Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tutorial mission done

The distance between blogs seems to be slowly creeping up. Be assured I'm still working hard on the game, but not a lot of visual candy to show off.  I've finished the tutorial mission in Magenta. It teaches the player how to fight, learn spells, gather herbs and do enchantments. It shows off some conversation choices and starts the main quest thread. I've decided going for a monkey-island comic style,  partially because its a very popular game that I've enjoyed myself,  and partially because my attempts at serious fantasy literature sucked badly.

On the technical front,  I've implemented the player load/save system now. I'm going to go with an auto-save whenever possible but avoid saving during conversations and specific points that might make it difficult to provide updates without breaking someones profile, like during spell casting or conversations.

Next on my list is to add Jesters (what would Ultima have been without all the pointless Jesters in the towns) and general mobile NPCs in the main cities,  and then I need the shops in finally so you've got something to spend your random drops on if they aren't needed for spell/enchantment recipes.

I just updated my iPhone4 to have GameCenter now and I'm very keen to start supporting it. At the very least, a health list of achievements would be easy to add.  I'd still like to add minigames to all the cities but I think this will have to come after initial release or I'll never get this thing on the shop. Christmas is already looking pretty doubtful unless I cut a lot of corners with the quest content and I don't want to risk bad reviews from releasing the game when its not ready...

I'm still working hard at my day job but we seem to have gotten the schedule under control now - at least as far as code goes, so hopefully I'll have more time for Magelore work now. I haven't added any new art in, but here's a shot of me fighting some caged rats in the tutorial mission.  A star now appears on the inventory icon whenever there are stat points to spend, or mission details have changed,  so the player should never get lost as to what to do next

Monday, September 13, 2010

First town map done

My first town map is finally done. Magenta. This is where you will start out in the world and where a short tutorial mission will take place.  I had to add a few new tiles to populate it but I think its got sufficient variety now. I'm slowly working through the tutorial mission now. The first missions take longer to write as I have to add new script support as I need it. I've added an OnCreate script so I can conditionally lock doors and unlock them later through conversations. It should be easy enough to conditionally unlock them also, say if you need a specific key or item. The tutorial missions locks you in a small room with the main female protagonist of the game - mina. She starts as your tutor but will turn up throughout the game at points in the storyline.  As you complete her tutorial quests, she unlocks doors for you and eventually you'll be free to roam the world looking for quests.

That's all for now. My day job is still eating into magelore hours.  The chances of releasing this thing by christmas are looking pretty slim unless content starts speeding up really quickly,  and I still don't have any shops which will  take a little while to get right.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Spring Update

Start of spring and everyone is sick.  Terrible stomach cramps and flew is sweeping my home and workplace. I got it a few days ago but not too severely and am just recovering now. On top of that, I've been crunching a few days a week on my daytime work,  which has been eating away my Magelore development time.

So I thought I better update that things are still moving but very slowly. I keep thinking I've finally done with tech and can concentrate on content and then something comes up.  Most recently, I've been filling out the world map. Its 256x256 which didn't seem like a lot, but hand painting 65000 tiles is taking longer than expected. I originally was using a "clever" trick to save on alpha overdraw, but it meant that I was restricted as to what trees I could put on what terrain. I've had to drop the trick so that I am now have a more conventional overlay/underlay terrain system. I've also added a mountain edging pass to my existing edging system. This means I can just paint any terrain and put any mountains or trees over the top and it will clean it up for me later.

Since there has been no new art released for a while I thought I'd drop out a couple of screen shots. Nothing too exciting, just shows some of the new muddy areas and the street lightings at night. I'll need to pull in some large landmarks that will help people identify exactly where in the world they are as the roads and trees can look a bit similar.