The game plays in real-time, with something like 15 minutes IRL = 1H in-game, so a full game day lasts 6 hours IRL. However, travelling will make time to go faster.
All scripted events are related to time and space. For example, something will happen in downtown at 11AM but something else will happen elsewhere at the same time. That’s why the looping day is usefull.
Every character will have its own life and planning. For example, Josiane will wake up around 8, leave her house around 10 and work until 18, before meeting her boyfriend at Fast Food and then go to bed around 22.
The player will have to make a detective work to know each NPC’s schedule.
So when you figured this out, if you want to catch her without her boyfriend, you know what to do.
To organize all these events, I’ve created a “time space table” :
First, player will find little by little how to get deeper into this day’s secrets.
But there’s also an ultimate walkthrough to achieve for the most dedicated players : get to the end of the game using only one game-day. I already figured this out. This will require some tight planning ! 😀 And who knows : maybe there will be several ways to achieve it, maybe some I won’t plan myself !
Dialogues and words are a very important point in a point’n’click. As a french writer, it makes better sense for me to write in French, but the game will offer, of course, an quality english translated version.
It requires some good management tool to deal with thousands of sentences, and I’ve decided to make my own. Actually Construct 2 can deal with XML files, so I’ve made my custom text editor / translator / manager with PHP/MySQL that can generated perfect-formatted XMLs.
The UI’s not that fancy for now, but, hell yeah, it WORKS ! 😀 It even updates my database directly in my C2 folder, I just have to click on “update”. That can’t be easier !
On first day, the hero don’t know he’s looping into time. Every night at 4 AM, you come back to the beginning of the last day.
So after one or days like that, you start to know what will happen. Then you can anticipe and catch some better opportunities. In order to achieve two goals : discovering why the world is so polluted, and stop your suicidal friend to kill himself every day at 3AM.
I’ve made an excel sheet to organise event through space and time.
For now, we start to have some kind of engine. We can move and talk. Paul is working on animations, we should have some movie soon ! 😀
Paul started to create the Jean-Cheval character. Trying it with one of my scrappy background.
I started to make the graphics myself, black & white, to create an noir atmosphere.
But then my brother Paul, who is an animator at Cartoon Networks, got fun of me and offered to work as the graphic designer of the game.
I got the idea of Bel Ocean in 2012. My previous game, an “MMORPG” called Ours en Slip Simulator, did fail to meet its ambitions, and was cancelled. Then I wanted to make something less experimental and more accurate on the gameplay. I choosed to make a point’n”click because I’m really into storytelling, and wanted something simple. However, it needed a twist : the character will live the same day again and again, like in the movie. Gameplay is focused on this.
As a technology, I choosed the software Construct 2 for some reasons :
– This is an easy software to learn. I’m more of an artist than a coder, I want things done quick. Still, this software is really powerfull for what we need.
Then, the story.
It’s about some characters I’ve created with the years drawing comics. Jean-Cheval is the hero, it’s a story in a sad future, when pollution and depression has taken over the world. You can change that.