Betrayed Alliance 2021 Devlog – January

I know what you’re thinking: How’s the 2022 date holding up for this game’s completion?

My internal answer: Dude! Is January in 2021! How’m I supposed to know?

My public answer: Things are going great! We’re right on schedule! And thank you for asking by the way 🙂

Last update was 3 months ago when the project turned 1 years old, and the word “project” is still far more applicable than “game.” That being said, I am happy with how things are moving. I know the way I’m going about the game is a bit unorthodox in that I’m spending a lot of the time on the artwork and animations now, instead of rigging up the game with simple graphics and getting the puzzle structure set up.

Speaking of Puzzles, I’ve been doing a bit of thinking on the subject. Maybe I’m the odd man out when it comes to adventure game puzzles, but I find that they oftentimes get me feeling frustrated and disenchanted with the game. It seems that I prefer the exploration and running into quirky creatures and characters more than solving puzzles.

I have to imagine these musings are shaping my conception of Betrayed Alliance 2. I’m not saying I’m axing puzzles or anything of the sort, but I think that’s maybe why I’m spending most of my work-time on the artwork side of things – I’m currently more enamored with the idea of creating these places to explore.

Ok. So what’s been accomplished these last few months?

  • 10 more backgrounds finished – bringing the in-game total to 45, which is approaching Betrayed Alliance Book 1’s total of 56. I’m imagining I’ll have somewhere around 80 or so this time around, making a bigger and more beautiful game.
  • All the major character Sprites have been completed (although due to a data corruption, I did lose 1 character that I will have to re-animate)
  • I’ve rigged up a couple of rooms with some light “puzzle” elements. Since the forest is going to be so big (and there’s no fast travel map this time around), I’m coming up with some ways the player can use to connect areas for easier traversal.
  • I’ve put together a feature that will count the various deaths of the player, which will make “death scenes” akin to a collectible – Hopefully that will soften the blow of dying!
  • Speaking of dying, I’m happy to say BA:2 will have an autosave feature which will save the game each screen (using only one save slot) to negate one of the bigger headaches of some Sierra experiences.

I think that’s about it.

January is great because it’s always a new beginning. Some people wonder how I can stay motivated for over a year on the same project. Part of the secret is probably some mental tweak I have that makes me obsess over things. The other is that I don’t set goals (and when I do, they usually fail), but rather I set in place systems. Here is my January systems chart, which will probably also be good all the way into March.

  • Monday – Write/Design BA2 STORY
  • Tuesday – Write/Design BA2 PUZZLES
  • Wednesday – Work on Artwork for BA2 – BACKGROUNDS
  • Thursday – Work on Artwork for BA2 – ANIMATIONS
  • Friday – Draw artwork (Physical)
  • Saturday – Work on YT/Website
  • Sunday – Rest

Each day I look at the systems list and I do some work on that particular aspect of the game. Whether it’s 10 minutes or 2 hours, whether I want to or not, I do something, and do that for long enough and things get done! I’m waiting for the day when the project “feels” more like a “game” than a project.