Minor Update: Intro Progress Report 12

And here we are with another minor update. This week was spent mostly replacing icons I didn’t feel fit the game. I have now completed that task! Check out the video below to see all the new icons. Half the items you see are just place holders btw.

 

With those completed, I’ll be moving on to animating all the art/characters now. I’m going to be honest, this will take a while. There’s over 14 characters I have to animate and I still don’t have all the planned characters available so I won’t be fully complete once I’m done here.

I might have to skip some minor updates until I’m fully complete since most of the characters aren’t ready to be shown. Hum…we’ll see, time will tell. I have more events happening behind the scenes so maybe I’ll update with that when the times right.

Hum…..decisions, decisions.

Minor Update: Intro Progress Report 11

I’m back again for another minor report. Picking up from last week, my goals were to complete the transition animation from one week to the next, redesign some icons and work on character animation. I managed to get through at least half of those goals.

First off, here is a video of the transition animation from one week to the next. (with sound!)

Most of the important events and values will change depending on the current date. For example, the seasons and year will change after the week reaches a certain threshold. Upcoming events will remove themselves from the list once their week has passed. Body related values will increase as the weeks and years go by. Since I only have to keep track of the week or year it is easy to maintain all these unrelated values.

Now that I can play through the game for one week I’m going to go back and work on all the things I’ve skipped. But before that, I’m redesigning some icon I felt didn’t fit the theme. Here is what I have so far. You can see the old icon designs here.

I’m about 40% done with the icon redesigns. Once they’re complete I’ll start animating characters as well as the title screen. Besides the animation the main focus will really be the exploration and battle system. Once that’s all done I can move on with more general game development.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! Lets all have a great and productive week!

 

Minor Update: Intro Progress Report 10

There has been some unexpected changes the last week. Please read Moving Forward 3 – Holiday Hustle for more information. Nevertheless, the show goes on, lets go over what I got done this week.

My goal was to complete the intro this week. Well, I am partially done. There are two things that happen when a week ends in Guardian’s Guide. The first is a time transition animation from one week into the next. This is not complete yet. The next is a chart breaking down all the values that changed from one week to the next. This is complete, see below.

Well it’s not completely complete but all the values work as intended. I still need to add scripts connecting it with the rest of the game.

I intentionally focused on the chart last week because it was the most difficult to built and I was still unsure exactly how I wanted it to look and the information I wanted to include. I think I’m comfortable with what I have now. There is a small chance I might adjust it in the future but I doubt it.

For the next week I’ll attempt to get that transition animation complete along with any other detail I missed. After that I’ll work on art, character animation and fine tune the “game week” loop.

This will be a slow holiday period for updates but stick with me. I have some great things plan for the game and many, many things I haven’t shown yet. Until the next update, be well friends.

Moving Forward 3 – Holiday Hustle

Well, the fated day has arrived. Actually, it arrived many days ago. I have taken on a day job. I knew this was going to happen sooner or later but I didn’t plan it to happen this soon. To make a story short, I received an offer from a friend, and then I took it.

Why, you may wonder? I’m running low on funds. All of Guardian’s Guide has been self funded up to this point. I was doing okay until I got hit with 2 medical emergency’s a few months back. I’m pretty good at ignoring stuff but this wasn’t one of them. It put a pretty big dent in my pocket.

Even with that, I still didn’t want to return to a day job. My hope was to devise a plan to make income and still continue to focus mostly on the game development. Easier said than done. I took a good look at my circumstance and evaluated my position and made the best choice for the future of Guardian’s Guide.

As of right now I plan to work throughout the holiday season. Hopefully this will give me enough time to devise a plan to make income without devoting so much of my time away from game development.

Sadly, this does mean I won’t be able to get as much work done as I’ve been since I’ve started this website. I will attempt to stay focus and properly manage my time so I can have something to show with each minor update.

Once the holiday season is over, I’ll give you guys an update on my position and what I will ultimately decide to do.

Minor Update: Intro Progress Report 9

It’s the week end, so lets discuss what I’ve done so far. Last week I set out the goals of making input keys rebindable by users, recreating some icons and completing the intro portion of the game. Unfortunately, I only got 1 out of the 3 goals completed. Let me explain my pain.

So as it turns out, unity’s original input system doesn’t have the ability to (easily) allow for key rebinding. Ok, so I switched to unity’s new input system which does allow for key rebinding. Except I couldn’t get the damn thing to work properly with the framework. How frustrating to waste an entire day researching methods just to get a basic feature every modern game has. I was left with two options, continue to use unity’s new input system and struggle to put together a basic rebind system or use a separate, but well established input asset that just works out of the box.

Both keyboard and controller rebinding works flawlessly.

