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Dizzy Hearts is the story of a young girl who travels far from home. She meets Mercilia, a young elf at odds with her destiny.
Dizzy Hearts is the story of a young girl who travels far from home. She meets Mercilia, a young elf at odds with her destiny.
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411 backers pledged $16,691 to help bring this project to life.

Technical Stuff

Posted by Taosym (Creator)

A more current rendition of Merci's winter clothes.

So, a few people have asked me for technical details about software, hardware, engines, etc. I'll use this update to go into a bit of detail about the stuff behind the game.

Relating to Vagabond's updates.

I've decided to wait until it looks that Vagabond will be unlocked to continue updating about Vagabond.

Engine

Dizzy Hearts is going to be using the Ren'py engine specifically designed for Visual Novels. Ren'py is an open source python engine developed by PyTom.

You can find out more here:

http://www.renpy.org/

PyTom can be found among other VN devs at Lemmasoft here:

http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/

Ren'py can be as easy or as hard as you want it to be. Getting the images, and placing them in the game, and having them talk to each other is the easiest part of making a Visual Novel. One can make a very short very minimalistic game with not much time, and as short or as long as you want it to be. If this is something you're interested in, I would check these sites out.

Ren'py also has the ability to export to Win/Mac/Lin automatically, with work being made on an Android packaging tool.

Software

For my art I use a combination of SAI and Photoshop. For me, Sai gives me better finesse in my brush control, it's also fairly lightweight and easy to use for what I need it to do. Photoshop is more of a workhorse, it does everything I could want with more specialty brushes and more precise control over perspective, grids, rulers and angles.

The sprites were drawn primarily in SAI and received finishing touches in Photoshop, or I went back and forth between these two programs to get the effect I needed.

The backgrounds were drawn almost entirely in Photoshop. This is very helpful when you are drawing specifically buildings that you need to be in proper perspective, that need to be straight and you need to create proper horizon/perspective lines.

Hardware

I think you'll find that my setup is actually very bad for what I'm doing. I'm using a Bamboo Fun & Touch, probably the cheapest Wacom tablet on the market (trust me, you do not want to buy a tablet that isn't a Wacom), it's very crude for what I do however it's a testament to the statement that tools don't make art, artists make art.

Computer wise I have a 955 x4 BE overclocked to 3.4ghz, 4gb of Ram, Radeon 5670

The rest of the computer is passable considering I don't really game except for VNs. However 4gb of Ram is not very optimal for drawing, especially since all the art in Dizzy Hearts are drawn at 4x 1080p and the Sprites are 5000px tall. With many layers of poses and expressions. This makes the files I have to load into memory incredibly huge. If art is your thing, you can work on 4gb of Ram, I do. Realistically you would want 8gb however, and optimally, the more you have the more comfortable and large your workload can be. 16gb is good, 32g if you're also using Ramdisks for Photoshop. This is more for hardcore professional work.

That said this is only my setup, software wise I am quite happy, hardware wise it's often difficult to work on backgrounds for the 8-12 hours I was prior to releasing the Dizzy Hearts Demo. But if you don't have the hardware it's still possible to do what you need to do. Better hardware only increases your efficiency.

Comments

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    1. Taosym 3-time creator on

      No problem! I'm glad it helped.

    2. Elfwyn on

      Thank you for this update.
      The technical background was really insightful.