So apparently I have the attention span of a goldfish when it comes to working on just one game at a time it seems, haha. I started working on Fukyuuten once again! But Mannux did get a bit more work done on it though. Thrasher suggested looking at a Godot plugin called Dialogic, and it turns out it does a pretty nice job:
It has some nice text features and is very easy to lay out a conversation flow:
It can even call into other functions which let me set up a "cutscene" mode pretty easily.
As for Fukyuuten, since it is a spiritual successor to Winter and runs on more or less an enhanced version of that engine, it's proving fairly easy to backport some of my features I added to Winter into it. I added in the damage captions, added features like cutting bushes for items and keys in dungeons, and have made a few fairly small but important bugfixes all around. Just like with Winter, I am keeping a spreadsheet of planned updates and their completion status, and already I'm about a third done:
Of course, what I have planned right now is still subject to grow and change, but I'm hoping this will not be quite the overhaul that I did for Winter in terms of brand new content. But I still plan to borrow the Automap system for the dungeon, and do some fairly extensive scenario changes to the story, adding in some planned content that had to get cut - possibly even including at least a couple new maps in a desert environment. That said, whether I call that just the end of a demo and keep it at that, or continue to build it into a more full game, will depend on feedback and if enough people think it will be worth doing.
I have done the work of creating a Tiled dungeon automap file in the same way I did for Winter. But since this dungeon has some.. very confusing rooms that warp you around, I'm probably gonna change it up to be a little bit easier to navigate. So what you see here is likely not going to be this dungeon's final form:
But yeah, been a fairly productive couple weeks in gamedev land. If you haven't already seen, you can watch a little preview video of the first dungeon's gameplay here.
So, Winter has been released! Hooray! I've definitely learned a few things in this final stretch.
- The final 10% is never quite done. There are always more issues to be found and ideas to be had, but you have to draw the line somewhere.
- Releasing a game just before the holidays when you're a family man is a bad idea. Got so busy with real life that I wasn't able to give the game quite as much of a final polish as I was hoping.
- It's always extremely enlightening watching someone else do a blind playthrough. Seeing the way they react or don't react to certain things, finding brand new bugs you've never seen, and trying things you'd never even considered.
- As a result of the above, I'm already working on a 1.1 update patch and fixing a few more things that I probably should have caught the first time around. But so it goes.
- Word of mouth is definitely a good way to spread your game around, but definitely not the only way. Still, I'm pretty happy with the downloads (and even a few sales!) so far!
Thrasher actually might be helping to do a bit of a postgame/New Game+ update to the game as well. We'll see how far we get.
If you haven't checked it out yet, here's your link: https://hatchet2k4.itch.io/winter
Pushing forward after the holidays, however, my main focus will be on Mannux. It has already seen a lot of growth in just the past few weeks. @jeffgamedev has put in a good amount of time in it as well, and already we have decent player physics and slopes, ability to shoot and kill enemies, a camera system with transitions between zones, enemies respawn when leaving/entering a zone, a prototype minimap, and more. It's already pretty close to where the ika version was in terms of capability, though there's definitely a lot more content to be added.
Spent too much time actually working on my game that I forgot to actually update my gruedorf thread! The good news is that the ending is literally in sight - the game is content complete, the ending is done, all the story scenes are added, there have been a lot of gameplay and map and content tweaks - at this point it's just doing some final polish, playtesting and bug fixes! With any luck, Winter will be done and out the door at https://hatchet2k4.itch.io/ before Christmas, or sooner!
With the release coming soon, I started "marketing" a little more on Twitter and it has definitely had a strong effect on my itch.io analytics! Definitely a good thing. As the original game was always free, I plan to release it with the "pay what you want" model. I don't expect to make much, if anything at all from this, but even a few bucks would make the work I put into this worthwhile!
Stealing some of @jeffgamedev 's thunder, since work on Winter is dying down, he started working on getting Mannux into Godot! Starting with the tileset and map making process. Being able to drag chunks of tiles rather than place them one by one will certainly make everything much easier. Soon enough I will be able to join him on this and get some running and shooting once again!
So yeah, feeling like I'm in a good place gamedev-wise now. Next year will hopefully the year of Mannux devving, with any luck. Been wanting to do that since forever ago!
Been sitting on an update post for a while, but it's saturday, got some time, might as well stop losing once again!
Previously, Winter's input system could use a keyboard, or a gamepad, but not both, which was annoying for testing. As well, because hacking around in a .cfg file is so 90's, I wanted to make sure all the essential controls were configurable in game. To that end, I took the time to gut Winter's input system and make it work with both types of controls at the same time and configure them. It took longer than I wanted but I'm happy with the results:
Of course, there will be labelling issues since I have no way to detect what type of controller is being used, so it will have to be very generic, but it seems to work for the most part.
