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development blog

entry 021.

It would be a mistake to let this fade.

I have moved back to London, UK about one and half a year ago and worked myself wrinkled in a kitchen/bar/restaurant and then collapsed into depression. I have started taking medication and working my way back to every project and plans of mine.

This project demands time and money and when I will do get back to working soon, I probably will have close to no time and little energy left for the project. Ummm, So that is something to be sorted out. ...Patreon, Ko-fi + carving out time...

I kept writing the story in drips and by pieces of ideas, inching it further. Thankfully did draw more (but on paper) and re- and re-thought many parts. Hopefully it is a more ripe and settled mass now... I'm being told it is interesting. We'll see.

My idea was to drop the video game aspect and just sketch out the storyboard and make my way toward a proper comic book/visual novel. But I believe this all could come alive well in an interactive format - call it childish creativity or label me, fun is fun. My intention is to share my ideas and vision and as video games dominate still they can well be used to convey. These times ...truly a mad world isn't it? Every day I read about some large-scale inane f*ckery, some harmful action being done to the many by an obnoxious few... and so we all look to escape into imagination, vices, books and yes, games. Hmmm. Let's see what we see.

Technicalities: Godot Game Engine number Four (4) wooooooooo! Now that at least is good news. Thank you, amazing people behind a fantastic piece of computer program!
Yes, this project will be done entirely via free free libre free software, I won't even get into a conversation with anybody who isn't running Unix or BSD.

That's it for now. Thank you for reading, I hope I can add something exciting and worthwhile to this world.

entry 020.

Exhaustion holding the project back.

Drew a lot though. Fixed a final logo and designed some clothes. Used. Tired.
entry 019.

entry 018.

Started working on jumps. ... May just stick with dashing.
entry 017.

Hey! Started an Itch.io page for it: https://richardkramen.itch.io/smhs - it is a mess for now.

Drawing/painting out the map's background and foreground and played around with logo variations.

entry 016.

Many things going on in my life. Must attend a daily grinder and there are things lacking but let's see about this game:

I've corrected parts of the code, merged multiple shaders into one, set up a basic save system, the storyboard has been evened out to reflect more the way I want to see this first part go down. Re-drawing/styling again one of the first playable characters as I have it clear how it should look.

And I believe I should get done some proper animations now, as it defines a game like this a lot.

entry 015.

If I keep up my tempo, there'll soon be something on itch.io.

Hi! I've added fading splash logos, a main menu, modifier key triggered running, zoom in an out, some more animations and something of a night-vision. Working on a character shadows and a silhouette shader to show the shape of player when behind objects.

I have also started working as a chef again. Apparently I won't become homeless.

Looking for artist friends with similar vision for partnership in the future. Animators, programmers and game-mechanics intersteders mostly.

entry 014.

Hey! How are you doing?

While my personal life is still "not OK" to put it brief, I did make progress with all of these doings here.

(Previously, I implemented "conditionaly loading" and "fallback images" to this blog, all pictures should now display on every device.)

Here are a few images: a mixed-up image of the main parts of the first environment, a rework progress of the character "N:0" (and the beginning of a "soldier" or "police officer", a shot of the animation process of the four-legged things and an "airplane".:

entry 013.

I have laid out the map of the first stage/"level" and began developing these four-legged robots. Somewhat of a spoiler but uh, sure.

entry 012.

After a difficult month in Hungary, I have relocated to Stockholm, Sweden.
I am on the hunt for hospitality jobs and rather on the edge.

Yet I pushed on some with my art and organized my works a bit more.
Here's a dump of hand-drawn concepts for this story:

N:0 a.k.a. Arneb:

old ones:

Roshanak Khur-Zadeh:

Thanks for reading!
entry 011.

This goes on hold as my whole life been turned upside down and is being walked on. I am on the go, between countries, stuck in a real shitty one at the moment and have a lot of trouble on my back.
I suppose I manage and come back to this soon. Fuck domestic violence. Fuck forced family values. Fuck fanaticism. Fuck manipulation. Fuck acceptance. Fuck oppression.
Yall stay strong, I will too.

Thanks for reading!
entry 010.

I have trouble with (keeping on) sleeping again, so I feel unable to properly work now. BUT I can describe it in a bit more detail!

The story consists of four Parts or four "Books" and many little chapters within.
I am also sketching out the storyboard which is the spine of the comic book version as well.
The first part takes places in a hostile environment and introduces the protagonists rushing into a quest. This is what I am focused on and this is what the game, as far as I can see now, will be about.

