Episodes of a Discontent Life [DevBlog #1]



It’s been a while since we updated this as we’ve been very busy with our latest project. We’re also terrible at social media.

If you read our last blog, many moons ago, you’ll remember that we mentioned remaking our weird little Ludum Dare games and combining them into one coherent package. You don’t remember do you? It’s pointless doing this if you’re not going to remember everything we write…

I’ll just start over but we’ve got a lot to get through so pay attention!

Tonight on Point Bleep TV…

Episodes of a Discontent Life is a peculiar game about peculiar people. You will play through four interactive episodes of hard hitting, thought provoking television. Each episode will look into the lives of 4 individuals discontent with life. Harold suffers in isolation. Carl’s bitterness prevents him from finding love. Simon’s life in sales is a daily misery and Marlo has a shark for a head.

You control how each unique episode plays out through point and click style gameplay with fun dialogue trees and puzzles. We hope to make you laugh, cry, re-evaluate you life and at some points sing!

The whole thing will be packaged as one evenings viewing on the Point Bleep TV network, complete with commercial breaks between shows. So go ahead and pop the kettle on and get ready for the most gripping television you’ll ever play!

Development Status - 28.5% Complete

Though we have the base games from Ludum Dare complete we are putting a lot of extra work into them. In the case of The Mind of Marlo we have updated the visuals, improved the interface, rewrote the entire script, added story cutscenes, recorded voice overs and wrote new music. It’s more or less an entirely new game! We are currently squashing the remaining bugs and then we are done. Once complete we move onto Oh! You Monster!

Oh! You Monster! will/should have a much smaller development cycle as it’s a less complicated game, though a lot of work needs to be done to bring it up to the standard of The Mind of Marlo. We look forward to creating more cardboard box based sexual innuendos and seeing where Carl’s debilitating personality takes him.

How To Cope With Boredom & Loneliness needs minor tweaks as we are pretty happy with how it turned out initially. We want to polish it and add some extra stuff for returning players.

Sassy Salesman Simulator will be left till last as it needs a fair amount of work. We didn’t quite make the game we envisioned the first time around but the new version will be amazing… Well, it’s going to be a bit better, I’m hoping. We’re trying to focus on one game at a time but my mind keeps wandering to this one. I’m really looking forward to working on it again and making it amazing, well, a bit better.

Then we just need to tie it all together with the in between show ads and the main menu hub sort of thing. It’s all coming together nicely and think it will be a really fun little product, if a little odd.

New Tools!

Our games tend to have lots of text and dialogue in them, keeping track of it all was fast becoming a nightmare. Invention is the mother of necessity and as such we created an ever expanding tool we call Speecher. It is a spreadsheet based app that allows you to add the actor, camera angle, animation, scripts, dialogue and much more. It then exports a file for Unity to execute. It gives you a quick overview of every object and line of text in the game, making it easy for localisation and organisation. Rodo is working on implementing a dialogue tree interface so we can pretty much do everything from within Speecher. I’m not a brainy little code freak like Rodo so a user friendly tool like Speecher is great as I can write all the scenes without having to worry about too much techno mumbo jumbo.

Release Date

We ideally hoped to finish by the end of April so we had time to take part in Ludum Dare 38, then release the game. Turns out this is taking far longer than expected! LD38 is fast approaching and we have much work to do. We could skip LD38 but then it’s always fun to see what we eventually create, it could even be something we could add to Point Bleep TV to make it an even better game! Though likely, it will turn out to be an absolute mess as we’ll be suffering massive burnout by then.

In any case, we hope to complete the project within the next 4-6 months. We are anxious to see what Steam has in store with Steam Direct. We were planning on submitting to Greenlight but will likely still be working on the game by the time Greenlight is replaced. We’ll see. You’ll be able to download the game somewhere though!

Okay, well, that’s that then. End of blog. Thanks for reading. Get out.

Join us next month as we discuss Ludum Dare 38 and whatever rubbish we ended up creating.

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