Minor Update: Paper Game 1

Hello! This is the first minor update of the year with the goal of completing the game. If you’re not familiar, in the post Allugic Blueprint 2022 I declared my conviction to complete the game (to a fully playable state) in one year. My first goal on the list is to complete the whole game (or most of it) on paper so I know exactly what I need to do as I work through the game. This involves documenting all the items, quests, extra characters, exploration locations, and main/mini events I envisioned for this game.

This has been quite the challenge so far. Just coming up with names for items has been tough. So far I have 150 items created. Just a few 1,000 to go! I can already tell this process will go into february, oh well. Once I have everything documented the making process will go more smoothly.

Besides that I’ve been making some changes to the game. I’m trying not to change too much but I felt these changes were necessary. Each character in the game will have Talents. The companions in your party will have 1 unique Talent made just for them with 2 additional Talents slots you can equip for yourself. In order to gain those slots you must evolve the companion. The daughter will have access to the same Talent pool as the companions as well as unique Talents relating to her life and jobs. She gains access to her Talent slots as she grows.

Unlike weapons, armor, accessories and Titles, the influence of Talents spread across the whole game and are meant to make more impactful changes than merely “add 100 to attack”. For example, I completely forgot “chef” as a job type to include in this game. (other wise I would have included it) So instead, I will add cooking as a Talent option, and every week the daughter will “cook” something you could use to improve her mood/condition or give her increased vitality.

The idea is to have unique Talents develop as she works jobs. Even more unique Talents will spawn when you mix and match different job types, both for Life and for Battle. The battle Talents may spawn as you play characters a certain way or the way you interact with the world. This idea is still fresh and I still need to document this portion of the game.

Another change I made was to how Ap (action points) is used in battle. Originally, Ap was limited to a small amount and a character was able to use multiple actions in one turn. Since then, I’ve made changes to the battle system that allows for movement and now utilizing multiple actions per turn doesn’t feel appropriate any longer. So I’ve limited action to once per turn and now Ap works like regular Mp. The difference being, a certain amount of Ap is recovered every turn.

This pretty much makes the battle system works more like a traditional turn based game. (but with movement) I have some fun ideas to make the battles interesting.

That’s all I have for this week. In the coming week I’m going to continue documenting the game and testing the gameplay. Hopefully by february I can get the ball rolling on year 1.

 

Allugic: The Blueprint for 2022

2021 has seen some of the most promising development for Guardian’s Guide since I begin making the game many years ago. Even though I took the time to transfer the project over to a newer framework, the setback was very worth it and has allowed me to make changes that will benefit the game once it is complete.

With that said, development time is a foul beast. It is very easy to get caught up in feature creeps and “improvement” spells. I spent a bit too much time in 2021 doing these things when I should have been pushing the project forward. Towards the end of 2021 I realized I didn’t have a release date for this project. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even have a release time frame. “Was I even planning to release this game?”, I asked myself. The obvious answer is yes, it’s the predominant reason I’m making this game, so people can play it.

I have to get serious. More serious than any time in my life. I have to set a dead line, and then push myself to meet that dead line. So I decided for 2022 I will “complete” the game. As in, the game will be playable from start to finish, minus the polish, effects, final art, etc. Having the game in this state by the end of the year will allow for a early 2023 release date. So here it is, an official declaration.

Guardian’s Guide will be released in 2023.

Everything I do from now on will be to make that deadline. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to split my focus from development to site maintenance, to social media and beyond. Most of these web sources will suffer since I plan to hyper focus on accelerating development. I will still attempt to update the website regularly, but the updates may be sparse. Keep in mind, I am also working a full time, 40 hour job. I will be sacrificing all my free time to make this dead line.

I have a plan that splits the game into chucks to be completed each month. Here is roughly what I am attempting.

January – Entire game completed on paper/begin completing year 1

February – Complete Year 1 (age 11)

March – Complete Year 2 (age 12)

April – Complete Year 3 ( age 13)

May – Complete Year 4 (age 14)

June – Complete Year 5 (age 15)

July – Complete Year 6 (age 16)

August – Complete Year 7 (age 17)

September – Complete Post Game (age 18)

October November December – Work on final 10% (testing, adjusting, editing, improving, other endless task)

This is a very favorable outcome. The truth is I have no idea how long completing a year will take. It might be quick, it might take much longer than a month. Nevertheless, once I have a good idea of the time frame, I’ll be able to get faster. I expect to fall behind in the beginning as I know I still have many things I need to do before I can really get into full development swing.

This 2022 year time span also gives my artists plenty of time to complete my initial request bulk as well as the images I plan to add once I start working through the years of the game.

Once I get to the fateful “Final 10%” I will start doing more site specific stuff like advertising and showing off the game. I guess that will be more of a 2023 thing. If I’m not at that point by then, hopefully I will be close enough to get an official release date in mind. If I’m not even half way, then that’s pretty much a fail on my end.

