Hello, everybody! How are you?

After two more months of working on the game, I feel like it’s finally time to write another update and show you everything that I’ve been working on! Let’s have a look.

News

  • I’ve implemented a weather system with rain, storm, sandstorm, snow and fog weathers, as well as extra underwater effects. The basic system is mostly done (I still have to finish the thunder visual effects, though) and it isn’t only an aesthetic change, since it also has an effect on the player’s movement speed and it will have other specific impacts on gameplay. I’ve also added a proper underwater swimming animation for the player, finally!

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  • I’ve changed the button layout. Previously there were six buttons: the directional buttons + 2 more. Now I’ve added an extra button specifically for the menu, to make the game more comfortable to navigate.

  • I’ve implemented a new, much faster spell selection interface. Previously, you could combine one or two elements to create new spells. It was a nice idea, but very slow and tedious to use in-game. Now, instead of that, you can only select one of the four elements at a time, but it will have a different effect depending on how or where you use it. For example, you can use the Earth element to destroy rocks, but also to dig up holes in the ground. Also, spells now only spend energy when they actually take effect, to encourage the player to try using spells and seeing what happens.

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  • I’ve added some simple intro animations, taken from a previous version of the game I made in RPG Maker a couple of years ago. Those animations will need to be improved in the future, but for now at least the game looks a bit more polished.

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  • I’ve created a new map system almost from scratch, so now maps have 4 layers each: an overwater layer, an underwater layer, an indoors overwater layer and an indoors underwater layer. This means that it’s now possible to have underwater maps inside of indoor maps, which could be nice for caves. Also, objects ids and positions in all layers are backed up when you move from one layer to the other and they aren’t reset, which was also important. On the downside, all four layers are active simultaneously, but since the game is so tiny and simple, this shouldn’t have on impact on performance.

  • I’ve removed the food and countdown systems because they didn’t feel right. I’m still experimenting with gameplay and I might reimplement them again later, or some variation of them, but I’m trying to simplify everything to keep the scope as small as possible and make it easier to balance the game. We’ll see what I make of this in the end…

  • I’ve started working on a notebook menu that includes several systems in one: quest log, friendship system and notes. This is, I think, the last important “core” menu of the game that I still had left.

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  • I’ve added an option to access the language selection menu from the load game screen.

  • I’ve implemented many other details, such as sound effects, animations, etc.

  • Also, since the game’s engine, Godot, is already in 3.1 beta and has reimplemented GLES 2 fully, te game’s light system now works again as intended! Oh pretty lights, how I missed you.

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Fixed bugs

  • I’ve fixed the layering of some menus.
  • I’ve also fixed many bugs in the map system. There’s probably still lots more to fix that I haven’t noticed yet, but one step at a time…
  • This was big: when changing the engine version, I had to fix lots of game breaking bugs regarding player movement and camera management.

Known bugs to fix

  • Some elements in the map have the wrong layer setup and they flicker and go on top of other objects when they should be under them. I’ll have to look into it.

What I want to do next

First of all, I want to finish the notebook/quest system, which might take me a while. The menu is half-finished, but the system itself still needs a lot of work, and I haven’t linked it to the save system yet. After this, I’ll probably need to remake the entire dialogue system (it relies on an outdated plugin and is really hacky) and reorganise the game’s data and database to make the process of adding new content smoother. Afterwards, as I explained in the previous update, it will be time to work on more complex map systems and interactions between objects: for example, I need to set up a key system, to let the player open secret passages and create puzzles. I might also need to look into making a cutscene system, since I’d like to have skippable cutscenes between episodes, and maybe look into adding animated tiles for maps.

As you can see, there’s still lots of work to go before all the basic systems work, but we’re slowly moving closer to an alpha release! My current goal is finishing a playable vertical slice of the game sometime this year, so I can showcase what it’s going to look like in its final release.


Aaand that’s all for today, folks! Thank you so much for reading, and until the next time,

Alícia