[Development Blog #5] How to Cope with Boredom & Loneliness


Hello!

This is our first update since we decided to cancel everything we were doing to start again with a refined 2018 vision. You can read up on that in our last update here but the short of it is we are recreating our old Ludum Dare ideas as beautiful Steam games, starting with How to Cope With Boredom and Loneliness.

“Isolation is no joke…”

We never thought How to Cope would work as a game. It was one of the first ideas we had when we saw the Ludum Dare #37 theme, One Room. We should make a game about a man that’s been grounded to his bedroom for decades, we could present it like a documentary. It fit the one room theme and was utterly absurd, perfect! Gameplay was an afterthought as we figured we could make something fun out of it even if it wasn’t exactly fun to play, in a traditional sense. Fortunately, the people that played our LD version didn’t complain once about the lack of “gameplay” and enjoyed it for what it was, a daft cutscene generator about a sad little man and his mother. So, here we are with an improved version made for the Steam community. We hope they respond to it as warmly as the Ludum Dare community did, if so we will consider creating the other 2 episodes of Nigel Wimble’s hard-hitting How to Cope series.

HTC1

“…It’s not just lonely, it’s boring too.”

What originally took us 3 days has taken us over 3 months! It’s still the same simple idea where you create documentaries based on Harold Fletcher but we’ve recreated it with a bit more love.

We decided to abandon the original version and start from scratch. Rodo rewrote everything so we could use all of the new tools we’ve developed since then, namely our scripting and dialogue database tool, which he developed just after the original version. He created that because we needed an efficient way to tag all the audio files, something we never needed before How to Cope as we had never tried voice overs. Luckily the voice overs ended up the right side of terrible to be funny enough so we’ve attempted to voice every game since then. The Speecher tool, as we call it, is invaluable for keeping track of all the dialogue and scripts.

HTC5.png

We rewrote the script with new lines and tweaked versions of old lines that still made us laugh, the awful fish tank joke was a keeper! We fixed the biggest problem with the old version, the crazy speed of the examine texts, by replacing the text with voice overs. We also wrote several new intro and ending scenes so each play through will be unique. We had to record about 20 minutes worth of dialogue in the end.

The background music is largely unchanged as we nailed that first try. Well, we couldn’t write anything better really. However, we have added some other songs we hope you find. I say added, we are still working on them. We have 2 weeks until release and I’m feeling pretty stressed about finishing them in time… Nah, we’ll get them done in time…

The graphics have been redrawn in our simple but, no they are just simple, style. Our games are all in a certain style (excluding Marlo) as they are part of a bigger story that we’ll elaborate on later. We’ve also added some visual effects to sell the cheaply made documentary style we’re going for.

HTC6.png

It’s been fun returning to Harold’s room. The original documentary idea inspired us to create The Mind of Marlo in a similar style which then gave us the tools to recreate How to Cope as a much better game. We hope you all enjoy it.

All this is free?

Yeah, but this counts as your birthday and Christmas present. This is your free introduction to our low res world of peculiar characters, odd stories and hopefully lots of laughs!

You can grab your copy on the 2nd of April, 2018 right here.


 

One Comment on “[Development Blog #5] How to Cope with Boredom & Loneliness

  1. A docu-game about loneliness seems like an intriguing concept. I really like the pixel art style. It really does feel like a labor of love. Will check it out once it’s out.

    Like

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