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

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1401678 Posts in 67940 Topics- by 61496 Members - Latest Member: Lankar5

July 06, 2022, 08:55:14 PM

Need hosting? Check out Digital Ocean
(more details in this thread)
TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsMoons In Crystal
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5]
Print
Author Topic: Moons In Crystal  (Read 8185 times)
Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #80 on: April 25, 2022, 02:11:53 AM »

Blog post (25th of April, 2022)
Applying Some Polish


Summary: In which the Ossuary Moon gains skirting; the appearance of the Vertical Slice Moon is further developed; multiple visual elements are polished; new map-icons are added; game-selection is implemented; the main menu gains some text; credits and legal notices are compiled and made available; and the race is tweaked.

Greetings and salutations!

This week's screenshot shows a tweak to the appearance of the Ossuary Moon: the bases of walls and pillars now end in a rather less rectilinear fashion!



The week just past was, in some ways, a "polish" week: A week primarily of the implementation of ancillary functionality, of tweaks to appearances, and of various improvements of one sort or another:

As shown above, the Ossuary Moon now has walls and pillars that don't end in simple straight lines. This is achieved simply by the addition of a strip of "skirting", using a new texture made in the week just past.

And indeed, I think that it improves the feel of the environment!

Likewise, I continued in the week just past with the look and feel of the Vertical Slice Moon. Specifically, the walls there too now have skirting, and the pillars have been reworked:



Furthermore, in the week just past I worked to polish various elements of the visuals: tweaking certain effects, improving the rendering of map- and inventory- icons, touching up the automatic outlining, and improving the handling of player-trails when crossing room-boundaries.

I also added a few map-icons that were yet missing--specifically, icons for health-upgrades, ship-skins, and the one remaining boss that I intend for the vertical slice.

On the UI side, perhaps the most salient change is the addition of a new menu:

When the player presses the "Start a New Game" button, in general this simply takes them into Moons in Crystal itself, naturally.

However, the game is designed (hopefully) to support DLC adventures--which prompts the question of how to allow the player to start one such, should they have it.

Hence this new menu: When only one adventure is present, the game starts as described above: clicking on the "Start a New Game" button just starts whatever is available (presumably the main game). However, when more than one is present, the new menu is shown first, giving the player the choice of which to begin.



Also shown in the screenshot above is a minor change made in the week just past: The addition of a byline, engine-credit, and version-number at the bottom of the main menu.

And one more new menu was added, this one rather simpler: There is now a "credits/legal" screen, which shows a basic scrollable text-view. That view holds a text compiled in the week just past, including my own copyright claims and disclaimers, as well as the various credits and license -texts/-references called for by the various third-party elements that I use (e.g. music).

(The button for this "credits/legal" screen can also be seen in the screenshot above, by the way.)

In compiling the text for the above, I discovered that a few of the pieces of music that I was using had licenses that were perhaps problematic. (Some may have been okay, but I preferred to play it safe.) So, in the week just past I spent some time replacing those few.

On the gameplay side, I mentioned in last week's blog post, I believe, that I had a few touch-ups in mind for the race. And in the week just past I did indeed implement some changes: in short, the race now ends only when all racers have crossed the finish-line, and the starting trigger has been moved and reduced (thus allowing the player to pass without starting the race).



And, well, there were quite a lot of tweaks, fixes, and changes enacted in the week just past that don't seem worth detailing here!

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


A Fantasy Top-Down "Space" Metroidvania
Itch page ~ Twitter
RealScaniX
Level 6
*


Scanix (ignore the "Real", Scanix was taken)


View Profile WWW
« Reply #81 on: April 25, 2022, 07:48:04 AM »

I like it when DLCs extend the game world instead of being an isolated level in the main menu. Could be a planet that pops up if you upload a dollar or so. Smiley
Logged

Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #82 on: April 25, 2022, 11:44:10 AM »

Hahah, another difference between us as players, it seems: I prefer it the other way around!

That is, I want to feel, when I get a game, that I have the whole game; that I'm not missing out on content in the current adventure if I don't get the DLC.

