Comrades, this week I can report that Chapter 1’s scenario work has passed the 50% mark. A town and a dungeon need to be mapped, and then the map work is complete. 2/3rds of the major cutscenes and dialogues have been completed, with four major dialogue trees needing to be written and two major cutscenes needing to be written.
I do intend to revisit the basement where the game starts once I finish the mapping. I have a cutscene I want to add there and I want to rework the layout a great deal with all the tricks I’ve learned over the course of the other maps. I also want to expand the optional parts of the intro dungeon and probably rework the main floor of the mansion to make it more spacious.
I have been considering a major overhaul to the leveling system. As it stands, the level system is quite complex but is grind-heavy in a game that’s about exploring and discovering and talking to NPCs. In fact I might remove the conventional EXP system and go with something else altogether, but I haven’t decided. Rune proposed some interesting ideas so I’ll see what shakes out once I finish the scenario work.
The artists haven’t done much in the last week, with Chicken being busy and Rune entering into finals season (American education, ladies and gentlemen). I am going to have Hund make the world map once I have finalized the layout. The world map will be stylized, not a 1:1 representation. You’ll be able to tell that something is generally south of your location but you’ll have to figure out the specifics yourself.
I’m not sure if the artists will be able to make the May Prototype 2 deadline at the current rate. I would rather not have to release the next prototype without the art caught up, but I also want to make sure the public has something to digest. We’ll see how it goes.
Salty here. This week we’ve been plugging along as usual. Pretty much all of the engine work I needed is done, with a few bugs and tweaks left to be sorted out. Most of the outdoor world for Chapter 1 has been completed, though there are a few spots on the edges of the map that block progress until Chapter 6 that haven’t been finished yet.
I’ve started on the cutscenes and dialogue, working my way through Trannadar up to the Pit Stop and Outland Farm. Once all of those are done, I’ll be working on the “dungeon” of the first chapter, and then Chapter 1 is pretty much good to go.
On the art front, Rune has time between finals (finally) to do some coloring work. Chicken has finished all of the base character designs for the first chapter and has started work on dialogue portraits and Mei’s alternate forms. Hund has been reassigned to color the dialogue portraits to ease the burden on Rune, while Urimas has only a few more sprite sheets to go before he’s done the chapter 1 requirements.
If everything goes well, there will probably be another prototype released towards the end of May. This is not a guarantee, I don’t know if the artists will be able to keep up, but the scenario should be complete by then.
After being away for the previous week, I came home and promptly got sick. Then I had to work on a different project. That’s all done now, so we’re back to business here.
I did managed to finish up the item upgrade system and got some baseline writing done for the next set of scripted sequences. From here on out it’s mostly mapping and scenario writing, so I should be able to finish the rest of Chapter 1’s scenario in May. Hopefully the artists are caught up by then and we can do a second prototype!
Not much got done this week by virtue of me being out of town for most of it. Most of the improvements were the small number of engine-related things that need to be done before we go into pure scenario stuff. I’ve developed (but not finished) a mechanic for upgrading items, for example, and fixed a number of bugs that had been mentioned during the first prototype release.
Next week I’ll likely finish up the rest of the bugs and start putting in the sections of the map that were dummied out in the prototype. I’ve been asked multiple times to put a map in the game, so that’ll certainly be done before the next prototype.
Salty here. I got some good feedback from the prototype last week. We got nearly 2000 downloads and less than 10 feedback posts, which is about what I had expected.
I’ve finished most of the shopping interface and have added additional party members to the game. I’ve got a long list of improvements I need to make from the beta testers plus some I found myself that nobody else noticed (shame on you lot!).
As for art, we’ve got sketches of Mei’s transformation to a slime and her bee form. Alraune Mei is on the way, at which point I’ll be ordering Chickenwhite to finish the remaining unique characters before she finishes the rest of the TF sequences. The sketches will be up on Patreon soon for anyone who wants to see them.
This month’s budget report might be a little later than usual since my folks want me back home for Easter. I’ll see if I can get it done while away. Progress will also be a bit slower for the same reason, but I’ll see if I can fix the SDL loading bug and get a Mac Allegro build going while I’m off.
Comrades, head over to the downloads page to get this release! Or just click here (Windows) (Mac)!
Right, before we go any further, here are the objectives of this release:
- Balance feedback. I need to know what you think of the combat. Is it too difficult? Were you able to understand how it works? Does it take too long? Are the XP rewards too low relative to the benefits of levelling up?
- Writing feedback. Do the cutscenes feel natural and make sense? Does the conversation topic system (Only Rochea has one right now. Talk to her again after being transformed into an Alraune) make sense and feel natural?
- Artistic feedback. Bear in mind that most of the art in this version is placeholders. The Alraune, Bee, Cultist, and Slime are the finalized copies, but everything else is pending. Do you like this style? How can it be improved?
- Map design feedback. Do the map layouts make sense? Do they funnel you in the right or wrong direction? Too many enemies, too few?
Currently, a lot of the maps are in placeholder states. Trannadar Trading Post is currently not implemented, and Breanne’s Pit Stop has a placeholder NPC.
- UI feedback. The UI is a placeholder at the moment, but do you like the layout?
- Bugs. If you see a bug, report it!
All feedback should be put on the TFGS forums if possible. You can also use the comments here or on the patreon and I will see it.
Currently, the SDL version cannot read file paths for saves. This is due to a bug in Boost and I need to completely replace Boost for the SDL version. This also applies to the Mac version (since it uses SDL). The Pandemonium.exe on windows does not have this issue.
Maps that have incomplete exits will have black borders on their edges to prevent you from walking out of the map. You know, in case you were wondering what those were.
Did you like this? Back us on Patreon! I need the dosh to pay the artists…
If everything goes well, the Adventure Mode Prototype Release 1 will be coming out next Monday.
This is contingent on me getting a few code things handled. We’ll be using whatever art is available, and filling in the parts over time. Remember, this is a bug-and-feedback release, much of Chapter 1’s content is either not present or dummied out since it’s incomplete. I’ll be looking to see how everyone likes the combat system, art style, gameplay, and so on.
I’m thinking putting together a prototype survey might be in order for the 2nd or 3rd release, depending on feedback. I don’t prefer doing surveys since they tend to constrain the valid answers, but most people don’t write long-form feedback so we make do with what we have.
Chapter 1’s development is proceeding quite well. I’ve grabbed some music and SFX from opengameart.org (if you’re making an indie game, go there. It’s the best damn site ever!), did a bunch of editing to make them fit, and did some programming tricks to make the battle sequences look nice even with their terrible, terrible UI.
I’ve also completed writing for the first three transformation scenes and will be putting them in the game this week. Sit tight, Adventure is on its way!