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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:48 pm    Post subject: Development Log - FB: Cry Havoc Reply with quote

Oho... what's this?

I guess it's a dev log, so I suppose I'm dev'ing something. The last few years have been extraordinarily rough on me, so I honestly haven't done much game development outside of general rambling, taking some notes, and mad scribbling at the edges of the whiteboard in my office. Things seem to be on the upswing this year, so I think it's time to get back into the groove. Hopefully this will keep me motivated :)

I suppose I'll start with my motivations and objectives for this project, then segue into the progress overview, then finish up the post with some screenshots illustrating some of the things I've been working on.



Objectives: (I'll keep this short)

- Capture the visual spirit of Tactics Ogre without emulating it too closely.
- Design user interface with ease of use and speed of interaction in mind. Pace should be brisk.
- Ensure that fresh units can be used late in the game and still be effective.
- Any rules that apply to the player apply to enemies. No exceptions.
- Make non-essential plot elements completely optional.
- Allow user generated maps and custom scenarios.
- Minimize micromanagement.




Progress:

The battle portion of the game is largely complete, with units being able to move about freely, engage in physical as well as ranged attacks, and use a very small selection of skills. Magic is selectable but not yet usable. Other areas of the game, such as the between mission camp screens, are untouched but easily created using the current GUI code. Journal entry code, mapping, and map editor are mostly complete. Enemy AI has the ability to partially 'see' the battlefield and use that data to make elementary decisions. As of the current build all enemy units are stuck in "dumb" mode, where they seek the closest hostile unit and attempt to physically attack them. Formations are fully supported but slightly buggy.

A significant amount of actual content in the form of block textures and unit frame of animation have already been completed. Few maps are available.

Sound and music are completely absent at this point.

Visual effects and filters are nearly complete.




Latest Junk:

Getting back into the work flow is usually hard after a long break, so I decided to get the ball rolling with something I had been wanting to experiment with for a long time. I had the idea to jigger with the game's contrast dynamically, in terms of full-frame as well as per pixel. It has lead to some rather interesting visual effects, that I'm currently sticking onto various objects and watching the results. Some have been more interesting than others, and I've got a huge list of variations as well as possible applications within the game. I have to remind myself that although this is one seriously shiny new hammer, not everything is a nail right now. I'm also looking into writing a type of 'soft shader' that will let me mess with stuff on a broader scope than I've previously been interested in. It'd be kinda slow, but I can see some groovy applications for it. Translation: I'm not going OpenGL for this particular project. Maybe next time.

I sped up the attack and damage animations, with pleasant results. It slightly increases the speed of the game, and looks more fluid. Enemy units now have line of sight detection of bombs, but once spotted all units will be aware of its position. Sappers with remote detonation skills can seriously fuck people up by hiding bombs around corners and behind cover.

Miscellaneous bug fixes involving the physics module (bombs were immune to gravity!?)




Now, have some pixels!



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Bean
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yay, I want to see this finished eventually!

Any plans for multiplayer?

-Bean
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n29
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So how does it feel to have two of the three most eagerly anticipated games under development?

Now if that other guy would post a SAKFU dev log.....
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Any plans for multiplayer?


I don't know how I'll approach that yet, but it's on the table.



Quote:

So how does it feel to have two of the three most eagerly anticipated games under development?


I'd feel a hell of a lot better if they were finished! I'm really eager to get this one out of the way so I can get to work on Squidnutz. I think I can have a lot of fun with a platformer.
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JackDark
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've played the various demos many times, and even in its incomplete state, it's still my favorite isometric JSRPG-esque ever. Sirocco is taking all the typical annoying bullshit fluff in this genre out of the way, so you can have all the meat all the time. Best thing to me? No layers upon layers of clunky assed menus just do something as simple as attack or defend. And it's got BOMBS. Big boomy boom bombs! There's lots of other neat stuff but I don't think I'm suppose to talk about even half of it yet. Rest assured though, whenever Sirocco finally releases this he'll be on top of the indie scene for a good while.

Until Icey Tower 2 that is. 0_o
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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome. I'm glad to finally see a thread for this. As I've only seen the gameplay a little bit (in whatever videos were posted), and various screenshots I cannot say much. I will, however, stand by my statement that the game as it stands right now is a little too brown. I'm sure things will change in due time. Well, maybe I "hope" they will change. I'm not really sure of anything -- it's your damn game.

I loathe you for forcing me into windows to play it, though. That loathe mostly comes from the fact that if I didn't want to support OSX I wouldn't be dealing with issues in my own projects right now. Lucky ducky. :)
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The map I've been mainly testing and pulling shots from is located in a swampy area, so things are going to look brown and green.
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sam
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

n29 wrote:
Now if that other guy would post a SAKFU dev log.....


I'm sure it would all just end up being about Forth :)
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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The map I've been mainly testing and pulling shots from is located in a swampy area, so things are going to look brown and green.

I've no problems with brown as a color. The issue I see is that the entire screenshot is basically one big brown/grey blob. The units are brown and grey, as is the UI. The light brown guys are pretty visible, but the grey guys blend in a lot. Of course, that makes sense if you're using palettes; but to me there isn't enough contrast. This might have something to do with my display, or my brain. Does no-one else feel the same way?

