Yahtzee’s Dev Diary: Shamus Young Let’s Play and Critique of BRTV

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Jul 3, 2019

Filed under: Column 6 comments

No column this week. It’s a long story. Actually, that’s not true. It’s a short story, it’s just not very interesting. At any rate, I made a video this weekend and so I offer that instead.

Yahtzee Croshaw is making “12 Games in 12 Months”. Right now he’s on month 2. His game this month was a top-down strategy game where you run a televised battle royale. You place the camera and have some minor tools for influencing the the action. The Escapist invited me to test the game and do a reaction / critique video of it. So that’s what this is:


Link (YouTube)

As people have pointed out on YouTube:

Yes, I missed the detail that, as the host / officiator / producer of this murder-show, it’s the player’s job to place the safe zone. It even says so right on the screen. Somehow I missed this detail and went right to clicking on the person I wanted the drone camera to follow. I’m not sure how I overlooked that detail. I guess part of the problem is that I can’t read and talk at the same time, which you kind of need to do if you’re making an off-the-cuff reaction video like this.

Anyway, if you’re of a mind to watch a video then I hope you’ll give it a thumbs up so my work doesn’t look pathetic next to the rest of the Escapist’s offerings.

We’re getting back to normal content tomorrow with the return of the Spider-Man series.

 


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6 thoughts on “Yahtzee’s Dev Diary: Shamus Young Let’s Play and Critique of BRTV

  1. Decius says:

    The ‘full game’ that could be salvaged from that isn’t worth making when it already mostly exists.

    And you would want more than 100 hours for the face art assets? I don’t know how many different options there are, but once it’s in-flow each of those options should be less than five minutes or so.

    1. Shamus says:

      I did not say 100 hours. I was speaking off-the-cuff and not being precise, but the gist I was going for was that if my artist had a full-time job (playing games + producing Zero Punctuation) and was only going to work on the project part-time, then I would give them more than 2.5 weeks to get it done.

      There are a LOT of options. Just drawing each one takes a while, but there’s also the fussy work of getting them sized properly and lining up just right.

      “Oh wait. These lips extend out of the bounds of the face on this head. And this hair shows nasty edges when combined with this neck. And this large nose overlaps with the baggy eyes.”

      And so on. Of course, Yahtz designed the system itself so he would be less prone to make those sorts of mistakes. But then, he had to code all of that himself. Either way, it’s a LOT.

      1. Decius says:

        Are there any face elements that exist outside of a bounding shape that contains no bounding shape of other elements? (Possibly non-convex bounding shapes)?

        If the art pipeline says “All noses fit in here, and all eyes fit in here” and there is no overlap, it works out just fine.

        I can’t find BRTV to try to break the face production, so I can’t even assert that it can’t have lips that extend past the face or a nose that overlaps eyes. If it did, it would be about as bad as some of the faces generated by AAA studios where every slider is set to one extreme or the other. The flexibility to make something bad is necessary to be able to make it good.

  2. Amstrad says:

    To be fair Shamus, you did about as well as Movie Bob did in his review of Yatzee’s first game when it comes to missing elements of the game-play. I don’t have much experience playing games and commenting on them simultaneously, but it seems very much like it’s a skill that needs some practice. Professional streamers deserve a bit more credit for that I suppose.

  3. Chris says:

    watching you move the circle around and it saying “place safe zone” while talking about picking a character to follow hurt me deep inside.

    You know when youve beaten a game or solved a puzzle and then watch someone else stumble around making mistakes? I felt that constantly.
    Kinda a shame he only works 1 month on a game though. He has some neat older games and Id rather have a unique full featured game than these short prototypes.

    1. Amstrad says:

      If you watch one of his first dev video he explains he’s been working on a longer full featured game for a couple years now and is dissatisfied with working on an idea for so long and not knowing if it’s actually worth the effort. So he decided to do this as a way to refocus.

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