Plus, having separate adventures means that each can have separate abilities, weapons, and items, without my having to take DLC abilities, etc. into account when working on the main game.
Logged


A Fantasy Top-Down "Space" Metroidvania
Itch page ~ Twitter
RealScaniX
Level 6
*


Scanix (ignore the "Real", Scanix was taken)


View Profile WWW
« Reply #83 on: April 26, 2022, 09:37:32 AM »

Ha, yeah. I agree that it is indeed easier to implement, though. Smiley
Logged

Ian_A
Level 2
**


Indie Artist & Designer


View Profile WWW
« Reply #84 on: April 30, 2022, 05:09:45 PM »

Map/tileset/rooms looking nice, looks smoother! I kinda agree for paid or community content DLC a menu like that is effective, and it seems smart to keep each adventure environment/version separate.
Logged

CRIMSON KEEP - First Person Action Roguelite
Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #85 on: May 02, 2022, 02:48:49 AM »

Ha, yeah. I agree that it is indeed easier to implement, though. Smiley

And even at that it's not exactly "easy", I have found! ^^;

Map/tileset/rooms looking nice, looks smoother! I kinda agree for paid or community content DLC a menu like that is effective, and it seems smart to keep each adventure environment/version separate.

Thank you very much, on all counts! ^_^

(Especially on the art: I do worry at times about whether it's turning out well enough.)
Logged


A Fantasy Top-Down "Space" Metroidvania
Itch page ~ Twitter
Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #86 on: May 02, 2022, 02:50:01 AM »

Blog post (2nd of May, 2022)
Codex Entry


Summary: In which an item gains proper art; the UI for item-enumeration is set in place; enumerated items are given upper limits; the codex fills out; and some further effects-polish is enacted.

Greetings and salutations!

This week's screenshot shows a revision to the appearance of the Rune of Power item:



The week just past was, for the most part, a visual one, albeit with a few other things being done besides:

As shown above, the Rune of Power finally has a proper in-game image! And indeed, I'm rather happier with it than I was with my previous draft. ^_^

Further, I've likewise made a proper utility-icon for it, to be shown in the UI:



That said, I will confess to an anxiety: sometimes--and indeed in this case--when designing a rune or suchlike I worry that I've stumbled upon an extant symbol--and worse, an untoward one.

So let me appeal: if I have done so here, please let me know so that I might change it! ^^;

(I have tried some searching for similar images, but have thus far found none.)

Now, you may note in the preceding screenshot a little bit of UI poking through at the bottom--a small curve that wasn't previously present. This is the top of a new UI element, a place in which to display the number of items held in the case of enumerated items (those currently being the runes of power and health gems).

Previously, this number was simply displayed over the main icon, which wasn't ideal for readability. So, in the week just past I set about finally displaying it properly.

And... This proved to be a bit of a challenge, as I recall! I went through a number of iterations, none of which I was happy with.

In the end, I went with something fairly simple and fairly small: a little circle that appears when an enumerated item is selected, below and to the left of the main icon. And with this I believe that I am happy. ^_^



This particular UI choice was in part supported by another change made in the week just past: Enumerated items may now have a maximum count applied to them, and indeed, such a maximum has been instated for both the runes of power and health gems.

Aside from allowing for a smaller UI footprint, this, I hope, will encourage players to use their items, and discourage them from grinding for items.

Moving from the UI to content, in the week just past I set about filling in the codex.

At the start of this, I somewhat alternated between painting icons and writing entries, but eventually I settled into completing the icon set.

And indeed, I believe that I have all but one of the current set done!

I don't want to show all of these icons right now--but here below is a redacted view, showing at least some of them:



And in working on the codex, I found that a number of elements didn't yet provide entries (enemies in particular, if I recall correctly). Further, a number of elements of logic turned out to want for reworking or filling in. These things, then, I think that I have now largely done!

(As I also tweaked which things do in fact provide codex entries.)

That said, looking at how extensive the codex already is, I am now thinking that I might want to break it up into sections! ^^;

Moving to matters of gameplay, in the week just past I did some further effect-polish: The binding ability gained a set of simple effects that appear on a failed attempt, as well as some polish to its extant effects. In addition, I may have a start to a new element for the effects used by the teleportation ability.

And as per usual, there were tweaks, changes, and fixes enacted in the week just past that don't seem worth detailing here!

