Discovering CloudNovelist: Interview with Lenore – Behind the Mechanics
Sonya Musk Uncategorized June 7, 2019 | 0
Hello, CloudNovelists. It is I, Sonya, and today I am interviewing one of our very talented game developers, Lenore. Lenore has created Falling for Flags, and other great games currently in the works.
Lenore has demonstrated extensive knowledge of using the CloudNovel engine to make fantastic interactive games, and today we will delve into the mechanics of how Lenore makes these games.
What inspired you to make your games?
In general, I’m very interested in story telling, and was frustrated that the video games I was into weren’t more story based. I was working on a (really bad) novel when I started getting into visual novels, and the more I played them, the more interested in the medium I became, until I finally decided to try it myself.
How would you describe your style of game development when it comes to making your games?
Okay, this one is long, sorry: My development style kind of goes like
1. get idea
2. try to forget idea
3. if the idea sticks around, I give up and write a summary in my “ideas” doc.
4. If I’m still hung up on it, I outline it.
5. At this point I kind of get in over my head and start writing/tracking down resources all at the same time. I like to have all of my assets in order (though I always end up having to replace some for some reason or another) before I put any writing into the engine. I also make a doc that’s a list of every resource that I didn’t make myself with links to the sources, to make credits easier later on. This is the most chaotic phase, so that really helps.
6. I write my script in a separate doc. If I’m not on a deadline, I like to let my writing sit for a few weeks before I start adding it to the engine, because I’m more likely to catch mistakes when I’m copying it in that way.
7. I use the everloving crap out of the “copy page” feature to make animations easier (and I use “change sprite” on almost every page where a character is talking so this really saves me a lot of trouble, but I still have a highly animated game in the end).
8. Mechanics is just kind of a matter of experimenting/breaking things/fixing bugs/asking for help… it helps if you think that kind of thing is fun
What was the most complicated idea you had for a game?
Falling for the Flags turned out to be really complicated, as I had to build each feature in the tutorials two or three times. Conjure Craft (not yet released but demo SOON, I swear) seemed like a very simple idea, but turned out to be pretty intense mechanically, between the inventory, shop/sell, collecting areas, and what has become the bane of my existence: the Grimoire. It is very complicated and annoying each time I add a new spell, and I usually forget something which causes bugs. Penpals is also kind of complicated, just in terms of routing and having a choice of avatar images… basically the farther my games get from a classic VN, the more complicated they are.
What do you like most about game development?
I think my favorite thing is just figuring out something new I can use the engine for! I find the engine is kind of more fun than any actual video game… what can I say, I’m a weirdo.
Would you say you like making rpg games more or visual novels more?
I’m not sure I’ve really done anything that can be considered an RPG… but I really like the idea of VNs with RPG features, if that makes sense… heavily story based, but with extra interactive features.
What is your favorite feature about the cloudnovel engine?
Favorite feature might be screens, but I have to show a lot of self-control there, because they are magical, but also add to initial loading time.
Who is your favorite character or game you created?
My favorite game so far is the (still unreleased lol) Conjure Craft. Ironically, it doesn’t really have characters or a plot, but there is a kind of sassy tutorial AI, which is a type of character I enjoy writing.
What is your favorite animation in the cloudnovel engine?
Favorite animation is probably keyframes. Almost as magical as screens. They just make things so cinematic!
Are you a member of the wrecking crew?
And yes, Wrecking Crew and proud! But also sorry for constantly breaking the engine XD