Minor Update: GUI Improvements

This week I took a small break from working on the battle and exploration to do a bit of GUI improving. Ever since I moved to the new framework I’ve been redesigning all the menus to be more controller and keyboard compatible. The original home menu worked but it wasn’t as intuitive as I would’ve liked. I felt there was a high chance the end user may get confused navigating from the top menu, to the “End Week” button and in between the two menus in the home screen. Making a change to the home screen has always been in the back of my mind so this week I decided to finally make some improvements.

My goal with the home screen redesign was simplicity and uniformity. Instead of two menus and a button for the end user to navigate, all three options are available centered in the home menu. With this set up, the end user will always know which GUI is currently selected. The drawback being I can’t have both Upcoming Events and Residential Interaction visible at the same time. Because of this, I decided to place Residential Interaction first since the Upcoming Events menu will not change as often as Residential Interaction. I’ve also unified the two menus with the rest of the game’s GUI so both an item list and description is present.

I’ve recorded a video below so you can see the new home screen in action, as well as some small size changes to the budget menu I’ve made.

Besides that, I’ve been doing a bit of work with the data base of items/skills in the game. In order for me to showcase a proper battle I have to implement all the real in game items and skills. This has been a huge on going process and is honestly part of the reason things are taking a good amount of time but I’m making some real progress with each new week.

As far as the art goes, most of the monster designs are completed. As of right now we are in the middle of designing bosses. Also, we are in the middle of designing the daughter’s adult ending illustrations. I don’t mention these thing since I want to push there reveals as I get closer to release, just know things are being worked on!

But there is still plenty to do before I make my next major update; so, so, so many things. That’s all for now, I’ll talk to you guys in the next update.

 

Minor Update: Battle and Explore 3

I guess this is a good time to finally update. I’ve been slowly working on the game, making minor changes here and there, and fixing an never ending list of bugs.

Since the last update, I’ve completed most of the features on the exploration map, so I’ve been spending a great deal of time working on the battle system. I’m still in the middle of polishing the battle system, but I’m going to show off what I have so far anyways.

This goes without saying but everything you see is a work in progress. Again, I’m not sure when I’ll have that YouTube video ready, but just know I am working on the game. It’s amazing the amount of small things that just pop up as you’re working on things. These small things just suck up all of your time as you’re trying to make progress. Oh well, as long as it makes for a better final product I’ll keep pushing forward.

I haven’t been making weekly updates mainly because of what I mentioned above. The work I’ve been doing hasn’t been very visual, but it’s sure been time-consuming.

I will attempt to be more diligent in the future, as for now, I’ll talk to you folks later.

 

Minor Update: Battle and Explore 2

Ok, it’s been a good while since I’ve updated and I figured I should do that today.

I’ve been moderately busy with personal matters and haven’t been focusing on the game these past weeks. But recently I’ve been shifting back into developer mode and managed to get a bit of work done.

My goal has been to get a map into a functional and presentable state for the up coming video where I show off the battle and exploration. This is what I have so far.

None of the nodes on the ground are functional at the moment. But hopefully by next week I will have the exploration portion completed so I can focus on the battling once more. I still have quite a few more things to set up to get the battle to a “demo” level showcase.

No real e.t.a. on the battle and exploration youtube video. But I have a good idea of how I want everything to play out before I make that video. I’ll keep working at it for sure. Talk to you guys in the next update.

 

Moving Forward 4 – Stability

So as many of you may know, updates have been sparse in the last few weeks.

This is because I’ve been in a transition period. Since the beginning of the year I’ve been working towards moving back into my old home. I’ve been away from my home for over a year, and I haven’t been able to focus to the degree this project requires.

But in the last couple of weeks I have finally been able to completely focus on moving back to my old home. I’ve spent the past week completely moving all my things back to my old home and I finally have a sense of stability.

Starting next week I’ll be able to focus even more on progressing Guardian’s Guide. I’ll still be working a day job but the commute is much, much, shorter.

I’m also living alone at the moment, which will allow me to focus even better.

So, I want to get the next video out in 2 weeks. (maybe sooner) This will allow me to finalize features about the battle and exploration for good. I want to set up a video that properly showcases what the player can expect; so I might put in things that won’t be present early in the final game, just for the video’s sake.

It feels good to finally have some stability. I’ll talk to you guys in the next update!

 

Minor Update: Battle and Explore 1

Greetings!

It has certainly been a while since I’ve posted an update. I’ve been preoccupied with many other events in life and I haven’t been able to focus on the game as much as I’d like. It saddens me to say this, but this trend will continue until my living circumstance becomes stable. If all my plans go well, I should be stable again within the next month. In the mean time, I’ll work and update when I can. For this update, I want to talk about what I’ve done over the past few weeks, and how I plan to continue.

