Hello, everyone! How do you do? It’s been a while, hasn’t it? :) Today I’m here to tell you about the advances in Monster Embassy during the month of May.
I haven’t been able to work on this as much as I wanted (my job keeps me REALLY busy, and it will be that way until August, at least), but things do go forward and I’ve found the time to work on some core system stuff, so I’m pretty satisfied overall. Since I’m working on this as a hobby, and this kind of game has a pretty long development cycle, I’ll have to teach myself to be patient, I guess!
If you follow us on Twitter, you may have realised that I’ve been posting some audiovisual material. As I might’ve mentioned previously (or maybe not?), Monster Embassy has dozens of characters, some of them monsters, some of them humanoids, most of which have already been designed. But those drawings are pretty old by now and quite simple. On my spare time, on those times when I need to be away from the computer, I plan on redrawing all of them and making some cool concept art. For now I’ve got the main character, Silver. Doesn’t she look neat?
Now, to the updates!
What I’ve done this month
I’ve implemented a time countdown system. You might remember that I was planning on adding an in-game clock? Well, after prototyping for a while I realised that idea didn’t really work, so I turned it into a simple countdown instead. You must finish your mission fast, because, if the countdown goes down to zero, it’s game over! I didn’t plan it that way, but it seems that Monster Embassy will be a pretty fast-paced puzzle-strategy game, in the end!
Concerning that, I’ve also actually implemented game over, which didn’t work yet. Now, whenever the countdown reaches zero OR you have no energy points left (that would be the green bar at the bottom), the game directs you to a game over screen and then you’ve sent back to the titlescreen.
I’ve added a simple stats screen that is displayed when you finish an episode. It has scrolling text, very arcade-like. Most of the stats don’t work yet, though, because the systems they refer to don’t actually exist. Step by step! This screen also shows you if you’re finished the episode successfully or failed. Forfeiting also counts as a fail, but, unlike game over, you can countinue to play without losing your advances.
This is a huge one: I’ve added a simple day-night system to the game! Since the clock idea didn’t work out, right now episodes can either be daytime episodes or nighttime episodes. I don’t kwow if I’ll ever find the need to create episodes that start at day and finish at night, or viceversa, but that would be possible too. Later on, I’ll add the option for the player to turn on and off their light, or make it bigger or smaller, by using certain spell combos.
This one was long coming: I’ve added a way to detect if you’re standing on a water tile or not! If you are, now the game displays a swimming animation instead of the regular walking one. This is the first step towards implementing an underwater dual map system, which I’m really looking forward to.
Current to-do list (the things on top are the ones I’ll do first)
- Implement an inventory system and take the relevant data from a json database.
- Fully implement the food system, with a limitation on how much food you can consume on every chapter.
- Add random drops when you destroy obstacles and take the relevant data from a json database.
- Implement a savefile system with encrypted files.
- Add a system to save several game stats to the savefile (time it took to finish every episode, items found, etc.). Also include a scene in-game to be able to check those stats.
- Create an actual config menu.
- Add custom keybindings.
- Didn’t keep count this time. Lots and lots! None of them gamebreaking, though, which is good.
Known bugs to fix
- The icons at the bottom-right corner of the screen change depending on the action that you can perform at every time: talk, warp, use spell, etc. However, sometimes these icons don’t refresh properly and the wrong icon is displayed. It’s not a gamebreaking bug, but I’ll need to look into it sooner or later. (it’s getting irritating, honestly! But I’ll need to mostly rewrite all this system, so I keep putting it off, haha)
- There’s some issues with indoor maps. I don’t think the map grid is refreshed properly, or something. Will need to look into it.
- Related to the previous one: light sources don’t update when you enter an indoor map. So, for example, if you’re in a room with a lamp, and you enter an indoor map, the light of the lamp will stay in the same place, even if the indoor map has no lamp. Should be an easy fix, I just have to find where the issue is exactly, which is getting harder as the codebase increases.
None of the bugs are too terrible, so, even in its prototype stage, I’m happy to say that Monster Embassy is pretty stable! (for now)
That’s all, folks!
By the way, I must apologise if my English isn’t perfect, but I don’t really have the time to do a thourough grammar check. I’d rather spend that time making the game :) Hope the text is neat and interesting enough. If there’s some nasty mistake or something, though, feel free to point it out to me.
Thanks for reading and best of luck to you,