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.

 

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!

 

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!

 

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.

 

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!