Friday Report #16 – Gonna need Testing

Yeah I know it’s Saturday, actually took Friday off. Anyhoo, the combat system I’ve laid out looks like it should work. I just need to do some refinement to make sure things work smoothly. This is the last major hurdle, after that it’s time to start bringing it all together.

For proper testing,I setup an AI opponent that just spams the attack button. When I can defeat this opponent without feeling like I’m trying hard at all, I’ll consider combat fleshed out. I assume most action games would fail this test. All the pieces are there, it just needs a bit of tailoring. It’ll take too much to get it exactly how I want it but should be a good representation even without the bells and whistles.

Friday Report #15 – Going overboard

I wasn’t expecting to have a fully tested combat system up this week but I’m a little further behind than anticipated. I got a little carried away with design.  I’ll start with the AI tomorrow, in fact the reason I went back to design is I needed to figure out how the Combat AI will playout and it all snowballed.

I won’t spoil how combat works this game, but if I pull this off the result should be absolutely beautiful. I said I wouldn’t focus on combat this game, in fact this will be the first game you can’t grab/throw a player but I can’t help but set the foundation for the future in this one. I think next week I can give an honest opinion on if everything turns out as well as I think it will.  I’ve created a good amount of work for myself.

 

Friday Report #14 – Spear

SpearI don’t know how to call this week. It’s been much more low-level than I wanted. The hardest thing was addressing a problem involving nullifying pointers to objects that have been deleted. That drained a lot out of me but hopefully it’s the LAST time I have to deal with that issue, now that I have a more definitive workaround.

Finally, now that that final hurdle has been address I can get into the actual implementation of combat.  I even got a little spear model ready! Next week I’ll give a report on how my combat plan fares, although I might need a little more time for AI to truly test it out.

 

Friday Report #13 – Distractions

You’ll have to forgive me, this is becoming a running theme but I haven’t been as active I should’ve been this week. I’ve been wrapped up in politics. Ughh… disappointing. I won’t get too into politics, but here’s hoping that Jill Stein can turn this thing into a three way race.

In addition to this I’ve spent the pass two days moving furniture and I’m pretty tired as I’m typing this. XP

Needless to say,  I haven’t gotten much done, but I’ve still carved out a nice path for next week. I’ve been working on my final method of character loading, because I needed vastly different hit boxes for different character body types. Truly the week goes a lot easier when you make a path for yourself beforehand.

I should be either done or nearly done with combat next week. Weak week, but still making progress!

Friday Report #12 – To Arms!!!

The Friday Report has been going on a bit longer than I wanted so, I think I’ll end it at #20. That’s 8 more weeks or two more months of me yammering. Huzzah! Anyhoo..

I feel like I’m moving slow and fast at the same time. It’s a strange feeling but I won’t argue. It finally seems things are moving!

This  week, I managed to add game screen text bubbles, a series first.  I’d like to use more in-game dialog as opposed to stopping for a cut-scene every time something is said. This is one more step to bringing the games closer to the story.

Also, this week I’ve finally gotten to the combat system!!!!! I’ve only been planning so far but I’ll be really diving into it next week.  One of my steam page commitments was to make enemies behave more realistically, and I know I said this could be as simple as enemies not revealing their weak points like idiots but I’ve still been thinking a lot about that. I’ve already made the decision NOT to use pathfinding in this game, so it’s made that job a bit harder, but I’ll figure out something.

One more thing I can confirm. The player will no longer be locked into combat by invisible barriers! I did this with every game except Night of the Thylacine and Dream Master. Apparently I attempt this every two games : ) but I’m going to make it stick this time because it fundamentally goes against the nature of the game. As a designer, it’s my goal to force the player into combat just as the enemy would. Considering combat is more dangerous this time around, that only adds to the fun.

 

Friday Report #11 – 2 of 7

I started out the week not feeling to well. Leading me to pretty much skip the pass 5 days. Sounds bad right but with just 2 days I managed to more or less do what I set out to do, the theatre system, or rather the theatre scene now. My work flow has completely been restructured so that I save all my polishing for last and I’m already seeing the benefits.  I could’ve easily turned 2 days into 2 weeks just by trying to fit in everything I would think I want instead of  anticipating things I want and adding them as I go along.

I’ve been cheating by not following the by noon rule though : ), maybe once I get back into the rhythm of things. I don’t know what I’m going to do next week, but I think I’m expecting some decent progress.

 

Friday Report #10 – Sidetracked

This week started off pretty normal up until the 4th of July (which I COMPELTELY forgot about).  I don’t know what happened, but I just got thrown off my balance. I didn’t have any lazy days, quite the opposite, it just felt like I was doing a lot and getting little done. I even started work in the afternoon just to see what would happen.