2023 might sound like a long wait for you guys, but it feels like almost no time for me to get all the work I need completed. lol But I am going to get it done. I want more than anything for the project to be successful. An entire future of other projects and my personal life depends on me properly bringing this game to market. I won’t let everyone who’s helped me up to this point down, I WILL complete this game. Please give me all your support for 2022 and 2023!

 

Minor Update: Item Colors

Another short update because I’ve been pretty busy not working on the game much. What I’ve been messing around with off and on is getting item names to change colors. I believe I finally came up with a solution I like. The colors are based on the grade of the item with blue being Rare, green being Unique, the 3rd being purple and the final a mix of the 3 colors.

Now I have to go back and update all the other menus to make this visible everywhere items are present, nonetheless, it was worth it as I like colors on item names.

That’s all mates, be well.

Minor Update: Game of Numbers

This will be a rather small update but I wanted to get something out this week.

This week has been a mix of number crunching and bug fixing. Since the full release of the framework I’m using is around the corner, I want to make sure all the features I need are production ready before then. Unfortunately I won’t find everything but it’s worth testing to make sure there will be adequate stability once it’s released.

Besides that, I’ve been building and arranging development data related to the monsters. Unlike the main character, the monsters in the world and in your party will have a fixed development over time. Their stat development will range from (lowest to highest) Inept, Weak, Average, Strong, and Gifted. There is also Genius and Sage but they are special cases. Most monsters will have a fixed job with a fixed stat development. For example:

Attacker

  • Stamina = Average
  • Strength = Average
  • Intelligence = Average
  • Willpower = Weak
  • Perception = Weak

Mage

  • Stamina = Average
  • Strength = Inept
  • Intelligence = Strong
  • Willpower = Inept
  • Perception = Average

In order to increase their development limit you have to evolve the monster. All monsters start at Common, then evolve to Rare and finally Unique. There are 2 additional evolutions but they are only available at end game and require special circumstances.

I have to be careful in dealing with these numbers, if I include a mix of items that makes a character too strong, it will ruin the balance of the game. At the same time, I want to include enough freedom so the player can build a team just the way they like it. Choice is kind of an important element in this game.

Well, that’s more or less where I stand right now. I have a number of menus and data I need to create in the framework so I’ll be getting back to that.

Until the next update, stay frosty friends.

Minor Update: Increment

Hey, it’s been a while, so I’ll be delivering a bit of updates today. But the first question I should get out of the way is, where have I been? Well, no where. I’ve been just working on the game off and on in between life. I didn’t update for the past few weeks as I felt I didn’t really have much to report. Truthfully, I had plans to create a video to coincide with the official release of the framework I’m using but it seems that release won’t be until sometime in the middle of January. So I decided to hold off on that video until then. Besides that, development has been modest over these past few weeks. Nonetheless, I’ll go over whats been happening.

Early in the development of this game I changed the default resolution from 1920×1080 to 3840×2160(4k). Ever since then I’ve been slowly recreating old images so they properly reflect the newer default resolution. The main gui was practically the last stock of images I needed to recreate. With it completed, all the images in the game should be resolution compliant. Check the images below to see the difference. The frame of the gui has been redrawn and made flat to better coordinate with the rest of the gui elements.

Keep in mind, the old build in the images above is the same build you see in all the videos I made up to this point. I’ve made so many changes, both small and large, that I’ve forgotten a lot of them. I will attempt to go through as much as I can when I finally release the next video.

Besides the gui, I’ve been going through the game and fixing any “odd” behavior that would bother a player. For example, if I removed an item from a menu list, the list would scroll incorrectly; or, items not updating correctly after I use them.  This results in me spending hours trouble shooting and/or eventually reporting it as a bug in the software. Luckily, I’ve received or fount a solution to every problem I’ve had up to this point. Unfortunately, I know there are more small problems waiting for me, as that is the nature of software.

My goal is always to be further a long then I planned but this month has been particularly lack luster. But that doesn’t mean things haven’t progressed. As of matter of fact, there has never been a point in time (in the last 2 years) where this game wasn’t being worked on in one form or another.

A few months back I decided to out source the production of the monsters in this game. Originally, I had planned to create them while the main artist created the daughter and the main NPC cast. Truthfully, I didn’t want to take a lot of time away from designing and creating the game to work on all the monster designs I needed. So I asked my main artist if they knew any artist interested in designing monsters. After a few days of contact, I now have an additional artist doing the monster designs. And they have done phenomenal work so far.

Most of the monsters in this game are based on real animals. As of right now, about 40% of all the monster illustrations I need are completed. There are still quite a few non-monster portraits I need that I will probably create myself. Besides that, I have most of the illustrations for the daughter planned out for the entire game. That sits at about 40% completed as well.

I haven’t even touched on all the amazing music I’ve had created for this game. Throughout the whole year I’ve been working with a fantastic composer for the music of Guardian’s Guide. You’ve only heard a small portion of it in the videos but soon enough you will hear more and more as the game progresses.

Well, that about sums up what I wanted to post this update. My current goals are to wait for the official release of the new framework before I make a major update and video, slowly work to find odd behavior in the game while also continuing to solidify the ground work of the game design.

