Note that the content of this update was from June 2023. It wasn’t uploaded then due to technical stuffs but here it is:
There aren’t many updates to the project right now, though I’ve mostly been trying to replay the current version of the prototype so that I can have better context of the game when working on the next parts. Although it may seem silly for me to do this because I am working on it in the first place, I have been taking a break from the main story part of the project and would like to make sure that my next ideas are consistent with what the game currently has so far.
Some (random, not professional) advice if you are working on your own project that happens to have a story as well – I strongly recommend at least some kind of prototype or storyboard to have ready. If it’s a video game, consider this to be like a short version of a strategy guide – describe the core mechanics the player can use to interact with the game while showing the intended path the story takes. I don’t work with storyboards much on my own projects, but I do find them to be quite useful, even when working on the first rough draft of the game, like for Infidemia.
I’m not sure if I’ll end up releasing this game or not, because it’s a personal project and not really a game, but, I think it still helps me while I’m working on it to describe what the latest updates are and what’s coming next for Infidemia.
I think I have some notes about the overall story for Infidemia, but, since it’s a game where the the player is meant to decide how the story goes, it’s more of an outline on what kinds of ideas should be present in the story.
“why not ask an ai chatbot to write your story for you?” –> No. However, I’ll explain why I say this. (long rambling explanation below)
I’ve heard a lot about various “AI” tools (which are actually machine learning models, based on the definition from this article by IBM, https://www.ibm.com/topics/machine-learning , which shows that it is more of an algorithm trained to do specific tasks), and find it frustrating that users are letting technology decide actions for them, rather than users in control over technology, users appear to be reliant on the response of the machine. Sure, this technology is new and interesting, but, I find no reason why it would benefit me.
I’m not an expert in philosophy, societal morals, or ethical codes, but, I also find “AI tools” to be problematic in that their datasets used do not account for how this may result in perpetuating the harm caused by historical examples of systematic oppression. The problem is not with the technology using a mathematical model, the problem is with the data this model interprets to use as its basis for understanding people, and how the limited perspective of development teams are used to create these tools. It would be better if more people from various backgrounds and experiences come together to work on tools like these, because more people may realize that there are common issues overlooked. To explain this another way, a problem with these “AI tools” is that the development teams need an ethics team working directly with them to understand the implications of their tools and hopefully realize what their intentions are in this. The source I used to provide a brief overview of these concerns is by the Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2022/07/why-you-need-an-ai-ethics-committee .
This is why I refuse to use “AI tools / machine learning models”, because these tools lack true agency and personhood to understand how to write a story as a human. These tools may be capable of “generating” creative content, but, even then, if the work of a tool like this is just done by copying parts of others’ work without crediting them, there is no point to use a tool like that and call it my own work.
I prefer to write my own story and have my own decisions, not letting this be decided by a program that someone else wrote. (I’ve considered writing my own programs to automatically create music tracks, short dialogue, and other stuff I could write a program to do, but, the reason I won’t even make my own tools to do this for me is because there are some processes that should use raw experiences and interaction, and even if I am bad at writing stories, and that I have my own flaws as well, it’s still better to do this myself, because I can use my own discretion, control over my own work, and ultimately, have more options available to me).
Sorry. There is no reason for me to interrupt a development update article with unrelated content.
TLDR (Too Long Didn’t Read): I prefer to write my own content manually and personally don’t like some aspects of “AI” tools. Even though that stuff exists and is available, I’m still doing this manually because I consider it to be my own personal/creative (even though I am pretty bad at making up stuff :P) project – I have my opinions but I still respect other choices that someone else might make if they were to write a story; maybe they’re okay with that, but for me personally I will continue working on this by myself and from my own work.
Anyway, I am still willing to work on Infidemia, though it will most likely stay as a personal project. Perhaps once the rough draft / first iteration of Infidemia is completed, maybe I’ll see about setting up a demonstration version of the game. There is no “demo” for Infidemia (based on this update, Infidemia does not really exist if there is no playable version of the game, correct?) and it’s just some silly project I decided to work on or something. But, I’ll probably still end up writing updates for this because I can use these updates to help keep track of where I am in development.
Here are some new updates: (relevant to the time of posting)
New updates to Infidemia have been a little bit slower because I’m focusing on some other projects right now. I’m not working on this project every day, but…
I’m still thinking about what to do next for Infidemia and trying to at least work on something when I’m not actively developing the project, so I’ve been doing (a little bit of) more stuff:
- Started to practice drawing again. I’m not a professional artist and don’t know anything about formal techniques/practice, so, a lot of my concept stuffs is probably pretty bad. Maybe I’ll look up some tutorials online about how to do some like shading techniques and stuff, but it’s mostly so that I can get some ideas in physical form with a more visual representation than other concept stuff like audio (although there is more concept audio as well! Some [music?] themes have slightly changed over time and I’m considering learning how to write sheet music or maybe study some more music theory so I can kind of sound like I know what I’m talking about but also practice the skills).
- Experimenting with what aspect ratio the game should display at (along with trying to get more of a “pixel-perfect” look to it). Although it’s a personal project, I like to consider things like this, as I find it interesting to work with devices.
- Adjusted some debug stuff to make it easier for me to test the [gameplay?] aspect of the project.
- Working on setting up my own custom plugins, since I found out the edits I’m making to the core engine (which often break things, sometimes causing “Game has encountered an error” kind of bugs) can actually be used as plugins instead, so, this helps establish a more modular approach… kind of?
…And, that’s all there is for now.
Until the next update,