This week in Belladonna
When you interact with various objects in a scene in Belladonna the player character will say something relevant, profound or funny. This week I have begun the work of writing out these little lines and comments in script form. This is in preparation for my dream of finding an actor and have voice acting for every spoken line in the game.
I have not yet started to work on the issue of finding such an actor. It will have to be a woman, and she would preferably live close to me, for effective collaboration. I can get access to a recording studio here in Stockholm. She will also have to have decent English pronunciation. I live in Sweden, and a strong Swedish accent won’t exactly contribute to the game. That said, a subtle German accent could actually be pretty cool. The game is rather loosely set in Austria.
Another idea is to find a voice actor online; one who has access to her own recording equipment.
One interesting character in Belladonna is the Cat. Admittedly, the only feature making the cat interesting is that it is the only thing in the whole castle that is technically alive. It will not have a great impact on the story, compared to Belladonna herself and the other big characters, but it still adds some thought-provoking details to the game.
This week I have started the work of creating the cat in 3D. It will then be animated, rendered and put into the game.
Apart from the spoken comments mentioned above, most of the writing for this game takes the form of diaries and journals written by the characters themselves. I have had all these letters outlined for quite some time, but as I am writing the final versions they are growing increasingly complex and intricate.
This week I sat down and tried to map out in what room which letter will be found. Some letters are associated with specific game events, and their placement is thus static. Between these there are more letters which are more dynamic.
It turns out you have a baffling eight journal pages to find over the course of only two rooms. That means four pages per room, and you can literally pick up a piece of paper every second step you take.
To fix this I quickly added an extra room: the Gallery. In its present state this room is basically a straight corridor with three journal pages lying on the floor like breadcrumbs.
In the future I might manage to create some sort of self contained puzzle in the Gallery, to mix gameplay and narrative more eloquently.