Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Updated Character Screens

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been doing a lot of changes to the graphics in the game.  I want everything to look great.  My initial intention with this game was to go "old school."  While there are a lot of "old school" ideas in the game, I see no reason to use pixel graphics or anything silly like that.  Layout is quite important when it comes to finding things and being able to read things easily.

With that in mind, I have redesigned the character screens.  The redesign allows it to use up most of the space while still allowing for some separation of the information.

For reference, let's look at the old screen from a screenshot that's at least a year old:

It works, but it's ugly.
The screen is functional, but that's about it.  Let's see how things have improved over the last year, just so you all know I've actually been doing something...

Easier to read, more information.
 I'm pretty happy with the final version.  I think the layout is a lot better.  Please be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you think.  You guys have been awfully quiet out there.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Graphic Changes

I've been working with some of the graphics in the game.  Mostly pop-up windows, backgrounds and things of that nature.  I don't have a lot to say about it, so I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves and we'll see what you think.

Here's what the game looked like a week ago, when it only had the option of four characters:
The text box is somewhat transparent.

It looked okay.  The transparent text box and the dark colors were harder on the eyes than I wanted, so I knew it wasn't going to be the final version. 

I started working with some blue colors today, and this is what I came up with:
Six characters and a different color scheme.

I'm curious to know what everyone thinks about this.  So, definitely drop a comment.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Character Names

I've never had trouble naming my characters.  Not since the early days of CRPGs.  It's not usually an issue for me to decide upon a fitting name for a character or to use one of the many names I've used for real D&D characters or NPCs over the years.

But, when I watch other people play CRPGs or MMOs, I watch them struggle to come up with names.  I never really thought this was a problem until I realized how many people either can't come up with names or don't like to mess with it.

So, I guess we all have our strengths.

One thing that some CRPGs have is a random name generator during character creation.  This helps people either give their characters a name when they don't care about the name, they can't think of a good name or they just need a starting point.

"Lands of Adventure" now has that functionality.

A randomly generated name.
The early version of this works pretty well, but it's currently using a lot of gender neutral names, which I don't like as much as using gender specific names.  So, I will probably revamp it so that it bases the first name off which portrait is selected.

Obviously, selecting a male picture will designate your character as male and selecting a female portrait will set them as female.  I think that's the easiest way to determine sex when it comes to naming (aside from that, the sex of the character doesn't play any other role in the game at this point).

What do you all think of random name generators?  Do you find them helpful?

UPDATE:
It didn't take long to fix it up the way that I wanted.  Maybe an hour.  The game now randomizes the first name based on the sex of the character.  Here's an entire party generated with random names:
Not promising they're all great.
 So, that functionality is now in place for those who might want it.  Before the game is done, I might even add more names just to give a lot of variety.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Health and Mana Bars

This will probably be another short update, as I'm only able to work on the project in small doses.  The most recent update hashed out all the issues with the Health and Mana bars and got them working as they should.  In addition, characters who do not have spells will have their Mana bars "greyed" out, indicating that they do not use or need Mana.

Here's a picture of this in action (because, you know how much I love pictures):
Picture not in high resolution due to me working from my laptop today.
In addition, there are some other changes to account for the six person party that you can't see.  This includes being able to view the additional character's stats and inventory and interact with their portraits.  Still a lot of work to be done in this area, but most of it is pretty simple and should come along easily enough over the course of adding new things.

More updates soon.

Monday, February 9, 2015

More Characters

There isn't a whole lot to talk about today.  The biggest change to the project right now is that I have kicked the number of characters a player can generate from four to six.  I've been told by the RPG community that the best games seem to allow for a party of six.  I'm not certain why that is, but I do know that some of my favorite game definitely did have six characters, so I'm going to go with it.

Six characters...or half a dozen...however you want to look at it.

So, there we have it.  It shouldn't throw off the balance of the game at this point, since I haven't started coding the game.  Unlike the version of the project that existed in 2012, the Unity version mostly only exists as a group of systems that interact with each other.  Haven't started working out all the story or combat details yet.

Speaking of which, I should probably start tackling that combat engine soon.  It's on my "to do" list.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Comparing Items

Just a quick update today, since I've got a lot going on.  Earlier this morning, I had time to look at how items are compared in a character's inventory.  I want to be able to present an easy layout so that a player can compare armor and weapons to decide if something they've found or bought is better than what they already have.

Here's what I've come up with.  It's just a small panel that is always on that compares whatever the player is looking at (by hovering their mouse over it) to what they already have equipped if it would go in the same slot:


This is a system I already had in place, but I've done some revamping, such as adding some item descriptions, some color coding and some font changes to make it stand out a bit better.  I'll probably use a similar system in the stores so that players don't buy items their characters already have equipped.

That's probably all I'll have time to work on today, but at least it's some forward progress.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Event Text Boxes

One of the things I struggled with a lot while working on this game was how to present the event text to the player.  I tried a couple of different ways, including...

A) A style similar to the old Gold-Box games in an alternate version of the game:

Nice borders, though.


B) A "floating head style that made it seem like the NPCs were standing in the scene:

Cool head, lady.



C) A floating picture box that seemed disconnected from the text:

Weird.


I liked some of these approaches, but I started thinking of better ways to present the text to the player during the course of the game.  What I came up with won't necessarily please everyone (very few things do), but I like how everything is combined into one unit, making it easy to use and manipulate.  Here's what it looks like now:

Different.

I think it still needs some adjustment.  It isn't centered in the screen the way that I want.  Overall, though, I think it works.  Just like the bar at the bottom, it's functional rather than pretty.  It might be plain, but it works.  It offers me a way to present the player with text and images that move the story along, offer them choices and gives a sense that things are going on in the world.

Hopefully, once I've worked out the placement kinks, it will move this project one step closer to being completed.