My main focus has been the battle system. I’ve spent a great deal of time creating attack animations, battle effects, battle transitions and coding systems. There has been a great deal of testing, changing values and testing again. I’m now at a pretty damn good point where I could show off the battle system but I want to focus on the exploration next before I show the entire thing.

What I have for you today is just a screen shot even though most of the work I’ve done recently is with animation. Once I’ve gotten all of the exploration to my liking, I’ll make a video showing the entire segment in action.

What you see in the screen shot above is a work in progress (of course) but the battle system is pretty close to ideal.

Moving forward I’ll be glazing over the battle system a bit more to make sure I didn’t miss any custom features I need to painstakingly implement with endless code change/test/repeat cycles. Once I feel satisfied with that, I’ll finally shift my focus to the exploration grid you see in the background above. I have a few vague ideas of what I want to do there but I’ll worry about it when the time comes.

Besides that, I’ve been receiving amazing art for the game in the past few weeks. I’m about 60% complete with all the monster/enemy portraits I need. I received a preview of the ending illustrations of the daughter, they are freaking amazing! I can’t wait to see the final results and I REALLY can’t wait to have it all in game, animated, and ready for you guys to play.

That’s all I have for this update. Once things are stable I’ll be returning to the weekly format. Until then, look forward to another minor or major update depending on what I get done. Later dayz!

Minor Update: Project Milestone

This past week Guardian’s Guide has reached a new milestone. We now have ALL the main illustrations for each age complete. The quality of the art has left me speechless. The artist has gone far beyond my wildest expectation. I really can’t wait to show you guys all the art and characters I have available, but I still have a great deal of work to do before that time arrives.

Speaking of work, I spent a bit of time working on battle animations. They will be short and to the point. The battle attacks will work by building different visual fxs on top of each other, so these separate animations will occasionally combine into large, flashy and quick animations. I do this so the player can focus on the battle instead of waiting for actions to finish. Impressive and flashy attacks are nice, but after seeing it 5,000 times I know I’d rather just disable it for good. This goes doubly when the attack is one of the strongest in the game.

Besides that, I’ve been pretty busy with personal matters. Things haven’t quite panned out as I planned so I never got to make the move as I mentioned in the previous post. Further more, I haven’t been working on the game to the degree I prefer but things are progressing nonetheless.

In the next week I’m going to continue working on battle animations. For the time being I will work on the battle and exploration portion of the game as I have quite a few things there I must work on. Once I have it to a true functional state, I want to show you guys what you can expect.

Until then, stay well friends!

Minor Update: Paper Game 4

So it’s been two weeks since the last update, mainly because I haven’t been actively working on the game due to life events. But I’ll deliver a small update anyways. You can get up to date by reading this link Allugic Blueprint 2022, and reading the past post here.

I’ve postponed creating new documents to focus on the battle system. Since I’ve now outlined many stats and values, I wanted to test them and see how well they functioned in real time. A have a tendency to get fixated on a problem until I find the ideal solution. Let me explain.

Guardian’s Guide uses a small grid system for it’s battle. Characters can move and attack on this grid at various ranges. I wanted to include grid “status effects” that apply themselves once a character moves to that particular grid position. This is possible and simple to implement with the framework. What isn’t possible is spawning a game object to visually represent that a “status effects” is present on that grid position.

Now, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do that, nor that’s it’s more harder to custom replicate this behavior, I already figured that out. The main problem I had was coming up with the best method to physically display “status effects” so it fits properly with the existing design.

You see, I did not design the battle landscape to accommodate anything but the characters. All the other information like character order, and battle menus are outside the grid system. But the status effects must be visually represented so you can know if you need to avoid them. This left me only one option, the status effect has to partially cover the grid position as well as the character that rest over the grid position.

And so the long think begins. What was the best way to do this and not look complete shit? Days go by as I thought of many solutions. What I needed was something subtle and non distracting, so it had to be transparent, but it also had to accommodate potentially multiple status effects on one grid position.

Most importantly, I didn’t want to do a lot of complicating scripting to manage this system since I couldn’t rely on the framework this time around.

I eventually thought of a solution (just a few days ago lol) that I like and I feel it covers all my needs. I used the particle system to animate icons of a status effect to vertically scroll across the grid position (and character). It’s just enough to let you know there’s a status effect there but not enough to hide a character. (unless there’s 7+ status effects on one spot but that would be over kill and funny so I’ll leave that as it is)

BEHOLD! THE FRUITS OF MY RIDICULOUS LABOR!

(This goes without saying but this is a work in progress so what you see here isn’t the final result)

As usual, the hardest part was coming up with a solution. Once I knew what I wanted to do all I really had to do was fiddle with some settings until I got the behavior I was looking for.

And that’s how it goes with game development.

