Category Archives: Wednesday’s Report

Wednesday’s Report 5th of February

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This week in Belladonna

The Journal Pages

Last week I quickly added a new level in Belladonna to make room for the multitude of journal pages in the beginning of the game. This week I have rearranged the pages a bit, and returned to an older order. This means that it will take some time before you get to hear Belladonna’s own narrative, but also that the letter density is more evenly distributed throughout the game. This was the original idea anyway.

Writing these texts are hard work, because it is really this literary aspect that determines the quality of this particular game, but this week I have made an effort to at least put the first five or so letters into the playable game.

The Storyboard

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I am planning a short and simple intro cinematic, to establish that the player character is in fact waking up in the laboratory just before the game starts. I had planned to visualise a few different ideas in storyboard form (for instance, my plan for a long time was to do some sort of first person perspective) but I ended up just doing this one storyboard and started planning out what assets would be needed.

The Main Menu

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As you may have noticed, this week has been focused on getting the very first part of the game shipshape. Along with that I have also worked on the main menu. It is very minimalistic, but rather effectual if you ask me.

If you think her stare is intensive and spooky, just wait until she suddenly blinks, and thus proving she is not a still image but is in fact sitting perfectly tranquil, staring at you.

I am also still using the old logo I made a long while back, and haven’t gotten around changing. It is growing on me, and I don’t really see how I can make it much better, but it wasn’t really intended to be the final logo. It doesn’t even feature the correct flower!

The flower you see in the logo is the Amaryllis Belladonna, a quite harmless lily, where it should naturally be the poisonous and ominous Atropa Belladonna.

So change the flower then! Well, the Atropa doesn’t have a very spectacular look, and the logo will actually look more ugly and boring with the correct flower. I have tried.

Wednesday’s Report 29th of January

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This week in Belladonna

The Script

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.

 The Cat

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.

 The Gallery

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.