Not planning to give away any of the happenings or spoiler in any way but here's another list:

* In the first part: six main areas, each of them rather unlikely and unique.
* Every protagonist with their own fighting styles and abilities. A few unusual vehicles (not yet planned to be properly drivable).
* Story-driven, the real drama and action come together with the scenes building on each other, how they reveal more meaning. I love mystery and discovery.
* No points or anything to collect - plenty of items to pick up, equip, mess with (yes! fun! clutter!), though. Expect somekind of levelling system but not the best one. :-)
* I also have no interest in game mechanics at all. :-)))
* There are no supernatural elements - there are odd pieces and questionable bits, however, despite anything, it is humans struggling with other humans.
* Sad, tragic, disastrous, satirical, comical. Kicks you in the stomach and slaps you hard. ...So it includes virtually unsolvable parts which I hope will/would connect the players naturally (...).
* I am a rather non-conforming person so don't expect many boundaries in the sense of what can or can not happen or what will or will not be included.
* Certain flaws of humanity under the magnifying glass.
* Tons of references to artworks and not-so-popular songs. Apart from the obvious inspirations and influences. Hopefully ones which "gaming culture" does not intersect with.

Thank you for reading!
entry 009.

Started working on the layout of a main in-game character screen. Digging that one in that famous game so I started with something similar. Not sure yet how I want this detail.

entry 008.

'Ev been pretty busy with other stuff in my personal life to be honest. All fine but we are pushing thru difficult times here, again. It sucks not to be born of as a spawn of some rich people. ...

And while we are at honesty, I loved to make it in 3D but that has to wait. No resources, no hardware, nor enough knowledge, yet.
There is so much to look out for if you want to write a good story... I have analysed at least a dozen well-known movies/animes/writings and still studying a few select ones in respectful detail.

Here are some hasty images:

entry 007.

Title/poster/something test.
Wanted to paint some sky but it got out of hand. Work in progress.
Yes, the weather is really bad in this story.

entry 006.

This is N:0.
He is getting a face-lift.

entry 005.

Revised the script again and finalizing details. Also refreshing and organizing my computer for a more efficient workflow.
entry 004.

First background about done.
entry 003.

2D Animation is no joke. Painting or drawing a picture is one thing, making them move nicely is hey-hello, a higher level.
Thankfully I already found more than enough reading and tutorials on the matter.

This is Herge, in idle and pacing state (these will get a lot of polishing - I know, she seems to be having some trouble walking...).:
entry 002.

Made some progress with sprites and started designing dialogue elements and character avatars. Also stitched up this webpage a bit. Nicer design coming soon.

entry 001.

I have started establishing game basics in Godot Engine 3.2. Now a character is controllable in 8 directions.
The whole game and all of its parts will be created using only free, libre software.

Here's some rough art I cooked up, blocking out the first area of the story:


PHASE 1: port all existing code to Godot 4 block out most things do animations experiment with pixelart styles decide on character sizes decide on resolution and zoom levels sketch first map/level decide on color and mood sketch first characters familiarize with Godot get deeper into Godot by implementing placeholder animations modifier keys and animations basic shaders fix character "sliding" unify shaders, (move on if taking too long) *it didn't add shadows (nope, i'll just draw them, 3d shadows look rather off) pause menu track that credit list! (tutorials used etc.) player attack test movable object


Questions and Answers

Q: What is this?
A: A science-fiction story with absurd elements. One of those games which are similar to a movie but there are no strict rules to it. Offline, single-player, sneaky, anti-"shoot the bad guy" kind of thing. This is a promo page for it.

Q: What is it about?
A: Mankind in the distant future.

Q: Again?
A: Throughout the process of it becoming what it is now, I've spent most time and effort on making the story 'different', at the least new-ish if possible, hopefully somewhat unique.

Q: What are the influences?
A: Dune, Paradise Lost, A. Jodorowsky's anything, the Aeon FLux cartoons, Batman Beyond cartoon series, Planet Of The Apes, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. books, bad decisions, good decisions... In terms of games: Inside, Kenshi, Super Mario, solitaire ...I am all new to making games.

Q: Okay. ...Somewhat more precisely?
A: Metal Gear Solid, Legend Of Zelda, Pokemon, Street Fighter, Samurai Showdown, Half Life 2 having a fight.

Q: ...whatever.
A: Another World, just not as good.
Q: Yeah, sure...

Q: Why are you doing this? Is there a message?
A: For the last ten years all my worthy creative ideas are driven into this project (the story and the characters, I mean). Anything I could in a way cycle into it, I did. And I don't want to reveal too much for now.

Q: Uh-huh. Very mysterious... and sounds a bit pretentious too. Who are you again? What do you do?
A: I am an expat 2D artist, I reside in London.

Q: What's up with the name?
A: The original title I wanted to give it was Wide Awake At The Very End Of The World Where All Soulless Worms Squirm And Burn. So I came up with something shorter. The story should reveal the meaning and connection to its name. (Previous workname was "MNHC, Mountain of Neglected Human Condition".)

Q: When can we expect it to play or see it? When will it be released?
A: The first playable demo hopefully in 2023.

Q: Where can we follow the work?
A: Here, on this webpage. I will eventually upload a demo to Itch.io. Thank you for reading!

concept art

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