I chose to save time and got the asset. Finally, things just worked again and in little time I was able to get a functional input and rebind solution up and running. At this point it was already half week and I was running into other small problems as I was wrestling the input system. I realized I hadn’t put together a solution for resolution and window size. Since the entire game is in 2d at a fixed ratio of 16 by 9, any screen resolution that is not 16 by 9 will see more information I didn’t intend thanks to the 3d nature of unity’s camera.

Check out the immediate top and bottom of the game screen to see objects (the daughter’s legs on the bottom and particle effects at the top) sticking out of the intended viewable screen.

Oh boy, another problem I get to beat myself over the head about. I thought of quite a few solutions, originally I was going to force all screens without 16 by 9 resolution to be in windowed mode instead of full screen. This would have worked but I realized a player could just press Alt+Enter to go into full screen, and I was still bothered by the fact that objects were visible outside the 16 by 9 ratio. So I decided on a much more simpler approach. I just covered the gaps with all black images. With this primitive method, any resolution can be windowed or full screen and only what I intended will be visible to the player. It’s not elegant, but it works.

With that decided, I had to create the setting menu from scratch since the framework (or unity for that matter) doesn’t offer a pre-made solution out of the box. Yeah, that was fun and not time consuming at all.

Despite how simple it looks there are a lot of things going on in the background. Good news is the resolution change works quickly and smoothly.

Finally, after going back and forward testing the resolution changes I now have a working resolution control that will work on any screen offering you the best image for your screen size. As far as the other options go, I’ve tested decreasing the image quality and it didn’t do anything of worth, so I didn’t include it. There are no real 3d elements in this game so I didn’t include a lot of other options like depth of field, bloom, and POV. But I did include options to disable effects such as character animation and particle effects during exploration and battles. This should help people with weaker systems run the game better. I’ll probably add more options at some point down the line but this list should cover the most important ones at the moment.

Now that all of that is done, I can finally get back to the two goals from last week. Recreating the icons and completing the intro. What an annoying week this was. I did not like it. 1/10 week, I fart in it’s general direction.

I will have this damn intro complete next week. Believe it!

Minor Update: Intro Progress Report 8

New update! Just like last week, this one will also be short but that doesn’t mean work hasn’t been done. I’ve spent most of last week working on the exploration, making a bunch of changes under the hood and doing a bit of work on the intro dialogue.

The event icons now lie under the player. This makes it easier to add other effects over the tiles if I desire. I’ve also removed the backgrounds of most of the icons to make them blend better with the environment.

Most of the time last week was spent on finalizing the controls. Right now there are 3 ways to operate this game. With the mouse, which was the original method and the way the game was designed around. With the keyboard, which was partially supported in the old build, it is now fully supported. And finally, with a controller. I’ve tested it with the mouse and keyboard but I hadn’t got around to making it controller compatible.

After some time tinkering in unity, I managed to get the controller functional. I have to say, I rather like navigating the game with a controller. While all 3 modes of control are functional, I don’t have the ability to let user rebind the keys. This is a no-no for modern games as far as I’m concerned. I will take the time to fix this problem.

Lastly, I did a bit of work toward completing the intro portion of the game. By this time next week I will have the first full in-game week completed. This is certainly a small milestone but the week won’t be fully complete since I’m still missing many things like animation and other features I plan to go back and adjust.

For next week I’m going to work on keybinding, recreate some item icons since I don’t like what I have now, and complete the intro week along with other miscellaneous tasks in between.

That’s all for now, later days.

Minor Update: Intro Progress Report 7

Hello again folks. Today will be a very small update. To be blunt I don’t have much to talk about this week and I don’t have any images to show you, but I am here and I don’t want to keep you guys in the dark for too long so lets talk.

For the past week I’ve been taking it easy and spending just a minimal amount of time testing the changes I’ve made to the battle system. As usual when learning a new system I ran into problems. As of now I have figured out all the hard stuff and what I have left is a much better system than my original custom one. Thanks to switching to this newer system the game battles will be much more dynamic and I’ll be able to control actions much more easier. I’ll explain more once I show off the battle system.

Further more, I’ve been debating over how I should approach battle FXs. The artist in me wants to custom draw every effect but I can’t realistically spend so much time focused on one aspect of the project. I have finally opted to use premade effects and occasionally edit/create  custom effects when I need them in order to reduced project time.

For the next week I’m going to continue to work on the battle and exploration until I find the perfect design for both. Once that is achieved, I will move on to completing the intro and then going back and making any changes I find necessary. I also need to animate many, many, characters. So much to do.

But that’s just how it is with game development, I love it! Speak to you guys next week!

Minor Update: Redo Complete

It’s official, I am completely done porting Guardian’s Guide to the new framework. I have met all my goals and I’ve even exceeded them. If you want to review the porting process click here for the entire timeline.

