Saturday, August 2, 2014

Dungeons

Two posts in a single day.  Don't know if that's ever happened before or not.  I don't expect it will become a habit.

Anyway, I mainly wanted to post a picture.  I'm sure anyone who is reading this blog is getting pretty tired of seeing the same old town in the screenshots, so I thought I'd show a dungeon (it's a work in progress and subject to change, naturally).  Just something I was messing around with and trying to get the "feel" right...

Could be a monster just around the corner...

Handling Events

Since I have had to return to the previous version of the game (see the post just before this one about that), I had to give some thought about how events were going to be handled.  My previous approach wasn't well liked by some folks, simply because they said the graphics were too realistic to suddenly include a picture of the environment with NPCs appearing in them.

Unfortunately, that isn't likely to change.  I still can't create a game with 3D models like an expensive RPG that actually has funding.  I wish I could, but that's just not a reality when you're developing an indie RPG on a budget somewhere around $1.25.

So, my solution was to have the NPCs appear in a box with a border, so it would be obvious that they are not part of the background.  Many, many, many, many RPGs over the years have handled NPC interactions the same way...so if anyone complains about this, they'll just have to learn to live with it. 

Here's a screenshot of what I'm talking about:

It is obvious that she is not part of the background.

This puts the project back into step with the idea that it is still modeled after old-school CRPGs in style, even if it is using a modern 3D engine.  Hopefully I won't hear a lot of complaints about it.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Corruption...Destruction...and Rebirth

Something terrible happened to the game.  Some kind of weird corruption destroyed a lot of the work I had done, and somehow the backups I'd kept went missing (still not sure what happened there).  When I found out about it, I was completely devastated.

But, I realized that I had another version of the game that I had been working on before my last restart.  The main reason I hadn't stayed with that version was because it didn't scale right to different screen sizes.

I pondered whether or not I could actually work with it and get the scaling to work the way that I had done with the new version.  And the answer was a resounding yes...

The game scaled to a 16:9 resolution screen.

After a few days of work, I have the previous (and I think superior) version of the game going again.  I've made a few changes along the way as well...such as removing the borders from the screen (they really aren't necessary).

I'm excited to be returning to this version, even though there were things I really loved about the new version.  At the very least, the project is still moving forward.  I really thought the corruption was going to be the death of everything.

The screen in the lowest possible resolution (1024x768) and the 4:3 aspect ratio.

This time, I'm keeping a lot of backups just to be sure...

Here's a bonus picture of the party wandering through some hills with the sun peeking in just under the trees...

There's quite a lot you can do with Unity.

I hope you all enjoy.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fonts - A Return

After spending several weeks messing around with different fonts (and even settling on the Gold Box font for a while), I've come to the conclusion that the best font was the original one.  Some people don't like it, but they'll have to get over it.

Honestly, I've never passed on a good game because I didn't like the font (unless it was so ridiculously unreadable that it killed the experience).  In this case, the font isn't unreadable...it's just not "medieval" enough for some people.  I think it looks fine.

It's not like it's hard to read.

I'm not going to change it again.  Little things like this slow down my progress, and it got so bad when dealing with the whole font situation that I almost put the project aside to start working on something else.

I'm several years in on a project at this point, and it keeps getting knocked backwards by people complaining about the dumbest things.  So, I'll likely stop listening to those little complaints and keep going.  The best advice I got recently was to "build the game you want to play."  That's what I always did in the past with my other projects (in both Unlimited Adventures and Neverwinter Nights), and I'm going to do it here.  If people want to knock it because they don't like the font, that's up to them.  At least I'll have something finished.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Triggering Events

One of the benefits of building a game for the fourth of fifth time is that you can reuse some of the code that you had previously developed.  Luckily, I had already taken time to work out a decent event system all the way back in early 2012 when the first version of the game was in development.  Transporting that into Unity turned out to be fairly simple.

So, the game now has a method by which it can trigger events.  These events can include text messages to the player, encounters with hostile creatures, ways to do damage to the party, etc.  Here's an example picture of an encounter with an angry goblin:

He looks upset.
As you can see, the game is progressing in bits and pieces.  Now that I've gone back to the original vision I had for the game, I have a clear path to get the game back to where it should be.  Instead of needing to reinvent everything, I'm finding ways to improve what I already figured out several years ago.

Once I get a couple more systems in place, I'll probably be ready to tackle the combat system again.  I've already tried it twice, but can't get it the way that I want it.  I'm sure it's just a matter of time, really.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fonts, Fonts, Fonts

Things have slowed down a bit; because, I have to put a lot of work into studying for my Oracle Java Professional certification.  So, I haven't had as much time the last few weeks to put into the game.  That's not to say that nothing is getting done, though.  I still poke at it and work on new things a couple of hours a week when I'm not doing other things.

Here's a work-in-progress screen with an updated font.  A couple of folks thought that the game needed a more "archaic" looking font.  I'm curious what everyone thinks about this one:

Different from the original.

It needs to be readable.  I'm hoping that it is.  Anyway, I await feedback, as always.

EDIT:
I could also attempt to pursue a font that looks exactly like the one that was used in the later Gold Box games...

Strangely hypnotic.


EDIT:
Actually, the Gold-Box style font is working out quite well.  Here's a revised version of it, looking more like an actual Gold-Box game might have looked:

Gold-Box Goodness

Monday, June 9, 2014

Border Artwork

Big thanks goes to Alchemist, who provided some nice border graphics for the game.  To give you an idea of what having nice borders does for the game, here's the original graphics:

Gray borders as far as the eye can see.

And here is what the game looks like with the added borders replacing the dull gray that originally surrounded everything:

Still some gray in there, but much improved.

So, big huge thanks to Alchemist for putting in the time to make Lands of Adventure that much better.