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April 23, 2018, 10:54:20 am

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsJack Move. A cyberpunk JRPG
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empika
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« Reply #200 on: December 01, 2017, 03:47:14 am »

This looks amazing. I can't wait to play it! Thanks for sharing Jack Move's journey with us. Smiley

Loving the aesthetic of the battle scenes especially.  Very cool stuff.

Thanks, you two! It really means a lot Smiley
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empika
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« Reply #201 on: December 01, 2017, 03:59:21 am »

Hey again everyone!

This has been a good week. Got loads of stuff done :D

The new battle backgrounds came back from Joe, they are looking excellent! In the end Joe decided that it would be best not to anchor the planes to each side of the screen as at super wide resolutions it would mess with the perspective too much. Instead, everything is just centred, which makes sure everything will always look good, with the added bonus that the focus is more in the middle of the screen when rendered super wide.



I also took the time to quickly rework Uncle Guin's apartment. It was a little too sparse before and I never felt it was quite right. He's redecorated by replacing everything with a nice hardwood finish Smiley



Other than that it's been playtesting, bug fixing and adding some little bits that should have been in ages ago, like a tick sound when text scrolls and xp+levelup sfx Smiley
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empika
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« Reply #202 on: December 01, 2017, 09:21:39 am »

I had lunch with my good pal Adam Hay (bafta award winning sfx guy, fantastic game maker and super cool dude) today and we were banging heads over this pixel perfect camera following stuff, and I think we finally have an answer.

Adam said that he'd just given up on clamping anything, and as he's rendering his stuff at tiny resolution and then blowing it back up to native screen resolution that any rounding get's taken care of in the initial tiny render. So I turned off all the clamping, which gave me this result...



This is preeeeetttttty good. The follow is super smooth and the actor has no jitter when moving. However, when she comes to a stop and the camera is still catching up, there is some slight jitter.

So what if we just clamp the character position, but only when they are not moving?



WOOOOO! I think that is finally solved! Smiley (until another weird edge case pops up that I'd not foreseen haha)
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empika
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« Reply #203 on: December 08, 2017, 04:05:19 am »

Hellooo there!

Lots more bug fixing this week, mixed with some business stuff and some good old game design.

The biggest visible change this week is that I worked out how to do nicer blob shadows! Of course I should have just googled that in the first place because this biz is just built into unity!



This uses a projector to stick the shadow on to a surface. I had to mask off just the floor tiles otherwise I got in to some wacky stuff where the shadow would appear up the walls and things. I think it's looking pretty good though Smiley

Other than that I've been working on some of the enemy mechanics. I really there to be a separation between "world" enemies and those you encounter within computer systems. Thinking about classic JRPG's they always have such a mishmash of designs, pulling from lots of different influences like japanese mythology and such. So I've been doing a bunch of research on traditional english folklore and legendary creatures, trying to find things that will a) look cool b) have interesting mechanics based on their traditional role/story.

For example, here's Fat Lips:

Quote
Fat Lips (or Fatlips) is the name given to a legendary spirit dwelling in Dryburgh Abbey in Berwickshire, Scotland.
The spirit was associated with a hermit woman who took up residence in a vault among the ruins of the abbey some time after the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion. The woman claimed that the spirit tidied the room whilst she was away, and kept the cell she lived in dry by stamping moisture away from the ground with his heavy iron boots.

The name Fat Lips instantly conjures up something cool and weird, and big stampy boots sounds like it could be a cool attack Smiley

Still lots more to research but there's some super weird and wacky stuff out there so hopefully these will look and feel quite distinct and bring something interesting to the game. Don't worry though, they'll all have a distinctly cyberpunk twist to them Wink
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 06:35:41 am by empika » Logged

empika
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« Reply #204 on: December 15, 2017, 01:29:33 am »

Hey folks,

No huge update this week I'm afraid I've been super busy with some life admin and things so not gotten much done on the game. I'm away for a week from sunday and then it's christmas, so there probably won't be any updates until the new year.

