Facebook, dungeon refresh & game jams

This past week I’ve primarily been working on refreshing some dungeons, recording audio and drawing sprites. I also made a Facebook page to autopost new blog posts over there. More on that later. I also helped out a good friend drawing some sprites for a game he made for a GameMaker Game Jam over the previous weekend, which you can download by going here.

Dungeon Refreshing

Some of the dungeons I made back when Tales was just in its infancy was in desperate need of a refresh, primarily in layout. My main focus has been a frozen manor in the northern parts of the game world. I ended up scrapping the whole thing and redoing it from the ground up instead. I’ve included some ancient screenshots below, and screenshots of the new layout below those again.

Old

New

The new layout also features loads of new sound effects and other small things to improve the atmosphere drastically. Can’t say much more without risking to spoil what is going on there, you’ll have to try and find it whenever the public beta is available(shouldn’t be too long).

Temporal Turmoil

r0fnosk

Temporal Turmoil is a fast paced puzzle platformer where a clone of yourself is spawned on a timer that follows your exact steps. You control Cat, a dude who has a cat named Dude. The game is free to download by clicking this link, it’s worth taking a look. Programmed entirely by Johnwo, and both of us made sprites for it.

Facebook page

As mentioned earlier, I made a Facebook page you can like to get new blog posts directly into your wall. No more needing to head over to Twitter or checking the blog for new posts if you’re unsure there is something new. Click here to check it out.

Other changes/additions

As usual, the list at the end of the post about other smaller changes and additions to Tales.

  • Added a storage box to banks and player houses where you can put items you don’t want to carry around all the time. Storage boxes are linked, similar to Stash Boxes in Diablo or a bank in any MMO.
  • Fixed shops
    • Prices were all messed up
    • Errors when hovering certain items
  • Lighting improvements
  • New hair styles, available at the barber shop
  • Fixed saving/loading (big one)
  • More variation in food and drink items
  • Started working on more animals

That’s all for this week. Please leave a comment below if you want me to start writing a new post every week, or if it should still be bi-weekly. Every week will results in shorter posts with less exciting stuff, while bi-weekly results in longer, more in depth posts. Bai!

Sound & Music(finally!)

Happy new year (just two weeks late)! For this week I’m going to talk a primarily about the sound design of Tales of Astya, as I have finally gotten around to purchasing some custom composed music!

Music

The musical style of the game is heavily influenced by medieval instruments and melodies, and inspire a feeling of going on adventures. I’ve inserted a small preview below:

The music is composed by Joel Steudler, whose Soundcloud can be found by clicking here. Lots of great stuff there, be sure to check him out.

Reverb

Since the project start, a goal was to provide a rich soundscape, one of them being reverb of sound in caves or inside stone structures. Since 001 Game Creator doesn’t support this feature by default, another solution had to be found. After discussing with the community over at the 001 Discord Server, the solution was to first play the original sound, then do a check if the user has reverb enabled in Audio Options. If so, play the audio reverb file at the maps defined reverb amount. This effect is used on both player and other characters.
Pseudocode;

Sound.Play(sound, SoundVolume);
if(Map.Reverb > 0 && AudioReverb)
{
Sound.Play(soundReverb, Map.Reverb);
}

Ambient Sounds

Another element included in the soundscapes are of course ambient tracks. Walking through the forest listening to the birds chirp, the ominous rumbling of the earth when exploring caves and squeaky walls in abandoned buildings add a lot of atmosphere combined with the music alongside camera effects and particle effects. I’ll include a screenshot of this sometime soon, it’s still a bit early to show off.

One of the unique aspects of the ambiance is how it is very dynamic. The chirping of birds are all coming from the actual birds in each map, meaning if you kill all the birds there’s no more sound coming from them. They respawn after a while, but while they’re not there you can contemplate on how horrible you are for eradicating species.

New Options Menu

Also coming with the music is a redesigned options menu, where you’ll be able to change many settings to tailor the game to your liking. You cannot change the resolution in-game, sadly. This will have to be set up in the startup menu.

The Effects tab isn’t screenshot worthy yet, it only has one options so far; raindrop impact particle effect toggling. The sliders in the Audio tab are for master volume, sound volume, music volume and last ambient volume. You might notice there’s another tab greyed out. I’m not sure yet what to put there, so it might be removed before release.

Other additions/changes/fixes

  • Redesign of some maps to make them feel more compact and unique
  • Lanterns/road lights automatically turning on or off depending on time of day
  • Arena almost finished
  • A bunch of new tile sets, sprites, sounds and items
  • Performance improvements, thanks to 001’s new dynamic resource loading
  • AI improvements
  • Dungeon redesigns/tile updates
  • Weapon usage animations were borked, weapons now properly show up when using them
  • More magic spells and combat abilities
    • Mark/Recall ala Morrowind. Allows you to set custom teleport locations.
    • Dazing and Confusing to slow down enemies
    • Poison
    • Generic fireball
    • Magic staves
  • More dialogue
  • Quests written down, but not yet fully implemented

That’s all for this week. Here’s to a great 2017!

