For June, work was done on getting game data loading to work correctly (as well as the associated UI), creating a combat defeat screen where you can make party updates/retry, and updating the dialogue tool to work with the new dialogue system.
Loading Game Data
As mentioned, there's now functionality in order to save & load a game file. When you save the game, it will take a screenshot of your current screen so that it's a little easier to remember which save file is which. When the data is loaded it takes you back to the exact position where you saved, along with your party data/inventory.
Let's Go Again
Now there's a proper end screen if you end up losing a fight that lets you either retry straight away, update your party equipment and formation, then retry, or load up a save file. The reason for allowing you retry, as opposed to only being allowed to load a save file that some games do, is to try and reduce the number of frustrating parts of the game. Many games allow you to do this, so it's not something revolutionary, but I think it's something to be noted since Bright Red Skies isn't supposed to be a hardcore game, so it should be OK to make mistakes.
To reduce frustrations, even more, you're now allowed to update your party's equipment and formation. I don't want every combat to be a for sure win, so I don't want to include being able to use healing items. But, something I feel can be frustrating in JRPGs is meeting a new enemy and getting absolutely destroyed since they have a hidden mechanic like exploding on defeat or an instakill move. Being forced to load a save file after a defeat like that can be a feels-bad moment. But now since you can change your equipment/formation and retry, you can gear yourself better after understanding what the enemy can do.
Tool to Tell a Tale
In the previous devlog I spoke about how the dialogue system was changed so that it uses the bubbles dialogue boxes instead of having multiple large character portraits cover the entire screen. Because the dialogue system was changed, that means the dialogue tool needed to be updated in order to handle the new data structures. It just so happen that I realized this month, that Unity has GraphView API which makes creating node-based tools easier and more visually appealing. So, I figured why not give the entire dialogue tool a facelift and create it using the GraphView API.
Behind the Scenes
This is a section of the devlog where I like to talk about the parts of the game that were improved but aren't necessarily big enough to have their own section. For June some of the extra things completed were:
- Created a generic vertical scroll view with control support that allows movement passed the window bounds.
- Fixed issue with the world map to combat scene transition.
- Fixed issue with bullets not shooting straight.
- Fixed issue with combat UI notifiers not updating correctly.
- Fixed issue with detecting full hex cover when the enemy is in front of cover.
- Updated generic confirmation popup to use proper controller supported classes.
For June, a bunch was done in terms of implementing primary RPG functionality and a good amount of the bugs related to combat were resolved. For July, I want to focus a lot more on the narrative, so the stuff I want to be done includes:
- Continuation of the intro cutscene
- Layout story structure for demo
- Learn some more about video editing.
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