No context sudden need to make a tiny game with jumping voxels and desaturated colors. I've no idea what it's about, except I named all assets in #TokiPona, and my mood was involving some kind of lazy melancholia.
I guess it could become a random walk in a quiet forest, with occasional dialogues and chill beats in the background.
Seems like I'm making a custom pixel font for this game. The good thing is #TokiPona uses only 14 letters and capitalizes only names, so it's way faster and easier compared to regular fonts.
I'm trying to give it some kind of natural, script vibe. A bit cryptic, maybe somewhat Elvish. I could have used sitelen pona glyphs, but it would be way too much work for now. I want to have fun making this.
This forest is growing out of control. There are now different height levels and both characters can walk on specific terrain, so you have to swap between them to reach some otherwise inaccessible places.
The lagomorph can hop on logs and the batracian can swim. It's not pictured here because the GIF would be huge, but it works!
As I kept increasing the map's size to cram more stuff and design more intricate levels, I started to feel the need to come back to the dreamlike simplicity of the beginning.
Paradoxically, the world feels endless when it's tiny but floating in a misty void. As soon as it grows bigger than the screen, its physicality turns the poetics of contemplation and mystery into the usual video game exploration trope.
Meanwhile, in the voxellated forest, inhabitants headbang on lo-fi procedural beats and sliced RAV Vast tunes.
@ice Oddly easy enough to read. Little dots and creativity can do marvel ! If you do a full (french) alphabet i’d love to have the font.
@Jeux1d100 Turns out it's not so readable in the game, so I'm currently experimenting with a bolder version. Not sure how far I'll push the experiment, but yeah, I'll probably release the font at some point.
@jameschip This makes me think I still don’t know how to say video game in Toki Pona, maybe "lipu ilo musi", or "lukin musi" if we want to be simple and literal. "ilo lukin musi" would be fine for VR, I guess. "lipu musi" could work, but also mean magazine, graphic novel or board game. "ilo musi" maybe, but it would be a toy or a gadget...
@jameschip Using "nanpa" for something immaterial/digital is a good idea, I never thought about it. I guess a "nanpa ilo" could also be a calculator, but if you think about it as software, it works great!
@ice i was thinking of it as just “computer” which is just counting box/thing. But you play with it.
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@ghostlevel Thanks a lot :) I don’t know yet how and when I’ll release it, but I’ll probably just upload it with a couple of maps and keep updating it regularly. I’d like it to feel like some kind of random walk with no goal, just exploration, not only for the player but also for myself.
@somnius Thanks! That's the only rule I want to follow: I've no idea what it will become, but it has to be cute and fun to make :)
@ice looks really good!
fyi you can also upload videos with no audio track and they get displayed exactly like a gif (but much smaller upload size)
@eel Thanks a lot :) And thanks for the suggestion, it's a good idea since my GIFs drastically increased in size when my map became bigger.
@rpginabox Haha thanks :) That's why I like to work with 8x8x8 models lately, since there are few details you can do otherwise tedious stuff pretty fast and experiment with crazy animation ideas quite easily.
@frankiezafe It's designed to be easy to speak, pronunciation is pretty simple and forgiving, so yes, you can talk in Toki Pona (though personally I use it more for written things and introspection.)
@ice are you using "nena sitelen" for "pixel" here? I kind of love it. I've seen people on the discord use the pre-pu "leko" for pixels before but haven't seen a nimi pu way of doing it.
What is "kaweti"?
@clarity Yeah, more specifically this is the antialiasing setting. At first, I went with "selo sitelen" but it felt more cute this way :)
"kaweti" is a quick and dirty attempt to tokiponize "qwerty" but I haven't checked how correct it is. Maybe I should leave it, I'm not sure.
@ice ohhhh I see. I think I would have mayyybe gotten it if it was "nasin Kaweti" with the capital K.
@ice I would maybe describe anti-aliasing as "o mute e nena sitelen kepeken nanpa seme" but the "MSAA_16x" makes it clear enough from context that the shorter one worked
@clarity That’s a great way to describe it :) But yeah, maybe a little long. The one thing that bugs me so far is the generic "yes/no", not pictured here, used for confirmation dialogue. I went for "lon" and "ala" but it feels a bit strange. Also "on/off", though "on" generally points to a specific translation key.
@ice ahhh yeah. "lon" and "ala" are the best you can get if you want it to be generic across every option
@ice For some reason, I've always felt that the exploration style of the first King's Quest game possesed a certain purity/charm to it that I seldom feel elsewhere. Something about the empty, completely 'useless' sections of forest and land you would go through, combined with the non-scrolling camera and the small protagonist walking slowly across the screen in whichever direction you had pointed him in... just worked.
I wonder how much of this feeling is at work in your project :)
@detondev I haven’t played it but yeah, I see what you mean. I think the last decades saw a shift towards "open worlds" and big levels have become the norm. We had levels as microcosms, framed paintings almost, and the world was a fragmented abstraction.
Nowadays, the camera makes the player the center of the world. Which makes me think I should probably use a fixed camera, mmmh... I don’t know yet, but you’re right, there’s something about this I have to explore further.
@ice IMO, although the general trend of game design has been towards increasing immersion by upping the graphics & putting the focus on whoever the player *is* in the game, I think many indie games lacking the budget for that stuff could benifit from this kind of style, where it feels more like peering into another world, watching a moving painting instead of a movie.
Also, King's Quest I is on archive.org, in all it's shitty 80s game design glory :P
@ice "Idle animation in sync with the music" is the videogame feature I didn't know I needed but that I know want into every game.
@lertsenem Haha, I'm still experimenting, but I think most objects will end up moving in sync, whether it's other characters, water, trees, grass, anything that can add a bit of groove to the mood. Turns out it's way easier to do than I thought, at least with low-res voxels, so it should be fun.
@kevin Thanks :) It's pretty simple, I made a bunch of beats/bass/vast parts, sliced them into 3-second loops, and coded simple conditions that toggle the beat and the bass. On every tick, I also select a loop of each kind randomly. In fact, it's just 3x4 loops for now.
This is raw output, and the 2-frame animations are changed depending on which instruments are playing.
@woxok Thanks! Every letter uses the standard Latin values, so it’s only 14 letters, twice, since there are capitalized versions, plus a few punctuation characters.
There’s no Unicode dark magic, because it doesn’t include specific glyphs like sitelen pona. I’d like to, at some point, but it would be a lot more work, and require some advanced ligature settings to replace whole words with single glyphs when they’re detected.
I’m using https://fontstruct.com, which is great for pixel fonts.
@ice Ok great, thank you ! I'd rather use the combo @inkscape + #fontforge because my #FOSS expectations but it is really good to know. Also I'll look into creating ligature and accented glyphs with these tools, so if someone has tips about it 🆘. Maybe someone of the @tokiponaFR community already created one ?
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