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loudo
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« Reply #40 on: June 21, 2014, 02:57:24 pm »

Hey,

here is a screenshot of the current state of the Choose Character page.



There will be more characters (more or less 12) when the game will be released. So I'm wondering if a carousel can be useful/ergonomic in order to choose the hero. Do you guys have some idea or advice on it ? How is the best way to present many characters like that ? Do I have to reduce the size of the portrait ?

Furthermore, I would like to have your view on the graphic difference between the portrait and the in-game character (please see character on bottom-left). I already had some good feedbacks on it but I would gladly hear some good advice to help me improve the in-game rendering. The main reason I ask for this is because I recently had a feedback of someone who doesn't understand the in-game cartoon rendering and why there is a style difference between concept art and in-game. So what should I do ?
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loudo
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« Reply #41 on: June 22, 2014, 08:19:39 am »

So I had some positive feedbacks on twitter regarding my concern about the difference between the concept art and the in-game art (which according to few people is too far from the concept art or too cartoonish).

Here are some collected thoughts:

  • Differences between concept art and ingame is not a problem...
  • but there is too much contrast between the detailed art in combat made in a painted style (background, trees,...) and the characters made with flat colors.
  • and the ingame characters feel a little expressionless comparing to the concept art.

Conclusion I have few things to do to increase the global graphic consistency :

  • Replace the flat color shading by a painted shading
  • Add some facial expressions
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loudo
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« Reply #42 on: July 12, 2014, 02:17:37 am »

It takes me some times to feed this devlog at this time.

So, here is a quick update :

I'm working on the combat phase, there is so much work to do. At the same time, I'm trying to improve my animation engine (for Spriter) and to connect it with the Ash framework.

We are working to improve the character rendering for the animation (see previous post). We released last weekend an comparison image between the old and the new rendering, it seems the old one is the favorite Smiley But we try again to improve the rendering. We will have something to show in few days I hope.
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loudo
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« Reply #43 on: July 17, 2014, 08:37:11 am »

Hi everyone,

So I'm working on the combat phase and I have a pathfinding now.
Here is a screenshot of my pathfinding test (yellow : start, green : path, red : obstacle, blue : destination).

.

Regarding the other part of the combat phase, I have an annoying bug since 2 days that prevents animations to appear on screen. For now, I don't know what's is going on. I try to revert the git project to an older version to see what happened, I've almost lost the latest files I wrote, but after few hours, I recovered my files. I have still this annoying bug though  No No NO but I can definitely code new features while fixing the bug. Hand Thumbs Up Left


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loudo
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« Reply #44 on: July 20, 2014, 05:03:28 am »

Finally, I fixed the bug. Well, I not really fixed it, because it seemed that it was only a corrupted file or something. So I just uninstalled and reinstalled the compiler and all libraries and it worked!
Before that it takes 3 hours in the middle of the night  No No NO to rewrite a part of the ash engine to make it worked but I prefer the other solution which was gave by a pal after trying to reproduce the bug on his computer. Cheers to him  Beer!
So now my 2 projects files (game engine, animation engine) are connected after all  Tongue
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loudo
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« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2014, 09:07:38 am »

Hi folks,

I'm still working on the pathfinding. In Graal Seeker, the pathfinding has to be dynamic/responsive because it's real time. So it needs some additionnal features. Here there are (and animated! but sorry it's only 10 fps and poor quality):
legend : green circle : path, red circle, not walkable tile.

But first, how the pathfinding works here? It's a basic A Star pathfinding that excludes not walkable tiles. We store all tiles of the path in the correct order. We calculate the vector between the current position and the very next tile and calculate a movement step with which the movement engine will move the character at each frame.


Now, let's see the current state for the implementation of the z-ordering. Every time a character reaches a tile, the z-order list is updated. You can see the character walk behind and ahead the trunk.



Then, during a movement the player can change his mind and request for an other destination. To have something smooth and to keep the characters aligned with the centers of the tiles, we only update the destination when the player clicks, and we wait the character reaches the next tile before recalculating the path. This is why we don't calculate the vector and the movement step with the destination tile, and we use the next tile instead. Here, you can see the path change each time I click.



Finally, we can't let the characters go at the same destination. So, we recalculate all pathfindings at each frame. We always set the next tile of the movement as not walkable. You can see here a character interrupt the movement of an other character.




I'll be glad if you guys have any idea of missing features or give me some feedbacks. Thanks for reading Smiley
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loudo
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« Reply #46 on: July 31, 2014, 06:43:46 am »

So today I tested to compile my game for linux. It seems to work with some blocking bugs at some point, but this is very encouraging for the future  Hand Thumbs Up Left I will also have to profile the program, since 100% CPU on Linux is not acceptable. But well, I know that I can do it now!

And I'm still working on the battle and my 3d artist is still working on the animation. But I will have something to show next week. See you soon !
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loudo
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« Reply #47 on: September 08, 2014, 02:06:32 pm »

I have so many things to show you but I am overwhelmed by work and it seems that I didn't post here for a month.
So....What's new ? I will be launching a crowdfunding campaign in few days. And I plan to launch a private alpha few weeks after.

And what I did last month ?
  • working on AI......................20% completed
  • working on combat system...........10% completed
  • created new textures for the characters....100% completed
  • created shields for the characters.........100% completed
  • rendering of characters....................90% completed
  • integration of animations..................15% completed
  • preparing the crowdfunding.................70% completed
  • wedding....................................100% completed  Smiley Beer!

The integration of animations consists of preparing all the PNG of the animations on Spriter for the game engine by adding a sword frame by frame, blood and other effects. It's longer than I planned since I can't use too much images at a time (not enough memory on my computer), so I have to create and handle more files. I will probably explain the process better with some screenshots on a next log.

So, now I'm focusing on the crowdfunding and the combat system.
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loudo
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« Reply #48 on: September 22, 2014, 01:30:06 pm »

Hi,

I started a crowdfunding campaign to help me finish the game. It will allow to work full-time until the game release and provide a private alpha and a private beta in good condition. Backers can have a early bird price for the game and participate to the alpha/beta phases.

I'm pleased to show you the Indiegogo trailer (please understand that is not even from alpha footage) :



And here is a gif you can find on the indiegogo page :



I'll be pleased to have some feedbacks on the campaign, and if some of you want to back the project it will be awesome!  Beer!
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loudo
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« Reply #49 on: September 24, 2014, 04:24:53 am »

Hi there,

I'm pleased to share with you this news, we are on greenlight!

Please vote for us and tell your friend!



Next week I plan to release a devlog video, so stay tuned! Thanks for your support.
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loudo
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« Reply #50 on: September 30, 2014, 11:41:16 am »

I'm currently making a video to show some ingame features. It's not easy as I thought and making a video with missing features or contents don't help. But I think I will post the video in 2 days. During my crowdfunding campaign, I will post another one to show the combat in this early stage.

By the way, I started today a contest to make you win some copies of the game and other stuff. You just have to share the indiegogo page with while being logged in on Indiegogo. You can find the full rules under the news section on the Indiegogo page.

So, as a Graal Seeker, I have still 2 quests running. Check out the Steam Greenlight page. Any support is greatly appreciated!

Here is the quest panel :

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loudo
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« Reply #51 on: October 05, 2014, 03:54:35 pm »

I just released my first

today!

You can turn on the english or french subtitles because the sound is very low...

What you will see in this video (ingame footage from the prototype):
- a preview of a welcome event and how the player creates his background randomly
- a preview of a Graal event and how it affects the game
- the quest panel and how quests are handled (quest marker, ...)

Note that there are still no roads and rivers in the map.

My video should have lasted about 6 minutes at the beginning but I encountered so many problems that I cut some scenes.