Happy christmas, and thanks for all your support over this last year, it really does mean a lot!
Edd
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empika
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« Reply #205 on: January 12, 2018, 08:07:30 am »

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

I hope you all had a fantastic christmas and new year (if that's your thing Wink)! I certainly did Smiley I had a nice couple of weeks off, had a little trip to Germany and Switzerland to visit some christmas markets and castles, and spent some lovely time with my family. Now that's all done, I've been getting back up to speed with work on Jack Move (hard after a couple of weeks off), but I've got some cool things to show.

I've been working on some new areas, namely Noa's apartment, which has turned out really nicely.  I've been trying to get a bit more dynamic with the map geometry to make it a bit more interesting. This has started to work really well I think, and I'm please with how stuff has turned out...





A product of trying to make stuff a bit more interesting is that I've finally worked out how to do stairs properly. This might sound a bit dumb, but I've attempted to make stairs a few times and every time they've never worked how I would like. Adding gravity complicates things a little more for a start, I'd have to add floor colliders everywhere (not a huge deal in itself) and get the movement working properly.

My approach each time I've attempted this is to use ramps (angled box colliders), but due to the way the map gets stretched (in order to force the perspective), this has proved fiddly and I've never gotten the angles and movement to work properly. The other issue was how to draw the geometry. I use flat planes, flat planes that were angled along with the ramp, but these never looked right.

I've avoided steps to far by just putting elevators everywhere, so you never even come across steps! However, I wanted to make the entrance to Noa's apartment more interesting so added some steps. Like actual steps. Hand placed, rather than using big tiles. Knowing that I couldn't work out how to use steps, I just blocked them off and didn't allow the player to actually move the player over them.

Then, this morning in the shower it hit me... just make steps with steps! If I put a collider on each step and then turn up the gravity, the unity character controller will just handle the steps! How did I not realise this before is beyond me :s

TADA!



It doesn't look like much but I'm super happy! It means that I can drastically increase the complexity of maps now (this is either a blessing or a curse) Cheesy

Here's a view of how they look in the editor



Other than that I've been working on story stuff. I'm currently looking for a freelance female writer to join the team for a few weeks to help shape the story up. So if that sounds like fun the get in touch! (I'm looking for a lady specifically because a) noa the protagonist is female and I'd like some better perspective on her story and b) the rest of the team is all white dudes.

Till next time... x
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Ishi
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« Reply #206 on: January 13, 2018, 01:08:19 am »

It's one small step for Noa, one giant leap for empika Smiley Steps are great, multi-levelled environments with lots of steps are my favourite! Hope you can make good use of this new feature!
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empika
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« Reply #207 on: January 13, 2018, 07:58:04 am »

It's one small step for Noa, one giant leap for empika Smiley Steps are great, multi-levelled environments with lots of steps are my favourite! Hope you can make good use of this new feature!

Haha! I've already got a ton of ideas. Just trying to resist the temptation to go back and retro fit a bunch in existing maps Smiley
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empika
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« Reply #208 on: January 19, 2018, 03:24:55 am »

Hey champs!

Been working on new maps for Noa's Dad's house, but am still yet to finish the interior. I've been trying to improve my foliage, think I'm getting there.



Other bits have included fixing bugs. Rebuilding all the maps so they have floor collision (so Noa doesn't fly off into the ground) and implementing some bits from a friends play test last week (like killing minions when you defeat a boss).

I've also been working on a bunch of business stuff. I'm looking for funding to get the game finished so have been working on pitches, gathering footage for a highlight reel, nice high-res screenshots etc.

I'll be at the London Games Forum this coming week, give me a shout if you're there :D
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empika
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« Reply #209 on: January 26, 2018, 08:11:16 am »

Hey there!

No new stuff to show this week. I was at the afore mentioned Games Forum London this week so was getting prepped for that, fixing bugs and things. I got a good response from the publishers I showed it to whilst there, so fingers crossed for the future Smiley

The UK Games Fund has opened applications again, so the next few weeks I'll be busy getting ready to apply for that. It's busy business time at the moment it seems!

