So, as some of you may have noticed, just before Thoughtbubble this year, I shared that development on a 7STRING video game had just started. We got a very basic demo/beta version together for the convention and, batteries allowing, managed to very slightly show it off. The feedback was good, we’re fired up and continuing on.
The image above shows that the graphics have had a complete overhaul. Gone are the pixelated characters and menus that were aping FFVI. Now its got its own, fresh design.
I can reveal now that the development team for this game consists of…. MY BROTHER, Phil Angell… and me. And that is it. Amazingly, Phil reckoned he could give C++ a go, he’s always wanted to code games and reckoned he had picked up enough code work in Java, in his degree and at his work as a high-level IT Tech to give it a shot. Inside 2 weeks he had built a basic turn-based RPG battle mechanic complete with HP/MP bars, stat adjusting status effects, basic animation and even special attacks. This is astonishing and I have no doubt at all that he is only going to go from strength to strength, learning what he needs to learn to ensure we can do everything we want to achieve with this game.
He does have a MASTERS DEGREE IN ASTROPHYSICS so i suppose if anyone was going to learn to code a game in a month, it’d be him.
That said, we’re keeping this small scale. We’re not going to be over-ambitious or to work beyond our means as what we want to do here is make a simple, but good game. Its early days for both of us and we’re learning a huge amount, but we believe that by keeping the game focused and looking good, we can achieve something very playable and professional for our first ever video game. As such we’re using the tried and true RPG turn-based battle mechanic with a stop-by-stop overworld map (in the style of the Super Mario Land games). There’ll be no free overworld wandering but there will be path choices and secret routes and levels. It’ll all be battles but we’ll ensure that there is lots of variation both in the battles themselves and the artwork, keeping it nice and fresh. You’ll have to think of the battles like puzzles and there’ll be some cute quirks in there to switch things up.
There will also be a MAJOR narrative carrying the story through, told with caption box/character cut sequences and full screen, slightly animated cutaways of my artwork. It will be a whole new 7STRING story, a new Volume if you will… so there’s more to learn about the characters and world along the way. This is a very important part for me and I think it will be the epic icing on the cake.
All in all this is very exciting, and due to keeping the game concise and achievable we may even have it done next year. The rate that Phil is developing the game is leaving me in the dust! I intend to keep you all FULLY up to date on the development of this. Unlike my comics which I keep close to my chest until they’re released, I want to share the whole process of this with you guys so you can see how 2 total game-design noobs do their best to do their best!
We have lots of ideas for stories, power-ups, abilities, summons, items, world and mechanics but they’ll all be revealed later. For now, here’s a sneaky peek at the very rough, first draft, world-map, Phil’s using to build the over-world mechanic. The layout’s likely to remain a lot like this…
I hope you’re as excited about all of this as I am… 2014 really is going to be THE YEAR OF 7STRING!!!