You ever get so excited when you get an idea for a shiny new project that you can barely contain it? I get like that every once in a while, especially when it involves a new way to tell a story. Last summer, I began exploring video game creation – in particular, visual novels. Choose Your Adventure Stories were fun when I was a kid and the adult game versions I’ve come across in the last few months have been fascinating in their complexity. I even made a test game with a friend’s story just to play with the Renpy software and it was a lot of fun.
Then I realized I wouldn’t be able to tell the story I wanted to tell. I have little in the way of art skills and even less in the way of budget. So much sadface. I got a drawing app for my tablet. Results were…uninspiring. A few months go by and my friend Christopher keeps sending me links about game writing jobs (he’s subtle, that one) before he finally sent me one that’s proven helpful. The last few months I’ve been doing an online game writing workshop.
OMG, the ideas I’ve been getting. Some of them new, many of them expansions on ideas I’d put aside to work on later. Many links and tutorials later, I stumbled across some people recommending Blender software for 3D design and animation. I’m in love. Also, I’m so over my head.
Last week I gave serious thought to producing my own 3D game, not just the visual novels I’ve been planning. Great, but it may not be practical. (Designing or crowd funding all of the characters, levels, music, effects, and coding could take years on my own.) Baby steps, though. I’m learning the parts of the software I’ll need one section at a time and how to adapt to the programs controls on a laptop without a mouse. It’s a little slow-going, but I’ll get there.
In the meantime, I can use the program to produce 2D art, so I may actually be able to solve my content issues with visual novels.
I think my first big project with Blender will be a movie, no more than 10 minutes or so. I already have a story in mind. All I have to do is master the software. Easy, right? Thank goodness for tutorials.