It is Sunday morning *yawns*, and I am currently wading though unity basics while cobbling together a first-pass prototype. Trying to keep things simple. Fighting the urge to think too far ahead. (Also fighting not to give up and play Civ VI instead )
I have put up some basic scaffolding, which includes stuff like scene changing, story loading, and general chaining together of things that I hope will feel like a cohesive experience soon. Am also adding a layer of our own story engine customisations to Inkle Studio’s wonderful open source Ink.
Soon, I’ll need to switch into some Mel-style story telling to fill in the gaps and glue all of Sam’s funny story snippets together. That will let us test out the initial feel and pacing. In my head, I’m not sure if it’s ‘fun’ yet, but it’s easier to think clearly when you have playable thing in front of you rather than an abstract plan on paper.
Looking forwards to seeing how it turns out!
Here’s a little look into our first week of idea spamming.
One of these scribbles shows how resources might flow through the game.
In a classic RPG, resources might be gold, items, or maybe time. For shax, we’d love for our central resource to be gossip!
For example, if you’re playing as the bard, you might interact with game characters to get the latest gossip. You then use this gossip as the inspiration for your brilliant plays, through which you gain renown and access to more characters. These new characters then fill you in on more exclusive gossip and the cycle continues.
We also mulled over a lot of other ideas, challenges, and approaches before settling in to make a start on a simple prototype. First thing to do is to test out our gossip machine.
All I’ve managed to do so far is to throw some scenarios and some gossip events together. Long way to go. Sam was churning away at various story snippets we can use to test our concept (she was laughing a lot while writing them so I trust that this is going to be a funny game to build and play).
Now to get some sleep. Mel out.
Welcome to this blog, which intends to document the progress and processes behind creating Tea For Three Studios’ upcoming game, Shax (or shax—we’ve not yet decided on the stylisation). Samantha here—hope you’re ready for some reading!
Sometime in March (2016), about a week before I submitted my PhD thesis in Shakespeare studies in the UK, I went searching for some funfunfun academic conferences to attend in Europebigland before I had to return to my native Australia. I stumbled upon a super awesome conference that would be held during the weekend of Shakespeare’s 400th deathiversary in the Kronborg Castle of Hamlet’s Elsinore. While my research area was Shakespeare film adaptations (and specifically the function/s of film soundtracks), I saw there was a panel called ‘Shakespeare and Technology’. In my ‘spare time’, I had been writing iOS games with my amazing indie team at Tea For Three Studios, and had kept a Shakespearean production at the back of my mind. The conference—and Shakespeare’s 400th deathiversary—seemed like a pretty good time to play around with some ideas, and after some transcontinental brainstorming with Melody, our team’s extraordinary games designer and developer, we had a very rough idea about our next project: Shax.
In April, we brainstormed a bit more, and then put together a very rough prototype for my presentation at the Elsinore Conference. But more importantly, we established some fundamental ideas about our Shakespearean game: