Epic of Serinor Devlog
The Actions of Items: Still building menus. Along with a reflection on why the items menus ended up taking longer to implement than I expected.
Work of the Week - Feb 27: I largely abandoned art work this week to get more of the menu systems in place. The bulk of that work is done now, though one of the more difficult menus (quest logs) is yet to come. Especially since I want to implement some changes from how Dawnshadow did it.
Creating Sai: Because now you can create Sai again. Includes additional thoughts on Dawnshadow’s “Nudity” tag and why I’ll probably ditch it moving forward.
Work of the Week - 6 Mar: Another week, another changelog. This week included a lot of unlogged work around getting things to work that worked automatically in Verge, like looping module music, or that I was misled about in GameMaker Studio tutorials, like trusting the room timer rather than checking the actual time delta.
But combat bars work! So the computer’s this close to being able to run battles that nobody can see or interact with.
Action!: More, if slow, combat progress, along with how combat is changing from its original incarnation.
Work of the Week - Mar 13: Combat works! Very, very poorly, but it works. Have to start somewhere.
Learn by Doing: The main game loop is functional. You can explore the Shadowed Vale, fight monsters, take their stuff, and gain experience. Today’s post talks mostly about how and why I’ve changed the original experience system that was in Dawnshadow. And how odd combat feels without its art or animations.
Work of the Week - 20 Mar: It’s not all bugfixes this week, but it’s a lot of bugfixes. Really, I’m just glad I can play it for long enough that bugs pop up. Which is an odd place to be, when I write it out like that.
Quick and short today. I agreed to do cinematography and video editing for the production of Tartuffe that’s being put on by the theater company I’m in charge of. So not a lot of time for personal work this week.
This week I sat down and started work on designing how I actually want Harbinger’s battles to look. Dawnshadow used a very static display of the back of the characters and front of the monsters, all of whom flashed when they attacked or were struck. My goal is to have combats right on the map.
Canonically, the encounters in the Shadowed Vale are random as Syn throws nightmares at Sai from nowhere, so that part isn’t changing. And since I’m not thrilled about animating all the characters in all their various armors with all their different weapons from all four different directions, it’s still going to use a static setup of heroes on the left and enemies on the right. But this will make it at least a bit more dynamic and root it better in the world.
Now I just have to build the thing.
I would get a lot more of my own work done if I stopped taking unpaid creative projects for other people. But then, I’m technically in charge of the theater company, so I guess it’s still my own work. Bottom line, I’m tired of compositing video.
This week, I converted or drew the icons for all of the auto-attacks for the basic weapon types. Mind Stab (the basic attack for the Psion skill) is also included here because I redrew it to match the style of the armed auto-attacks and there was a gap since spears don’t have a magic attack option. I also updated the list of abilities in my design document to make it easier to identify what icons are complete and which need to be drawn depending on which areas of the game world are open.
Yes, it was only an hour, but some weeks, that’s what I have to give.
Yes, it was only an hour, but some weeks, that’s what I have to give.
Some weeks, that’s all anyone can do.
But you did it, so you continue to not-lose!
One advantage to transitioning to vector images is it’s much easier to size and rotate things and still have them look nice. So this week, Sai got weapons that show up while he’s walking around. Which will be important once he has to start fighting with them at this scale.
Also, chibi-style characters have really big heads, and I don’t entirely know what to do with the hilt on that greatsword when viewed from the side.
Oh! And side note. Did you know that, when you upscale and smooth out classic 8-bit, 16x16 character sprites they end up looking like intentionally chibi-style characters?
A few things.
- This probably needs another frame.
- I’m going to need to resize my animation frame widths, at least for combat.
- I also need a separate sequence for magical attacks.
- Frame animation makes me seriously consider learning sprite animation software, since I have to do these for each of Sai’s body shapes in each style of armor for each weapon. And then again for all the enemies. And then again for Sai’s companions, which are also enemies but facing the other direction and can, again, have different armor and weapons.
- My scroll wheel broke last week, and I AM DYING.
Tartuffe should be done by the end of next week, so I’ll have that time back. It also means I’m going to start asking for donations soon. Which is, you know, just a fantastic time for everybody.