So what lead to this, was it unhealthy 4th of July eating habits, was it me getting impatient and going pass hours, or am I just starting to crack? My guess is, I ate wrong, and that ruined my mood which made me break flow, but of course that’s only a guess.

Anyway none of that’s important! The good thing about getting derailed is I usually come back better and I realized something. The entire pass week has been spent on nothing but polishing and there’s nothing worse than polishing something when you have so many other things to move on to. Polishing is practically an ongoing process, it’s almost artistic in a sense that you can get lost in it. The worse part is the testing is occurring in scenarios that aren’t real cases so it’s something I may have to go back to anyway. So from this point onward I decree that I will not be developing tunnel vision with tasks and save all the polishing for just random days or near the end of the project.

So much for that prediction I made,  I haven’t even started yet, but I will be starting super early tomorrow. So let’s try that one more time! I predict I will have the entire core of the theatre system done by next week. Hopefully this will be the cog that puts things in motion!

 

 

Friday Report #9 – It’s Saturday

Heh a day late, but not because of any distractions I just forgot. I almost forgot twice. ; D

This week started off with me going back to fix some issues I had with the camera. I ended up needing to rethink the entire thing.  I also had to deal with some collision space errors (ugh). I never got around to animation though, I’ve been too busy experimenting with controls for the new fluid ledges. I LOVE how it works now! I’ll be sure to incorporate it into the stage design.

Right now, and I mean as of today, I’m in the middle of improving the animation, but as soon as I’m done with that it’s right on to cut-scenes.  I’m guess that’ll start on Monday. Today I also spent time packing the C# version of World of Whimsy so I can go back to it for reference without worrying about the code being impacted. The C# version still has a few things I can learn from.

So all this said, how’s that done by noon system working out? I LOVE IT, it’s practically perfect! I’ve yet to miss a day and I’m still getting a fair amount done. I see myself sticking with it for a long time. I cheat a few times by going an extra hour or so pass but  I make sure to not go anything pass that. I’m anticipating I’ll need a day off but so far I haven’t felt the need for it.

I predict this week I will have the main portions of the “theatre system” done, and more polished ledge animations. It took me 2 months to get through the climbing portion of things, so obviously that prediction seems crazy but maybe…. just maybe…. I’ll finish something on time!!! I can feel it!

 

Friday Report #8 – 3 hours to Noon

Productivity

Ah this week ends the 3 hour method. I tried it for practically an entire month and, ya know, it was okay but at some point I realized I could be doing better. To it’s credit it actually got me up and going but at some point I felt like I wasn’t getting enough done as I should be. You might say WELL DUH it’s only 3 hours but that’s really not it, there’s a mentality with it. When working 8 hours it’s my natural instinct to drag out whatever I’m doing for as LONG as possible. I with 3 hours I thought I could avoid that. NOPE, still happened, although to a much lesser extent. To be fair, I did begin a habit of shoving hours off to the next day if I managed to procrastinate an entire day away. This goes against the original idea, but even so, it was too much of a hassle.

So after two days of doing nothing and just mulling on things, I found a routine I may actually stick to for a while.

  • Stop working everyday at Noon (via Sean Ogle)
    Giving myself a time is a disaster, hate tracking how long I go especially if I need to stop, and I hate having something I need to get done looming over my head. Getting everything done before noon solves both those problems. How much pressure is on me, depends on how early I wake up. For example, I set my alarm to wake me up at 8 today, I could’ve easily kept sleeping but I realized I wouldn’t have the time to get a lot done.
  • Keep a list of goals to finish before noon
    How much you finish always seemed more important  than how long you worked. But of course only having a to do list doesn’t  stop you from procrastinating the day away, so you kind of need both. Write enough things down to say to yourself, “If I do all these things I consider today successful”.
  • Aside from stopping at noon, THERE ARE NO RULES!
    Wanna miss a day? Fine! Wanna stop and do something else before noon? That’s fine too. This reduces that feeling of being trapped. I should be doing this because I WANT to do it. That should be my only motivation. So it really comes down the questions.. Do I want to do it and do I want to do it today? If so I better get moving! That’s It!

I’ve only done this two days so it’s too early to call right now but so far I think I love it.  It’s probably not for everyone but not much is.

Project

So with a new bag of tricks how much did I get done? Well I didn’t finish climbing, I’m working on some new ledge features. That’s right something NEW for a change! Felix will now fluidly react to ledges depending on what position they’re in. I still need to do some testing to get a feel for how I want it to control exactly but it’s a solid addition. Ledges are much less of a robotic experience now (such as in the videos).

Also I converted the game to use somewhat of a state machine… again. Using variables was getting too messy. It took most of my time but I finally got a clean way of doing it in C++.

I also began working with animation to beef up the presentation a bit.  That’ll probably be the core topic of next week. As I FINALLY move into the cut-scenes.

 

Not bad considering I just whiffed two days. Next week will tell the tale of whether things are back on track.