Design Design and more Design

One of my prerequisites before moving on to the next stage of the project was to build the perfect box model, not some temporary box model, but a finalized one that really set the stage before moving on to the final final model (yeah… I know how it sounds).

Naturally as with anything that must be finalized, my perfectionist tendencies kicked in and I ate through a lot of my time. But I TRULY think I’m getting close to the final final design.  My main problem now is I’m having trouble coming up with a character construction routine but I think the box model should fix that.

I’ve seriously put a lot of work into this, and if I haven’t said it before I’ll say it again, art is hard work!  Here’s a list of things I did..

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Kitasia in the Future

It’s at this time of the year where I usually make some E3 rant. But I’m going to skip the ranting this year….

Okay no I’m not, here’s a few quick notes.

Xbox One and Playstation 4 feel like  version 1.5… come on shake things up. Microsoft really needs to add a dash more variety  although they seemed to have taken a hint in regard to their E3 presentation and Sony still seems incapable of taking things in a new direction of their own, the “wait and see” of the three.

Nintendo seems to be gaining some steam, no complaints. But I’m a bit skeptical on these figurine things, as they don’t provide any actual functionality. They’re just memory cards shaped like figurines, essentially making them character shaped memory cards. It feels a bit artificial. I can’t see Nintendo holding on to that idea, but we’ll see.

But enough about what the other guys are doing, what am I doing!!! (nobody asked)

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Wiley Workflow

Seems my posting dates are  stretching quite a bit! I haven’t had much to talk about lately with the game but I do have some development news.

Recently I started developing the game using something I call the “filler system”. Essentially the goal is to create a completely playable game that’s stripped of most of the content. This means focusing on basic menus, dying, checkpoints, music, ya know all the boring stuff. And after creating this extremely simplistic game, I just add in content as I please. The game will feel incomplete but technically it will always be finished. I think this strategy is gold for people who enjoy improving things instead of building on to them.  Building on without a framework made me feel as though the project was endless. The things I still needed to do loomed over my head and It always felt like I needed to move faster or take short cuts.

But it hasn’t all ones and zeroes,  Here’s a test character design for Wiley.

Wiley2014I’m still playing around with things but I very much like the direction this is going. You’ve probably noticed this looks quite different from the March Felix Art. Well the March Art didn’t pan out well when working in 3D or Wiley.  From that point I decided to focus on Wiley more instead of Felix and see if I could strike a balance with other characters. So far so good.

The next image I post could be of a 3D model or another image of the first stage. Can’t say for sure right now.

So how far along is the game? Well believe it or not, I’m still not quite were I was when I released that puzzle demo video, but if I needed to remake the puzzle demo, I could probably redo it within a week. It’s getting the basics down that takes the most work.



When I noticed today’s date I decided I had to post something (for no logical reason)! But whatever could I post….

How about a list of returning features from previous games!
Speaking of previous games I’ll note that I’ll probably be taking them all down in the near future.

I’m sure I’ve talked about some of these before but consider it a confirmation that I’m staying the course.

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Marching Along

March…. not a very good month. Got a little sick, then got lazy, then got interested into some other stuff. There’s always a fallout whenever I adhere to a schedule.  I’m just going to embrace my laziness. I may not get what I want done but it’s better than nothing. But enough about my unproductiveness, I’m sure I sound like a broken record.

On the upside, since “going lazy”,  I’ve had the patience to plan out some of my more stressful assignments, (I’ve been avoiding it for nearly a month, I’ll likely start tomorrow) and I think I’ve REALLY gotten the gist of increasing the sound quality of my music.  I can usually tell if something’s good if I can wake up the next day and feel just as good about it. I’ve also poked around with weird stuff I never think of doing, like figuring out the layout of Wiley’s house.

What’s in store for April? I don’t know!! The current idea is to lightly work on the game across all areas and then improve where I need to later on, instead of trying to fully implement individual parts that later end up needing to be reworked.

I haven’t posted anything interesting in a while and I don’t know when’s the next time I will SOooo… here’s some concept art of your first boss.

Yes, it’s a tree. That’s all I’m going to say.  ; D
It’s not an April fools joke!

Nearly Final Design

From 2009 to 2014, here’s a near final Felix design.

I also played around with the old sprites a bit. Couldn’t get the legs right but  I think it gives an idea of what I”m going for.

I’ll get to the 3d model soon enough.  Too many other things to attend to right now.


Change of Plans

Boy have I been slacking off this past week, but that’s not the cause of this post.

I’m going to wait until the game is more in its completed state before posting a video.  In order to make a good combat video, I would have to skip some things that are pretty high priority right now.  I have a bad habit of trying to build from the top, downward.  Part of this is the laziness talking but after really thinking it over I think it’s best to make a video off what I have rather than working toward what I don’t have.

I’m probably going to lay off posting a while, but I should be back soon with some type of media.

Combat Gameplay in March?

After I finish the Audio Manager and the, Event System, I’ll finally be getting into something I have yet to fully implement in the game, Combat.

But I realized, I can’t just post a combat video, I’d need final models up, and music, and an actual scenario to captivate the viewer. I might also throw in a cut scene to show off a bit more.

That could take some time but I’m feeling pretty confident I could have it done early March. After that I may end with a final trailer in April.

I think I’m actually much closer to finishing than it feels like.

Over the next few weeks I may just post models or screenshots. I’ve possibly ran out of development talking points. : )


Development Timeline

Two back to back posts? Starting to feel like I’m in classic rambling mode, but there’s a method to my madness! Yesterday’s flashback coupled with my failed attempts at projecting a release date kinda got me thinking about the entire course of development.  Strikingly the actual start  of development was today only 4 years ago.  I swear it’s like my brain works in patterns! Things like this happen far too often to be a coincidence, but I’ll save that speech for a neurologist.

So why is this project such a hassle to finish? Let’s follow it a bit from the start, shall we? Here’s a list of events I felt worth noting that I compiled today.

Feb 06 2010 Started Development of Lithodora of Despair
Aug 11 2010 Introduced Felix & the World of Whimsy
Oct 27 2010 Created Early Build Video
Aug 8 2011 Coined the term Utility item
Jun 13 2012 Completed Whimsy Platforming Trailer
July 07 2012 Began Converting the game to use Entity System
Feb 22 2013 Completed Whimsy Puzzle Demo
Mar 05 2013 Announced Samba of the Wolves Remake
May 09 2013 Canceled Remake due to Xbox One news & XNA Death
Jun 01 2013 Started Converting Game to C++
Sep 06 2013 Started new Stage Creation Tool

I’ve cut out a lot here, most from the art and tool side of things, but this is the crux of it. 2011 looks pretty pathetic but in actuality I likely produced a lot more for the game due to less changes occurring. I’d venture to say I’d be done with the game right now if not for that 2013 whirlwind (provided I didn’t get too smitten with that Samba of the Wolves Remake).

So what’s beyond the time line?  Stay tuned to find out! ; D

Frantic February II

February is here and as promised I’ve started back programming again! In order to speed up development time I’ve begun following a schedule. I absolutely abhor schedules but I’m beginning to think they’re a necessary evil. In addition, I’ve prioritized my task list , and FORBIDDEN myself from whimsically doing any more tasks that aren’t high priority.

It’s funny, after choosing the name of this post, I found out I had already used it back in 2012. Here’s an eerie quote:

“February should be the month where the game quickly unravels and is topped off with a release. In reality that likely isn’t going to happen but reassured the project is going to be finished soon.” -Me 2012

A lot HAS come up since then but ehh… yeah, sorry about that.

But all hope isn’t lost,  in the pass 3 days I’ve done the following:

  • Organized My Tasks
  • Read over some important decisions I’ve made.
  • Looked into C++ methods of measuring high precision time.
  • Began Performance Monitoring specific pieces of the game
  • Looked into Faster Ways to Write Text (interfered with performance)
  • Implemented WINAPI Text over a DirectX Window (removed for not working in fullscreen)
  • Optimized Game Collision for large stages by implementing partitioned spaces
  • Learned (Again) how Release mode speeds up the program a large amount.
  • Optimized Debug Game Speed by tweaking Visual Studio Settings (fixed text problem)
  • Half finished a way to render batched geometry. (for debug purposes, may not complete)

I think I’ve been fairly productive. Maybe I’ll get it right this time…