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!

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.