Trailer, magic and beta soon

For the past two weeks I’ve spent a lot of time working on a variety of spells for the player to cast, both useful and not-so useful. As usual there’s also a lot of other additions near the bottom of this post.

Trailer

The biggest thing of this weeks post is the new trailer I made and published earlier this week. It doesn’t represent all the things you can do in the game, but it should give a decent idea of what’s going on. I hope you like it. I am planning to make more videos in the time ahead, hopefully with better editing.

More magic

I’ve added 8 new spells that you can cast, some of which are more useful than others. Below are some highlights:

  • Blink – instantly teleport a small distance in whatever direction you’re facing.
  • Bend Time – Slows down time 50%, but still allowing you to move at the same speed. Attacking cancels the effect.
  • Sense Living – Adds a glow around living characters, such as people or animals
  • Candlelight – Spawns a glowing light orb above your head that lights up around you for around a minute.

There should be a video demonstrating the magic in not too long.

Public beta in TWO weeks!

Tales has been in development for a while now, and it’s almost time to enter beta! The beta is planned to start on June 9 over at Itch.io. During this time the game will be available for free, with optional purchase for those who want to support further development.

Once the beta is ready I will make another blog post annoucing it, including a download link and some instructions on how to report bugs/errors/glitches/feature requests(within reason). I’m very excited to have strangers play it and not just friends and get some feedback on what is currently in the game. No time frame has been set for how long the beta will last.

Other changes/additions

  • Started work on replacing the current dialogue boxes with new ones. The new system features such things as
    • Animated portraits.
      • Facial animations for mouth based on dialogue length
      • Facial expressions
    • Camera panning to the speaking character
    • Choice timer (random choice if time runs out (Not used everywhere, don’t worry))
    • Name of the speaking character at the top of the box instead of being in the dialogue text

mouthMoveNew dialogue screen preview. Please excuse the prototype art.

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Old dialogue box

This is a consideriable amount of work, as each dialogue box has to be manually replaced. I have no estimate for how long it will take to update them all, but the current goal is to have most of it done by the time of beta.

  • Finally done with replacing trees
  • Finally got save/load game to work properly in general and fixed issues with party members not spawning properly.
  • Shop owners will now throw out the player if they are inside their shop at closing hours.
  • Added space telescope for exploration of constellations and the Astya night sky.
  • Added more camp sites and roads throughout the overworld maps
  • Populated the swamp area with enemies

That’s it for the past two weeks, hope you enjoyed. Next post will mostly be dealing with the beta and some instructions related to reporting bugs and all that. So long!

Magic, Soundscapes and Interview

For this weeks post I want to talk a little more about how the magic system works, sound effects and an interview I did with the local newspaper. I also tried something new this week, recording a video for YouTube so you can get a better feel of the current state of combat. I haven’t spent as much time as I’ve wanted to lately and a lot of that comes from this new game you might have heard about, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS. It’s so much fun, especially with friends. Higly recommended, despite being in Early Access. I was sceptic about it at first, but after playing a few hours I’m glad I purchased it.

Magic

Magic in Tales of Astya isn’t a big part of the world, but it still exists. The general population does not know how to cast spells, and not even the Ring of Wizards (mage faction) really knows how it works, only that it does. Casting spells is easy once you know how, and that can be learned at the Wizard Tower somewhere in the south of Uspya, if your character is smart enough.

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Learning area for new spells in the Wizard Tower. Still WIP, something will be placed in the side wings.

I’ve been working on some new spells of late, shown in this video right here. Sorry about the low quality, I’ll do my best to improve that in the future.

Soundscapes

Again, more sound stuff. This was my primary focus this week, working on mixing various sound effects to create richer soundscapes for cities, forest, caves and all the other environments found throughout the game, some with variations for night and day. They’re almost done and should be fully implemented by next week.

Interview with local paper

Right before writing the previous post, I finished a small interview with the local news paper about Tales. A journalist came over to my place, we played the game for a bit and he took some pictures while asking questions about the development, the game and the production pipeline. The article was published in last weeks weekend paper as a feature article, and the feedback has been great so far with a whopping double increase in page traffic the days after it was printed.

cof

Local paper, in norwegian.

Other changes/additions

  • More map refreshing with the transition from 3D to 2D trees.
  • Better colors for day and night. Nights are darker and days a little lighter.
  • Changes to AI in relation to entering their home
    • Some won’t go out if it rains
    • Specific hours for going outside
    • They would previously walk to their home, but this turned out to be too unreliable. NPC’s instead just spawn/despawn based on their home hours. Better than nothing at least.
  • Cleaning up the character sprites, removing strange pixels left over from the 3D rendering. Won’t be too noticeable, but it’s been irking me for a while.
  • Changes to overworld travelling time, now with different time passage between maps that makes more sense than the previous static 15 minutes.
  • Started work on player housing, allowing you to place one piece of furniture in each of your homes that gives various buffs and abilities.
  • The usual, more dialogue and typo fixes.
  • Completely revamped getting in to Stonehaven, the capital city. Now with less loading screens and more options to influence the guards at the gates.
  • Traveling merchants with rare items for sale. Only available at select locations, for a limited amount of time.

That’s all for this week. I’m gonna start making more of these videos showing various aspects of the game instead of just GIFs. Some things are just better with sound. Until then, have a good one.

Quests & Character Generator

For the past two weeks I’ve mostly been working on writing quests and whatnot, therefore no post last week. I’ve also made some other smaller additions of course, more details below. New art and maps aren’t such a high priority right now, as it’s mostly done. The focus forward will be on adding in all the quests and characters, which means posts will be less frequent (not every week, but definitely every two weeks). Let’s jump in.

Questlines

For the most part I’ve been working on the questlines related to the Outposts,  one of the primary factions you interact with. To begin either of them, you have to travel to the West Outpost and talk with the commander, telling him a skill you’re most sufficient in, which determines which of the outposts you are sent to (East, North, South). So far I’ve only worked on the North Outpost quests, amounting to six so far. There’ll be more as time goes on, of course.

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The North Outpost

You might wonder, what are these Outposts? They are the primary quest hubs for advancing the main story and are spread to each of the four corners of Uspya. Each of the Outposts have a commander, a smith, a trainer and some soldiers stationed there. The blacksmiths each specialize in one kind of weapon/armor that they craft better than anyone else, but will only sell their best goods to those of higher rank or after completing some tasks for them. The trainers can help you gain some free experience points by completing their training tasks.

Deeper Character Creator – Homeland and backgrounds

A few posts ago, I wrote about the redesigned Character Creator. I’ve added two more tabs to it, allowing you to set your homeland and create a background for your character. Changing your homeland affects your stats, as each of them provides a +1 bonus to a specific statistic, as well as changing dialogue from time to time. EG people from Sedresh might not like a person coming from Usmor, or they might want to be their best friend and so forth. This can also affect trading to some degree. The background generator allows you to set your parents professions, your aspiration and your previous education. These settings determine what items, stats and money you start out the game with. EG; your father being a blacksmith starts you out with a iron sword.

backgroundgen

Work in progress.

Other changes/additions

  • Added a variety of cloaks to shield the wearer from rain and keep warm in cold environments.
  • Fixed various sprites and item icons.
  • Added magical wards, placeable by the player. Wards are temporary and stationary objects that attack enemies within range.
  • New types of plants and cooking ingredients.
  • Animated banners and flags to ripple in the wind.
  • Started work on some new enemy types
  • Added transition animation when sailing by boats.

That’s all for this week, thanks for reading!