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


A Fantasy Top-Down "Space" Metroidvania
Itch page ~ Twitter
Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #87 on: May 09, 2022, 01:28:34 AM »

Blog post (9th of May, 2022)
Optional Changes


Summary: In which writing is done for the codex; the number of codex-entries is reduced; the liche gains a new effect on death; the effects and camera-work for teleportation are reworked or polished; new accessibility options are added; and some video options are implemented.

Greetings and salutations!

This week's screenshot shows some new accessibility options:



The week just past was one of those "miscellany" weeks: A week in which a number of different aspects of the game saw work:

I mentioned in last week's blog-post, I believe, that I had begun filling out the codex. Well, in the week just past I both did more of that--and actually reduced the codex!

Regarding the former, in the week just past I sat down and wrote or edited a number of entries for the codex. I have a few yet to be written--those for the moons, specifically, I believe--but I think that I have at least a draft of the majority!

However, I also realised that I had some problems, if I recall correctly:

For one, I wanted codex-entries for NPCs to be found within the world--but this made less sense for artefacts and upgrades, producing an inconsistency in the gaining of entries. For another, I wanted to have an effect and title be displayed on gaining a codex-entry--but in the case of artefacts and upgrades, these clashed with the effects and titles already associated with those. And finally (that I recall), there didn't seem to be much to say in a codex-entry about the upgrades, specifically.

So, in the end, I took the decision to cut the codex-entries for artefacts and upgrades. (With some of the writing already done for them being transferred to one degree or another to relevant NPC-entries.)

And with that done, I implemented the display of an effect and a title on gaining a codex-entry.

Speaking of effects, in the week just past I added two new ones:

First is a simple effect added to the "death" sequence of the liche: the undead sorcerer's soul can now be seen passing on after their death, a black shade that reaches out to grasp at the living world--but in vain.

And second is a reworking of the effects used for teleportation: Now a "tear" appears at both the source position and the destination, rapidly shrinking as the fabric of the world mends. Furthermore, the "rings of light" effect already in place has been polished.

In addition, in teleportation the camera now translates from the source position to the destination, providing a smoother segue than the immediate skip that was previously used.



As the first screenshot above shows, I also did some work on the game's options in the week just past.

Previously, I had only two gameplay options: sliders for each of "game speed" and a controller "dead-zone".

Now there are two more: accessibility options that allow the player to halve the health of one or both of general NPCs and bosses.

(Also visible in that screenshot is a revision to the appearance of the "reset" buttons used by sliders, as well as some changes in the spacing of the options.)

Not visible in that screenshot is that a new page has been added, this one for video options.

Specifically, this page currently holds two options: one by which the player can select a window-size, and one that allows the player to toggle to and from full-screen. (Both of these were taken largely from their implementations in A Door to the Mists.)



And finally, a number of things were done in the week just past that don't seem worth detailing here: a reduction to the in-game size of artefacts; some reworked map-icons; and more besides!

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


A Fantasy Top-Down "Space" Metroidvania
Itch page ~ Twitter
Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #88 on: May 16, 2022, 02:32:47 AM »

Blog post (16th of May, 2022)
A Tutorial Moon


Summary: In which a UI bug is fixed; weapon-icons are reversed; a UI is reorganised; enemies may respawn--but generally not as they once were; an autosave is put in place; some writing is done; a start is made to level-building; an old enemy returns; and some new issues are discovered.

Greetings and salutations!

This week's screenshot shows the return of an old foe, now with a new coat of paint!



The week just past was another bit of a miscellany--but perhaps most notably included a push into content-creation:

On the UI side, for some time I've had a bug that prevented players from typing into text-boxes (such as when naming a save-game) while using non-mouse menu-navigation. In the week just past I believe that I fixed this issue!

Perhaps more saliently, however, in the week just past I re-ordered some of my UI elements!

For one, the weapon-icons in the main game-view are now ordered in the opposite direction (top-to-bottom instead of bottom-to-top). This results in their matching the ordering used in the status screen, and thus makes for a more-consistent presentation.

But larger than this is the change to the save-load menu: it's been completely overhauled, with wider save-buttons and repositioning of both the screenshot-view and the control-buttons. All of this with the intention of allowing more space on the save-buttons for long file-names.



And that in turn prompted by the fact that I've implemented a more-useful approach to generating default names for saves:



Moving to the gameplay side, I have at last implemented enemy respawning!

