Monday, 20 May 2019



This time on gamedev;
>Added new area
Made the most progress in a while in terms of just getting through chunks of story / level.
Really near to the end of mapping for this level, now. Rolled the tileset over to a fourth page.
A couple more side rooms and one big theater room, and I'll be set.
>Enemies are darkened on death
Piles of bodies resulting from bigger fights were getting visually a little exhausting, so now they fade to look more like background set dressing, so there's no ambiguity about who's in and not in battle.
>Make enemies blind
Added an argument that precludes enemies from sight-based battle starting. Sometimes a guy is too busy doing what he's doing to be aware of his surroundings, god knows I know that.
>Fixed animation limitation for sprites
I had a pretty basic block in place to make sure corpses didn't animate anymore, but it also affected non-combat npcs. Now the blocks only apply to battle animations on dead combatants, and everything else is back to working.
>Made sure shooter and target are both onscreen to prevent cleaned-up bullets.
On their turn, enemies wait until they are onscreen before moving. Very rarely, on big maps, that enemy's target would still be offscreen and projectile objects are erased when they aren't visible anymore.
So buddy fires at his target, who is safely offscreen and thus at no risk. Based 4th wall.
>Retimed the battle animation curve
In battles, animations have 3 frames before returning to a set base sprite. The previous tuning was like [120,70,70,120] so the first frame would hang a bit longer, and there'd be a delay of 1.5+ seconds before that animation, and as such that move was considered 'done'.
After some experimentation, it's now [70,70,78,85], which makes actions feel punchier, more staccato, and there's less of an inherent delay between actions, which prevented it feeling responsive.
Now if the player wants to buttonmash through combat, they totally can, and it looks and feels fuckin' great imho.
>Changed ork and goblin sprites
Just a minor change, I wanted them to look more distinctive, more 1980s Games Workshop, less fisher price.
>Fixed item spawning on units
I had some trouble getting a certain enemy to spawn with a different gun than they have by default, so I put in some debug logging and accidentally discovered that every time I was adding an item to an enemy, it was generating an entire list of items, choosing the one it wanted, then discarding the rest.
So, so wasteful, and in honesty the way I was doing it was shitty anyway, so I switched the way I generate items and lists of items to be less expensive and easier to read.
>Came up with way to synch actions to music, regardless of computer specs (not tied to fps).
This way I can choreograph scenes like the intro and boss fights, to have events happening exactly when they're meant to. Before I was timing this by waiting frames, because on my computer 60 frames is roughly a second, go figure.
But on lower spec, if you can only manage 45fps, like my netbook, the synchronization will fall outta line really quickly, so the experience is lesser and everybody goes home feeling bad about themselves, exhausted from socially overstretching at the party and hoping everybody else didn't just find me obnoxious.
>Completely rebalanced all sound levels to be more consistent
This has been a long time coming, every time I make a video for youtube or something I realise how out of whack my sound levels are, and how low the whole mix is compared to everything else on my computer. So what I did was:
Rebalanced all my sound files to be roughly equal level across the board
Turned down every sound in the whole game at a software level
Set the music level higher than before, since it feels like the base,
Set the UI sound levels,
Balanced fight sounds, one section at a time, first attacks, then defends and shouts,
Brought up footsteps, reload sounds, ricochets, speech,
Turned off music,
Tweaked a few levels
And now I'm very happy with it. I can set a volume and just play the game for a while, and it all sits well.
>Fixed enemies not turning to face the direction they're firing.
It'd been like this a while and I figured out why and mitigated it.
>Fixed two subplots tracking with the same variables, whoops
Got done of one section, on to the next and arrived to find the girl pre-fucked.
That's definitely not supposed to happen, this isn't Subverse.
Instead of trying to reuse tracking variables and hope that I blank them later, I'll give girls their own. It's the least I could do.
>Much better, reusable weapon pickups
Before, in the demo, it was heavily scripted. Now it's one line and all I need to set are the sprite and object. I could automate it further, but the returns would be less. It's cool though, now it's so streamlined and re-usable I feel free to leave an axe lying around etc.
>Changed collision behaviour
This is a pt.2 to the changes I made last time. I took a look at how collision works by default in the engine and changed it.
By default, if you are standing on collision or the tile you want to go to has collision, you can't move. I think this is silly, so I edited to only consider where you're moving to, allowing characters to move OUT of tile collision, as long as there's a valid tile next to them.
This is useful for when I want to have enemies lying on a couch or sitting on tables spring into action for battle, or to have guys spawn in the black of a doorway and come running in without toggling individual collision each time and stuff.
>Fixed music change from battle to map
Before I had a simple wait, meaning you could finish a battle, leave the room, immediately get into another battle, then have the wait end and kick in with map music in the 2nd battle.
Now I use recursion to check during the wait and abort on map change or battle restarting.
>Added new unit for a bit of variety
Nice to have some more shooters.

