Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bug Fixing and Overhauls

The hardest part about writing your own video game is that you're going to create a lot of bugs in the process.  Sometimes, they are very easy to locate and fix.  Other times, they aren't...and I have been known to lose hours pulling my hair out trying to figure out why something isn't working as intended.

What really makes bugs annoying is that they occasionally show up for the silliest reasons, like putting a line of code in the wrong place or doing some bit of math wrong.  Even worse is when you stare at the line for an hour and can't see why it's not working because you can't wrap your head around the idea that it might be wrong.

Programming is not for people without patience, that's for sure.

Even though bugs are annoying, what's even worse is when you plan out a whole system, program that system, fix all the bugs in that system...and then discover that you should have done something completely different.  I'm actually at that point with the way that walls are displayed in the dungeons.  I didn't include something that I should have, and as a result, I may have to redo that entire part of the program so that it's more flexible.

More than likely, it's something I will wait until after the demo is released to correct, since the demo only has one dungeon in it and won't be affected...but it's still annoying.

Aside from that, though, everything is still going great with the program.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Video Overview

video 


At least one person expressed an interest in seeing a video of some of the things in the game.  This is a short video that I threw together to highlight some of the things in the game.  It does not cover everything and only hits upon certain aspects within the game.  Also, I tried to do it in a way that doesn't include spoilers of any kind.

I mention it in the video itself, but it should be noted that the recording software I used caused a lot of lag with things on the screen.  Text that should have scrolled smoothly and video effects in combat did not display correctly.  (For example, on the combat screen a person who is hit simply shows a brief red flash instead of the full animation).  I think this is due to the recording software not capturing all the frames (even though I set it to capture everything).

Also, sound effects in the game were not recorded.  I had hoped it would capture them, but it doesn't.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy seeing something about the game.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Saving and Loading

It took a little while to work out the kinks in the system, but I finally have the game saving and loading information as it should.  As I mentioned in a previous posting, playing a CRPG without being able to save the game in progress is a waste of time.  You can't embark on an epic quest if you have to do it all in one sitting.

I tried a couple of different solutions, but eventually decided to do it in a way similar to how the old Gold-Box games did it.  Essentially, a player gets 10 save game slots to save their game.  Unlike those old games, though, you can actually give each save game a name (up to 24 characters in length), making it easy to know where you were during a particular save. 

Two options to load.  Both involve goblins.

There are also limitations on when you can save the game.  Obviously, you cannot save in combat.  You also cannot save during cutscenes and long passages of text.  You can only save when in towns or in dungeons, which is where you spend most of your time anyway.

Initially, I almost decided to only allow saving when you go to the inn to rest, but then I realized that I hate games that do that.  If I hate it, then I'm definitely not going to make other people deal with it.  Remember, I'm building the kind of game I would want to play.

Loading a game in progress and getting back to slaying horrible monsters.

This was probably one of the biggest hurdles I had to figure out before the demo can be released.  All that's left now is some little bits of code and tons of playtesting to make sure I didn't overlook anything. 

With any luck, we'll see a demo out in about a month.  No promises though.  You know how these things go.  Sometimes they take longer than we expect.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Artwork

When I started this project a year ago, I never once thought I would get proficient enough with various computer artwork tools that I could create my own images for the game.  As time goes on, I get better and better with rendering the scenes and then converting them in a way that makes them appear to be hand-painted.

Not sure who this guy is, but he looks like he means business.

Not all of them turn out great, but a lot of them do, and there are more good ones than bad ones.  Unfortunately, time spent developing this artwork also takes me away from the time I could be using to work on the program.

It's not easy doing everything as a one-man project.  But it's worth it.

This guy looks surprised to be here.
In the end, I think it will be worth the effort.