced. Yep - I have made the second turn of lip synchronization after additional voices.
Now when all animations is done, all voce overs is done I can sent all scenes to foley artist from GaminGearz. It is some kind of magic:
Yep, and the result of cut-scene after all work (heh, I have fixed some lip sync troubles already):
After some time I find this scene too long and little boring. But we have no time and resources to remake it. So, I hope players will not skip this scenes.
Thanks for your attention.