:D
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empika
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« Reply #210 on: February 13, 2018, 08:13:58 am »

Hey there!

Been super busy getting my UK Games Fund submission ready and pondering level creation.

My current map creating technique is getting very unwieldy now that I have the ability to use multiple layers and move between them...

So I've built my own tile mapper in Unity!



I can now use multiple tile sets in one map which is handy too Smiley

I looked at unity's new 2d tools but they didn't quite work how I'd like. I also wanted to experiment with actually editing the tiles themselves in unity, but this was a bit of a failed experiment. Unity just isnt as responsive as I'd like (possibly due to my laptop?) and to build out enough features to match PyxelEdit would have taken forever. I did manage to get pixel editing, flood fill and line drawing working though. It was a fund experiment Smiley

Unfortunately I forgot to grab any gifs of the other tool modes.



Got some big bits coming up on the todo list:

* map system
* action inputs when you do a special move (kinda QTE thing, mario rpg style)
* cutscenes within battles

Cheers!
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« Reply #211 on: February 13, 2018, 09:58:45 am »

Excellent, looks like it'll be a super useful tool. Does it support stairs? :D
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empika
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« Reply #212 on: February 13, 2018, 12:45:45 pm »

Haha! Not intrinsically, but means I can create different levels easier Smiley
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« Reply #213 on: February 13, 2018, 04:33:14 pm »

Completely forgot to follow this when I first saw it ages ago. Still looking great  Beer!
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empika
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« Reply #214 on: February 14, 2018, 10:34:49 am »

Completely forgot to follow this when I first saw it ages ago. Still looking great  Beer!

Thanks! :D
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empika
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« Reply #215 on: February 22, 2018, 10:58:28 pm »

Hey folks!

Only half a week this week as I've been travelling back to Taiwan and it's been Chinese New Year. So happy new year everyone!!

The last couple of days I've been working on getting those timed action inputs working, as mentioned in my last update  Grin



The idea is to make your "JACK MOVE" actions a bit more impactful. They are a mix between Final Fantasy VII's Limit Breaks and summons, a super powerful attack that you get to use once in a while. If you time the button presses properly then the attack will crit and do bonus damage! If you wiff it then...



...it will just do normal damage (still a lot as it's a powerful attack).

I'm not sure about the effects yet, still some work to do. Any suggestions for making them more impactful etc would be greatly appreciated, can't quite see the forest for the trees atm. (The final attack will have new casting + damage fx at some point too).

I don't want these to be super hard, just something to keep you on your toes. I'm not sure if each different type will just a different combination of buttons, or maybe one will use random buttons, one will use buttons and another directional inputs, still lots to think about Smiley

Next on the todo list is scripted battles. Gonna be a bit tough with the current systems, so gonna have to do a bunch of prep and refactoring to get it right  Concerned

Till next time, hope you all have a good weekend!  Kiss
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 07:25:07 am by empika » Logged

empika
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« Reply #216 on: March 01, 2018, 11:30:15 pm »

Hey folks

Been a pretty good week on Jack Move this week :D

I've got the basics of in-battle cutscenes working, initially just showing dialog windows and I'll add other actions as and when I need them.
The system I went with is slightly different the in-world cutscenes, although it shaders some similarities. Both consist of a set of frames, each frame has a set of actions. We loop through the frames and play the actions for each one, we then wait for the actions to complete before moving on to the next frame. Battle frames have an added conditional element which means they might get passed over or not depending on if the condition is met. How many turns a character has taken, how many turns the battle has taken in total, a characters health/health percent etc.

Here's the inspector for a basic cutscene:



I've started using Odin (http://sirenix.net/odininspector/) which is awesome! It's made editing these complicated data structure way easier then writing my own inspectors for them :D I highly recommend it if you're using Unity!

And here's the dialog in engine



The other thing I've been looking at this week has been using ProBuilder (now that it's free and part of Unity!) to create some more complicated and interesting geometry, it's been something I've been thinking about for a while and just not had a chance yet. So far I've been constrained to flat surfaces, but with ProBuilder I can now do some fancier things like curved surfaces etc, like this fancy curved wall (which doesn't look like much, but is just a test)...