Now, in some metroidvanias enemies simply respawn as they were first encountered: if on first entry to a room you encounter an enemy, with subsequent respawns you'll again encounter that same enemy in that same spot. (Barring changes to world-state.)

But I don't want that in Moons in Crystal: I want, I think, for the player to have a greater sense of having an impact on the world, and of making it at least a little safer.

So, I've thus instead implemented a system under which respawns draw from an optional secondary set of spawners, and select randomly from those. The idea is that these will offer lighter and more-varying opposition to the player--and indeed, will more-often include harmless "wildlife".

(And the system that I have in place should also allow me to change which secondary set a given room draws from, allowing for changes to the state of the world.)

All of this did, however, call for some changes and fixes to my handling of spawning, and of saving-and-loading.

Remaining with gameplay matters, in the week just past I also instated an autosave on exiting a major location (such as a moon).

As to content creation, in the week just past I did a bit of writing, adding for example drafts of codex-entries for various moons, if I recall correctly.

And with all of the above done, and my to-do list thus looking rather lighter, I took a step at last into the level-building phase proper. Specifically, I've begun work on a small "Vertical Slice Tutorial Moon"--a location in which to provide a tutorial for players just starting out in the vertical slice.

(I want this to be separate from the previously-shown "Vertical Slice Moon" because I don't want new players to have access to the things contained there from the very start.)




And it's for this location that I've brought back the worm shown in the first screenshot of this post: an old enemy left fallow since the Treasure Hoard Moon was cut, now finding new use as a starter enemy. With, admittedly, some changes to both behaviour and appearance.

That said, creating this location has--not entirely unexpectedly, I think--uncovered some lurking issues, things that I feel want for fixing before I move forward. For some of these I think that I may have answers (or indeed, one answer that--somewhat literally--covers multiple issues), while for others more investigation may be called for.

And of course, in the week just past I enacted various tweaks, fixes, and changes that don't seem worth detailing here!

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


A Fantasy Top-Down "Space" Metroidvania
Itch page ~ Twitter
Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #89 on: May 23, 2022, 05:08:06 AM »

Blog post (23rd of May, 2022)
Shedding Some Light


Summary: In which level-building continues; tutorial-messages are added; "blockages" are made; room-hiding is reworked; a door is thickened; lighting is implemented; and performance optimisations are sought and enacted.

Greetings and salutations!

This week's screenshot shows another addition to the aesthetics of the game: lighting! (As well as some tutorial-text.)



The work of the week just past was perhaps given primarily to issues raised by level-building, with some actual level-building and other matters done besides:

To start with, I did enact some level-building in the week just past--indeed, I think that I have the functionality and layout of the Vertical Slice Tutorial Moon complete!

This itself involved the implementation of two new features: Tutorials, and "blockages".

The tutorials in question are simple things: popups that appear when the player is within certain rooms, each sized to its text.

Speaking of which, I think that I have said text more or less complete--although I might add one more entry in the final room of the tutorial.



"Blockages" are likewise fairly simple: they're essentially "doors" of a sort (although not descended from the actual "Door" class), being objects that may control whether two rooms are linked. However, unlike actual doors, or breakable walls, these are not "rooted", and so can be moved via the player's "grab" metroidvania-upgrade.



As to the aforementioned issues raised in level-building, one of those was the matter of hiding rooms when they're separated from the player.

Until the week just past, this was done by fading the room itself to black--a simple expedient that had seemed to work.

However, in building a proper level in which this effect was visible, I found that it didn't work as well as I'd hoped: the cut-off between hidden and visible rooms was too sharp. (And there may have been some other unsightly artefacts; I forget.)

So, in the week just past I replaced that system with a variation of a previous one: now each room (optionally) has "cover" geometry, which can be faded -in and -out to hide said room. And since these covers are separate geometry, they can be made to overlap adjacent rooms and given semi-transparent borders, allowing for a softer transition between a hidden room and an adjacent visible one.

But this approach did incur a problem of its own: the doors of the Ossuary Moon were too thin. With the soft transition placed over them they would be all too greatly covered.

Thus I reworked the Ossuary's doors to be wider--and, I think, a little cooler:



Another issue that I discovered in level-building was that levels could end up looking a little flat; a little uninteresting. Even, I suspected, once additional decoration was put in place.

After some thought, I settled on the idea of adding lighting to my levels, in the hopes of adding a bit of depth and variation in their appearances.