First, I used CamStudio to capture my screen. I recorded many times because I'm not very comfortable when I speak english and I made some slip of the tongue. So, after few hours of recording, I wanted to check the result and I discovered that all sounds was not properly synchronized with the image. So, thank you CamStudio... WTF

Then, I tried Fraps but I wouldn't buy it without the guarantee of a proper functioning. So I decided to use it anyway with a 30 seconds limitation of recording. But it appeared that the hotkey to start and stop the recording didn't work properly. So, I was a little pissed of at the end, and I recorded again some parts of the video.

Finally, I uploaded the video on Youtube and add English and French subtitles because I wasn't able to record with a decent volume. I should buy another mic next time! Or I should probably not record my voice next time since it took me so many times just for a little video. Shocked The next video will be about the combat with some ingame footage and new animations. I think I will just present the ingame footage in a chaptered manner.

But I'm glad that I won few XP on video recording and youtube video management. Hand Thumbs Up Left

If you guys have any advice about the video recording or questions about the game, please let me know, it will be a pleasure to answer.

Remember, that my game is on Indiegogo and Greenlight right now.

Cheers,
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loudo
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« Reply #52 on: October 15, 2014, 11:56:03 pm »

Devlog video #2: The music

A new

is unleashed! You will hear everything you need to know about the music in Graal Seeker. You will learn with Guillaume, our composer, which softwares and instruments he uses to make the music, how he makes real sfx sounds with his impressive collection of weapons, and you will discover a sneak peek of a new battle song. Hope you will like it!


Ask Us Anything "Indie RPG Developer" AMA on Sunday 19th October!

We have set up a special event with 3 other indie studios: Overhype Studios, King Dino Games and Hydrogames.

We will be on Reddit to answer all your questions the 19th October at 3pm UTC (so 5pm from Paris, Berlin, Warsow, 4pm from London and 11am from New York) with the guys from Battle Brothers, That Which Sleeps and Dungeon Kingdom. This can be a great opportunity to satisfy your curiosity about how indie developers like us make RPGs. So if you have any questions about RPGs, indie development, funding, Greenlight, our studio and such, please come this sunday to this event on Reddit! Hope you will be there!
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loudo
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« Reply #53 on: October 22, 2014, 01:54:01 pm »

About the last Reddit AMA "Indie RPG Developer"

So the event ran quite well. Awesome folks asked a lot of question and it was awesome. I didn't have as much trafic on my crowdfunding or my greenlight pages as expected, but it was awesome, it was hard to answer correctly all these questions though. The event ran during 3 hours!!!
Finally few hours later, the reddit admin removed the topic because there was 2 crowdfundings links Sad
But I think you can still find it here.

Animation update

This is an animation I put on my crowdfunding page few days ago. The bards have special powers when they play music. The Briton can put to sleep the opponents, while the Saxon and the Pict alter the speed of the skill cooldown.



And this is an animation I made today. You can see the briton knight stun the pict knight with a special skill. I still need to have a sword trail. Maybe I can put different sword trails depending of the type of the attack (normal, powerful, stun, deadly, etc.)



Since few days, I try to make these animations alive. Remember that my artist makes a simple PNG rendering of the animations from a 3D software. Then I have to add strokes with photoshop and shadows, to resize all the images, and finally I have to add the sword, special effects and the shield with Spriter. So it's very time consuming, and at the beginning it was the artist that supposed to do that.

