Saturday, March 25, 2017

March 2017 Update

Its been an interesting month in the development of the game; quite a lot of progress has been made which is cool so lets jump in :P 

Award Ceremony

The award ceremonies are beginning to take shape this month; much like the first game you will be invited to attend award ceremonies. These ceremonies are optional, however if you do not attend you will still win awards but not the newly implemented "winners bonus". Each category now comes with a bonus which will award the talent/studio with some cool loot. At the moment all awards and bonuses are hardcoded into the game; this is mainly due to time constraits. After launch when I get some free time I will begin opening up a lot of these things in the editor. 

The game currently has 14 AI studios in it; this will grow to about 20 before release. You will be able to choose at the start of the game to customise how many AI players you compete against in the campaign (anywhere from 5 to all 20). At the end of the award ceremony you will be given a run-down of who-won-what similar to how it was done in the first game. I'm really pleased with how its all looking and I hope everyone likes what they see :) 

Talent Biographies

Quite a bit of work has gone into the talent biography screens and getting these looking good. I showed off these screens many months ago but I think they've become a lot more detailed and inviting. Every single actor, director, writer and producer can be viewed in this talent biography screen. You can see a complete run down of their stats, genre stats, filmography and awards. You can also send individuals film scripts you wish to cast them in, offer studio contracts, as well as poke, gift and offer help if they carry any addictions. These little RPG elements add another layer to the game where you can develop personal relationships with people you like and gain studio favour (this can help with casting opportunities as well as press obligations). Addictions have also been added in and can interfere with an individuals' abilities on set. They can also cause their death in extreme cases.

The filmography page has been updated also. You can now filter through an individuals filmography to see what projects they have done and see their top 3 "best known for" pictures. This screen isnt entirely finished yet but its a good start in the right direction I think. I really want biographies to come alive. These AI characters arent static like in Showtime 1, every turn they do what is best for themselves. They will sign new contracts with competing studios, take up movie roles and work (or hinder) their skill sets. Relationships will not be added into the game at this stage but it is something I plan on adding in maybe post-release. 

Final thoughts...

So that's me done for the month. I stil have a lot of work to do on the composing screen which is why I didnt show it off. I am taking a page out of Chart Wars (Osiris players will be happy to know) and hopefully it'll give an extra flavour to the game. I still havent made much progress with an editor yet so that will still come. I am also still on the lookout for a character artist (paid work) if anyone knows of anyone who can do character avatars similar to those seen in the screenshots? Other than that thanks for reading and seeya next month! Cheers :) 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

February 2017 Update

So again its been a while between updates but I thought i'd share some stuff. I've received a few quite blunt emails lately from people asking I do an update; im really sorry i disappoint people but over the past 4 months I have built a local business which has taken up exactly 100% of my time. It is my living and as much as I love Showtime and Myrtilus it really doesnt pay the bills... its important that people understand this is unfortunately a passion project at this stage. That being said believe me when I say I have put hundreds of hours of work into this game and I will NEVER abandon it. I promise it will be released in 2017, and I am shooting for a mid-year release but with my new business its very difficult to find time. With that said, lets get into it...

Set Construction

I have spent a HUGE amount of time this past month on precisely 2 screens! lol There has been a ton of back-end programming which has gone into the set construction area of project development. I have changed a few things as well; you can now select 2 exterior locations and 2 set constructions. 

Selecting Sets

Set constructions can be filtered by genres. Some sets are considered 'generic' and can be used for a variety of films, but it will be general good practice to select only sets which suit the film you are making. Additionally, each set can be upgraded a number of times; they will be added to your studio lot and you can use them whenever you want. Each one will carry with it an updated description, a novelty value, an upkeep cost and a quality. Obviously the higher the budget of the film you are making the more you want to invest in your set constructions. In the event you want to create an animation; you will now have to select an Animation Studio -- like all other set constructions this can be upgraded over time; increasing the quality of your animated pictures.

Final thoughts...

So that's about it. Not a whole lot to show off and probably a bit of a disappointing devblog but as I said most of the work has been behind the scenes in getting these features to work smoothly. I plan to move onto the composing screen next; so hopefully next month I will have some fresh new screens to show off. Hopefully the month after that an editor will be made available if people want to help to populate the game. And with any luck soon after that (maybe 3 months from now) I will have a beta available which may be able to be downloaded from Early Access. We'll have to wait and see though :) Thanks!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

August-October 2016 Update

Oh boy oh boy its been a while since my last update. I've got quite a few emails lately that have asked "is the game still being made?" and the answer is YES :) This game is going to be finished come hell or high water. I have been busy at work though and dont like spending my weekends working on the computer like I do every other weeknight so I dont always get time to write updates. But rest assured development is still happening and its happening regularly. It takes time to write blogs as well and i've found it difficult updating through the website so now will host all of this and it'll make things a little easier. Lets get to it...

