Fishing, Sprites & Release Plans

This week I worked mostly on the visual aspects of Tales, improving sprites and drawing promotional art. Sorry about the delayed posting date, sometimes it happens. Oh well, let’s get into it!

New Character Sprites (AGAIN!)

For the fourth time, the character sprites have changed. This time not as drastic as the first three though. This time I added shading and polished the animations, removing strange artifacts and making them seem a little more natural. Oh, and they also have eyes now. Previously  they did not have eyes because of the theme, “you’re just another person” and not having eyes made the characters seem more like they were all the same. But now they have eyes, which makes it easier to give their faces more expression like surprised, angry, happy and so forth. Skjermbilde 2017-04-09 15.15.11.png

Itch.io and release schedule

Because of Valve’s recent announcement of removing Steam Greenlight and the new pricing model still being uncertain, the plan is currently to release Tales of Astya over at Itch.io instead. I spent a little time refreshing my pages, even the one for Color Tunnel, and you can see it by clicking here. There are currently no files uploaded, I’ll get to that shortly.

I’d like to talk a little about the release schedule I’m imagining for Tales. First up is releasing the base game, with the Uspya region fully done. After the initial release, I intend to spend some time fixing bugs that show up or are reported. After most of the bugs are smashed, the plan is to release yet another region as a free content pack, then iron out most of the bugs in the following month. This is how I intend to release all the regions in the time after initial launch. The extra content will hopefully be much faster to develop, since most of the base systems are already in place and most that needs to be done is writing quests and creating new art assets. I don’t want to predict how long each of the packs will take, but I’m looking  at around 4-5 months for each of them. Time will show. Progress will obviously be shared on this blog as it unfolds.

Fishing

Another addition this week is the fishing system. This is something I’ve wanted to add for a while now, but never really got around to doing. But here it is. It’s very simple at the moment and I haven’t got around to making animations for it just yet, but they should be implemented sometime this week.

fishing.gif

Early prototype captured in the testing map. This was made before the new sprites were implemented.

The system is similar to how it works in World of Warcraft, where you walk up to a school of fish and press the action key. In order to catch the fish you got to press the Reel button when you hear and see a splash. Each school can hold up to three different kinds of fish and other random trash, even a treasure chest (chances are very slim). You can then take your newly caught fish and bring it to either a stove or a campfire to cook it, or sell it to a fish monger if you need some money. Currently there are five different kinds of fish you can catch, with more planned for later expansions.

Other changes/additions

  • Increased base resolution from 960×540 to 1920×1080, due to text being blurred when scaling up. Now it looks super crisp and nice, also with more items shown in interfaces with lists in them.
  • Redid all graphics for interfaces, including buttons, frames, icons and more to have  more detail in them, but still having a clean feel to it.
  • Made a proper version of the world map. Now it looks like this. It’s also shown on the loading screen when starting the game.worldMapBorder.png
  • Cities and towns now have their own loading screen images, showing how the location looks while waiting for it to load (doesn’t take long, usually only 1-2 seconds)
    • Certain maps are loaded and unloaded when needed to prevent performance from being bogged down. When entering a location with interior maps, those maps are being loaded.
  • Fixed more issues related to Z depth rendering.
  • Finished cooking, brewing and alchemy interfaces.
  • Replaced more of the trees from 3D to 2D.
  • Fixed up a lot of interior maps (houses, shops, dungeons etc)

That’s all for this week, hope you enjoyed. See you again in the next one! Oh, and lastly I wanna post some GIFs I made for a podcast I listen to, Rad Crew. Enjoy!

One year anniversary!

Woah! This website/blog is now one year old, and still receiving new posts (almost) every week. Gotta brew some extra strong coffee to celebrate! Now that the formalities are out of the way, let’s get into this weeks post. Some interesting stuff this week, including new art assets for trees, new mechanics, interface tweaks, a new minigame and bug fixes! Without further ado, let’s go.

New gathering mechanics

Resources found on the ground, like mushrooms, flowers and wheat have received a small revamp. If you have the correct tools, various collectibles will yield more of their resource. Using a garden knife to cut flowers or a mushroom knife to cut mushrooms yields 2-4 more of that resource. Wheat and grain gathering is now more engaging, as you have to cut it yourself using any sharp weapon or farming tools such as a scythe or sickle. It also bends out of your way when walking through it, adding even more satisfaction.

gatherWheat

Using a sickle to harvest some wheat.

New tree sprites

When I first started this project, I made the trees using the program MagicaVoxel to easily create 3D trees that fit the pixelated style. And to be fair, they were ugly blobs of random shades of green and a brown trunk. I spent a few hours drawing some new trees in 2D instead, with separate material colors for Trunk and Leaves to be able to reuse the same sprites everywhere with color modifications. They’re also animated, which the old trees were not giving much more life to the maps.

windTrees

Bribing Minigame

Previously if a bribe was attempted, it would only give have to choices with a preset sum of money based on your Cunning stat. If it was greater than the set value, it’d cost less and vice versa. With this new system however, players have more influence over the final sum of gold to hand over. It’s still based on your Cunning stat, as well as the Targets Cunning stat. The target becomes more and more annoyed by the players attempts to bribe it, and if the annoyance bar is filled completely the bribe is a failure and you must deal with the consequences. Weather can also play a role in how quickly a Target is annoyed. Who would like to stand in the rain with a random person trying to give you too little money to get in somewhere? This feature is still in early development and should be done sometime next week! Then it’s all about replacing the old bribes with the new one, should be fun. Here’s a screenshot of what it currently looks like.

Skjermbilde 2017-03-14 22.06.14

Better interface highlighting

One problem that I never thought much about before was that interfaces were pretty badly highlighted, at least when it came to changing categories in your inventory, quest journal and so on. I’ve now made it so your current category is highlighted in various shades of green to show the “layer” you are currently on. Top level (pause menu category, options etc.) is a little bit lighter than the colors signaling your selected  sub-category.

selectionHighlight

Other changes/additions

  • Added time of day preview to character creator to preview how your character will look under different lighting conditions.
  • Changed colors for clothing in character creator to better fit the palette.
  • Added Input tab to options, allowing you to specify what input mode to use(Xbox, PS4, Keyboard) and other settings related to controlling your character.
  • Fixed some issues with tiles showing even if screen is faded out.
  • Started work on new water tiles with proper animations.
    • Directional flow of rivers
    • Ocean waves
  • Improvements to ambient sounds.
  • Almost completed wizard tower.
    • Added magic school trainers that will teach you how to cast various spells.
  • Various tyops fixed.
  • Started refreshing of older tiles to be more consistent.
  • Animals have been seen running into fire when being chased by the player. They will soon learn not to do this.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading!