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!