I've also been doing some more map hacking. And sometimes, it's the little things like when unlocking a new area that can be fun, with a little fade action:
I have been on vacation since last friday, which was my birthday, so yay? Unfortunately vacation usually means I get less work on games done, and more family time, although I was able to get some gamedev time in too. Even more unfortunately, this past week has been pretty emotional, due to the passing of one of our cats. But life goes on, as they say.
I was able to do some significant changes to the final boss battle which should make it a little more fun to play, and won't just kick you to the ending immediately after. I have added some statistics to the credits sequence so you'll be able to see how many of each enemy you killed, just for giggles. I've also done some map work, editing around several maps, and about half completed a brand new one:
About 4 or so maps to go, and two of them are fairly small. The end is rapidly coming into sight, but there's still good chunk of work left to do. I need to give every map its own unique name to display in the automap and menu screen, and I will be working on a way for the player to edit controls in game rather than have to manually edit a text file. Preferably I can allow both keyboard and gamepad controls at the same time - I did it for Mannux before. Joy!
My goodness.. March 9th? I've been losing for nearly 4 months.. that simply won't do!
After that last post, I did drift off of gamedev for a long while. My compo team kinda fell flat, and we didn't end up submitting. Then any free time I may have had for dev, ended up being for some API tools for my work. Which was super fun and a good learning experience, but not very relevant for here. But I finally dusted off my gamedev shoes, and got back to working on Winter, because I'm so close to finally getting it done. In the past few days I have completed a new map, did some balance tweaking, and completed my automap system, complete with map % counter (never mind the ridiculous completion rate ;):
I also fully implemented the 4th Rune skill, which I affectionately named Bolt Storm:
There is also an associated obstacle, the Crystal, which means you now need to find this skill in order to finish the game.
Finally, I added a boss to guard the last rune. All and all, I'm quite pleased with the results. Next on the list - more and more maps to finish, add some more polish to the final boss, add an ending, and lots and lots of playtesting...
This week, I did manage to make measurable progress on my gridder engine. Notably, I did implement enemy facing, so you can circle around them and they will face away/towards you as appropriate. Although with only 4 angles it doesn't work quite as well as I'd like, but it does the job.
I also implemented the basics for inventory and equipment slots, and clickable movement buttons. I do want the game to be potentially playable on phones too, and I started experimenting with Android exporting, though haven't been 100% successful on that front yet.
That circle meter at the top right is part of a super sekrit game mechanic that will be revealed at a later date. Muahaha...
So unfortunately this week kinda sucked in terms of getting any real dev time... but I was at least able to get a little bit of work done on the 3D Gridder engine. I did more or less complete loading maps from Tiled as I was hoping, and now it loads both the walls and enemy objects from a Tiled file. I also added a bit more framework around getting entities working, and now they animate. Excuse the poor gif quality!
Next part is working on getting them to respect which direction you are facing them in order to display the correct frames, for front/sides or back.
Devtime was scarce for me this week, but I'm still quite happy with what I was able to get done. All my dev time went to Godot and the dungeon crawler framework I wanted to build. Within a few hours of total dev time I have a proper crawler with smooth movement and turning, and enemies that face you no matter which direction you look at then:
There's a lot more to be done to turn this into a proper game though. I have some movement quirks to smooth out, making proper enemy objects, etc. But Godot is definitely making it all pretty easy; Gridmaps are a godsend for making 3d scenes in the same way you would with a traditional 2d map editor. Though actually placing tiles in the Gridmap in the UI is a huge pain, it would be trivial to load maps from Tiled and generate the geometry from those, and that's one of the next features I want to add. After that, we'll see about the Diablo style inventory system!
Hope to have something nice to show for next week.
So as is standard for me when I get in dev moods, I've been flying from one project to the next. Tinkered a bit with the Verge Archive again this week, getting The Guy Who Mugged Me to work a little bit better, and added my old Dungeon Master clone. Unfortunately it freezes after getting into the game and won't work correctly without mouse support.. but here's a sorta pretty screenshot!
This actually segues into something else I'm working on: I joined an itch.io Gamejam for dungeon crawlers ( https://itch.io/jam/dcjam2021 ) which may or may not have been a silly thing to do... but it started at the end of March and lasts a week, so I still got some time to prepare. As such, I've actually been spending a bit of this week trying to get the demon of 3D off of my back and started tinkering with it in Godot again. Turns out 3D isn't so hard:
This is just playing around with a Godot 3D tutorial of course, but with a bit of luck I can build on it and get the framework of a dungeon crawler engine going. Wish me luck!