However this does introduce some issues... or reintroduce them, rather. In order to stop the textures from swimming, I need to clamp the camera position... which brings me back to the problem I was having a while ago, jitter in characters when following them at slow speeds (https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=34307.msg1363868#msg1363868).

One thing I mentioned when I last looked at this was a post I found about snapping verts in a shader, similar to Unity's Pixel Snap option in their sprite shaders. This doesn't quite work for me though as I need to snap those verts in 3D, rather than just 2D. But if I could apply this technique to my new fancy geometry in 3D then I think this would solve the issue and would allow me to unsnap the camera again.
Sadly my shader skills aren't quite up to that level. So if any shader lords know how I could snap the verts of an object in relation to my orthographic + forced perspective camera then please give me a shout!! I believe it can be done, kinda the inverse of snapping the camera position(?). And yes, I appreciate that my setup is pretty unique and I've probably failed to explain the issue particularly well :s

You can see the swimming issue here. I snap the camera to whole pixels about halfway through, which stops the swimming.


I also upgraded to Unity 2017.3, so I'll probably be spending some time fixing any bugs that arise from that over the next few days. Then I'll be moving on to building some kind of map system :D

Cheers, and have a great weekend!


« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 07:24:41 am by empika » Logged

PetSkull
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« Reply #217 on: March 02, 2018, 03:26:06 am »

The dropbox images for your last entry doesn't load for me.
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empika
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« Reply #218 on: March 02, 2018, 07:27:04 am »

The dropbox images for your last entry doesn't load for me.

Thanks for the heads up, hopefully those are fixed now. Looks like I should have been using ?raw=1 on the end instead of ?dl=1. The more you know!
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empika
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« Reply #219 on: March 09, 2018, 12:40:49 am »

Hey folks, happy friday!

Mostly been a good week this week... apart from getting stuck on a small island on Monday due to fog and all the planes in and out being cancelled. Whilst stuck at the airport I managed to fix that jittery sprite business though, so thats good!

Turns out I needed to add the fractional difference between the camera and the target it's following to the camera. That way they camera and target stay in sync as they cross pixel boundaries and we can safely snap the camera position.
The only gotcha is that you don't have to do this unless the target is moving, otherwise the camera isn't very smooth.
Sorry, no gifs of this fix yet I'm afraid. I'll get another post up during the next week with some more specifics Smiley
   
Lots of other stuff done this week too! I built the basics of a save and load system, which is something I should have done a long time ago because it was a bit of a pain, although I'm still not entirely sure what I could have changed to have made it easier.

All my data (player character sheet, software, hardware) is stored in Unity ScriptableObjects, this makes it really easy to reference other Unity objects, as well as add logic and create fancy/nice editors.
Due to the references, it's not that easy to serialise this data down to disk (json or whatever ou save file format is). So I have to build a bunch of proxy objects that I can serialize out and then rebuild after deserialisation. Not too difficult, but certainly a bit of a pain. At least the data footprint will be smallish, due to only saving whats needed.
For example, the player object stores a list of Objectives. An objective has a localised text description and a checkbox to say if it's complete or not. When serialising I only need to store the guid of the objective and it's completed status. Then when deserialising I grab the guid and load the coresponsing ScriptableObject, then just set the completed bit, or not.

So far I've built two backends for the save system. Production, that writes out bson, and a debug one that writes out json.

The last bit I've been working on is an improved quest/objective log. My previous one was thrown together just to get something in there. So having time to actually make it nice has been nice Smiley
It's been inspired by the adventure log in breath of the wild, which I found to be really effective.



I also created a new text component for the list items, which I've been meaning to do for a long time. It will add an ellipses to any text that doesn't fit.

Here's the code https://gist.github.com/empika/0b34d84fe2f7c4319bd9b6cc545dce3f

I've only tested lightly, and only with single line text fields, so YMMV Smiley

That's about it. Till next week, have a good weekend everyone!
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