122th day of development

Dialogues with anime gifs

With almost two weeks lost to exams and study, I am back to my project. So here is a short update on where I am, and what’s happening.

Development progress

I finished reworking dialogues, and you can see the results at the top of this post. Just for fun, I am using some gifs I found on tumblr — before it was just spinning spheres, and it made me nauseous. There’s still some work left clearing it all up after the dialogue had been shown, but not much.

There’s a milestone in front of me, and I feel like Vityaz at the Crossroads, created by famous Russian artist. In case you don’t know — he is standing at the crossroads, and the inscription on the stone says: “If you ride to the left, you will lose your horse, if you ride to the right, you will lose your head”. And I love my horse. And my head.

I finished game reloading function after player has lost all of their lives, and there are two big tasks to should follow. I just can not decide which one I should do first.

1. Boss battles. Yea, my game will have (or should have?) boss battles. Their dynamic is a bit different from the rest of the game, and I need to conduct a study to find out how much difference between a boss battle gameplay and running gameplay is allowed for the game to have some consistency. Also, at this point I have no idea what loot the player should get after winning the battle (otherwise why would you fight a monster three times your size 8))

2. Resource management. That’s like an abyss I am too afraid to look into. My game now is playable on several devices, but to make sure that its players have a smooth and pleasant experience — I need to know how fast it loads, how much resources it uses, and all this technical stuff that player never thinks about if there are no problems, and that ruins the experience if there are some.

The truth is I am a bit less scared of the first issue, so I’ll probably start working on that and get to the resource management only when there’s no alternative. I am such a chicken, I know 8))

Mindset and experience

This semester I took a course on software architecture, and I am back to Java. It feels strange to return to it after a yearly break and lots of Lua. Comparing to Lua, Java feels like a leviathan, so big, strict and solid. Bit at the same time, I cannot shake off a feeling that I miss some of this solidness and structural integrity in Lua. It is just too flexible and chaotic — it allows me to put things all over the place, and then I get lost trying to access them.

Funny thing — yesterday I spent 2 hours trying to understand why I couldn’t clear the table with :removeSelf() method, only to find out that some elements in the table don’t have it because they are not the part of the display group anymore. And the same day I had a revision lesson about inheritance and instanceof in Java.

It is strange to find out that your personal wild nature really could use some restrictions 8)) Also the thought “OMG, if I could just create an interface and implement it here” is quite new to me 8))

Art and distraction

The problem with the art (that is — I don’t have any art 8)) is still here, so I am playing with some of other stuff like 3d modelling in case there will be no other way to get the art except to create it myself.

That’s my experiment on my main character:

No textures at this stage

I use my old models with a tweak, to save the time, but to be fair only one of my 3d models ever got to the animation phase.

I always have at least one major technical issue in anything I attempt to do. And with 3d work, it is binding joints to the mesh. For some reason it is never as smooth as they show it in the tutorials. Some of my vertices always stick out, or bind to the wrong joint, or have a wrong weight on it. So though I think it looks workable now, the real trouble will start the moment I get to character animation. But hell, I am not there yet, so why worry 8))

Reading:

This week I am reading:

Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg and this is an awesome book anyone should read to understand our professional society better.

Gameplay Design Fundamentals: Gameplay Progression By Mike Lopez