These lights are fairly simple things: up to sixteen circles of illumination, each with a size, an intensity, and a "softness". (Although I may yet add colour.)

What's more--and with the aid of someone on GameDev.net--these lights do not accumulate independently. Instead, they merge together into blobby "masses" of light, creating an effect that's a little more stylised, and with a little more "form", than might be had with independent lights.

The result, then, should be visible in the first screenshot above!

On the technical side, one more issue that I had discovered was that performance dropped quite significantly around a cluster of enemies in the Vertical Slice Tutorial Moon.

So, in the week just past I set out to improve matters. Offhand, I recall that I implemented shader-based skinning, and that I adjusted the handling of effects by projectiles.

And indeed, these things helped! The frame-rate does still drop more than I'd like--but noticeably less than it did, I do believe.

And of course, there were various tweaks, fixes, and changes that don't seem worth detailing here!

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


A Fantasy Top-Down "Space" Metroidvania
Itch page ~ Twitter
Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #90 on: May 30, 2022, 04:31:14 AM »

Blog post (30th of May, 2022)
Touching the Aethereal


Summary: In which a new metroidvania-ability is implemented.

Greetings and salutations!

This week's screenshot shows the effect of a new metroidvania ability:



And indeed, that new ability was, I think, the main work of the week just past, albeit with some other things done besides:

The new ability in question is--for the moment at least--called "The Eye of the Aether". In short, it allows the player-character to dip into the aethereal at their current location--and thus to reveal some things and vanish others. In some cases this only reveals an impression of a past event; in other cases, it changes the world around, and the paths available through it.

And I have at least one use in mind towards the full game that would take the latter even further...

The presence of such unseen elements is currently sign-posted by a localised mist.

Actually creating this feature did prove a little challenging, as I recall, and involved a bit of iteration:

Originally, I envisaged the ability as operating by area of effect: when activated, it would make relevant objects appear or disappear within a certain radius of the player. And indeed, I implemented this and had it largely working, I think.

But I realised that it presented a problem: if the player revealed only part of an aethereal structure, they could potentially find themselves dealing with a broken room--and indeed, one that might then allow them to escape the confines of the level.

So, after some thought, I changed my approach: Now aether-related structures are handled as indivisible units, meaning that when acted upon the entire structure is affected.

Further, such objects are now detected via trigger rather than distance: aether-related objects each have a trigger that alerts the ability to their presence, and on the ability's activation, all present objects are then affected.



And once again, a variety of things were done that don't seem worth detailing here--collision for dragged objects; some level-building; a few more bits of tutorialisation; bug-fixes; and so on!

But before I conclude this blog-post, let me share one more gif--this one showing a test of a post-process effect that I implemented in the week just past. The effect was subsequently removed, but I like the gif well enough to want to share it anyway:



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


A Fantasy Top-Down "Space" Metroidvania
Itch page ~ Twitter
Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #91 on: June 06, 2022, 02:04:35 AM »

Blog post (6th of June, 2022)
Lighting and Looks


Summary: In which an editor is made for the purpose of lighting; a shader is updated; another shader gains some variation; the appearances of two levels see work, as does their moon-exterior; the interaction icon is changed in look and placement; an NPC is being modelled; and certain enemies may seek mana.

Greetings and salutations!

This week's screenshot shows a few changes in the tutorial level: some decor, some lighting, and some variation in the tiled floor:



The week just past was perhaps one largely given to matters of appearance, with a few other things done besides:

Perhaps the biggest part of this, both in salience and time spent in the week just past, was the creation of a new tool: an editor for the lighting of levels.

You see, up until the week just past, I had included lighting in my general level-building workflow within Blender. However, this presented a difficulty: as I didn't have my shaders in Blender, I couldn't see what I was doing. I could use a visualisation to see the range of my lights, but not their levels of softness, or their intensities, or how they merged together--or, overall, how they affected the appearance of the level.

So, after some deliberation, I decided to make a simple editor for the purpose.

This editor, now implemented, allows me to load a level; set the level's ambient lighting; and via the mouse and keyboard place, edit, and delete my lights. And, combined with some supporting changes to the handling of lights within rooms and ambient lighting within levels, this new approach seems to work nicely!



