“For Whom The Southern Belle Tolls” – Development Update #2

Dec
01

“For Whom The Southern Belle Tolls” – Development Update #2

Hello there!

This is Marcus Seyer, UI designer and programmer for ReVenture Games.

I just wanted to give you an update on the current status of ‘For Whom The Southern Belle Tolls’.

First of all, i’d like to thank all of you for your very generous donations and the trust you put in us! We really, really appreciate it!

Over the past few weeks we have been working hard finalizing the overall flow of the game, making new background and character renders, and especially lots and lots of UI work. Since that is my job, i’d like to get into a little more detail in terms of the current status of the UI.

The main bar that is always present at the bottom is pretty much complete in terms of the layout. On the left, Lorna’s portrait will be clickable and reveal the contents of her purse (i.e. a small, quick to access inventory), which you can then reach into and use the objects on people or other objects in the scene.

lb1_screenshot_update2_mainscene

Next to her portrait we got the “Activities” button. It will tell you if there is anything you can do in the current scene (helpful if you are stuck!).

In the middle of the main bar, you will have your trusty notebook, containing the following tabs:

  • A bigger inventory where you can get information about the items you collected
  • The map that lets you quickly travel across the game world
  • Case notes which will constantly be updated as you collect clues and find out secrets
  • A constantly updated dossier, holding information about every character you met so far
  • And finally, a page that lets you have an insight on your finances. The money you got on hand, the items you can pawn at the shop, etc.

Lastly, on the far right we got a surprisingly generic “Menu” button that lets you set some options, save/load your game, and, spoiler alert, exit the game! Shocking!

lb1_screenshot_update2_pausemenu

In the last update Natalie already explained how a conversation will work in the game, so I will skip that. We will however elaborate on that aspect of the game in more detail later on, since there is actually more to it.

Let me instead give you more details on how an investigation will work. Let’s use, as an example, a scene from “The Coming Of Age”, the first ever Lorna Bains game.

lb1_screenshot_update2_investigation_preview

Oh no, Eddie has been murdered! It appears he has been drowned in vat of..maple syrup! What a strange way to die.

That is of course the first thing you might notice about this scene. Clicking on his head will open up a sort-of verb-coin menu, giving you the option of either “Look”, “Move”, “Feel”, “Smell” or “Taste”.

In this case, you should probably “Look” at his head first. This will make Lorna say something about what she sees, and additionally, on the bottom of the screen a clue will appear.

In each investigation, you will have to collect the four most important clues before you can leave the scene.

Of course there might be more than those four clues, and you are welcome to also try to “Lick” or “Smell” his head. It might give you some more information. Or at least you would get a chuckle out of it.

I think that about sums up all I have to say about the UI so far. I am pretty much working on it every day refining or fixing smaller issues, so it is making good progress!

One little thing I wanted to add; In the screenshots we supplied to various press outlets, you can see that most of the text/graphic elements either contain early placeholders or just plain-out nothing.

While this might look strange, it makes sense since we are early in development of the whole game and we just got nothing to fill in those fields yet. Make no mistake, in later screenshots it will look much different as we will then have real info to replace these placeholders.

Next week, Natalie will post another update explaining in bigger detail how a hidden object scene will play in Lorna Bains.

Until then, stay frosty everybody!

Marcus Seyer.