About Me

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I am a gamer, an artist and a hobbyist video game designer. When I'm not doodling one resource or another, I love to read books, make paper crafts (cards) and bake yummy goodies.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Week 3

Starting off with another teaser screen of the world map. This time, it's a more familiar location - Par Tillian. I've added some names to the map, making it easier to remember the layout of the locations.

Done this week:
- World maps are done!
- Started on Venusi Castle. It looks gorgeous, but it's a pain to map.
- Finished some random NPC chatter.
- Poked at couple of battles.
- Finished script for events of chapter 3. It's a long one.

To do:
- Stop procrastinating and actually get that database done.
- Finish mapping Venusi Castle + at least get started on the inside maps.
- Find time to breathe.

- Nothing has really changed since last week, save for the personal life stuff. I'm in the process of looking for a new house - an actual normal house where we can have room to walk and breathe. It's a very consuming process and it's piled on top of other very stressful life things, so it's been taking a lot of my attention.
- I didn't forget about the casino, smithy and item shops in game. There's this really awesome chain of quests that unlocks each, but we haven't really gotten there yet plot-wise. I think I will have to hint at it a bit, though.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Week 2

There's your sneak peak at the brand new world map. This particular tiny section is from Vega, the continent where we start the adventure. The way the travel system will work is via choices and pictures. I've tried to make something that's both fun and visually pleasing. I've yet to implement it ingame, however, which may turn out to be a bigger mountain of work than I thought.

Onto this week's progress!

Done this week:
- Finished Andras and Ahden world maps, and it was no easy feat! They're both pretty massive continents with a lot of locations. By comparison, Maia and Geldion are pretty tiny and shouldn't take more than a day to finish.
- Mapped one of the resting/waiting areas of the arena.
- Unsuccessfully attempted to add another puzzle to chapter 2, then scrapped the idea altogether.
- Fiddled with audio and switched some MP3s to an .ogg format so they'll take a lot less space.
- Figured out what makes the download size of the project so huge.

To do next week:
- Maia and Geldion maps.
- Start eventing cutscenes for Chapter 3 (yes, I'm that far behind).
- Finish up database.

- After a very long look at the size of the project, I've figured out where some of the size is coming from. Parallax maps take a bit of space, sure, and I've got 410 battlers for the 410 database enemies. But the biggest bulk of the size is from the animations folder. I haven't finished the database for skills yet, but the custom animations I've included so far have bloated the size of the project by 90mb. It's not that I have a whole lot of them, but it seems that quite a few of them are 5-8mb in size. So, as much as I like custom animations, a lot of them are going to have to go. I'll save a little room for the super special effects, but the rest of it will be using smaller and simpler animations.
- I'd been balancing skills and battles via arbitrary numbers, but it's tough to guess how much players will level, especially since I'm opening up areas where they can grind. So, I've taken another look at the battle system and changed some skills to work via percentages instead. The other advantage of this is that it will make each battle just as challenging as the next and give me more room to script interesting bosses.
- I'm leaning in favor of releasing a partial chapter to get some feedback. It's going in a slightly different direction than the rest of the game has been so far. There's more complexity, so I'm very interested in seeing what everyone thinks.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

On progress

When I was working on chapter 2, I had gotten into the habit of posting weekly updates with lists of things I'd done that week. That accountability made me very motivated to work on TUAH. I dropped that as I started working on chapter 3, mainly due to the fact that my free time was much more limited and it takes a while to write blog entries. I figured it would be better if I spent that time actually working on TUAH. Looking back at how much I got done over the past few weeks, however, makes me realize that it didn't help. So, I've decided to dedicate a few hours each week to writing up progress entries. They may not be the most fascinating things to read, but they may give you a bit of insight into my development process.

Done this week:
- World maps for E. Andras and Vega are done.
- Finished half of the villager facesets.
- Finished writing down main objectives for Valhalm.
- Finished sprite for I*'s mom
- Finished sprite for M.

To do next week:
- Finish world maps for W. Andras, Ahden, Geldion and Maia
- Event travel map system
- Implement objectives for Valhelm
- Script side quests

- I've changed the CTN a bit so it's more visual. It is now going to show a "world map" and have you select your location. Thanks to the new design, you will have a much better idea of how different locations relate to each other.
- After chapter 1, I cut out a lot of the locations that won't be used in the project. TUAH was initially a much bigger story and too ambitious of a project. The world map, however, still reflects those old locations. With the new travel system, the maps have been updated to better reflect the current story.
- Thanks to all you faithful and thorough players, I've managed to fix a lot of minor bugs and annoyances. The sometimes-buggy puzzle in Gullad Mts, room 1, has been redesigned. It was fairly frustrating as some people encountered issues while others didn't.
- There isn't a whole lot of complexity to the dungeons in chapters 1 and 2. This is intentional, as a part of my audience is casual or new-to-RPGs players. But I would like chapters 3 and on to have more elaborate and complex dungeons. As such, I will be spending more time designing dungeon areas and implementing puzzles.
- I'm thinking of recruiting someone to help with the database work and setting up different enemies/boss fights. I've got good ideas on how I'd like the fights to go, but it's an extremely time-consuming process and I'd hate to delay releasing chapter 3 more than I already am.