Here below you should see a gif showing the overall workflow within the editor. It's from an earlier iteration than the current--note the different UI and light-markers--but it should nevertheless give you and idea of how editing with this tool works:



And concomitantly, I also added support for lighting to a shader that lacked it.

Speaking of shaders, the standard location-shader was updated a little in the week just past.

You see, I had been wrestling on-and-off with the fact that simple tiles, viewed top-down, can feel a little over-uniform, and thus not very interesting.

Decor helped somewhat--but much of that was placed around the edges of the various rooms. I did experiment with adding hand-made cracks and chips to the floors, but this looked to me to be overly painstaking.

But the inspiration came to me to implement some variation in the underlying shader--to add some data to my tiles, and to have the shader interpret this data in a way that would produce a more-varied appearance.

In short, the tile-image now has an additional layer of values packed into its "alpha" (i.e. transparency/opacity) channel. These values are then compared to a noise-value that was already being read by the shader. As the noise-value changes, essentially, so too does the value at which a tile is changed, and the manner in which it changes.

And I do think that it rather helps!

All of the things mentioned thus far contributed towards work on the overall appearance of the tutorial level. You can see much of this in the first screenshot above, but let me post one more screenshot, showing all of lighting, decor, and tile-variation:



Likewise, work was done on the exterior appearance of the moon, both its in-space texture and, more so, the look of its "surface" level.



Remaining with visuals but moving away from the moon itself, in the week just past I also touched up the game's "interaction" icon. Specifically, I updated its appearance, and switched it from appearing over the subject of interaction to appearing over the player:



And last of the visual matters that I intend to report in this blog-post, I made a start on the appearance of an NPC who is encountered in the tutorial level.

But not all work of the week just past was visual in nature: I also made a change to the behaviour and abilities of the "Deceived Acolyte" and "Deceived Cultist" enemies: They can now draw power from the mana crystals that the player can create, becoming more dangerous for the brief lifespan of a crystal. (Just as was already true of the player.)



And of course there were various other tweaks, fixes, and changes that don't seem worth detailing here!

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


A Fantasy Top-Down "Space" Metroidvania
Itch page ~ Twitter
Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #92 on: June 13, 2022, 01:28:15 AM »

Blog post (13th of June, 2022)
Engaging With NPCs


Summary: In which a logo is revealed; certain collisions are less "physical"; an NPC is worked on; a viewing-angle is changed; a level gains a minor change; and a company is registered.

Greetings and salutations!

This week's screenshot is prompted by advice given to me in the week just past, advice that it might actually be better to have my logo out sooner rather than later.

So then, let me at last present the game's main menu in full--the title-logo at last unredacted!



The week just past was somewhat of a miscellany-week: a week of technical tweaking, of gameplay work, of level-editing, and more:

On the gameplay side, I made a change to the manner in which collisions between the player and NPCs are handled:

Previously, the game-engine was instructed to treat such collisions as between solid objects--in short, to prevent their intersection, pushing the player "out of" the NPC.

However, while effective, this incurred some problems: For one, a mob of enemies surrounding the player could produce juddering--presumably as the collision system shunted the player rapidly back and forth. And for another--and more worrisome--enemies could potentially push the player up against a wall--and cause them to "pop out" to the other side of said wall!

So, I reworked things a little: now the only effect of a collision between the player and an NPC is to arrest the player's velocity in the direction of said NPC.

The result is that NPCs can still present "physical" obstacles to the player, and a mob surrounding the player is still quite a hazard--but NPCs can no longer "push" the player, thus removing both the juddering and the wall-popping. Further, the player can, it seems, now force their way through such mobs--which actually feels pretty appropriate.

In short, the player's collisions with NPCs now both feel better and are more stable!

On the level-building side, in the week just past I set about to work in earnest on the NPC who is encountered in the tutorial level. Indeed, I've now finished (I think) their modelling and texturing; the animation of said model; and the scripting of their in-game logic. Further, work has been done on the portrait for their encounter--although that last is not yet done.



You may notice in the gif above that the character is presented at a higher angle than other humaniform NPCs have previously been presented at. This is because in the week just past I decided to change that angle: where previously NPCs were by default shown at an angle of sixty-five degrees, now they're by default shown at an angle of forty-five degrees.

While this does obscure their features more than was previously the case, I nevertheless think that it works better overall.