New Dungeon & Discord Bot

For this week I’d like to talk a bit about a new dungeon that I’ve been working on for a while and the Discord bot I made a while ago for the 001 Discord Server which is available for anyone to add right now. More details in the bottom of the post, but if you want to read the basics, click here.

New Dungeon – Wizard Lair

Now that most of the core systems are in place, it was time to start working “full time” on a dungeon. Though I have started with some concepts of other dungeons, this is the first fully fleshed out one with a proper plot and storytelling. The dungeon consists of thee parts; The Laboratory, The Undercave and The Tower. There are currently four different ways of finding it, two of them being quests, random exploration and through notice boards.

skjermbilde-2016-10-23-10-30-10

Part of the Undercave. Work in progress, will probably change before release

Background

The dungeon is inhabited by a bunch of crazy wizards known as The Outcast after being thrown out of the more politically correct Ring of Wizards who do magic for the greater good of the people. And yes, you can join either of them but not both at the same time. This also applies to other factions that are enemies to one another.

In their lair, The Outcast attempt various experiments, both on humans and machinery. Each of the unique wizards found here have a special subject they excel in and will eventually share some of their knowledge with the player.

skjermbilde-2016-10-20-23-25-14

The Laboratory. Work in progress, will probably change before release

Other fixes and additions

  • Added a mailing system which allows the player to send mail to other NPC’s and receive money or items through the mail service.
  • Message boards have random notes placed on them which change periodically.
  • General AI improvements
    • NPC’s go inside at night and come out during daytime
    • Some NPC’s take out their umbrella when it rains
    • Calls for help
    • Reporting crimes
    • Comment on current weather and time of day
  • Improved system for day & night to allow more flexible color grading during gameplay

 

PartyBot

Back in September I started a small project of writing a bot for the 001 Discord Server to fetch news and replace the then unavailable bot. PartyBot does a variety of things to spice up the chat with a little extra, such as hosting duels between online users and serving drinks. He/she/it is also able to search the internet using Duck Duck Go, find a random XKCD comic and flip coins for those harder decisions. It’s free, obviously, and can be added by clicking here! If you want to read more about it and all the features, click here!

That’s all for this week, cya in the next post!

Armor

For the past week I mostly spent time on equipment and the underlying systems of getting and using new items and displaying it on the player character. I’ve also made some tweaks to the combat AI, enemies now attempt to taunt you during combat by shouting comments at you. The overworld map is also nearing completion in terms of layout, but enemy placement and optimization still remains.

armor

Testing armor, Leather Armor and Iron Armor.

armorInspector

Armor setup in the Unity Inspector.

Armor have four primary variables, Damage Resistance, Enchant, Enchant Strength and Speed Modifier. Damage Resistance is how much damage is removed from an incoming attack, Enchant is the current enchant on the armor. Possible enchants include reflect damage, speed increase and poison resistance so far. Enchant strength is purely how powerful the enchant is. Speed modifier works like weight, and can both increase and decrease the characters top speed.  When equipping new armor, the Skin is applied to the character, and the models for helmet and shoulderpads are cloned onto the character.

leatherArmor

Player character with leather armor on.

Work has been started on a new dungeon with a fire theme. I’ve only placed the rooms and made the color palette, but I intend to have it complete soon.

redDungeon.png

Fire Dungeon

Sorry for such a short post this week compared to others, but I hope to have a longer one next week. Until then, take care.

 

Dungeon crawling

For the past week, the primary focus of development have been to get a dungeon prototype working. It’s a little rough around the edges still, but it works. And that’s the most important. Dungeon layouts are inspired by the first Legend of Zelda on NES, being made up of rooms that must either be cleared, have a puzzle solved or a key to unlock doors in order to continue. With the basic groundwork laid out, it is now time to create all the different elements to create puzzles and more interesting rooms. So far I have created buttons, hit triggers and boxes that can be pushed around, as well as some traps.

dungeonEntrance

Entrance room of the testing dungeon

Whenever you enter a room with enemies in it, the doors are locked and you must defeat them in order to unlock the doors again. Should you die, you’re returned to the dungeon entrance and must start over again. Since death comes easy, dungeons often contain a well of restoration to restore your health which you can return to when you need some health. Beware though, as they have a limited supply before they run dry and you can’t drink from them any more.

wellOfRestoration

Well of Restoration room

Another important aspect of dungeon crawling is the loot you’ll find. Dungeons contain the most powerful items in the game, and it’s often crucial to get it in order to defeat the boss. Boss rooms are clearly marked, so you’ll always know when you’re about to enter it. It’s usually a good idea to save a few drinks in the well before going in. Defeating a boss rewards you with a health boost and some sweet gear.

newItem

Getting new equipment

bossEntrance

Boss room door

Another tweak added by popular demand of people who have playtested the game so far is different control schemes based on if you’re using a gamepad or not. Previously the player character would look in the direction you’re walking, either with WASD or the arrow keys. Now you can walk freely and look in the direction of the mouse instead. Basic stuff, but it’s much easier to get used to. Using a gamepad you walk with the left stick and look with the right stick. Standard top down controls in other words.

That’s all this week, come back next tuesday for more.