Friday, October 18, 2013

Leaps and Bounds

With each passing day, the game becomes more of a reality.  Whether I spend a day knocking out a single complex system or find time to hammer out five or six different things, it all leads to one thing...progress.  I find that as long as I continually move forward on a project, I eventually get to the end.  It's the best advice I can give to someone who is working on anything.  Just keep working and you'll get to where you're going eventually.

As for this game, there are a lot of new things, but not all of them are things that allow me to show screenshots.  Still, there are a few things to show off since last time.

Even though I couldn't salvage the other version of the game due to some strange errors (and I never did figure that mess out), I was able to pull some of my work from that version.  That means that this version now has all 12 classes, skills, perks...etc.

Since I've already shown off the screens where you pick your skills and perks and I don't want to repeat myself, here's a screenshot that highlights what you would see if you examined a character's skills and perks during gameplay:

The "Back" and "Next" buttons allow you to look through the skills and perks of each character in your party with ease.

Of course, starting characters wouldn't normally have six different perks.  1st level characters only get three, but I threw a couple of extra ones onto my test characters just so I could see how they would display.   During the course of the game, a character can accumulate up to eight perks in total.

In addition to the skills and perks, a lot of work has been done with the inventory system.  I've shown the inventory screen previously, so I won't bore you with another shot of that.  Instead, we'll talk about the different things you can do with the inventory.

There are items that you can equip (like armor, swords, shields, boots, helmets, etc), and that functionality is fully in place.  Sometimes, you want to drop something, and you can accomplish that easily enough.  Or, trade it to someone else in the party...and even that can be done without issue.

The hard part was coding the things that can be used.  Things like bandages, which can be used to heal your party.  Or mana crystals, which can be used to recharge the mana of your spellcasters when they can't rest in a hostile environment.

Selecting a character to heal.

In order to assist the player, I have added pop-up windows.  These windows provide feedback or allow the player to make choices.  In the picture above, for example, the player can select which character should be healed with a bandage.

Of course, one thing I always disliked about old-school CRPGs is when you do something that you didn't need to do without realizing it.  For example, drinking a healing potion when you were already healed...or clicking on a character that was already healed and hitting them with a heal spell that they didn't need.

So, I have created safeguards.  If a character is already fully healed (or has full mana, or whatever), the game will actually let you know that you don't need to do that and won't expend whatever item you were trying to use.

This character tried to use a bandage on himself when he wasn't hurt.  What a doofus.

I wish all CRPGs did this, but they don't.  So, that's just the way it goes.  But, with this game I want to be sure that player's don't waste resources on accident.  It happens.  And it sucks when it does.  Hopefully, this will make it suck less.

Finally, after several different revisions, I have come up with a design that I like for the main screen.  Some people won't like it.  They have told me that games shouldn't have character GUIs and that they get in the way...but I think this is only a modern way of thinking.  Old-school CRPGs had character GUIs, so this game will have one as well.

Yes, I created a version at one point where the characters weren't seen and would show up when you pressed the "ESC" key...but if I wanted to build a modern style game, then I would build one.  That's not the kind of game I'm people who don't like it can do something else.  There are plenty of games for them to play.

The text box is not always visible.  It does go away when there isn't text to be displayed.
This is the state of the game currently.  It's coming along well.  I haven't had a lot of time to post here recently.  But, that's probably because I'm spending my time programming instead.

Looking forward to your feedback...