I think a three-frame animation should work with only slight variations for physical and magic attacks regardless of weapon. So one idle, one shared “I’ma hit it” frame, a physical/magic charge frame, followed by shared “I’m hitting it” and “I hit it” frames. I hope. I need to see it in actual motion. Maybe with particles.
I think after that I just need “I got hit” and “I’m out” frames, and it should be ready for import and testing.
“We have plenty of stories at home,” my wife said. “We don’t need a new one.”
I had never heard such nonsense from somebody I thought I loved.
Depression sucks, fam. Do not recommend.
I have no idea when I did all of these, but it sure wasn’t just in the last week. That is when I went through and updated my backlog, though, so they’re all showing up in my queries for work completed this week.
- Draw goo combat sprite
- Draw goo map sprite
- Draw muck
- Implement enemy AI / ability selection
- Design battle screen
- Draw acid
- Turn on combat animations
- Draw orcish equipment menu sprites
- Draw tier 1 and 2 equipment item icons
- Draw raptor menu sprite
- Draw ability icons for tier 1 and 2 equipment arts
- Replace 8-bit Vale music with original
- Draw raptor map sprite
- Add ally to party data structures
- Implement entity stalking
- Available AP does not increase on Power rank up
- Mana pool not reset after death
- Unable to access secondary weapon skill from gear menu
You can see the shackling of the first raptor at this video link (because I don’t care enough at present to convert to gif.) The raptor’s combat animation is obviously incomplete, but the process largely works. Still working on getting her to play well with the menu and battles, but she’ll at least follow you around.
It’s been almost two years since the last time I had a cold, and now I feel deathly ill. Turns out pandemic isolation was a good counter to all kinds of illnesses.
- Draw raptor combat sprite
- Draw crude equipment map sprites
- Draw crude equipment combat sprites
- Add ally to combat
- Draw Avatar of Shadow map sprite
- Replace 8-bit Syn battle theme with original
- Draw Avatar of Shadow combat sprite
- Add ally to menus
- Error in combat frames 3 + 7 of bust torso for shorts
- Crotch of smallclothes drawn over legs of armor
- Activating ally arts triggers corresponding art for Sai
- Raptor reappears on reload even if dead or shackled
- Battle music interrupts boss music if boss music is started early
- CTD on next combat start after Sai dies
- Enemies target incapacitated allies
- Multiple death sounds play on death
This is coming early since we’re leaving for a family vacation this afternoon. Which also means I’m not going to have time to finish up the last few things in my current sprint before I wanted it to end, but it’s fine. IT’S FINE.
Getting through sprint 0.1 means the underlying systems of the game are 75% to 80% complete. My current sprints match up with the same content and tasks I did the first go-round with Dawnshadow, so I have a pretty good idea with where I’m going. If my estimates hold true and I keep pace with last time, Epic of Serinor: Harbinger will be wrapped up and ready to release February 2022.
Vector art takes me longer than 8-bit pixel sprites, though. Especially since combat’s animated now.
- Implement resting routine
- Add damaged animation
- Add incapacitated animation
- Pass animation processing from battle handler to individual combatants
- Add incapacitated handling to battle for Sai and ally
- Add all Shadowed Citadel map events
- Add ally death processing to combat
- Draw ability icons for raptor arts
- Implement Shackle/Shatter switch and functionality
- Draw cultist combat sprite
- Add Change Rows functionality
- Draw saurian menu sprite
- Draw ability icons for saurian arts
- Draw saurian map sprite
- Draw saurian combat sprite
- Draw tiny bat combat sprite
- Implement permanent animation for flying entities
- Draw megabat combat sprite
- Implement ability effects
- Draw hopper combat sprite
- Save wyrmsblood chest contents at game start
- Access saved contents from individual wyrmsblood chests
- Script wyrmsblood events for Shadowed Citadel
- Heal effects can overheal past exhaustion
- Enemies that kill Sai give their full XP award during the next fight
- Weapons missing from damaged and incapacitated animations
- Ally not removed from party after death
- Raptor missing damaged animation
- Success rate on Shackle seems suspiciously high
- CTD if Sai shatters ally, but only from front row