Just know that I am still here, I am still working on the game and so are the illustrators I have on board. Looking at the calendar, this will probably be the last update for this year.

I hope you all have a happy holiday and I’ll see you in the next year!

Minor Update: Animation Complete

That’s it! I am officially complete with all the animations for the illustrations I have available so far. As I’ve mentioned before, I still have more illustrations in queue, and at the moment it will still be quite a while before I get a hold of them. In the mean time, we are sifting focus back to game development! (If you’re wondering, the image above is a small(large?) preview of the 12 year old version of the daughter)

My immediate goals for the rest of the year is to solidify the in game weekly cycle, add/fix/improve all available systems, and finalize the over all design of the entire game. With this in mind, I started reviewing the basic systems of the game and extrapolating stats growth over the entirety of the game. I ran into a problem with the current stat growth in the job system.

The stats were growing too high by the end of the game. Each stat increase is a percentage added to the battle stats. If I left it as it was, the values would exceed my preset limits resulting in things like Hp being 25,000 by the end of the game. This isn’t a problem in and of itself but I want to keep values within the 4 digit range to better keep track of where the player should be at any point in the game. This limitation is very important since smaller numbers are better to manage as I test battles and events throughout the game.

So I came up with a new system that slows the growth of these stats by 4x. This will ultimately split the stat development between jobs and equipment with a small third from random events throughout the game. My goal for these stats is a soft cap of 300% and hard cap of 500% (this value will most likely never be reached in game) Check the images below to see the changes.

 There are still more systems I need to review so I’ll be looking out for any serious changes I need to make. As they say, a solid foundation makes for a sturdy house.

In the next month I will be making some serious announcements and releasing a new video showcasing a lot of the changes between the old build and the new. I’m thinking of doing it on the 14th of December. I’m not sure yet, we’ll just have to see how the month plays out.

As for now, I’ll continue adding, reviewing and redesigning systems in the weekly cycle. Until next update, stay frosty friends.

Minor Update: Animation 4

I was pretty set on not updating this week since I spent most of it relaxing and gaming. But I felt an urge to get some work done toward the end of the week and managed to reach my goal of finishing all the animations of the current roster of NPCs. I even went back and adjusted a few older animations.

Now all I have left to do is a few animations for the daughter’s older ages. Out of the 16 I have, 13 are complete which leaves 3 to go. I should have them completed by next week, and since this is a holiday week in my country, I will have time off work to tackle other task in the game. Or, I’ll use the time to relax and game again.

Time will tell.

Minor Update: Animation 3

As mentioned in the previous updates, this will be a very short post. As of right now I have 10 1/2 out of the 16 animations complete.(65% roughly) I am almost done with all the major NPCs. I’ve also been going back and making adjustment to previous animations. Maybe by next update I’ll be completed with everything I have so far.

I’m trying to power through as much as I can but all that mesh editing is super draining. Check the image above to get an idea of the amount of clicking I have to do with each character, and that’s only halve the number for that animation.

So much to do, so little time. Nevertheless, we go on.

Minor Update: Animation 2

Time for an update on the animation process. But first, I want to show you the final title screen with the entire background animated.

If you compare it to the old video you can see it looks much more vivid and active. When I decided this composition I wanted to include a beautiful night sky more than anything. This choice was a bit of a homage to Princess Maker 2. There is also a consistent theme of stars throughout the game if you haven’t noticed.

With the title animation complete I have moved on to the characters. As I mentioned before I have quite a number of characters that need to be animated. As of right now I have 16 in total. (not even close to the final number) I have 5 completed so far, which brings me at 30% completion. The animating process isn’t so bad, the real time sink is the mesh editing process.

The dots are vertex that help shape the edges of each polygon that makes up the mesh. What you see here is the out line of the “Body” image’s mesh. Moving any of the vertex (dots) will also move that portion of the image. This creates the illusion of motion that you see in certain games and anime idols on youtube.

The mesh is what controls the morphing of the image. You have to make a good, detailed mesh to make a believable animation. And since these images have so many parts, the mesh creation takes anywhere from an hour to multiple hours. I’ve been recording all the character animations up to this point and plan to continue, so eventually you will get to see the whole process.

Here is a video of one of the characters I’ve animated this week. Since I already revealed her in a previous post I’ll show her again here.

As for the rest of the characters, I’m not ready to show them yet. There are many other things I want to reveal before I start showing off characters and plot points. So I want to get through all the animation stuff ASAP!

Since I’ll just be animating for the foreseeable future I’m not sure what I’m going to post next week. Maybe I’ll show off some monster designs. We will see.

Minor Update: Animation 1

Happy Halloween! This is the first of many animation updates. This week I have a small video of what I’ve done with the title screen. I have the daughter animated so far but there is still more that I need to do.

Next I want to add some particle effects to the background to really give the title screen motion. I have a few ideas in mind but I have to see how they look in action. Once I’m done here I need to decided if I want to start animating NPCs first or the older versions of the daughter.

Super short update but I’ll talk to you guys next week. Have a good day!