The Production Blog of Sword 'N' Board
 
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Prototyping has gone well so far for Sword 'N' Board so I decided to take a break from that since I'm also working on the programming of another project to really start getting the UI for the game up to bar and working properly.

The game finally has a drop down menu that slides down when you pause the game!

This will be of course your main item selection screen as well as show other important things for your character, such as upgrades, money, and other things you're going to need on your adventure.

All of the mechanics for each of the items have pretty much already been decided and now it's just a matter of designing the items for you to find!
I honestly didn't really anticipate designing the mechanics behind the items to be as complicated as it was, but it's definitely been an interesting time to say the least.

Aside from the main Drop down menu having the main Item selection screen it will also contain your map for the area that you're in to keep you from getting lost as well as other items that you may not be able to readily equip but affect your character in other ways!

I also started work on the main top UI, for your Health and overall controls as well as other game controls like Sound volume and things like that.
While things may not be moving along nearly as fast as I would like them to, I can't be too man, because progress is still progress!

Now, I still have no idea what I'm going to name this kid, so I should probably try and figure that out. Though, if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to message me, or leave a comment. Maybe I'll use it!

 
 
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To say it's been a productive few days is an understatement to say the least! Within the past 3 days I've managed to accomplish a number of different things for Sword 'N' Board in terms of prototyping the game.

So far I've got a life system set up (which will change from what is on the image now to something a bit less Zelda in nature, and a little more humorous because Adult humor is a hell of a lot more funny!) which will allow you to take a few hits before you die, and even add to your health should you find health to pick up after killing enemies.

That also brings us to the other thing that I was able to get working, which is random chances of money/weapons/health being generated when an enemy is killed. for the most part that was pretty easy to get working, the hardest part of it seems to be balancing between the enemies not dropping enough money/health so it becomes frustrating and not rewarding enough, to the enemies dropping them entirely too often and making things a bit too easy. So that's kind of interesting how something small can change the feel of the game entirely, but I'm definitely learning a lot!

Enemy AI is pretty simple right now, but I hope to add things to complicate it a bit. Right now it's very original Legend of Zelda, which isn't a bad thing but it definitely needs to be a little more sophisticated. So I'm sure a lot of my time will be spent there.

There's also an "Enemies Killed" display which will eventually be removed from the final game. It really was only put there to test a display for things like Money, Keys and other items with multiple different real time displays.

So far the basic functionality is there, and is coming along really quickly. I'm really looking forward to finally putting some final artwork into the game. I'm getting really tired of looking at moving blocks.

 
 
It's official now, we have a production blog for Sword 'N' Board finally up and running!

How did the game come about? And what is it's premise?

When I was 3 years old I received my first Nintendo, with Super Mario Bros. I eventually got the Legend of Zelda. I remember loving that game from the very beginning and playing that game entirely longer that I probably should have (sometimes lying about finishing my homework so I could play it) .
Shortly after that my parents separated and I ended up going off to live with my mother. Eventually because of my mother financial situation we ended up having our power turned off and I was forced to live that way for close to 3 years (this was before there were laws in place to keep your power from being turned off if there were children in the household).
To say it was a difficult transition for a kid of about 9 years old is an absolute understatement. I went from playing video games like every other kid to playing with whatever toys I had during the day until it got too dark to see what I was doing. When it was night time, I would then either read or draw by candle light the best I could until bed time.

The problem was, I still REALLY wanted to play video games, especially the Legend of Zelda, and so I found a way to still play Zelda in my own way.

The one thing I had entirely too much of was toys, and toy swords and shields specifically.

And so, I would pretend that I was Link and would set up my huge living room with a chair and blanket fort with pillows as terrain and I would fight imaginary monsters in Hyrule in my own living room. Sometimes going as far as to hide toy weapons under certain parts of the "terrain" in the living room and pretend to find what to me was a "Mystical sword of power" under a rock which was actually a pillow or something else I could use for my Hyrulian "overworld".

You could call it me making the best out of a bad situation, but regardless of whatever was going on, or what had caused the situation we were in I still managed to use my imagination to have a hell of a lot of fun!

And that really is where Sword 'N' Board started.

Sword 'N' Board is about a kid pretending to fight monsters around his families huge house. It will take you from different rooms in his house, to the outside back yard and all over as he crawls imaginary dungeons and fights imaginary monsters.

It will be a top down 2D game very much like the first Legend of Zelda and will borrow a lot from that game in terms of Game play, but there will definitely be added mechanics to add a new level of game play that the first Legend of Zelda was lacking, and I hope to make it just as large in scope. The main theme of this game is going to be Nostalgia.

I can't be the only kid that dressed up like Link, and pretended to battle imaginary monsters, and that's exactly what I intend to make people do, but in a digital format while giving people something they will already feel familiar playing.

How much money will the game cost when it's finished?

The point of the game isn't to make money, so when the game is finished and released it will be free to play for everyone! It will probably be released in HTML5 so you can play it from your browser online, and I may try and take it to other platforms later on depending if that's something I want to pursue. Currently I'm the only person working on this, and this is a completely independent game project so moving it to another platform that may cost money to publish to would really depend on the games popularity and my own willingness to pay the money to do that. So we'll have to see!

So if the game is totally free, why am I doing it?

To be completely honest with everyone that decides to read this lengthy novella, it's not entirely without it's selfish motivations. The first reason I want to do it, is because it just seems like something that's really fun to do. When I think about designing in, and working on "programming" it, it really excites me. Just the idea of putting this game together is really something that I look forward to each day.

The other side of the coin is, is I really do want to eventually work on another game idea that I've been working on, that may be something I could sell in the future. However, I have no idea how to program and so I'm going to be using a 2D game engine called "Gamesalad" to put Sword 'N' Board together which is also the game engine that I plan on using when I put my other game together which I may plan on selling eventually. So essentially Sword 'N' board is going to be the place where I'm going to cut my teeth on Gamesalad and hopefully I will learn enough through the Sword 'N' Board to really bring my main game Idea to life.

Edmund McMillen of Team Meat (who's blog you can find here: http://edmundm.com/ ) has really been a source of inspiration for me for a while and after watching several interviews he's done has really caused me to look at things a certain way and I realized before I try and make some long and involved game I'm really passionate about I really need to get some practice making other more simple games first. I'm not going to learn game development by reading things online or watching Interviews of other game developers, I need to do it. And he's absolutely right about that.

Another thing, is having a really fun game that is accessible to everyone that I can put on a resume is never a bad thing when I'm trying to break into the game industry, so there's also that. Who knows, maybe I'll just stay Indy...

So what's going on with the game currently?

I have a very ADHD workflow (probably because I'm ADHD) and so I really go back and forth with prototyping the game, and conceptual artwork for our main character, terrain and various enemies.
Currently I'm prototyping the controls for the character, as well as Enemy AI since that's really the main things that I'm going to need. Once all of those are in place, I can start working on the Puzzles since that's really going to be a core part of what makes the game fun, on top of the combat. currently there's really no artwork implemented but it's definitely coming a long way!

I will be updating this blog as often as I think I should, based on how things are coming, but regardless of progress it will be updated at least every Friday so be sure to check back often!