Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1387123 Posts in 66517 Topics- by 59070 Members - Latest Member: Xin Music

January 20, 2021, 10:51:05 AM

Need hosting? Check out Digital Ocean
(more details in this thread)
TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsA Door to the Mists--[DEMO updated!]--traversal, exploration, puzzles and combat
Pages: 1 ... 26 27 [28]
Print
Author Topic: A Door to the Mists--[DEMO updated!]--traversal, exploration, puzzles and combat  (Read 42204 times)
Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #540 on: December 14, 2020, 01:34:21 AM »

Blog post (14th of December, 2020)
Tables and What's Upon Them


Summary: In which tables and their contents are detailed; a doorframe is made to fit its surroundings; interactions--some yet stubs--are added; a surrounding view is worked on; logic for exits is implemented; and object-names and protagonist-responses are written.

Greetings and salutations!

This week's screenshot shows a piece of the (possibly work-in-progress) view that's found surrounding the third room of level six:



The week just past was a varied one, with some each of level-building, writing, and game-logic:

I mentioned in last week's blog-post, I believe, that I had begun work on a new room in level six. And indeed, much of the work of the week just past went towards that room.

Within the room in question, the main focus of work was the pair of curved tables that runs around the inside periphery. Here the geometry was polished, illegible papers were added and scattered about, and other objects were scaled and positioned.

Further, I added the stubs of a few interactions: a few things that can be picked up and examined, and a blank translation-minigame for one piece of legible text.

Beyond the table, the room's doorframe was adjusted, to fit with the stones at its location in this room.



Outside of the room, work continued in polishing the table and chair found against one wall. Here stains and the remains of what was likely once food were added to the table (and the latter within the nearby box, too). Furthermore, the knife on the table was completed. And finally, simple descriptions were added to the table and to the contents of the aforementioned box.



Further afield, I spent time on the view that surrounds the level. Here I tweaked the distant forest, adjusted the line of hills, added a body of water, and worked on the form and caves of the nearby tiered hills.



And indeed, with all that I think that I may have this room nearly done now! ^_^

And a few things were done aside from (or not wholly specific to) that particular room. Perhaps most notably, I put in place the logic for updating the exits from the level once certain conditions are fulfilled, wrote various object-names and protagonist-responses, and made the bedside table in the second room examinable.

And along the way I made several changes that don't seem worth mentioning here!

That then is all for this week--stay well, and thank you for reading! ^_^
Logged


Traversal, exploration, puzzles, and combat in a heroic-fantasy setting
Website ~ Twitter
Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #541 on: December 21, 2020, 02:03:42 AM »

Blog post (21st of December, 2020)
Writing And Holidays


Summary: In which a holiday is announced; a map is made; a new note is added; an informative page is written; a translation puzzle is implemented; new translation word-roots are set; certain scrolls may no longer be viewed up close; a lore-entry is added, text and images both; a security issue in the localisation system is (I hope) fixed; and a holiday wish is given.

Greetings and salutations!

Before I continue, let me announce that as of today, I'm taking my annual Christmas holiday. ^_^

This is intended to continue through the full of this week, and thus there will be no blog-post next week. I'm also considering extending my holiday for an additional week this year--I'm feeling particularly tired and drained, I fear--and so there may not be a blog-post in the week after, either.

However, blog-posts will likely resume after that second week at the least!

Moving on to the usual matters, this week's screenshot shows a table bearing a map and a compass (of the drawing sort), along with an illegible page:



The week just past was heavily given to text-related work, of a few different kinds, although some other things were dealt with too:

Within the third room of level six, on the curved table that partially-rings the walls, one can find a small map; a bare start to the charting of some nearby caves. Previously this was represented by only a blank stand-in; in the week just past then, I draw the map itself and included it into the level--and indeed, it can be seen in the screenshot above!

Furthermore, I added a new note that may be found in this area; while the player doesn't get to read it directly, on examination the protagonist will give a brief summary of its contents.

Perhaps more salient than either, however, is the page that can be found near the door. This has text that can be read by the player, and provides an important tidbit of information. However, it's not given freely--it requires translation first.

As with the map, this page previously had only stand-in content. In the week just past, then, I wrote its text and prepared its translation puzzle.

Further, this particular puzzle includes new word-roots. These word-roots are provided by a lexicon-book that was added in a previous week, but in the week just past I set the roots themselves. (Along with adding one new grammatical particle.)

I won't show the whole puzzle, so as not to spoil too much, but here's an excerpt showing both a word and a new word-root:



Elsewhere in the room, there is a small shelf holding some scrolls, scrolls which alas are in a language that the protagonist cannot read at all.

Previously, I had planned that the player would be able to examine up close one of these scrolls, to see this unknown text. However, in the week just past I decided to drop that idea, as alas it proved too problematic. To explain:
  • Should the text look legible, players might attempt to decipher it.
    • If it were decipherable, I would have to provide some actual text for it.
      • If this were actual in-universe writing, then it would mean creating a chunk of lore that I imagine that most players would never see, never even think to access.
      • If this text were just some silly Easter egg, then it would be in conflict with the rest of the game, which thus far has nothing of that sort.
    • If it were indecipherable, then it would likely prove anticlimactic and disappointing.
  • And should the text look illegible, then it likely wouldn't seem worth examining up close.

However, these scrolls do still serve a purpose: having the protagonist look at them now provides a new lore-entry, written and given icon and page-image in the week just past!

Once again, let me skirt around spoiling by showing just a bit:



Moving away from level six specifically, but remaining with text, in the week just past I addressed a security issue in the localisation system of the game.

You see, as I previously had it implemented, the localisation system had its strings stored in Python files, each string being held in a variable (or a container like a list). These Python files were then imported dynamically in order to access those strings.

However, this incurs a security vulnerability: someone could, theoretically, insert code into one of these Python string-files, which would then be executed on import I believe!

So, in the week just past I set about reworking the system somewhat, such that it no longer involves importing arbitrary Python files.

Having been pointed to TOML as a potential replacement markup language, I turned to that.

I have my points of dissatisfaction with TOML--it seems to lack variables, or integer keys for dictionaries, the former of which incurs some repetition of lines.

However, I'm overall actually very pleased with it--and especially with the fact that its syntax resulted in very few changes to my string-files!

Indeed, I believe that I have the conversion done, with strings being again loaded properly, and security now hopefully improved! ^_^

And along the way I made a number of other changes, fixes, and additions that don't seem worth detailing here!

Before I sign off, let me say: Should you observe or celebrate anything at this time of year (or should you have just done so) then I hope that it proves to be (or was) a very happy one for you. And should you take a holiday, I hope that it proves restful and restorative for you--not to mention fun. ^_^

That then is all for this week--stay well, and thank you for reading! ^_^
Logged


Traversal, exploration, puzzles, and combat in a heroic-fantasy setting
Website ~ Twitter
Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #542 on: January 11, 2021, 01:56:01 AM »

Blog post (11th of January, 2021)
Mist In Progress


Summary: In which a new-year well-wish is given; localisation is tested in light of recent changes; a new shader-input is tried; a forest is touched up; and a new mist-related effect is being developed.

Greetings and salutations!

First of all, a belated "Happy New Year", all! I hope that 2021 treats you well. ^_^

This week's screenshot shows a very-work-in-progress effect being made for level six: (Here seen in a test-level.)



As you may gather, I did indeed extend my Christmas holiday to an additional week. And I'm glad that I did: the rest was called for, I feel!

As to the week just past, it was a bit of a slow one: it took a bit of time to get back into my work, and furthermore the week included another (much shorter) annual holiday of mine. Still, some things did get done:

I mentioned in my previous blog post, I believe, that I had switched my localisation system from using Python string-files to using TOML string-files. This had been largely tested, as I recall--but I hadn't yet tested switching between languages.

So, in the week just past I did that.

Now, I don't have an actual translation to test with. To that end, then, I put together a TOML version of my usual test-"translation": "Felid", in which nearly all strings are "mew". ^_^

And I'm glad to say that the system does indeed seem to work properly!

On the technical side, a new version of Panda3D was recently released, and this version included a new shader-feature that seemed like it might be useful. And indeed, testing showed that it did work as expected--and, alas, that I had likely set up at least some of my materials in a way that precludes it from working with them. Ah well--it would have been a convenience, but it's not a major issue, I feel.

On the art side, I went back to the forest that forms part of the view that surrounds the second part of level six. On review I had found it a little lacking, and so set about to improve it. And while I didn't manage to make all of the corrections that I wanted, I think that I did indeed achieve an improvement.



And finally, I worked on the effect shown in the first screenshot above.

The exact application of this effect is, perhaps, a little spoilery--although you might be able to infer that application from what I've shown before and what I'm showing in this blog-post.

But in short, this is a variation of a pre-existing mist-effect, designed--amongst other things--to part as the player moves up to it.

Specifically, it's a variant of a mist-effect that doesn't use randomisation after initialisation, originally made for looping title animations (as in the trailer videos), as I recall. The lack of  continuing randomness--and of the code to support said randomness--should, I hope, make this new effect a little less expensive than the randomisation-heavy mist-effects used elsewhere (such as in cutscenes and level one). Which may be important, as this mist-effect may cover a significant portion of the screen--even all of it, at times.

All that said, this is very much a work-in-progress: I haven't yet managed to achieve all of the traits that I want in the feature to which it's being applied.

Let me end this post, then, with a short gif of just one part of the mist effect in action:



That then is all for this week--stay well, and thank you for reading! ^_^
Logged


Traversal, exploration, puzzles, and combat in a heroic-fantasy setting
Website ~ Twitter
Schrompf
Level 8
***

C++ professional, game dev sparetime


View Profile WWW
« Reply #543 on: January 12, 2021, 12:51:25 AM »

The "mist parting" effect is nice. Looks very misterious... sorry. I looks like it eats GPUs for breakfast, but I personally am not concerned as I have a breakfast-eating GPU.
Logged

Snake World, multiplayer worm eats stuff and grows DevLog
Alain
Level 1
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #544 on: January 12, 2021, 10:42:48 PM »

The screenshots of A Door to the Mist give me a cozy nostalgic feeling. The new portal made me reminiscent of Ultima's Moongates and trying to recreate them for a Morrowind mod back in the day. You too have a good start into 2021, Thaumaturge, and keep up the good work!
Logged

Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #545 on: January 15, 2021, 07:27:56 AM »

The "mist parting" effect is nice. Looks very misterious... sorry.

Thank you! And I do appreciate the pun! :D (Make no mist-ake. ;P)

I looks like it eats GPUs for breakfast, but I personally am not concerned as I have a breakfast-eating GPU.

I'm glad that your GPU eats breakfast--it is after all the most important meal of the day! Tongue

More seriously, the effect is somewhat expensive--but perhaps not as expensive as you might think. In that test-level, even with the extended, multi-layered version of the effect that has developed from this, I'm still consistently seeing a frame-rate of over 100fps.

Now, if I'd used the more-random mist effect found in cutscenes and one previous level, then that might have been a bit on the GPU-crunching side... ^^;

The screenshots of A Door to the Mist give me a cozy nostalgic feeling. The new portal made me reminiscent of Ultima's Moongates and trying to recreate them for a Morrowind mod back in the day. You too have a good start into 2021, Thaumaturge, and keep up the good work!

Aah, thank you very much, on all counts! I'm really glad that the screenshot strike you that way--and a comparison to Ultima and its moongates is honestly a little heartwarming! :D

You have a great start to your 2021, too! ^_^
Logged


Traversal, exploration, puzzles, and combat in a heroic-fantasy setting
Website ~ Twitter
RealScaniX
Level 5
*****


ScaniX (ignore the "Real", scanix was taken)


View Profile WWW
« Reply #546 on: January 16, 2021, 02:46:13 AM »

There has been some awesome progress in my "absence". Smiley
 
I really like that mist effect, good work!
 
I'm also jealous of all the nice content that you have created. Wink
Logged

Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #547 on: January 16, 2021, 05:26:05 AM »

Thank you on all counts! :D And it's good to see you back! ^_^

I'm also jealous of all the nice content that you have created. Wink

I'll be honest, it sometimes feels like I'm moving at a crawl. So in a way it's nice to have such a comment as the above, suggesting that perhaps I'm not going all that slowly. ^_^
Logged


Traversal, exploration, puzzles, and combat in a heroic-fantasy setting
Website ~ Twitter
Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #548 on: January 18, 2021, 02:41:12 AM »

Blog post (18th of January, 2021)
Publishers and Continued Mist


Summary: In which publishers are researched; and more work is done on the previously-shown mist-effect, and on its purpose within the game.

Greetings and salutations!

This week's screenshot shows some objects newly-located beneath level six:



(Moments before a crash, in all fairness: one of the objects in question isn't meant to be so displayed in this state, and forcing it to be so results in a crash. However, doing this at least serves to show it in a screenshot!)

The week just past was another slow one, with work being done primarily on two things: The mist-effect shown last week, along with the level-elements of which it forms a part; and yet more publisher research.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may be thinking something along the lines of: "More publisher research? Wasn't this previously completed?"

And indeed, I had previously enacted a wave of publisher research.

However, prompted by recently learning that simultaneous pitch-submissions are not only accepted but encouraged, I examined a resource to which I had been linked--one that included a list of publishers. And this list was rather more extensive than what I'd found before: I believe that there were more than a hundred entries in it, and that's after filtering out entries for publishers not marked as handling PC titles!

So, in the week just past I went through this list. (Skipping over most of those that I had already visited, I believe.)

This was not a deep vetting: for each publisher, I simply visited their website, checked their catalogue of games to determine whether A Door to the Mists might fit within it, and looked over what they had to say about themselves. Based on that information, I then sorted each into one of three tiers, which might be broadly titled as: "seems like a decent fit", "might perhaps, maybe work", and "seems like a bad fit".

Even so lightly vetting, this process took some time! But I'm glad to say that it's a process that's now done, I believe--at least with this set of data.

And with that done, and with some minor changes to my pitch-deck and pitch-email template, I think that I'm about ready to start a new wave of pitch-submissions!

As to work on the game itself, most of that went into the previously-shown mist-effect, and into the purpose that I have for it in level six.

Again, I don't want to give too many spoilers at this point, so please forgive me if I try to be at least a little circumspect.

As you can see above, the mist-effect is located beneath the level, along with a few other objects. Of course, it's not accessible there--and indeed, there's logic in place to move it to various spots around the level on certain cues. (This logic is still a work-in-progress, in all fairness.)

Furthermore, a few changes have been made in the geometry of the level itself. Some of these are done, and some are still in progress--indeed, one is proving somewhat tricky!

The mist-effect itself has been significantly improved since last week, I believe; indeed, I believe that I have it done, or near to! ^_^

And finally, on another note, I also fixed a minor bug that I found in a certain piece of error reporting.

Let me once again close out then with a gif, showing the updated mist-effect, seen again in a test-level:



That then is all for this week--stay well, and thank you for reading! ^_^
Logged


Traversal, exploration, puzzles, and combat in a heroic-fantasy setting
Website ~ Twitter
RealScaniX
Level 5
*****


ScaniX (ignore the "Real", scanix was taken)


View Profile WWW
« Reply #549 on: January 18, 2021, 12:17:07 PM »

That publisher search is scary, but such a list is indeed very helpful. I wish you good luck, keep us updated. Smiley
 
And that mist effect is lovely. I bet you can really get lost in it now.
Logged

Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #550 on: January 19, 2021, 07:15:04 AM »

That publisher search is scary, but such a list is indeed very helpful. I wish you good luck, keep us updated. Smiley

It is scary indeed! But as you say, having a list to work through is rather helpful!

(Come to that, would it be helpful for me to post a link to the source of the list? I seem to recall that it was posted on a public site, with the expressed intent of helping devs.)

Thank you very much for the well-wish, and indeed, I do intend to post updates regarding my publisher search as it goes on!

And that mist effect is lovely. I bet you can really get lost in it now.

Thank you very much! ^_^

And indeed, if it were larger I daresay that one could get lost in it. However, in this case it might incur the feeling of finding oneself lost for a different reason... Wink
Logged


Traversal, exploration, puzzles, and combat in a heroic-fantasy setting
Website ~ Twitter
Pages: 1 ... 26 27 [28]
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic