On January 31, Musume officially stopped being a collection of concept art and became an honest-to-goodness functional video game. Well, game is a bit of a stretch: there is only one room right now, there are no enemies to fight, and there is no way to score points or complete quests. But the game is playable:
First, a little explanation.
After a ton of behind-the-scenes work, I was finally able to find an artist who could re-create the four heroines of Musume in a style that works for my animation process (Spine 2D, for anyone who's wondering). After getting the art, I had to separate her body parts by hand, then re-assemble her into a fully poseable doll. The final step in the process was animating her and then making her move inside the game environment. These thirteen seconds of video represent a whole lot of unseen labor, which is how it goes in game development.
So why did I record it via phone? I typically use a program called screen-to-gif to create videos, but with this video, screen-to-gif was creating ugly, choppy footage. It wasn't doing the animation justice. So, with no other handy options, I grabbed my phone and hit record.
There are a few screen recording programs out there, and I'm going to check them out to see which one is right for recording Musume. Future videos will have much better quality. But I wanted to post this, because I wanted to show the real progress that is happening on the dev side. Is this just one room? Yes. However, it's also validation of the workflow that I'm using. Now that I know it works, I can build bigger and better levels.
More characters are on their way, too. The in-game art for axe-wielder Mayu Suzuki should be done soon, and I hope to have her animated by the middle of February. Archer Tsurune and treasure hunter Mara should be done in March.
As you can probably tell, I'm very happy about this. Game dev is hard, but when it clicks there's nothing like it.