This week saw a lot of progress on my newly-named fantasy adventure game, "The Testament of the White Cypress".
First I needed to replace the malfunctioning old scanner I'd been using to prototype the game's graphics. The arrival of a new flatbed scanner jumpstarted the excitement. Color consistency between different scans is paramount here, so I have avoided fancy GUI scanning software and auto-adjustment options; instead I use Linux command-line tools to acquire and adjust all scans according to my exact specifications. (The scans need a slight bump in contrast to bring the background paper up to full white.) I then re-imported all the new objects and animation frames into the game. Cypress looks much sharper now, and the colors represent the original painting far more faithfully.
Second, I made some changes to the design that will have big consequences. The Testament of the White Cypress is now completely mouse-driven, requiring two buttons (or one button plus a modifier key.) Much like Ultima VII, the left mouse button inspects and activates objects, and the right mouse button is used to move your character by either clicking a destination, or holding the button to move in the direction of the pointer. Objects in the environment can be dragged and dropped around the environment, and into/out of containers and player inventories.
When inspecting objects such as scrolls or backpacks, I'll use floating widgets akin to Ultima VII's "gumps". Here's a video demonstrating the new mouse-driven gameplay:
Gameplay video: Indiedb.com
(Unfortunately this video seems a bit jerky when played in HD through the site. It's 30 frames per second.)
Accordingly the combat mechanics will have to change a great deal. I'm planning to have the game auto-pause during combat so that the player can issue orders for movement, item/spell use, and attack.
I'm working on the story and design documents behind the scenes, and I'm very happy with how the project is progressing. I hope you enjoyed this progress update here on IndieDB, and I'll keep you posted with more each week or so.