Re: Twitch and more Map stuff

Hey, guys! Got a few things I wanted to discuss! 🙂

Twitch

I wanted to announce: I will probably NOT stream for a while. Reasons for this are: 1) relatives are visiting for a month, so I can’t dedicate 3 hours to streaming, at least not regularly; and 2) I’ve gotten reports about harassment and threats on watchers.

So, for the meantime, little to no streaming! That being said, I’d really like an alternative community so people can have a chance to speak with each other, but, uhh… I’ve got no idea what that can be. My first idea would be a forum, but I don’t have the time to moderate it. Besides, I don’t even have a game, so I figure that’d be… kind of weird to do, haha.

Anyway, while I mull over that, onto progress!…

Update

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Camp outside of camp

Just spent my time drawing roughs for backgrounds and refactoring the Exploration system code this week. I was hoping I could get the programming for it done this week, but I spent most of my time reading up on programming logic. I learned a lot, but I think it has actually impaired my ability to program since my priority now isn’t, “Does this work?” and more “Is this flexible?”

I think I was going to talk more about gameplay mechanics, so I’ll give a more detailed explanation of what’s going on! I also forgot to give screenshots, so here’s a repost:

test

Placeholder art courtesy of my brother

Exploration is a side scrolling system using WASD / Arrow Keys. Objects and characters can be interacted with, which should bring up the normal say screen overlay. (Character, text box, and words; the VN portion, anyway). In Exploration mode, players change locations by either 1) entering homes (interacting with places on the map), or 2) reaching the ‘end’ of a map.

Maps, however, aren’t connected. Leaving an area brings up a Main Map (seen below), where players can choose the next area to move to.

mapmap

imagine the white boxes are buttons to locations ^q^

This Main Map is available on both Exploration and Navigation, so deciding to look around camp won’t be as tedious as, say, leaving from Aleo’s tent and running through 20 different areas to get to a destination. The main differences between the two are: in Exploration, players have more things to interact with, while Navigation is just the ‘essentials’.

Some things you can do in Exploration that you won’t be able to do in Navigation are: finding items to give people, triggering random events, unlocking activities for the Daily/Weekly planner, experiencing minor character events and backstories, doing quests, and speaking to NPCs. These aren’t imperative to getting on a route, so if you don’t want to run around, you’re welcome not to. After all, Navigation will still have: major character interactions (you can interact with them in exactly the same way as in Exploration), major (character) events, and shopping.

Characters are also planned to have ‘schedules’ where they’re in specific places during certain times/days of the week, but you probably won’t be seeing them walk around since the game isn’t run in Real Time. There’s randomness with regards to spawn locations, but players are always capable of figuring out where the character they want to speak to is by 1) asking NPCs, 2) using an item, or 3) toggling a boolean in the preferences.


Phew! So that’s about it! Hopefully this is a clear enough explanation of what’s going on, though it’d probably be better if I had screenshots to illustrate… o|-< Maybe when it’s more complete? Which will hopefully be by the end of this week?! (haha, probably not given my coding struggles, send help)

Programming week: Map System!

Hey, everyone! Been in a writing/programming mood lately, so I haven’t been streaming. I’ll get back to more sprite work this week, so look forward to it! (http://twitch.tv/aaazareal, from 3-6PM PST)

Anyway, some important news: I changed the resolution from 4:3 to 16:9. The game is now running at 1280 x 720, which is a good size larger than its original 800×600. I’d love to port the game into Android sometime, so I figured I might as well do it at this resolution! 😀

Map System

Essentially, there’s two types of Map systems in the game:
* A side-scrolling Exploration system
* A list-style Navigation system

Exploration System

Players will be able to run around the camp, interacting with objects and people!

You know all the Random Events you’d see when playing the game? Instead of popping up during the Weekly Planner, you’ll see the majority of them while exploring camp instead. If the player finds two characters speaking to each other, you’ll have to interact with them in order to see the event. Most of the Random Events are the main character observing/eavesdropping anyway, so I think it’s a more natural way of showing the scenes. Besides, if you don’t want to see it, you can just ignore them and go on your merry way!

mapcomicskldfj

Important Character Events, while they can be seen while Exploring, can also be seen in other ways. Running around isn’t necessary if you don’t want to, though you lose out on some helpful things if you do. (more Random Events, finding items, doing quests, bonuses to stat gains, more opportunities to raise stats, etc…)

aides

General Tiberus’ Aides

Anyway, the biggest reason I’ve added this is to have an easier way to expand on the backstory of Minor Characters. There’s a good number of minor characters that play a major role to the plot (usually in Part II) and it’s been difficult trying to find a way to have events with them while not 1) annoying the player by forcing a character they don’t care about into their game, 2) annoying the player because there’s an event every other day, and 3) making things harder for myself by adding a million choices.

I know, I know… “Minor characters? Who cares?” Yeah, I don’t usually care about Love Interest’s Greatest Rival “Bob” or Generic Soldier #34 with Funny Quirk myself, but I like to think my characters are interesting, so I want to show them off… ^q^;; Obviously not nearly to the extent of the Main Characters, but at least to make motivations clear, you know?!

Navigation System

If players don’t want to add XX hours to their gameplay by running around and exploring, there’s a Navigation system in place, too. Basically, it’s a screen which allows players to move between maps, interact with characters, or expand on the Exploration System (secret still ^q^/). Only major characters will be included in these, so you can’t talk to Random Soldier A like you’d normally be able to in Exploration.

screenshot0030.png

There will also be a good variety of interactions– especially with characters– not limited to “Speak”, “Give Gift”, and “Ask for Training”. Exploring the map can unlock certain topics, for example, and players will be able to ask the characters about it. Having certain items in your inventory also opens up new choices (Extort Money). Certain days of the week has characters doing something else, and you might be able to join them!


Anyway, I don’t want to talk too much about the details of the Map systems and how each element works. But How do people feel about it? Are there any concerns or grievances that people have with the ideas so far? (Exploration and Navigation Maps) I know Battle systems, for example, can make people uneasy, mostly because a good majority of them (especially in VNs) aren’t really fun. Cool for a developer, but unfortunately not so much as a player. x’) I’d like to keep those issues in mind, since this is a long game and I don’t want players to put up with annoying things.

For example, people can be concerned about: slow walking/running speed, weird controls, unnecessary number of clicks, speed between transitions, performance issues in general, its importance or its role to the game and the other mechanics, etc… There might be some more things, but I’d love to hear what you guys would be concerned about when walking through a map. I can try to brainstorm some solutions to them while I cobble out the code.

So yeah, if you have any concerns, let me know! It’d be extremely helpful!! *v*/


I was going to talk about more stuff, but this post is really long already, so I’ll just update next week with more programming stuff! x) I hope everyone’s doing well!

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