I have ported all the dialogue and created all the miscellaneous scripts that was left for the porting to be complete. To top it all off, I will not be required to redo any menu scripts since the framework creator decided not to redesign the menu system. YES! SO HAPPY!

Now that the entire port job is complete I can compare them and truly question was it all worth it. Yes, the answer is unquestionably, YES. Thanks to this port, both the front end and back end has been improved immensely. Here is a small list of all the things I’ve gain with this port.

  • Improved gui performance
  • Better script management
  • A wealth of more flexibility
  • Faster prototyping
  • Quality of Life improvements across the board

Looking back at the old build I can see all the hacky scripts I had to create just to do what I can do in the new framework effortlessly. It brings a small tear to my eye.

Ok, back to business! What’s next? Well, as long as there aren’t any new project breaking beta updates, I can continue development as normal. Once the beta is officially over I can really start to hit the ground running.

In the meantime I am making some changes to the battle system. I had a custom grid system set up and decided to switch to the frameworks built in grid system to see if it would be better/easier. Well, it is. So I’m currently testing that to fully replace it with my old set up.

My current goal is to get the exploration/battle system set in stone. It’s all still pretty bare bone since it’s where I left off before the GREAT PORT OF 2021. The major updates/videos will return once the framework is out of beta and I’ve gotten all the game systems finalized.

There is still so much to do but I’m glad I have a much better tool to work with, LETS FUCKING GOOOOO.

Minor Update: Redo Progress 7

We are getting closer to the completion of the porting job. If you’re unaware, I am currently in the process of porting Guardian’s Guide to a new framework. If you want to get caught up with the porting process click here for the entire timeline.

As I mentioned in the last update, I spent this week porting the title screen and the guild hall menu. Neither of these have had significant changes and the port was pretty seamless. I did simplify some menu aesthetics for the guild hall but that’s about it.

All that’s left is the porting of the game intro dialogue. There is quite a bit of dialogue and I’m slowly getting into.

As I mentioned last week, there is an update I expect in a few weeks that will result in me having to go back and re-reference every menu I’ve used, that includes the dialogue. This is why I am hesitant to start porting all the dialogue, all the monotonous clicking will be suffering.

Nonetheless, once I get the dialogue ported the redo job will be complete and I can get back to creating the intro events.

That’s it for this update, next week will probably be the last redo update unless something happens. Until then, be well guys.

Minor Update: Redo Progress 6

It’s that time again, and boy am I excited. You know the deal, I am currently in the process of porting Guardian’s Guide to a new framework. And this past week has been a real joy. If you want to get caught up with the porting process click here for the entire timeline.

I set two goals for myself this past week. Port the exploration mechanics and port the battle system. I was confident I would get the exploration ported considering I didn’t have to change much but switching the controls over to the new framework. But I was convinced I would only get through part of the battle system since I not only needed to recreate a bunch of menus but I also needed to recreate some thick custom scripts.

This week has been unbelievably productive. I not only ported the exploration mechanics, I redesigned the menu to display more information and work better with keyboard/controller. You can see the old design here.

This was exciting enough considering everything worked great once I started testing the controls. By mid week I started working on porting the battle system. Since this was more or less where I left off before the port it’s still in a skeleton state so I don’t have any flashy screen shots to show you but the bare mechanics are there and they needed porting.

Not only did I port all those mechanics, not only did I redesign some menus to better support keyboard/controllers, not only did I port the beefy scripts AND make the code function better, but I also fixed a few problems that were plaguing me for weeks. WOW!!

Unfortunately, I ran into a few bugs, nothing game stopping, but bugs nonetheless that need fixin’. Despite that, the exploration and battle work 100% from start to finish. This is fantastic news for a beta framework.

I can officially say I am about 80% done with the port and all the questionable features are done and accounted for. All I really have left to do is porting a few more menus (like the guild hall) along with the dialogue and gameflow. I’m a little hesitant about porting the dialogue since there is already a lot of it and I know for a fact I will need to re-port menu listings in the framework. (there is a plan to redesign how menus are handled behind the scenes to provide more flexibility) This won’t require me to recreate the menus but I will have to go back and reference every menu again in all the scripts I created. This will already be a grueling task but having 50-100 additional dialogues to click through will make it that much more dreadful. I don’t know, I’ll probably do it anyways just to make sure everything works 100%.

Hey check this out, this is how the exploration will control! You can also use the keyboard WASD to navigate!

For next week I’ll just keep moving forward. I’ll port the guild hall and then port the main menu. From there I’ll start porting the introduction then we’ll be back were we started. All I can do is deal with the circumstance as they unfold but I’m confident I’m through the worst of it at this point. (famous last words lol)

Until next week, stay well friends!