Changes Galore

In this screenshot you can see that you are now given an industry standard for your films. I got a lot of complaints from people on Steam that Showtime never really explained what was "expected" of you when developing a script for different genres... so i've added in "industry standard" indicators so you know what is generally expected of your script before green lighting the film. I've also added in a new Setting Tone which helps define your movies a little better. You can now select from the following tones: Neutral, Joyful, Serious, Humerous, Fearful and Dramatic.

Premiere Time!

I've done a lot of work on the premiere over the past couple of months. It has a completely different skin and something I think looks good against the other graphical changes of the game. The premiere screens will change depending on the type of movie you're premiering. For instance a Sci-fi film will have a green-screen feel, "erotic documentary" will have another, etc. I've done my best to add in a bit of humour as well so you can mess around with some of the genres and the game will spit out (hopefully) something funny occasionally :) 

Much like the first game you will also get a run-down of sales from each region. This screenshot is a very early "work in progress" but it will display some additional regional information against the map which should be familiar to players of the first game. The sales algorithm is being updated for the game as well -- and it wont be as erratic as the first game. In Showtime 1 i wanted to have a certain degree of randomness to the sales. They always more or less were the same but a lot of people complained that if they reloaded a premiere 2-3 times it would sometimes give off different sales values. Personally I think that takes the fun out of the game but some players wanted to get the maximum amount of dosh; so this time the algorithm will be pretty steady and there will be very little change (if any) if the player reloads the game. 

And finally here we get a run-down of how well the cast has performed as well as the script quality, set quality and technology used... and for Showtime 2 how well your storyboard went down with critics. The storyboard is a bit subjective but when you're initially developing it the structure has to more or less suit the type of movie you are making. You will always be given a default structure and you can change this but if you change it too much then you might get a bad rating during the premiere. I will go into more detail at a later time about the storyboards.

Critic Reviews

One thing ive been working on lately are 'dynamic' critic reviews. Similar to the first game, the reviews are chosen from a database based on the score of your film. I have added a ton of extra review types to the editor so things wont get so stale, and in addition to that critics may also comment on any element of your film which they found either pleasing or negative to their experience. For instance a critic may comment on the look of your actors; if you've got a romantic comedy and your leads aren't 'lookers' then you're bound to get a critic commenting on this. Or if you're director generally doesn't direct Action movies and they did a good job then they may comment on the accomplishment. I'll be adding in about 100 of these so there's a lot of variety to what is said during this screen. It makes your films come alive and makes you want to actually read these reviews to see if you missed anything which can be improved on next time.

And finally this is the audience reaction screen. I am still working on this but you will now gain both new fans and a reputation, as well as a score/rating from your audience. It is possible for an audience to adore your movie and critics hate it -- so if the critics pan it then hope is not all lost; people may still go to see it or turn it into a cult classic.

Final thoughts...

I am committed to the devblog and I will be sure to share something new next month. I really would like to thank everyone who has continued to follow this blog and send me emails -- it does mean a lot so thank you. I really really want to do a video update because its been so long since I released the alpha footage. Its a big undertaking but hopefully I can do a bit of a commentary play of the game to show off some of the new stuff. Thanks heaps!!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

March 2016 Update

It's been a long time since my last video update. I've had lots of emails from people regarding the game so I am sorry to keep you all hanging so long. Truth be told there isnt a whole lot to show off at this stage as most of the past few months have been lots of back-end programming. So in other words, I have been working a lot on the Editor and making sure that a lot of the smaller things in the game like dropdown menus and sliders are working well as well. Real boring stuff. But since everyone has been so patient I have thrown together a few new screenshots of the game.

In Production Updates

In this screenshot you can see how the in production screen now looks compared to the simplistic version of Showtime 1. I think it was important that at an immediate glance to your "works in progress" that you had a good overall guide on where your movie is heading and the stages of which things are progressing. I have also added in a "top billed cast" spot; this will display the top 3 talent attached to this film. Also I have added in a "shelved projects" screen; this is similar to the Bestseller feature where you can shelve projects or scripts for later use but not necessarily pursue them until you are ready. As an example; if you have flooded the market with all of your Marvel movies so they're not doing so well you can put them aside for future use when the market is no longer saturated with superhero movies. Its a simple but cool feature I think.

Casting Update

This is an updated screenshot of what the casting process looks like. Unlike Showtime 1 where you click on button to cast actors and then go down the list of "leading" or "supporting" roles, all roles can now be cast from this screen. You also get an immediate overview of your casting process; as you can see in the screenshot you have cast a director and producer but still have leading roles which need to be assigned. I find this extremely helpful when you dont necessarily want to dig through every screen trying to see if someone needs to be cast; its all visible from the one screen and is directly tied to your "project view" where everything else is handled. It makes screen-jumping minimal and (hopefully) is easy on the eyes.