To do notes:
Put in more final-sounding dialogue for scene.
Expand a little on bonus side girl
Finish the current floor with wandering monsters, items and the 2 or 3 characters I have planned
Add in a 3rd-act branching point, possibly locking player into one or the other.

I'll just be keeping on, really happy with how everything is going, feel really blessed.
But I could always use a little more energy, so pls gib below, or i report u <3

Monday, 6 May 2019


How's it going, bros?

These last two weeks have been FUCKING busy, let's jump into it.
So I ended up adding some more mechanical touches. Yeah, I know, I know.
But it is just to support the story, so I can live with it
One thing required another, which sort-of required another, but the long and short of it is; I got a fucking ton of stuff done and I'm very happy.

I still haven't got my notepad file back up and running, so this will be collated in no particular order from what I remembered last night and from my cryptic, unhelpful-as-fuck commit messages.
This is probably about 75% of what I got done:

>Finished one of the big sexy encounters
>Added big scene with its own art, music and fun
Easily my favourite part so far, it's so much better than it was on paper.
>Fixed a RPGMaker MV """feature""" to do with collisions
Whereby a decal on a wall makes the wall have no collision, and so I had enemies in another room shooting me through a blood stain? 
Bananas. This is actually a common complaint with the engine/editor, and I've fixed it, locally. If you're making a game and know what I mean, reach out, I'll tell you what I did or send you the script.
>Added idle poses for enemies not in battle>Updated robots to be shiny, because they were a bit shit.
>Wrote score for the level intro cutscene
>Started writing score for final battle
Powerful. I cri evrytiem.
>Added health pickups to the game
Figured it was about time I had some map-based health kits for scrubs
>Scripted out another potential sex scene where before there was just a chat
>Changed about half of the fight SFX from very old placeholders

Now using very cool sounds, which combined with the next part make fights a total treat
>Made the whole fight system snappy and responsive
I had this fear that once you get a gun, there's really very little reason to go back to melee or even just fists. I didn't want to solve this by making guns worse, so I revisited the timings and delays one last time to make things much quicker, snappier, like burst fire.
It's still a """tactical""" system, in that you're still running around turn-based on a grid but I wanted punching cunts in the face to feel more visceral, so now it plays out as rapidly as you want to push the buttons, and combined with the new sounds, it honestly feels great, almost like a beat em up.
>Added ammunition system
Started out as a way to balance very fun but imba weapons, made it global because having two systems felt silly and raking around in peoples pockets for bullets feels pretty good.
>Automatically take all the ammo from weapons as you pick them up
With a neat little score-totaling sound for each bullet.

>On-hit bullet effects
Lets me expand the arms race in future, and immediately allows me to add something cool for a boss fight.
>Fixed bullet-trajectory
A while back I changed how the firing worked, maybe I mentioned it? Problem is I only updated the start point for the projectile to align with sprite gun barrels, but this meant in certain setups you would miss enemies you should be hitting. Now the trajectory takes this new start into consideration and that doesn't happen anymore.
>Added money system
I had a funny idea for a merchant this level and it'd be shit if you couldn't buy from him.
I want shops next level, so might as well add it now, since it uses the same logic as the new ammo system.
>Animated decals where bullets hit
Better sense of impacting the world, innit.
>Added tools for myself to quickly restat characters from NPCs into combatants instantly
>Added very quick way for me to plant essential items on characters via meta tag like they are a walking, breathing cupboard 
Probably sounds more involved than it was, I just moved some of the meta tag checks higher in event composition, so it applies to combatants and npcs as well as just objects, now.

For realsies now, there shouldn't be any more mechanics to add this side of release.
I say it like it's a bad thing, but I know how it looks; better devs than me have fallen prey to a feature creep they thought they had a handle on. 

I'm out, working on a little puzzle now until bed time. Thanks for reading.