Next week I will be busy with moving to a new home so I might not get time to do any real work. But my goal is to finally start doing some battle animation and making the battle system really punch as you play. If everything goes well, by this time next week I will be in a new home with some real privacy to focus on my goals.

Until then, stay well guys!

 

Minor Update: Paper Game 3

Another week over toward the goal of completion. As I explained in this post Allugic Blueprint 2022,I plan to complete the game to a playable state by the end of the year.

Although, I don’t have a lot to report this week. Most of what I’ve done is more documentation. I now have 90% of the weapons and equipment done. 30% of the accessories. Around 90% of the skills, that includes both the player and monster skills. About 20% of the battle items. I still need to create the home related items such as food, hygiene and assortment. Not to mention I still need to document quest, weekly city/world dialogue and residential interactions.

Regardless, I’m making good progress, it could always be better but it’s moving along.

In other news, my artist has been going back and making adjustments to improve the consistency of the daughter with all her older illustrations. Just recently I received a redesign portrait for the age 11 version of the daughter. Check out her before and after!

These changes are to be expected since this game is a major work in progress. I like the change, it fits better with her older illustrations. I’ll reveal everything to you guys in due time. Until then, stay frosty friends!

 

Guardian’s Guide Dev Blog 6: Upgrade To Ork Framework 3

It has been quite some time since I’ve done a major update for Guardian’s Guide. Around 8 months actually. There is a reason! I have been waiting for the official release of the new framework I’ve been using. Well, that release was earlier this week and now I’m finally ready to fully talk about what I’ve done since the last major update.

If this is your first time here, I’m currently in the process of making a daughter raising sim/RPG called Guardian’s Guide. The major and minor updates are meant to document the process until official release.

The video gives you a general telling of the decision I made but I want to break things down better in writing.

Back in early 2021, I knew Ork Framework 3 was in the works. The main reason I wanted to upgrade was the potential it could be much easier to create UI than in Ork 2. I believed this because Ork 3 uses a newer version of another tool called Makinom as it’s ground work and the creator later explained how he planned to change the implementation of UI creation.

Around mid 2021, I finally got my hands on the beta and I immediately knew I HAD to change my project to this version. Yes, I lost development time thanks to this migration but it was worth it. The difference in capability is immense. I didn’t mention any of the framework differences in the video but here I will mention just a few I’m really excited about.

  1. Variable List (Lists weren’t available in Ork 2)
  2. More control over string values (such as appending/concat)
  3. Support for Text Mesh Pro as default
  4. Event Listeners (events are auto called when a variable changes [or item/equipment/quest/ etc. changes])<–this is huge!!
  5. Much better control over data in the UI (Endless # sub sections for items/users/quest)
  6. Language Support (export and import of CSV files)
  7. Better Management of Battle Systems
  8. Solutions for a variety of problems such as movement, animation, pooling, path finding, steering, etc.
  9. Manual saving/loading variable data

That’s just the new stuff on top of what Ork Framework already offers.

As I mentioned in the videos, the changes I’ve made are mostly cosmetic. Better art, better animation, new icons and redesigned UI. I’ve also added full support for keyboard and controller. I use this all the time since getting around with buttons is some times faster.

Now that I’ve fully moved to the new framework, I don’t plan to make any more major shifts in development, nor do I have to worry about project breaking updates. My next major update is to get a working exploration and battle system show case. I want to show off the game in it’s entirety so people can know what to expect. Don’t worry, that update won’t take another half year. 😀

Minor Update: Paper Game 2

Hello again! This is the second minor update on the road to completing the game this year. To get caught up please read this post Allugic Blueprint 2022.

To pick up from last week, I’ve mainly documented more items this past week. The process is very slow since coming up with names and arranging values is quite taxing. Originally I had a pretty high count for each type of item, but after getting a good look at the magnitude I realized that number was very excessive. I’ve since cut it down substantially and have a much better manageable amount for each type.

Last week I told you I had around 150 items labeled, now I have a little over 160 items but I am 3x further along. Unfortunately I will not make the January deadline. (I knew this) Even with cutting down the item count I still have over 1000 items to get through. Maayyybee I could be done by mid February. Maybe.

Besides that, I’ve re-revalued the status values once again. After arranging the documented values on the items and testing them out in game, I’ve decided to completely remove AP(action points). Skills and items will be freely used in battle as you see fit. There are many other mechanics in this game for the player to worry about, I just felt Ap management would be more of a chore than entertaining.

I also wanted most of the skills in the game to be viable throughout the whole game. Removing Ap requirements makes this possible with the least amount of effort.

On the 31st of Jan, the framework I’m using will officially be out of beta. I had originally planned to release a video update showcasing the changes I’ve made from the old framework to the new. Well, I don’t have that video done or even a script ready. But I suppose I’ll do that and get it done by next week.

Such a long road a head, with troubled seas. I’ll keep doing my best!