Harmless Demons is inspired by a bug observation box my grand father gave me when i was little.
Its goal is to capture that sensation of curiosity, excitement and perversion i felt when given those defenceless insects, trapped in my little glass box.
One day i would be gentle, careful and attentive with them, the day after i would tear their wings appart, drown them in white spirit, burn them with fire...
In Harmless Demons, a strange, unknown creature is put into your hands for understanding. Its full of secrets you'll have to discover by experimenting with it via tools you'll have to build.
Its goal is to escape that box he was locked in.
Yours is to feed it, hit it, watch it, burn it, love it, kill it until he is no longer a mystery for you.
About me, the creator
Last time, i introduced my DevLog with some braggy catchline about how you were craving for my long-awaited return, but since i want to build a balanced, healthy relationship with you guys, i think it's my turn to take a step forward:
I missed you guys, and was impatient to come back to you with some even more pompous narrative, à la sauce du chef.
Timeline being completely shattered by the cheerfulling joy of the together-coming Holiday Season (CheekyPhrasingBeFlyingHighLikeEagles),
If you read/remember my last DevLog, i said that designing a research system for the player to explain what he thinks he witnessed was my next priority (ed: Uncommun demon behaviour ==> New observation ==> Research, the phase that needed brainstorming ==> Discovery), so it's the first thing i attended to.
But I got a tumultuous relationship with brainstorming.
It was the most intense brainstorming so far. Previous ones were messier, vague and scattered because of the Hate reasons (and they weren't as needed as this one). This time it felt under control and productive. I also polished my reflexion ritual, after various ineffective attempts, it goes like this:
Here are some pictures to illustrate the above incantations. I used a well-assembled puppet of my making for this. It is single, it is of good company and it has a steady job. Feel free to contact me if you're looking for a stable relationship, i'll make sure your message gets to it. Also i got a new fancy chair so i look all bossy now! 8)
Brainstorming got me settled on a system that is better illustrated through an example. Here, the player is getting through the process of making the discovery that the creature has retractable horns:
Very fun part for me as well and super user-friendly since i can support it with visual content. It went well, few new scripts, code architecture changes, Unity scene hierarchy readjustments and it was working pretty well. Little bit of first draft visuals here and there so it's not too ugly. See by yourself:
Everything was going well until i started trying bigger maps (final map will be pretty big, so i can't escape it), i started having huge frame drops, like 30-40 fps in the worst cases. As i'm building a one room 2D game, i can't say i cared much about performance until then. I do have preformance reflexes nevetheless, because it was a part of my programming formation, i always try to make things as clean and efficient as possible, but it was never a priority.
I didn't expect optimization before beta version at least, so it was new to me and i had to dive into Unity documentation and internet again. Somehow i ended narrowing it down to the Unity UI, which can be quit touchy to use, performance-wise, and needs to be set up accordingly to be efficient and all time smoothey. Favorite things i found on the subjects were this and this (if anyone reading this encounters similar issues, it might be helpful). I had to rework my entire UI hierachy which took a while.
Here a little maxi-best-of list of the new things i can now use:
I spent more than 3 days on this now and it's still not super smooth, but i came back from very low points where i thought i tried everything, reached rock bottom and would suddenly step upon some magic topics explaining a whole lot of new things, allowing me to reopen cold cases. I had too retry a lot of different approches and it's still far from perfect, but i'm happy i went through all this, my knowledge of Unity is once again expanded.
I couldn't tell from what childhood experience i got that from, but i tend to only pursue, respect and consider noble the things of the mind. Everything that elevates yourself spiritually, as far above of our disgusting natural condition of stupid animals as possible.
You have to be a sun, you have to be incredible (definition of incredible being very malleable here, since incredibility can be found in very unexpected places), otherwise you're lazy, useless, yielding to the shady part of the human nature and unworthy of its potential. That's a radical standpoint, i only was in such a strong state of mind when i was younger, lots of water as been poured in my wine since, don't worry. But still, i have some kind of natural despise towards everything too down to earth, too manual (i mean where the brain is too close to not being used), everything that is an insult to the human potential. Even if i do understand that the world as we conceived it would crumble in a day if everybody started being a genius, not using your brain tends to slowly makes your curiosity fades away and we know what lack of curiosity does to children, it turns them into adults.
Anyway, i'm not sure why but i held programming in the scorn bag, i'd say maybe i thought it was too pragmatic or too logical to let the mind do its dance. I didn't want to have anything to do with it back then. Until i had to, if i wanted to make my own games. I remember loving it ever since. But i'd say there is a special place in my heart for those two things:
There is still this annoying performance problem to solve but i hope i'll get through it quickly. Gameplay is really close to be final and playable. The main things to do, in order of importance:
Thank you, reader who has come this far, be sure i'll be back again with more of that zany attitude.
Amer Von TukarBoy, Over.
Feel free to follow me on twitter if you want to keep up with my progression
PS: I released a new track, it's close to be smooth and accessible for once, seize your chance:
Overcoming inner Chaos with the sword of Order, things for you to eat, worldwide revelations.
Of how it all started in a frolicking way and ended with a dive into the inferno of post-rendering. And finally into the light, always. And my feelings.
Announcing my first game, Harmless Demons! Expected release: Q3 2018.
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