Sunday, 16 September 2018

SO CLOSE THAT A LITTLE BIT IS COMING OUT


Oh, we're gettin' close.
I don't want to say it'll be ready in the next week, but it can't be much longer than that, I've been making great progress the last few days.

This week I completed the 'skeleton' version of the demo, I can run the full demo start to finish, badda bing badda boom.
Now I'm doing cycles of improvement or whatever the hell you call it, now I get to have fun creating the final assets after weeks of working with placeholders.


In space it's always the 1970s and 80s





It's really getting there and it's been a lot of fun leaving the art until near the end like this.

This week's progress:
- Finished writing and scripting all story scenes in the demo, 2/5 have final dialogue, the rest need another couple of passes and more permanent art added, which will be the main focus this week.
- Added compact and transparent themes for text display, the latter of which is now the default because it looks fucking sexy during conversations.
- Added more options, ability to turn on/off various UI and Audio elements to suit user tastes.
- Made object finding process cheaper and fire less often
- Changed the way I was handling image cache clearing between rooms

Man, that doesn't sound like a lot, at all.
It's been really busy though, mostly scripting and writing dialogue. Really happy with how it's coming along and looking forward to getting it to you.

I've also written some new music, which I'll do more of this week.
Hopefully soon I'll actually have some gifs to share so we can get hype.

Thanks for reading, I'm going back to work,

Oko

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Star Knave

Hey,

I've been knee-deep in demo building every day this last week, feels great!
It seems like every few hours I'm creating some time-saving function that'll make life easier in future.
I guess I went into this demo thinking the battle, adventure and hentai parts were ready, so that it was just gonna be scripting what happens between them, but it's actually been great for developing the tools I'll use for setting up cutscenes, moving actors around, showing dialogue and so on.

Progress!
- Added binary switch for all actors deciding whether they can be added to combat or not, previous system added all units tied to player enemy factions, but in some scenarios it'd be handy to have some enemy units not join battle right away.
- Cheaper object search, old method checked each actor with two sets of criteria, now each actor is checked once with both criteria as either/or.
- 1,2,3 and 4 keys cleared message boxes but not choice, they now action the highlighted choice, too.
- Container objects now generate their own contents as soon as they are ready, like NPCs do. Previous system waited for callbacks from all created events before processing them all in a row, but this was causing problems and it made no sense to have two standards for how to populate objects
- Created easy functions for getting and dropping weapons, previous system relied on the object appearing in a container, this allows the story script to affect player inventory and equipped items, for example losing your gun in a cutscene or an NPC giving you a sword.
- Created dialogue handling system, narrator text shows instantly, character speech is shown printed letter-by-letter, in their color and voice (as determined by stats on their object)
- Adventure icons, representing: Look, Pickup, Talk To, Pass and Go
- Whole cutscene-handling system with:
        - Bust preloading
        - Busts 'talk' (mouth opens,closes) as long as their speech is being printed onscreen
        - EZPZ bust changing system


Demo story:
- Added some demo subplot to make the nice environments more worth exploring
- Scripted two large cutscenes, barebones, no busts yet
- Scripted about 60% of the demo story.
- Added NPCs to the bar, feels much more alive.

A really busy week, I'm having a great time.
Oh, btw, my new game is called Star Knave :3

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Demo building



It's nearly time to show everybody a glimpse of just what the hell I've been up to these past months.
As you can see from the picture above, things still look pretty barebones right now, so I can't say for sure when all this will be ready.
I don't want to shoot myself in the foot with an overly optimistic date, but I'm working hard to make it as early as possible without releasing v0.0.1 bullshit.

This week I mainly occupied myself with writing a short demo scenario where you'll get hands on with all the main mechanics, so you can see if you like it and I can figure out what I can do to improve them for the main game.

Progress:
- Finished up remaining work on hentai engine, including better speed change turnaround and C-meter grinding sweet spot
- Created tilesets for the upcoming demo (really feels great to work on some new art after months of the same rooms)
- Created some rooms for the demo
- Tuned how doors, fixtures and NPCs differ behind the scenes
- Tackled a huge lag spike on battle start, still not perfect but seems to be a once-per-session framerate dip, with subsequent battles not slowing things down. Will get to later.
- Wrote out the full story for the demo scenario, estimating about 15 to 20 minutes long, just enough to give an impression of how the game will look, run and feel.
- Any window that can be opened with number keys can be closed with them too, feels more intuitive and comfortable. Trying to maximise comfort of 1-handed play this time.

Improvements:
I wrote some small functions to solve persistent Lateshifter issues:
Default RPGMaker system for movement is really only good for pokemon style cutscenes, where all action and player input stops, a character walks onscreen, says something, then walks back out of the scene or remains stationary.
The main problem I had in Lateshifter which accounted for 95% of all bugs is that I wanted NPCs to move around independently while the player is also able to move.
This meant the player could get trapped by npcs or the player could be move-routed into a wall because all movement is relative and requires the moons aligning to not go wrong.

So I've hopefully solved all those problems with my new system. Now I use the builtin pathfinding that seemingly only gets used natively to make the player path toward location of mouse/touch input and for "move toward / away from" movement route rules.

Old system:
>Punch in relative-to-current-position movement directions that should get the npc to the desired location
>Move up, move up, move up, move left, move left etc.

>Oops, you're lodged in the fucking wall / a move got dropped because you walked in front, ruining the rest of the movement, the NPC didn't end up where they ought to and now the whole flow is broken, hope you saved! (SIKE, saving fucks up the move routes too! :DDD)

New system:
>Punch in "walk($gamePlayer,4,4,true);"
>If the player is not at position 4,4, path there, walking around any obstacles (including ones changing while en route) and resume the story flow once he gets there.

I'll expand this later to be smarter, checking if 4,4 is occupied and if so an argument for whether it's acceptable to pick a square nearby to path to instead, or to make this npc able to just walk through the blockage, but it SHOULD be a tight enough ship to not need these yet.


That's about it from me, I wrote a few minutes of new music for the demo this week and did some romancable girl design, physical and personal.
For the rest of today I'll be scripting the broad strokes of the demo with placeholder sprites, then when that's all done I can fill out the placeholders with final text, art and music.



Thanks for reading, I hope you're doing well.
Oko