We're already a couple weeks into the new year, so I figure I better give an update of my latest developments. I had a couple days off of work and was able to sit down and concentrate for more than a couple hours, the only downside was that I didn't have any major complex systems that I needed to write. But instead of wasting it playing games, I spent the time on design and artwork instead. My first goal was to plan out the entire game at a very high level.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Things have been progressing here despite the lack of news posts. That said, I also have been spending some of my free time on personal matters and the typical busy holiday related things that come about this time of year. Funny enough though, I have been really excited to get past all of it to make even more progress on the game. The difficulty in writing these articles is coming up with something to discuss and show.
I've been continuing work on various art as well as map design and layouts. Some of the work I've been doing is laying out roughly what I want the landscape to look like in the early area, trying to make something that looks good and doesn't require tons of unique assets. It won't be final, but I've got something that should work for now. I plan on revisiting it a long time from now after I've fleshed out exactly how I'll be doing the game's introduction. That is something I'm not worried about at all at this point.
Over the last month I've been making graphics and fixing small bugs that had accumulated over time. The bug fixes aren't worth discussing much, just some pathing and AI issues that have been bugging me for some time, as well as some reorganizing in the code and game play tweeks. For example, making it so the player couldn't press the attack button and then turn in every direction while the weapon swung.
Not being an artist, I found that drawing a tree was a pretty hard thing to do. I went over maybe five different renditions until I finally settled on one.
In one or two of my previous blog articles I've mentioned how I was implementing a custom artificial intelligence (AI) system. A typical AI system usually boils down to a list of possible states that a game character or creature (actor) can be in and how or when they should transition to those states. This is known as a state machine. My system is no exception because I really don't need anything fancy for what I'll be doing. However I took it upon myself as a learning experience to create a modular based AI system so that I could make use of Unity's editor and quickly define and tweak my AI behavior as I develop. I ran into a number of problems getting Unity to save that information, mostly due to my ignorance, but I also found it rather difficult to locate a cohesive amount of information on the subject so there was a lot of trial and error. I also am not totally sure I'm doing things correctly, but it's been working great so far.
A couple posts back I talked about how I would need to rework my left and right Matthew sprites because the slightly turned angle was causing some game mechanics issues. I went ahead and did just that, producing a fully facing sprite which should avoid the previous mentioned problems. Overall I'm not that happy with it because I don't think the angle looks that nice. Before you could get more of a full face and you could make out the character as a squatty little boy, but now it looks more like a generic male character from rpg maker. I figure I'll just let it go for now though.
The summer is flying by and I've spent some of that time on vacations with my family. There has been some progress though too!
There has been a bit of work on back end systems that are difficult to write a blog about, but be sure that I have been working. Some of that work was for organizational purposes, making things easier to access, and overall boring but necessary things I'd been putting off. Primarily this month, my time was spent adding in a system for pushing objects around on the screen. Think of the block puzzles that are in various Zelda games.
I'm finding it difficult to come up with things to discuss that are even worth bringing up this month. I was lucky enough to go on a vacation with my wife this last week and so I lost about a week of development time. I did manage to squeeze in some time which I used primarily for fixing existing bugs and drawing graphics for my first enemy. I wanted to start off with some common enemy that wouldn't to be to difficult to draw, animate, or program. It led me to come up with this little lizard dog I call a Plug.
Since the last update I've been busy working on animations and a system to help control how they are managed. Drawing the art, as usual, was slow going. I created the remaining attack animations and then I found myself making some hurt/damaged animations. I play those when the character is hurt by an enemy, which also led me to realize that my current (rudementary) approach for triggering animations was not going to work. I'd need to make sure that I don't allow the player to trigger another animation when attacking or while the player is showing they're hurt.