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Pixel Noir - Story & Pacing Update

by Couchpotato, 2014-04-27 05:38:28

SWDTech Games talks about the story of Pixel Noir, and how it will play out in the latest kickstarter update. The game has fourteen days left to get funded.

Story & Pacing

For today’s update, we focus on something near and dear to our heart—the story of Pixel Noir. For us “story” is not simply the plot of the game. It’s bigger than that. It’s lore; it’s dynamic interactions; it’s design

The Tale of Pixel Noir 

You had it all, once: a job, respect, a chance to make a difference in the world. And as an up-and-coming detective in the Pinnacle City Police Department, you were well on your way to doing just that. But you got cocky – following a lead on a cold case that you were convinced you alone could solve. Instead, the only thing it led to was your undoing; taking the lives of innocent people, including your partner, Det. Cold, in the process. 

Ten years later, with detours in the nuthouse and a bottle of scotch, you’ve hung your hat in Pinnacle City. It’s no garden spot anymore, but it’s still home to a colorful population of washouts, dirtbags and big time crooks. Lucky for you, these sad sacks provide your private eye business with plenty of cases: mostly snapping pictures of cheating spouses and telling poor saps what they already know. Every now and again, a Mr. ‘Deuce’ pops up like a bad habit, paying too much for jobs that are too much trouble than they’re worth. No friends to speak of, unless you count the bartender at the local watering hole. And maybe the local wild man Woof, though he’s not so much of a friend as he is a cocker spaniel with fists. It’s not a great life, but it’s uncomplicated and it’s yours. 

And then someone has to ruin it all by bringing up the past. You thought that cold case was dead and buried, but a new lead’s crossed your desk that may unearth everything. But as new evidence is brought to light, your sanity starts sinking into darkness. Without warning, people contort into gruesome monsters; alleyways melt into visceral mazes. How can you hope to uncover the truth, when your own senses betray you? 

Story as Design 

We’ve worked hard to test and optimize things like pacing of dialogue, pacing of story, and how conversations look and feel. 

From the get-go we knew that Pixel Noir needed to be told at the right pace, not only from a story perspective, but from a dialogue perspective as well. Everybody at one point or other has experienced a game that has had either too much or not enough dialogue—and we wanted to ensure this is paced right especially for mobile players who may not have the time to sit through 10 minutes of conversation. 

When we started building our pre-alpha demo for publishers, we thought about how to visually display conversations in Pixel Noir. We wanted to ensure that they were intuitive and easy to understand. At first, we thought about having conversation boxes appear near the character with differently colored boxes depicting who is talking. It worked, but didn’t really look great. 

Information about

Pixel Noir

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Modern
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development