Concept Art: Height Chart

Aug 17, 2016, 1:00:15 PM

Character Height Chart

Here's the relative size of all the characters when compared to one another. Or at least, in theory, that's what they should be.

When I went to draw some of the characters, especially the demon wolf, I ended up sizing him up or down. Actually, sometimes I think I ended up sizing him down because he shared scenes with Hana and Jade who are both small (tiny child, tiny animal).

I tried to do some work to make sure Kamiko's mortal, younger self resembled her somewhat as well.

That's all for this page.

New page of concept art every Wednesday.

The Shrine

I've begun to work on the Shrine again and take a different tact with This Mortal Coil for the time being.

Yes, there will be another comic, but the Shrine lets me explore This Mortal Coil in a different way: as a visual novel. Or as my friend put it, like a form of theater. The Shinto shrine is the stage and the characters are acting out on top of it.

To that end, I've revisited a lot of the tech behind The Shrine and fixed bits and pieces of it including:

  • Mobile. The Shrine's character dialogue system looks better on mobile devices
  • Rescaling. The Shrine will resize better to fill up a window on most devices now.
  • New Character Art and Dialogue. I'm concentration on Kamiko so there's a new look for her that's more inline with how I draw her now. She's also got a couple new dialogues that you can interact with on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I'm working on making more of them
  • Added interactivity. I've spent sometime tech-wise beefing up what I can do with the character dialogue system. I've added features that will allow it to be a little more scripted/game-y than a straight through visual novel. Not that you would ever really see this but these are some of the tech things I've added:

    • Dialogues can now have variables associated with them.
    • Associated variables can be assigned values and manipulated (add, sub, etc.)
    • If-ElseIf-Else conditionals. This is what makes the variables useful. Now I can code simple conditionals to drive how a dialogue will jump. This means I could create little battle systems, trivia games, and it opens up more possibilities to me.
  • Interactivity icons. Now when you roll over a character you'll have an icon showing what kind of interaction is there. It's reminiscent of the old school Lucasart adventure games.
  • Unity + Fungus. On the backend I use Unity and the Fungus plugin to edit these dialogues. Here's what that looks like:

Unity Fungus Shrine Dialogue Editor

Unity Fungus Shrine Dialogue Editor

I did not code this interface you see above. In fact, if you want to get busy making a visual novel you can get Unity 5 and the Fungus plugin for FREE. I watched 1-2 tutorials and it was easy to get up and running. I'm no expert at how to use Fungus, but I'm more of an expert on how to hack it since I wrote a script that will export a Fungus flowchart into a JSON file format that is friendly for The Shrine.

I'll talk more about it some other day.

Some videos of The Shrine in Action!

Wrote some new code for #TheShrine this weekend. On desktop there are graphical cursors to show you what you're hovering over. Also, the character dialogue UI looks better on mobile.

A video posted by Glenn Song (@albinogrimby) on Aug 15, 2016 at 12:47pm PDT

Another new feature is that I can script dialogues using if-else if-else blocks of script code in unity and export the result to The Shrine. I haven't tried anything nested but it does allow me to do simple games. Like this somewhat inappropriate punching game where you can play with Kamiko until about 4pm PST. It's a parody of an JRPG battle system. Maybe a little more Earthbound like. I'll have more interactive content like this for the Shrine but instead of committing violence against her she'll be asking you to commit violence against everything else. Wait, is that better?? #videogames #visuanovelgame #visualnovel

A video posted by Glenn Song (@albinogrimby) on Aug 15, 2016 at 1:07pm PDT

More changes will come down the line for The Shrine.

I'd love to make it so the characters can have a simple memory and that way I could potentially do a quest system.

For now though, I should get busy making content -- the art and writing -- and give more life to The Shrine.

See ya next Wednesday!