Day 30 - The End ... ?

Q. So, is this the end ?
A. Not likely.

Q. Did I finish the game in the 30 days that were alloted ?
A. No.

Q. Was I planning to ?
A. Not at all. I just wanted to make a nice dent in the project and I believe I did just that.

Q. So, what did you accomplish then ?
A. Here's the list of the game assets:-

+ Two Levels - Dr Holleran's Lab including corridors and lift area and Trans-Area
+ Intro and after level 1 text-based cutscenes with dialog from the book
+ 8 NPCs, most can be interacted with
+ 2 sound effects
+ 6-8 aural soundscape music tracks

Not only this, but I learned a lot about the RPG Maker Ace VX engine and how to perform various tricks.

Q. Where to from here ?
A. I'm looking forward to delving into some more on my Christmas holidays in a few weeks time. Watch this space.

Day 29 - Cleanup

Not a lot to report today ... I worked on cleaning up the project, doing compile test -- added some of the music and sound effects I created as well.  

Day 28 - Night Off ...

Having an early night, I think I might be coming down with something -- let's hope not, only 2 days to go.

Day 27 - NPC Issues

Today I tackled the NPCs at the trans-area level. I've got the hostesses (2x) working good enough, they change direction randomly and will address / speak to the main character.

The lady running for the trans-area is a little trickier. I've got her following the path she needs to take to get there, however she'll keep going once she gets. I haven't been able to get her to disappear yet nor interact with the character if he should bump into her.

Update: Wicked. I think I found the solution.


Day 26 - Revision and Playtesting

As another night draws to an end, today was about revision including touching up some of the maps, as well as tidying up some of the events and good ole fashion playtesting.


Day 25 - Lab 172

And more extensions, this time via Lab 172. This joins onto the next map where the elevator is.

We have another LabTech 02 type walking randomly around.


Day 24 - Corridor 172 B

I felt the game needed a little extending at the beginning, so I whipped up a new corridor level before arriving at the elevator.

Along with that, is LabTech 02, who will wander left and right in the corridor unless he sees the character and then will slowly chase the old man.


Day 23 - New Tracks

Wrote a couple more possible tunes for the game as well as picked up a couple from Jamendo. These track's license states not for commercial use -- good thing The Mandrel Consortium will be made available for free.

We've put the contenders up on our Media page and below is what is shaping up to be our introduction / trailer track.

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Day 22 - More NPCs

There's now a person walking back and forth and another lady who is in a hurry to get to the tube.

Not much to their AI, they just move where I tell them to go. Having an issue making the lady disappear when she gets to her destination. Investigating required ...


Day 21 - NPCs

This morning I worked on some randomised scripting for the 2 x hostess we have at the trans-area. You actually can't interact with them, they just appear to be working at their stations.

Later on, I'm going to be adding some other NPCs to the trans-area. ie. people getting on the transporter.

Day 14-20 - One week off ...

One week ?!? It's been that long since I've touch the project; guess sickness will derail even the best of intention projects.

We'll just have to see what I come up with tonight ...

Update: I added an intro screen to the game with some dialog based on the location and year of the book, in order to give the player a sense of when and where.

Day 13 - Sick

Uggh ... guess 13 really is unlucky for some. My son picked up a nasty cough from kindy and then gave it to me.

My head was pounding and I couldn't even touch the game, just wrote this blog post and went to bed.

Day 12 - And another ...

Just another tune I was working on ... it's not entirely finished, probably going to add some more layers to it for the final version.

This one is called "Tach Ops".

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Day 11 - More Music

I wrote a couple more tunes last night using Garageband and it's loops. This made is very easy to make a couple of short tracks (2-3 minutes) that loop well.

Here's one of them called "Virtual Rain".

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Day 10 - Real Life and More Study

Real life had to be dealt with more than I hoped today and unfortunately, I didn't get to do much besides what some more tutorial videos.

They have answered some questions I had about elements I wanted to implement in the game. So, there is that ...

Day 9 - Study Time

Didn't get much of a chance to look at the game today ... though I did manage to watch a few more tutorial videos, which should help for future development of the game.

More tomorrow ...

Day 8 - Web Stuff

Not a lot today, I just worked on updating the web site a little with a better looking font courtesy by Google Fonts.

I also setup a Media section which will house all the various videos, music and images I release.

Day 7 - Fonts and Sounds

I began the search for some nice fonts to use in-game and for the web site. As usual, I found some great ones over at and I get started adding them into the game in due course.

For the music and sound effects, I worked on a little intro track using Figure for iOS and worked on a list of what I'll need (at least initially). I also looked on Jamendo and found some promising work.

Music List
Intro Music (x3)
Opening Scene - Dr Holleran's Lab
Alarm Music - Faster paced track with repeating non-offensive alarm
Cut Scene Music - Something light and uplifting
Trans-Area Scene - Atmospheric, dark Sci-Fi

Sound FX
Alarm Noise
Voice for Lab Tech
Voice for Security Guard
Voice for Computer

Day 6 - JWPlayer and Depot

Late last night I made a video demo of the game so far. I tried to display that on my site, but had issues and found the solution online was to use JWPlayer. I signed up for a free account and then waited ... and waited then went to bed.

This morning I continued along with getting it setup but for some reason it wasn't working.

Tonight, I got a good chance to look at it and found it was Depot's (my CMS) auto BR tags that were causing JWPlayer's javascript code to not execute. After added a new feature to Depot (non-br section breaks), the video was then playable.

So, here's is a brief video showing the current gameplay ...

Day 5 - The Race that Stops the Nation

Today is Melbourne Cup and whilst it use to be a big deal where I use to work, not so much where I current am, otherwise this day would be a right off.

So, today I'm linking up and testing the movement between the maps in the world and getting ready to design the trans-area station.


Day 4 - Corridor and Elevator Action

This morning I managed to add two new maps - Corridor 172 and Elevator 172. These area were pretty minimal as they are designed to navigate the player into a particular direction. This is added by another NPC - Security Guard who follows and if he captures the player, it's Game Over. Still have to write the logic for that yet ...

Corridor 172

Elevator 172

Day 3 - Lab Tech

Now that I'm back on track, I enhanced the first map by adding a non-player character (NPC) in the form of a Lab Technician who is walking back and forth.

That is until he spots the player and sounds the alarm. He then runs after the player, forcing the player to have to escape to the next map - Corridor 172.


Day 2 - Back on track

I managed to resurrect the non-working project. Honestly, I don't know what happened, it just came good after going through the motions of setting up the Futuristic Tileset again. After that, everything seemed to work fine.

So, here's a first draft of the opening map - Dr Holleran's Lab


Day 1 - Let the Games Begin ...

Today's the day when it all begins.

It's setup day, getting directories setup, the basic game shell using RPG Maker VX Ace and most importantly, the backup regime for it.

Ran into a few issues during setup and then we got "failed to load" when trying to compile the game. I'd done a bit of setup, but it looks like I might have to go through that again.

Day 0 - Year 1

Here we are on Day 0 ... the calm before the storm. I've setup this site and will be posting daily. I guess I should tell you what I'm doing first :)

The Mandrel Consortium was a novel I wrote last year during NaNoWriMo. I didn't complete the task, however, I did end up with a sci-fi, dystopian novel that when even when I was writing it, I kept imagining certain moments of the story as a video game.

So, this is what I'm doing this November instead of participating in NaNoWriMo again. I'm turning my novel into a top-down RPG game and will be doing something every day during November.

30 days, 30 updates. Let the games begin.

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