Production Overview Update

And lastly I have been working on the production overview and trying to get the look of this right. It will no doubt undergo a lot more changes but what you can see here is that you can now get an overview of how long each stage of your film making process will take; pre-production, filming and post-production. As you put more money into the movie the longer it will take for each process (e.g. a movie with a massive CGI budget will take longer in the post-production stages). You can now also select between short or feature films and actually choose your run-time. You will also be able to create your own budget presets. There will be about 12 presets which can help you decide (if you are unsure in the game) what certain genres will need. For instance if you select an "Independent Film" preset the game will calculate which genre you are making and then change your budget allocations to something which is considered industry-standard for an independent film. Likewise, if you use a standard for your own movies then you can save it to your list and call upon it whenever you need it. Its just another way where the player can move fast through these screens without getting bogged down in sliders.

Final thoughts...

I hope you guys like what you see. I will probably make this devblog a bi-monthly thing from now on because it is time consuming to write and I'd rather spend my free time on the game. I'm so happy the game is still generating lots of interest and its definitely moving ahead. I will do my best to make the next update a video. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

November 2015 Video Update

Apologies for being so late with the update. I could waffle on all day about how busy I've been but I know you guys/gals just want to hear about the good stuff... so here it is. I've compiled a short video showing off some of the game from the latest alpha build. It is not at all complete and still open to lots of tweaks but I thought it would be cool to show everyone how the game looks in action and the difference from Showtime 1. So here it is. Hopefully it wont be so long between updates and I will do my best to make video updates a more regular thing heading forward. Please let me know what you think in the comments. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July 2015 Update

Steamlined Movie Making Process

I have been working on streamlining the process of film creation this month and also working on the new Storyboard feature. When creating a new movie you will now be prompted to enter a genre and sub-genre along with the title and plot summary. For those interested in capitalising on the market, a quick reference graph is also available which display's the market share of each genre. Market's themselves will be dynamic; changing and adapting to not only "whats hot" but also adapting to the films you and your AI players flood the market with. In other words, if you and your competitors capitalise on Action films then over time this market may shrink as the audience becomes fatigued with action flicks. Hopefully this will make it a little more interesting and challenging for people wanting a more dynamic simulation experience.

Interface Update

In the screenshot above you can also get an idea of how the new HD interface will look. This interface is native to 1920x1080 so things will look sharp and very cool up-close :) A lot of the icons I have also redesigned over the past month to be a little more easier to read. I will no doubt continue to improve icons as ultimately they should be easy to identify their purpose without hovering over them. Still, if you are unsure of what something does then each icon has a tooltip. Help icons also make a return to explain things a little more in detail for those players wanting to know everything they can about a feature.

Box Office and AI

I've also been at work tweaking the box office screens to be a little easier on the eyes. Since the game progresses week-by-week this time updates will occur each turn. Its still something I'm working on getting right... with so many additional factors at play in Showtime 2 it's been quite the ordeal balancing the game and AI to not be soul-crushingly hard. As I have been progressing I have been ensuring that most new features can be turned on/off when starting a new game. Much like the original game after adjusting the options you will be given a difficulty rating which should fairly represent your experience. I want players who love a challenge to be able to find one in Showtime 2 but also for newcomers to find their footing and pick things up with ease. Hopefully I get the balancing act right! Not all game settings will be able to be adjusted in-game though but I'll do my best to make as many of them available so you dont have to constantly start new games to tweak the difficulty slightly.

Final Thoughts...

As always thanks to everyone who have been giving their feedback in the comment section below. It's really great to hear cool new ideas and I've been adding/removing things based on what you guys have been saying -- so keep it up :) I do read everything but dont have a lot of time to reply sometimes but I'm just soooo happy you guys have been posting... it truly excites me to know people are passionate about this project. Next month I aim to show off the talent selection process, the production selection screens as well as the storyboard feature which should be a little more developed. Thanks for reading. Cheers!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

May-June 2015 Update

Hi there everyone. I've been getting lots of requests for updates over the past couple of months. I've been going through some major changes in my life at the moment and havent had a whole lot of time to put into Showtime 2. One thing I have been working on though is bumping up the game's resolution. The game has so far been built in 1366x768 resolution to allow gamers on laptops to still be able to play the game... I have been looking at options to "scale" the game for larger screen resolutions and I just havent been happy with the image quality which has been quite blurry. I ultimately decided to re-create all assets for the game at a HD 1920x1080 resolution. What this ultimately means is that the game will now be built at a HD 1920x1080 resolution and can then be scaled down to 1366x768 without any quality loss. This has been a very time consuming process but ultimately I think its worth it.

These changes have all been quite cosmetic so far so I really dont have a lot to show off, however next month I should have a really good update lined up with some juicy new features. Thank you all for the interest so far; I havent forgotten you guys and the game is certainly still a high priority for me. I apologise for keeping everyone in the dark but I promise I will have a proper update for you all by mid-July :) I've been dying to get back into programming the game but I certainly feel it was necessary to sort out the graphics while it was still relatively early in development. At this stage I anticipate the development will go into early 2016 before it is available on Steam's early access. Thanks for reading!