Developing a Scene Transition System for Enduring Dreamers™: Freya

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These are development notes for March, 2022.

There is a lot that goes into a video game, some of which are not the first thing a player will think about, it’s the smaller things. However, without these smaller–thingies a game would feel unpolished.

One typical—and very important—thing are scene transitions, i.e. the subtle, or not so subtle, effect that occurs when the game shifts to a different scene, such as finishing a level, entering a door, clicking play, opening the menu. The shift happens slowly, often using a fade to black and then a fade to transparency to slowly reveal the next scene.

This helps avoid abrupt and sudden changes in the visuals which can confuse or “chock” the player. A proper transition helps alleviate this. For example, by slowly fading to black, the player will feel at ease, they can take a breath and prepare their mind for what comes next. Then, a fade to transparency to slowly reveal the next scene allows the player to absorb one detail at a time—allowing their eyes a couple of extra milliseconds to identify what’s going on.

It might not be obvious from the video game trailer, but there are no scene transitions in my game. It only shows gameplay footage, the fade in and out are from the video editing of different clips. This of course must be remedied!

So I spent the month of March developing a scene–transition tool for the game, even though I was supposed to be working on adding some more content like enemies and perhaps a destructible ice block. But those things are content, they are not part of the core, the essentials, that makes a game work.

Sigh… priorities priorities!

I will see what happens in April, I’m thinking of pushing the extra enemies and destructible ice blocks a bit further still, because I think I want to focus on creating a saving system that keeps track of the high scores in a leaderboard.

Now, all these are of course things I already had planned on doing, so I’m just moving tasks around according to what is important to get done right now.

Any thoughts about this update? Comment down below!

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