Also, don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to rag on your game that isn't even complete. Just trying to voice my opinion based on first impression from what I see in the screenshots posted.
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll try to work with one of the more colorful maps over the weekend. If the next batch of shots still lack contrast then it's either you, or your display. Now, I will admit that when I created the palette I was working with an extremely old monitor that had lost the bottom end of its visible spectrum, so I'm working to remedy that now.

It looks fabulous over the projector, but then I wish I had a wiimote working so I could aim at the wall instead of fiddle with the mouse.
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xearthianx
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sam wrote:
I'm sure it would all just end up being about Forth :)

Hahaha... Or turtles.

sonrisu wrote:
The light brown guys are pretty visible, but the grey guys blend in a lot . . . Does no-one else feel the same way?

I dunno. Looks ok to me.
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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I looked at it on a newer LCD as opposed to my old "dying" one. It's a looks a whole lot better. Not super-great -- but my main complaint isn't really there anymore in terms of contrast between the characters and the environment.
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had to work all weekend, so nothing to say or show right now. Maybe I'll get something done today or tomorrow.
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't pull any useful screens before going to bed last night. I had started tweaking the palette and some of the graphics needed cleaning up. Fortunately the low end colors pack more punch now and things don't look quite as washed out. I was also dicking about with the tracking bar at the bottom of the screen and didn't feel like explaining why it was all messed up ;)

I had some transparency goofiness to work out as well, but that was an entirely different issue. I managed to get most of that taken care of. That's a bit of a relief since it was a thorn in my side for quite a while.

Lastly, some more graphics work and tinkering with a map I started last week. I made some changes to the GUI last week and wanted to see if everything in the editor still worked... heh!
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xearthianx
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little late, but when I first saw screens and vids of this in the Squidnutz thread, I thought this was something that was all pro and you were using their engine. Color me impressed.
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

A little late, but when I first saw screens and vids of this in the Squidnutz thread, I thought this was something that was all pro and you were using their engine.


Oddly enough, that's not the first time I've been told that. I guess I'm starting to do things right, or something... heh. Cool.



I concentrated on more palette tweaks, continuing what I was working on last night. I also worked out the last of the bugs in the transparency handling stuff. I feel much better now that I have that behind me. It was one of those annoying bugs that just refused to die, resurfacing every few months like some crack-addled relative that lives in a dumpster behind the corner store across town. You know, the kind you want to kick to sleep every time they randomly materialize on your porch asking for money. Like that. Hoo... yeah, that's a clear sign I should go to bed now.

But first, pixels:



I don't know what good it does, but that's mega motherfucking contrast mode for ya. Because I can, I guess. No, the game isn't going to look like that all the time. Also note the WIP redesign of the tracking bar at the bottom; I still have a lot of work to do on that.
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly, I don't have much 'sexy' programming left on this project. I'm down to nitty-gritty stuff like debugging, laying out menus, and finishing up existing features. I suppose the debugging is the least enjoyable aspect of what we do around here. I have a relatively short list of goals I want to hit before I release a public demo. Early this year I decided it would be better to have certain things functional than to sit around all day explaining why stuff didn't work as expected. Hence, no demo. Throw things at me if you must.

Coming up with menus was always a pain for me in the past, but I never had a decent GUI to work with. Now it's a snap, and if I could bring myself to spend another hour or two finishing up my WYSIWYG menu editor it'd be even less of a chore -- perhaps borderline interesting. I was a total dumbass when I did the menus for FB and Frenetic (not Plus). Soooo much unnecessary work :(

I suspect my updates will grow more stale and menial from this point on, but the good news is that as I create new content I'll have more fodder for screenshots, so that's nice. I think we're getting tired of seeing the same old map ;)
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Gil
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your range of colors is a bit small. I see no vibrant ones at all. Where's your red and green colors? There's other stuff besides brown and yellow :)

Saturation is your friend!
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xearthianx
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, he said it was just the color pallet for that swampy level. The guys running around on the screen could look more differentiated in form and coloration, but I suspect it's just because he hasn't managed to make more content yet beyond what he needs for testing.
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JackDark
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Fixed.
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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's with the girl in the purple dress and the super red face? Scary!
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xearthianx
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sonrisu wrote:
What's with the girl in the purple dress and the super red face? Scary!

Yeah, she was the "token black girl" too, so it would take quite a lot to make her face look like that. It kinda looks like it was edited with an airbrush tool after the fact, but it seems to imply she's blushing because she's into the girl in orange.

Or maybe I'm reading too much into that? I wonder what that says about me...
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JackDark
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sonrisu wrote:
What's with the girl in the purple dress and the super red face? Scary!


Well, I could tell you why her face is so red, but you remember what happened to the last GDR board...
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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. I'd prefer to not have to use my moderator "Hammer of Justice" [+100 Str, +10 Int, +20 Stam, 50% crit rate, all resistances + 20]. ;)

Anyhow, no more derailing of this thread. Sirocco, I like the updated palette, I think it's easier to see things on my LCD that was giving me issues before. I must agree, though, that things look awfully brown and grey. Do you happen to have any shots of the non-swampy levels?
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really only have one map that is presentable, and we're soaking in it. I meant to work on that yesterday, but shit happened ^_^ The priority is still on finishing the programming more than content creation.


Quote:

Well, I could tell you why her face is so red, but you remember what happened to the last GDR board...


O_o
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