As the the tutorial level itself, it saw only minor changes in the week just past--perhaps most notably, a small extension to one particular--and out-of-the-way--section.

On the "business" side of things, in the week just past I sought out some advice--the same advice that led to the revelation of the game's logo, above. And, on that advice, I have now, officially, started a company for my works! Things are still somewhat nascent in this matter--but I hope to soon announce it properly! ^_^

And as per usual, there were tweaks, changes, and fixes enacted in the week just past that don't seem worth detailing here!

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


A Fantasy Top-Down "Space" Metroidvania
Itch page ~ Twitter
Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #93 on: June 20, 2022, 01:19:51 AM »

Blog post (20th of June, 2022)
New Things


Summary: In which levels gain lighting and tweaks; a new level is added to the Vertical Slice Moon; a tutorial encounter is completed; the ambient lighting of moon-backgrounds is changed; the lighting editor is enhanced; a new Twitter account is made; and a new company logo is designed.

Greetings and salutations!

This week's screenshot shows a revision to an extant part of the Vertical Slice Moon: Specifically, that the "Hall of Traps" level now has lighting, as well as a bit of decor!



The week just past was primarily one of content-building, I believe, with a few other things done besides:

As shown above, the levels of the Vertical Slice Moon were addressed in the week just past--and not only the Hall of Traps: the Hall of Entry and Hall of Flow likewise gained lighting; a new (if small) "Hall of Artefacts" was begun, including geometry, lighting, and the start of an encounter; and all but one hall saw miscellaneous tweaks!




The Tutorial Moon likewise saw work, both in finishing off its NPC--specifically, the character's encounter, in all of text, image, and a bit of coding--and in various tweaks and changes.

A more-general alteration made in the week just past is that the backdrops of moons now always have full ambient lighting. While a trifle limiting, this circumvents an issue that I encountered with applying lights to such regions.

And speaking of lighting, the editor that I made for that purpose was advanced a bit in the week just past: it now allows navigation via the WASD keys (alongside the previously-implemented arrow-keys); has gained a slider that allows the user to zoom out a bit; and with a tweak in the level-loading code, now displays the locations of spawners.



And on the "business" side of things, I now have a Twitter account specific to my creative endeavours (game-dev included)! Further, it bears a new company logo that I created in the week just past.

You should find (and be able to follow Wink ) this new account here: https://twitter.com/ThaumaturgeArt.

Further, I spent a little time updating things like the press-kit and "about" section of my website.

And once again, there were various changes, tweaks, and fixes enacted in the week just past that don't seem worth detailing here!

But before I conclude this post, a few gifs: The first was made for the above-mentioned new Twitter account, and shows the gaining and use of a "metroidvania ability"; the second shows a secret, somewhere in one of the levels worked on in the week just past... Wink




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


A Fantasy Top-Down "Space" Metroidvania
Itch page ~ Twitter
Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #94 on: June 27, 2022, 01:19:30 AM »

Blog post (27th of June, 2022)
Fades for Rooms


Summary: In which a trader's appearance is worked on; room-edges fade into the background; room-covers are improved; a level is begun in earnest; and some bugs are found and attended to.

Greetings and salutations!

This week's screenshot shows updates to the "Hall of Artefacts" in the Vertical Slice Moon:



The week just past was perhaps given primarily to a new aesthetic feature, to changes in the room-cover system--and to some significant bug-hunting. And with a few other things done besides!

First of all, and as shown in the first screenshot above, in the week just past I continued work on the new "Hall of Artefacts": specifically, it how has a better model for its trader-NPC (if likely without final texturing), including a carpet showing some wares that are ostensibly--but not actually--for trade.

You may also note in that screenshot that the edges of the room now fade into the surrounding blackness. This was an aesthetic change made in the week just past: "interior" levels now have shaded edging placed over the perimeters of their rooms. This, I hope, makes such places feel both less flat and more connected to the world than I fear was previously the case.

It did prove somewhat challenging to get right, as I recall, both in and of itself and in its interactions with the extant room-cover system and with breakable walls. Indeed, it involved a fair bit of iteration and reworking! Further, it informed more changes in the aforementioned room-cover system--improvements, I do feel.

(The new system now actually renders edging and room-covers to an off-screen texture--thus allowing me more control over how everything blends--which is then composited with the scene in the game's post-process shader.)

