For April, a vast majority of the time I spent for development, was in getting a very early pre-alpha demo out. It's a super early build of the game, and it doesn't represent the quality I hope to bring in the final release, but I really wanted to get something out in the hands of players to get any level of feedback. There's still a long way to go but I'm optimistic about the future!
I do have to admit, the game in its current state, is very far from what I envision the final version of the game to be. Now that I have a demo build that combines all the scenes together, I hope to be able to iterate and iterate to add/remove features to improve the game. In my opinion the three major things that need improvement are the combat, world map, and story pacing/dialogue. I want to work within a maximum of the first hour of the game to make sure this segment is as high quality and feature complete as possible. Once that's done, it's matter of producing the content for the rest of the game.
The demo is available to play directly through Discord! You can pick up a key by joining the server:
Something I added in April was a visual update to the 3d models in the game. It felt like the scenery and buildings weren't standing out that much and there were instances when the colors of two different models would blend closely together. To try and fix this, I'm using a new shader so that all of the 3d models will have a black outline. To me, it looks like it makes the props, such as the buildings and trees, pop more which is great. The following are portions of the game where this change is more pronounced.
The buildings and trees in Pendle:
The scenery in this cutscene:
Don't keep Me Waiting
One of the things I wanted to improve for the demo was the loading times between scenes. Originally, loading a new scene happened when the trigger to change the scene occurred. This meant that when you click the final button to trigger a scene change, there would be a relatively long wait and then the new scene would load in. To improve the loading, the game determines when a new scene is guaranteed to load and pre-loads the scene while the previous scene is still in action. The biggest example of this is with the cutscenes. As the cutscene is running, the game determines what the next scene should be and pre-loads the scene as the cutscene is going on. Another example would be when having a conversation with an NPC that will eventually trigger a scene transition. When the dialogue path reaches a point where the scene change is guaranteed, then the next scene will begin to pre-load.
Example transition from a cutscene
Added an audio manager to the game and now there's something that can manage the background music and sound effects. When going between different scenes or locations, the background music will now smoothly transition. Also, all the sounds when interacting with the UI as well as environmental noises have been added.
Now that the demo is completed it's going to be about iterating multiple times and testing new things out, until I'm happy at the state of the game. The first thing I want to tackle is the world map. It's the one scene I feel is out of place in the game and I think having a traditional 3D traversable world map would improve the feel of the game. So for May, what I want to get completed are:
- World map design
- Traversable world map that goes from Dosero to Pendle
- Start working on the interactable enemies (to prevent random encounters)
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