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Our development since our last article (in August): Nested prefabs (thus starts of items on store shelves/etc), new area previews, new props, condition classes (beginnings of festivals/etc), & our side project released!

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Hello all! It's about time for an update, isn't it? Here's what we've been up to since roughly early August:


NESTED PREFABS

Some of our time has been dedicated to trying out the new Unity beta (v2018.3). The most anticipated feature, for us, was the addition of new prefab workflows, nested prefabs and prefab variants. These features will definitely save us a lot of time in the long run and presents solutions to many problems we have come across thus far. Here's one thing that Jon has started setting up, with the use of nested prefabs – the General Shoppe’s shelves. Take a look:


Items that the merchant has available will appear on the shop’s shelves! Although, not placed very well… This would have been quite difficult to setup before with Jon's previous middle-man spawners and would definitely have caused more lag on start of the town scene.

Other than that, setting up NPCs with nesting and variants. Unfortunately, with this new feature, we have a lot of stuff to go through and re-create… But, it will be for the best in the long run.

Unity Tip: For other Unity beta testers out there, we have encountered some issues upon upgrading our project, such as random prefabs losing variable references (assigned variables in inspector). Although, simply right-clicking on the prefab and choosing Reimport, seems to fix these problems. Whew!


NEW AREA PREVIEWS

  • Castle Way: preview of the area just outside the Castle. WIP.

  • Farmlands: this is the area between that connects the Graveyard with the Castle Way. It is very much, WIP.

  • Trading Harbor: planned to be off West somewhere, this is the starts of a harbor town. Focus on the piers and harbor. Boat is placeholder (courtesy of the Unity asset store). Obviously, WIP.


  • The HUB scene has expanded a bit too.

On a side note, I’ve also been revisiting Dalwood (starting splatmaps, UV-ing, adding new props and adjusting old, etc), and the Lava Cave (adding more rooms/areas/tunnels, etc, getting farther along). More to show later.


NEW PROPS

  • Spruces: new trees, brambles/etc are beginning to appear throughout Terradim. They are a nice change from the usual oak/maple trees littering the land now.

  • Edited normals of rocks/foliage/etc: in messing around with Blender more, I’ve been utilizing modifiers, more specifically the Normal Edit Modifier. Basically for the foliage of trees, I’ve been “faking” the lighting by setting the mesh normals to face outward radially (so light hits from all directions, blending better at different times of day). For grasses, and some rock props, I’ve set the normals of their meshes upwards in local space, so their lighting more accurately matches the surface normal below.

  • Magma Rock Smoke Stacks: a Lava Cave specific prop. The smoke is a nested prefab inside of the spires! If we decide to update the original smoke prefab to be purple, for example, all prefabs referencing it will immediately be updated! Ahhh, convenience!

CONDITION CLASSES

Jon has been setting up condition classes for our XML tables, this includes things such as, “Is it day/night?” This allows me to code simple boolean method classes and apply them right to whatever XML data table he has setup, such as loot tables. Perhaps we want to increase the probability of torches to appear in containers at night? And maybe only in a certain scene? Now, it’s quite simple to do that.

Jon reworked the current dialog to use this setup as well. Consequently, we have added more dialog possibilities based on various conditions including having very low Charisma… ;)

Anyway, expanding on this, Jon setup a preliminary scenario on the 1st of Lencten (game’s 1st month), New Years! At the moment, all it does is cause NPCs to greet you with a happy new year, but this is the first step towards many things!

(Right back at you, buddy!)


One of the next goals we have is to tie these conditions into some random encounters/enemy spawns.


MISC. IMRPROVEMENTS


  • Sped up dialog printing, & delay before next page input is sensed.
  • Added Stone of recall item: warps you back to town.
  • An animation now plays when swapping quick slot items.
  • Setup different drawing and sheathing weapon speeds, which improves with Dexterity.
  • Sleeping (until morning/night) now saves game.
  • Setup some draw distance changes when entering buildings. Playing multiplayer decreases it as well.
  • Bug fix: Head look no longer updates when game is paused (F8)/timescale is zero.
  • Collider optimizations: Many props have been swapped from using Mesh colliders to primitives.
  • Shader optimization: gems now share the same material and utilize vertex coloring for color variants.
  • Added yet another potion type, the Invisibility Potion! Although, as of now, it is purely aesthetic.
  • Additional limb damage sources:
    • Height damage now damages legs.
    • Failed hefts damages your torso.

AND LASTLY, OUR SIDE PROJECT

Chipmonk! Is now available on itch.io!




That is all for now.

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