Here below, then, you should see an example of the result in action!


Returning to level-building matters, in the week just past I started work in earnest on the Vertical Slice Moon's "Hall of Secrets". For one, this a place in which I intend to give access to codex-entries that aren't located within the main content of the vertical-slice demo. But perhaps more excitingly, it's more so a place in which I intend to provide a preview of the "metroidvania abilities" that are implemented and intended for the full game, but that go beyond the limited scope of the demo.

This process, however, is very much nascent: I've only put in a few (unlit) rooms, a set of books to grant codex-entries, the implementation (I think) of an NPC found there (including their effect on the world), and one trigger.




And in the course of the week's work, I alas bumped into some fairly serious bugs! These were primarily, I think, related to loading and saving: things like room-neighbour information not being fully stored, map-icons not showing up--and even enemies disappearing!

Thankfully I think that I have these fixed now!

And, once again, there were a number of things done that don't seem worth detailing here!

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


A Fantasy Top-Down "Space" Metroidvania
Itch page ~ Twitter
Thaumaturge
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #95 on: July 04, 2022, 03:27:04 AM »

Blog post (4th of July, 2022)
Neon Beams


Summary: In which the encounter in the Crystal Moon is reworked; continuous-beam weapons are implemented; the boss-fight with the liche sees some changes; and the save-icon is replaced.

Greetings and salutations!

This week's screenshot shows a somewhat-neon revision to the encounter in the Crystal Moon!



Between scheduled power-outages where I live and a family matter that rather impacted me, the week just past was, I feel, slower than most. Still, some things did get done:

First, as shown above, I've once again reworked the encounter in the Crystal Moon.

As much as I liked its previous iteration, I had found that it was all too easy to simply hew to the outer perimeter of the level--and indeed, that the concentration of fire near the centre of the level incurred a pressure to so do. As a result, the encounter was easier than intended, and encouraged the player to act in such a way that they largely didn't see or engage with the patterns described by the crystal-creatures' weapons-fire.

I gave this matter quite a bit of thought, and considered a few possible solutions. In the end, what I settled on was this: Now the crystal creatures fire not bolts but beams--this makes the patterns formed a little more easily discerned, I feel. Further, said creatures now rotate, in fixed patterns, thus varying the pressure applied to the player.



I may yet make further changes--I'm not happy with the enemy that chases the player just yet, and the patterns of placement and rotation are works in progress, for two things. Still, I think that it's improved already! ^_^



And part of this was the implementation of a new type of weapon: continuous-fire hitscan beams!

(I did already have a basic form of hitscan weapon, used for melee attacks, but it was somewhat limited, I think.)

This actually went through two iterations:

In the first, I attempted to design it such that it worked with the extant weapon-related classes, allowing me with fair ease to make things like spreadfire beam weapons, and so on. And indeed, this did work, and I found it quite neat--but it was clunky, and likely inefficient.

So I reworked it, making it now separate from all but the base "Weapon" class. Its flexibility then comes via a system of adding individual "beams" to a given beam-weapon, each having its own offset, direction, damage, and so on.

And since this isn't required to fit the design of the classes used for projectile weapons, I was able to design it in what I think is a rather more efficient manner.

As with the encounter in the Crystal Moon, the boss-fight with the liche saw revision in the week just past. A number of changes were made: a reduction in the frequency of bone-walls; lower health for the boss; a new pattern of skeleton-summoning; and miscellaneous other tweaks. All aimed at making it more fun and less frustrating than I fear that it was.

And I may yet make further changes--I'm not yet sure that I'm happy with the fight. (And indeed, I have at least one more idea that I might try.)

On the visual side of things, in the week just past I replaced the old save-icon. Further, I changed its animation: in place of the old pulsed transparency, it now spins! And I'm rather happier with this new icon, I do believe!



On the level-design side, I've begun work in earnest on defining the Vertical Slice Moon's "Hall of Secrets". And indeed, on figuring out--I hope!--quite how to go about these early stages of designing a level.
 
And finally, there were various changes, tweaks, and fixes made in the week just past that don't seem worth detailing here! (Including a cleanup of some old, now-unused elements.)

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


A Fantasy Top-Down "Space" Metroidvania
Itch page ~ Twitter
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5]
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic