Hi everyone it’s been a long time since our latest post. April’s been such insane month for me privately, that I couldn’t even find any time to post our progress. Fortunately different real-life things that kept me offline straightened out and I can finally focus more on Sapu and this blog.
As you may know we expected to create a prototype level at the end of April but unfortunately we couldn’t manage to get it as smoothly as we wanted to. Our inexperience in some of the game-related development processes showed off, and of course in such situations Murphy ’s Law makes its presence felt. As we are still focused on this level, in this report I will share more information about how are things going right now and how far we are until first tester will get to play Sapu.
Why so long?
As I mentioned earlier our inexperience showed off. First of all, the whole pathfinding system is pretty complex monster. For example, just look of what various enemies need to be aware of in order to smartly chase player during game time e.g.:
● Their size, speed and position
● Other enemies’ size, speed and position
● Other objects’ size and position
● And of course… Player’s position
Add to it all this algorithmic shit for 20+ enemies… Besides, other than my (and eventually players) requirements as for how the AI behavior should look like, Sarseth wants the system to be as much optimized as possible for now, so it won’t catch us later as very complex problem. I predicted that we will need a full month (part time of course) to implement a solid pathfinding system, but I guess I underestimated this monster. The task still goes on and fortunately it is starting to shape up.
Player movement changes (WASD -> Mouse)
Yep, movement again… We decided that it is going to be controlled only with mouse (LoL alike). Earlier we thought that it will be so cool to cast different spells in one direction and run in other at the same time… and then it failed our “fun test” and caused “legs problem” (changing Sapu’s animation based on cursor’s location was too much for us :D) as well. Therefore from now on, Sapu will have to stop for a second (or less) and turn into desired direction in order to cast a spell. Such setup not only eliminates “legs problem” because it will be the same animation, but also provides risk-management opportunity where player needs to decide whether in this particular situation it’s better to run or to fight… or to use specific spell that allows for both 😀.
Transition from 2D sprite enemies to 3D models
I think I mentioned about this transition in previous report, we considered 3D modeling learning curve as to be time consuming in order to create solid, nice looking models, animations and textures. But I’m sure that as Qra’s skills increase, it should be more and more efficient work and finally will accelerate production over animating 2D sprites.
Scheduling while working part time
Sometimes you work 20, sometimes 30… and sometimes 4 hours a week. I’ll put it this way – it sucks.
● Sapu model (and all his animations + texture)
● In-game GUI
● Spider model (+ all animations and spells for “Boss”)
● Sapu movement on mouse
● Majority of sound effect and Sound management system which allows me to customize different options (but it will be improved after finishing prototype version)
● Combat music (epic style – we’ll share it on soundcloud soon!)
Other than finishing pathfinding system:
● Implementation of Sapu model (and all his animations)
● In-game GUI implementation
● Level’s design (finishing it, testing and adjusting its difficulty correctly)
● Simplistic main menu + game instructions.
● (optional) If Qra will have time – creating better model for ranged enemy (earthworm alike)
● Sound effects for unimplemented stuff
I’d like to finish those tasks within this month so we can hand it to playtesters next month. Also We plan to show this prototype on some indie game conventions in July/September so it is important to have it as polished as possible.
In April we were pretty much non-active at all on Social Media. As I mentioned, April was too much for me. As for guys… well they had their hands full with their tasks as we really wanted to finish prototype at expected time. But lets be honest, do You think Sapu will be a great success and will generate satisfying amount of players around with such marketing? Me neither… Thus We won’t fail so much in this department anymore.
Google Analytics stats:
PS: Sarseth works with such music as in above videos on a daily basis… 😀