For October, the main goal was to get an early combat demo out so that people who wanted to, could test the game and give feedback to make the gameplay experience better and fix any bugs I might've missed. I'm happy to say, mission accomplished! The demo was just released and is ready to be played! It's available on Itch, Gamejolt, and Discord:
More specifically, the things that were completed include finishing up the player menu, completing the end of combat screen, adding destructible cover, and updating the world map.
Finished Player Menu
One of the bigger changes to the player menu was the formation menu. With the old version, it felt like a lot of information was redundant and some info was even missing or not very visible. So, to display the information clearly, the bottom info bar was moved to the left and the party member information was enlarged significantly.
Another update was with being able to use consumable items outside of combat. There was no user interface for using consumable items but now if a consumable item, like a healing item, is selected you can be taken to a party member select screen where you can pick any valid party member to use it on.
In general, the list of minor bugs for the player menu was resolved and the visual oddities that I noticed have been fixed. If there's anything wrong with the player menu, let me know and I can put it in the to-do-list.
End of Combat Screen
The end of combat screen was also completed in terms of functionality. So, when you win a battle, the victory screen will appear showing your party members gaining experience and the loot dropped. This can all be skipped if going through the entire sequence becomes annoying. So there are three steps to the victory screen: the victory text, fading in the party members/loot and incrementing the experience bar, and completing/exiting the battle. Clicking the "Continue" button will skip to the next step, so you can just spam the button to go through everything quickly.
When showing off the victory screen on social media, I got a lot of good suggestions but they haven't been implemented yet. I think there's still room for a lot of polish for the victory screen but right now the main focus is to get functionality.
Another component of the demo that needed to be updated was the world map. Originally, the landscape was mostly desert, but I wanted people to be able to see the visuals for both the desert and forest combat scene, so a forest region was added. Also, the entrances into towns needed to be restricted since they are going to be reworked in the future, and this is mainly just a combat demo.
Finally, destructible cover was added into combat. Each piece of cover during combat has a certain amount of health and can be destroyed to make an enemy vulnerable to an attack. This is subject to change, but the way that it works is that if an attack misses, then damage will be done to the cover that a unit is hiding behind (if it exists). The only way to deal direct damage to cover would be with abilities.
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 October, some of the other things that were done are:
- Put character combat stances back into the game and updated the combat scene to apply stance effects.
- Added sounds to UI interactions.
- Fixed issue with the floating text in combat being displayed incorrectly.
- Fixed issue with being able to have some control during the AI's turn or while already performing an action.
- Updated descriptions for item/stats/abilities/stances/logs
It's great to have a demo out, but there's still a lot more development that needs to get done. For November, I want to take any of the feedback from the demo into consideration and figure out if any part of the combat needs to be changed. Additionally, some of the other things I'd like to complete for November are:
- Squad formation bonuses.
- Start to implement controller support.
- Start implementing procedural generation for cover placement in combat.
Something I want to do is to update the demo at the end of each month so that all of the features and fixes implemented for that month, will be playable. I'd love to have a lot of people test out the game, so feel free to download the demo using one of the links at the start of this article!
If you have any suggestions or want to give your opinion on the game, follow me on social media, I listen and respond to any comment :D