This is the Year

I was hoping I’d finally have some content, but I got caught up on animation systems and Right Hand / Left Hand coordinates, converting bindposes, and a bunch of other math (quaternions, ugh). Side note, I think Right Hand should be thought of as  third person coordinates and Left Hand as first person. But moving on..

I’ve been working on this game ( or engine rather) for six years now, and though I’m revealing less now than when I started, I’m finally sure it’s coming to an end.

My projections have an extremely low accuracy, but I’ll give it one more try, for old time sakes.  From the top!

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Express to Impress

One of the very last things I started working on after finish the puzzle demo, postponing World of Whimsy, and starting a Samba of the Wolves remake (yes all these things happened), was facial animation. I never got around to finishing it because I immediately, started porting the game to C++. A little over 2 and a half years later, and here we are.  Things are finally getting interesting again.

I can now say with confidence that I’ll have a pretty good facial animation system, so you can expect this game to be just as expressive, if not more so, than previous entries. I may try to make the “cut-scenes” a bit more dynamic as well, but that’s more of an after thought at the moment.

I wanted to have the entire engine (minus tweaks) done by the end of the year and simply spend the next month or so just building the game. Probably doesn’t look like it but, I’m very close to doing that, unfortunately there’s just no way I’ll finish combat by the end of this year.

I’ll post again the start of the year. Maybe I’ll even have something final I can show by then.

Oath to Order

Yep content is still slow! I’ll admit I’ve had a few off weeks and I fell out of rhythm a bit, but there’s a bit more to it than that.

I’ve been using the filler system (if you’ve never heard of it, it’s because I’ve made it up), which is essentially work from a complete framework and build your way up until you’re satisfied with the result. The problem is, I keep noticing areas were my framework isn’t good enough. I just had to restructure my stage data AGAIN because I didn’t leave room for content I’ll need. The good news is I’ve developed a habit of leaving notes all over my wall so I think I finally have a good grasp of what’s left and how to get there in an orderly fashion.

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Art Page Updated

Planting the SeedYay I’ve finally made some new art. I needed some time to let the design changes marinate. Something quick simple and conveys a message.

The Steam Greenlight page will take a bit of time, I’ve decided not to use any outdated content, so I’m going to need completely new material.

 

Where it all comes together

I’ve finally implemented my quick decoration solution for game stages. Things would’ve went a lot quicker if importing it to the game went more smoothly and I didn’t have to deal with the tool GUI but whatever it’s done! While I can’t throw together a very finalized look in within 10 minutes I can get very close, in fact stage building is actually sort of fun now where as before it was just plain stressful and that’s even more important than the speed boost.

Now that I’ve gotten that out the way, I’m going to start a new scheduling routine. I often have a habit of switching from one thing to another, getting really invested, and then when I switch back it feels as if I’m starting from scratch. So I’m starting a three day rotation between the tools,  artistic things, and game development. Teams probably don’t need to worry about things like this. |: <  If you’re wondering why tools represent a day especially after all this, it’s because there’s still some necessary features I haven’t implemented.

It’s been a very productive month, finally feels like this thing is moving. My next post will probably be some art or screens or something. I think I’ll finally make a real steam greenlight submission sometime in late October and a video will follow if I have enough footage.

Almost Pretty

I figured out a way to make pretty stages, very quickly, with a reduced file size! I’m still in the experimental phases but so far so good. One could argue, that the time I spent working on this tool could’ve been spent towards working on actual stages, BUT more than likely those stages would’ve looked awful because I would’ve gotten lazy about it at some point.

The video scene with the peppermints and the trees, using previous methods I could probably create that scene visually in 1 or 2 hours with previous methods, but I think I can  cut it down to 10-15 minutes using this new technique.

I should be done pretty soon!

Return to Form

Oh boy! Summer hasn’t been productive at all really. I haven’t been able to give the project my full time and it’s shown but I haven’t been a complete slouch!

As of late I’ve been HEAVILY focused on how to speed up the stage creation process. It’s usually something I  blow off until the last second only to realize my tools are inadequate for the job but I’m serious about it this time. This game is much longer than the other ones and I can’t risk burning out trying to make the levels pretty.

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Still Going!

I’ve kind of swore of  updating ’til I had some solid content unfortunately I’m entering the canceled project update span so it couldn’t be helped. The project is FAR from canceled.

I probably won’t be coming out of hibernation anytime soon, it’s a very distracting month for me. When I begin updating again however,  everything will be in a final/near final state.

To make up for the delay, I can confirm one piece of new information. Felix’s official height is about 75 – 95 cm tall, roughly half the height of the average male worldwide. Hopefully that gives things a sense of scale.

Unplanned Plan

A giant fork has been stuck in my 2015 plans but not gonna beat myself up for it. I’ve probably broken a world record  on character design time meh, what can you do.

So what’s new…… well for starters I’m not giving out projections anymore because I always jinx myself but there is a bit of news.

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Time Out!!

Okay, I give up I couldn’t finish a video in January nor could I finish anything with a week extension? Why you ask? Because I’ve been plagued by character design issues for the past 3 months!!!!!!!!!! Every time I think I have it, NOPE! This isn’t right or that isn’t right, it’s driving me nuts!

But you want to know the funny part? It’s all worth it!  In fact, It wasn’t until recently until I learned just how important a clavicle bone is for model rigging. I keep learning things!!  I’ve been battling with character design for over 10 years now, but I’m determined to get it right this time. The last time I rushed a design I ended up with the Tale of the Night design which strangely I learned was actually a step in the right direction gone haywire due to pushing art to the side.

My next update will be of what I hope will be the final design.  After than maybe I’ll continue my video plan.  But here are some notable changes from recent artwork.

  • Felix is slightly taller (somewhat similar to my first sprites)
  • Head doesn’t look oversized
  • Design is much smoother and better proportioned.

I think the attention I’m paying to this will be well worth it. Besides I’d rather working on design consecutively rather than give up  and just end up doing it again a few months later.