I encountered some problems for which I had to find a solution:
  • the artist didn't respect the correct size, so I need to resize again. If you need to resize a lot of images, you should try Image Resize which is pretty good (except that you can't overwrite, you have to save somewhere else). I save 25% of the total weight of the project Smiley
  • Spriter is very buggy and crashes a lot. Sometimes I need to start over and over again. So I need to handle many files and to change and modify manually a lot of things for now. This is temporary. If the next version of Spriter has still crashes, I will have to build my own tools.
  • the artist rendered the full timeline of all the characters. There are about 4000 images for each characters but I need only something like 800. So I need to find the images by myself. For now I made only 10 animations per character in Spriter but I think I sill need to remove some frames, especially at the beginning and the end of the animation.
  • My tilesheet is pretty huge now with all these images. I may let the game engine create dynamically some tilesheet. For example, I can create one tilesheet per character with TexturePacker and then combine them at each level of the game depending on the characters needed in the level. I have to combine them because if I want to handle correctly the z-order and to render in a single pass, I need to have only one tilesheet.
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loudo
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« Reply #54 on: October 27, 2014, 09:37:38 am »

Final week to fund Graal Seeker

If you are or know someone who might be interested in Graal Seeker, it's time to pledge! We will be very thankful for that! Every little pledge is very important to us and helps to focus on our game and to not delay it too much.  
Remember that you can still help Graal Seeker by sharing our project. Help us reach the Graal Wink

Next devlog video

While I'm working on the next devlog video (see the last ones here on my youtube channel) which I wanted to release before the end of my crowdfunding campaign I'm still stuck in my animations. In this video there will be more ingame footages from the combat. I don't think I will have more press coverage with it at this time (to close to the end of the campaign) and I really want to focus on quality. So the video may be delayed a little bit and be released after the campaign.
I'm still working on the animations and I will release more animations this week, hope you will like it! In the mean time, what are your thoughts on the last animations?
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loudo
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« Reply #55 on: October 28, 2014, 11:56:34 pm »

It's time to show you another progress on our animations. Today, you will discover the archer which is specialized in ranged combat and handles the bow with great dexterity.



Opponents can take cover behind some background elements but after few level up your archer will have the ability to shoot the covered enemy. Anyway, what will be the druid's response to this attack?

Let me hear what do you think about this animation!
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« Reply #56 on: October 29, 2014, 01:23:46 am »

Oh wow, this game seems very proffessionally done! Great job! The animations are really cool. Smiley I think it deserves more recognition.. :O
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loudo
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« Reply #57 on: October 30, 2014, 09:47:54 am »

Oh wow, this game seems very proffessionally done! Great job! The animations are really cool. Smiley I think it deserves more recognition.. :O

Thank you so much! Hope you will like the next animations.

So, here we go again with the archer and the druid. Let's see the answer of the druid.

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loudo
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« Reply #58 on: November 02, 2014, 01:33:08 am »

New screenshot

Here is a new screenshot of the combat. I removed a grid which seemed not very necessary. I may add an option in the game to let the player choose the opacity of the grid or something like that. But it appears that the readability of the combat is greater without it. I also added some visual selectors under the team members to let the player know which character is currently selected.



Crowdfunding

Last 24 hours to help fund Graal Seeker. The crowdfunding raised 20% so far and will end at 23h59 PT.

Greenlight

Our Greenlight reached 18%, so we still need your help to get greenlighted Smiley

Thanks for your support. Cheers.
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loudo
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« Reply #59 on: November 05, 2014, 03:52:40 am »

Crowdfunding Status

Our crowdfunding campaign is now over, we reached 22% of our funding goal.
First of all, we would like to thank everyone for your support especially those who made a contribution. Thank you very much!

We don't reach our goal but we are closer to it thanks to you!

Greenlight Status

We reached 19% to the top 100. Thanks everybody for your vote and telling your friend! If you haven't vote yet, please do so and share.


What's next?

It took more time than expected to handle the campaign, and we believe that we have to make further efforts to release the alpha. Providing a good alpha will help to get more press coverage and to sell more pre-orders. In the mean time, we will show you a gameplay video for the combat very soon.

Obviously, the final release will be also delayed.

Some progress on the game

Here is an animation to show you how the inventory works. In the inventory panel, you can see all the items owned by your team. You have a visual indicator to show you what items are already equipped by your team and your selected character. You have a limited space in your inventory determined by the total strength of your team and the item type. For example, you can have less shields than weapons, because obviously shields are heavier.

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