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!
This week's post is quite different than last week's.. I didn't actually get a whole lot of work done on Winter this week. I did start up a new map which should be interesting when complete, involving a chasm and broken bridges.
Most of the rest of my dev time has been on the Verge Archive project, which you can check out here: https://andyfriesen.com/verge-archive/
For those who don't know, andy made wasm versions of v1 and v2 that allow you to play games made in those engines in your browser. Shameless plug, the original version of Mannux is working in it:
Some games need a little bit of finessing or recompiling to get working, but overall it works surprisingly well! Much of this week has been adding to the library of available games, but not all are working 100% just yet. I'll probably be spending a bit more time getting some games added before I get back to working on Winter, just because I feel this is an important project to preserve the early days of Verge games!
Any games you remember fondly that you want to see added? Would be happy to add them!
After having a bit of a hiatus from working on games much for a few months, I'm back and making games again! This first post will be a bit of a summary of what I've done for the past while to get everyone up to speed, and future posts will be much more devlog update style.
I have been working with Jeff on getting Final Eclipse much more up to par with modern standards. In particular, we have successfully ported Final Eclipse from ika over to Pygame. Since FE doesn't really use too many core ika features like maps and entities, this was fortunately not too difficult. Although one nagging rendering issue remains to be squashed, and there are still some map scripting features to be fully brought back and tested, I don't see any roadblocks beyond that. Once that is done, then we can start actually working on game engine features and content again. In particular, I want the game to be converted to modern widescreen standards. Corey is also willing to put some time in to create some new art assets, once his paid work is a little less busy.
However, right now, my focus is on freshening up another ika project:
Winter was a 2003, 3 week compo project made in ika by andy, corey, Thrasher and I, with infey contributing the music. I've been wanting to get Winter into a more playable state for a long time now. Not that it's ever been not playable, but simple quality of life features, bug fixes, better difficulty balance and the like. Features that have been successfully implemented so far are:
- More data visible in save files, including player location.
- Indicators for damage both given and received.
- Level ups now indicate which stats have increased.
- Mostly working automap system - just now need to save what areas have been visited.
Among many more. Most of what remains is some minor bugfixing, additional map content, rearranging a bit of of the map and where certain items can be found, and a rework of the final boss. I also want to redo the story entirely to something that makes a little bit more sense.
Look forward to more updates on this.
Once Winter is done, we can also look forward to:
A spiritual successor to Winter, made in another compo in 2004, with mostly the same team. I want to bring Fukyuuten (or FU10) back as well, but it's one I want to get done fairly quickly - mostly just bringing in the damage indicators I added to Winter, the automap for the dungeon area, and rework a few of the dungeon rooms. It would be cool to expand on this game to give it far more content, but this is not a priority for now. No work has gone into this one as of yet.
And then finally, the big one, the moneymaker so to speak:
Last year I released this on my itch.io page just so it would finally have a home for people to play the latest version. Unfortunately it never had any real push to have a real game made out of it - the game as is, is just running and jumping around a few rooms, finding a few hidden health ups and killing a few enemies, an engine demo more than anything. But thanks to Jeff again, we are now in the process of porting the game over to Godot:
Not much to announce or see yet, and I'll want to at least finish Winter and FU10 before putting much time into it. But this has always been my dream game to finish, and finally I have hope it can be done!
In terms of any new games, I started prototyping a starship constructor/simulator game in Godot. Again, this will take a long time before I can put much effort into it, but I have a lot of ideas. With any luck, Hyptosis might even contribute to it, as he has also wanted to build a similar game!
So that's where my projects stand at the moment. I'll do my best to keep on a weekly schedule of updates, even if it's just map screenshots for now!