Sprint 3 – The Emerald City – Retrospective

THE EMERALD CITY Week of January 29th, 2017 OVERVIEW This week had some of the highest highs as well as some of the lowest lows. On Tuesday I had perhaps my most productive day so far on the technical front, and on Friday I finally reached the summit of Mt. Dialog and implemented that system I had put off for so long. But I also spun my wheels a lot. Some days I’d look up and realized that hours had passed without much to show for it. This coming sprint ends on a full moon – and with that, a new release. I’m hoping that such a big occasion helps clarify my focus and productivity…if only to avoid being embarrassed by what I eventually put out there for folks to try HIGHLIGHTS Solved a nasty FPS drop that was being caused by Vsync. Weird, right? Accomplished a huge goal by designing and finishing a new dialog system Experimented with some ideas related to diversions (like claw machines) Implemented some feedback to reduce clock size, fixed up dog animations, and more Bought a harmonica! More on that later… Fixed our vacuum by splicing together a new plug – hey, it counts!! Started adding layers of ‘flavor’ in the form of random birds that fly by A lot of major and much-needed refactoring & improvements to the inventory, clock, and popup notice systems Created a proof a concept for world map viewing, panning, and zooming LOWLIGHTS More than a few wasted days Refactoring is pleasing from a problem solving standpoint, but I’m not exactly moving ‘forward’ when I do it. I should try to minimize the amount of rework to systems I’m doing SHOW & TELL

Keep Reading

Feature Friday: An early look at dialog

Welcome to another edition of Feature Friday! Yet again we’re taking a deep dive into one of the many features and systems you can find in Village Monsters Today, I’m going to talk about  how conversing and dialog will work. Let’s take a look.   You’re going to be doing a lot of talking in Village Monsters. There will be villagers to build relationships with, merchants to barter with, and lore to be learned around every corner. The actual text itself is of course important, but even more so than that is the delivery. How text and dialog is presented to the player is of utmost importance to how the world is shaped in their head. In this post I’m going to focus on two specific strategies for communicating dialog with the player: The use of portraits, and the use of narrator text intermixed with dialog. Robust Portraits I probably don’t need to tell you that my professional background isn’t in art. It’s, uh…it’s rather self-evident, right? While I may be unable to animate an entire sets of sprite to communicate what’s going on in a scene, I should have enough talent to handle portraits. As such, this is going to be a major focus of my time and effort when it comes to producing art for this game. By way of example, I want to talk about the wonderful Undertale. Like me, Toby Fox isn’t exactly an artist, but he uses an impeccable style and design to bring his characters to life. One of the many ways he accomplishes this is via his liberal use of character portraits. Take a look of this list of Undyne expressions next to “artist interpretations”, by Tumblr user g0966 It doesn’t take much to communicate a wide range of emotions and personality of a character when making…

Keep Reading