Wednesday, November 13, 2013


A few posters from the RPG Codex forums pointed out that the game might look better if there were shadows on the terrain.  I hadn't realized that you could do shadows in the free version of Unity (that's probably because I started this project with an older version, and I don't think they were available...or at least, I didn't know about them).

Here's the result.  It's a bit subtle, but the shadows do add something.  The nice thing is that they're baked onto the scene, so they don't cause a hit in performance (real-time shadows are probably not going to be worth doing in a game like I'm not shooting for ultra realism).

You can see the shadows on the buildings, which is kind of cool.

Definitely let me know what you think of that.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Adventuring Journal

Obviously, my experimentation in the last post didn't work out.  So, I'll be sticking with the nice graphics that I'm already using.  While the debate about the graphics has been going on, I've been working on the Adventuring Journal that the player will use to track their quests.

It's a work in progress, but here's what it looks like:

Go warn the Mayor!

It's pretty straightforward in how it works.  Like a lot of things in the game, I'm trying to keep it simple.  I think it looks pretty nice.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


I had a few minutes today, so I've played around a bit with the idea of creating graphics that look like they are hand-drawn or sort of cartoon-like in nature.  Some people think it could add to the abstraction of the game.  I'm not sold, but here's a screenshot anyway.

Not sure that this works.
I guess when the realism becomes too high, there are certain expectations...and in order to reduce the expectations, I have to reduce the graphic quality?  Yeah, that confuses me too...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Graphic Update

I got some feedback regarding the screenshots I uploaded last time.  A couple of people indicated that they didn't care for the way that the graphics were done.  I had a few days to think about it and decided to approach them a different way.

For comparison, here's what the NPC interaction looked like originally:

Also pay attention to the dialogue, which changes dramatically in the next screenshot as I tightened it up somewhat.

I liked it when I first worked with it.  But, after a while, I realized it didn't sit right with me.  So, thanks to RPG Watch forum user "Sacred_Path" and a few users on RPG Codex, I got pointed in a different direction.  This is where the graphics are headed now:

A lot easier on the eyes, I think.
Anyway, feel free to leave feedback about it.  Making mistakes is just a part of the process.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Quest Systems

I mentioned in my last blog post that I had started work on some of the exploration and quest systems in the game.  As I explained in that post, I have no idea of which systems I might need until I need them (aside from the combat system, naturally).  There's a lot of things that I can't work on until I see how they're all going to work together.

I suppose that means that I'm flying by the seat of my pants on the development of this game, but it's not much different than working on a piece of art anyway.

Since I'm working on the quest system, I figured it was time to go ahead and share some screenshots of what adventuring in "Lands of Adventure" might look like:

Interacting with someone in the town.
Obviously, a CRPG with story elements is going to need a way to talk to NPCs.  The above picture reflects what talking to an NPCs might look like.  Anyone who has played old-school CRPGs will recognize that this is pretty similar to how the Gold-Box games handled dialogue.

But, if I want the dialogue to be more than just straight narrative prose, I have to allow the player an option to roleplay and to make decisions.  So, enter the branching choices:

I'm picking the first answer, but that doesn't mean that I don't want to pick the third one.
CRPGs have evolved a lot over the past 25 or so years.  This game, I hope, will represent the best things about old-school adventuring while bringing in some of the modern ideas that make a game a little more interactive.  In older games, you didn't get as many branching options as you do in today's games.  I'd like to think that was due to limitations of memory and disk space, and less of a design decision.  It's my belief that the game can still be considered to follow the style of old-school and still include this kind of convenience.

Finally, plots aren't always advanced by talking to NPCs.  Sometimes, things happen, or the PCs see something.  Or, maybe they find important this one:

There should be a lot of options for players to get involved in things, or to miss things completely.  For example, this note was found buried in the mud.  It's possible a player might miss it and never find out about it...or they might decide to do something besides get involved in whatever is going on.  And I think they should have that choice.

And who knows...maybe someone will ask them to clean some rats out of a basement somewhere...but at least it won't be their only choice.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Starting Town

I've reached the point in game development where I've started to throw some of the maps together.  That's because I don't know every system I'm going to need in the game until I actually build those parts of the game.  I can't guess in advance.

So, there's not really much to share in regards to features (as most of the systems behind the scenes would sound pretty boring if I described them).  However, here are some cool screenshots of the starting town...

One of the entrance gates.

Looking toward the well in the center of the town.

Near the well.

I'm fairly happy with the way it's starting to come together.  And comparing these screenshots to the early version of the game is night and day.  I'll keep you updated.