Update #45 - Flora Assets, Tile Resizing, & Version Compatibility

Welcome! There was only one minor change this week:

  • Improved GameInfo.cs, particularly to how versioning functions.

Flora Assets

newFruitsFungiHerbs.png
  • Grass Tufts. Mostly everywhere. Visual effect.
  • Leaf Tufts. Below the Bonecap Mushrooms. Visual effect.
  • Bonecap Mushroom. Left-center. It will be used in brewing.
  • Midnight Melon. Bottom-center. It will be used in brewing.
  • Saint's Herb. Top-right corner. It will be used in brewing.

Tile Resizing

I realized that the previous tile size was... a bit too large. So, I decided to resize all of the current tile textures from 64x64 to 32x32. Though a short-term loss, this will provide longer-term benefits such as:

  1. Less time per tile. If we're comparing by total pixels, this means a 75% increase in speed.
  2. Less tiles needed. Curiously, I found that the total tiles I needed for the main map reduced from 220 tiles to 160. This is largely due to needing less grass tiles for dirt pathways.
  3. More precision in map creation.

Besides resizing, I improved the look of many textures immensely, as you can see in the picture and video.


Version Compatibility

Every time I would change a game object's constructor, I would have to go into the raw map file and manually add, remove, or shift variables around. If I didn't, that object wouldn't be loaded properly. This approach works okay for a couple of objects, but maps can easily get up to thousands of the same object (E.G, flora). To solve this, I've added "Version Compatibility". Here is a step-by-step process:

  1. Files such as map data and player saves have a "Meta" tag appended to it. Inside this tag is the current version of the game.
  2. When the file is loaded, if the "file version" does not match the "current version", then the data is upgraded through each version.

You may be thinking "what does this do for me?". For the player, this should allow him or her to continue playing on the current save file even after updating the game. If you've played Starbound, you may remember having to restart every time a new update came around. For map creators, it means you shouldn't have to manually change your map files after every update. Hooray for everyone!


If you have any ideas, constructive criticism, or just want to tell me how much you dislike my game, you can: Send me an email, tweet @TheShyyGuy, comment on the Facebook page, or respond in the comment section below.

Do you want to support this ambitious project? Here's what you can do:

  1. Become a Patron here!
  2. Tell your friends and family about Pilgrimage of Embers!
  3. Retweetrepost, and share the content that you like!

From Enckling, with love.
Shyy Guy

Update #44 - Weapons, Entity Improvements, & Object Interation Changes

Oh, welcome back. I hope your week was well. Here are the minor changes:

  • Reduced the total move types from twelve to ten.
  • Added the option for swing combos (works with every weapon move).
  • Re-implemented combat move queuing.
  • Changed how entities take damage from weapons (more functionality to individual weapons).
  • Changed how entity stamina is drained from weapons (less cluttered).
  • Added MotionBlur.cs, replacing the original sword motion blur. Cleaner, re-usable, faster.

Weapons

In Pilgrimage of Embers, weapons are animated dynamically to give each a unique moveset. There are limitations, but the upside is a diverse and flexible combat system. The video above shows the animations I completed this week. From start to end, they are:

  1. Tarnished Shortsword. Small damage, but quick.
  2. Palewood Rapier. Decent damage, and quick.
  3. Villagekeeper's Shield. Defensive, though can have offensive move.
  4. Stonestrike Halberd. Large damage, but slower with more telegraphing.
  5. Primitive Spear. Decent damage, but somewhat slow. Two-handed, though has defensive capabilities.

I should stress that the goat is temporary. It's just the best animation I have currently!


Entity Improvements

I made two bigger changes to entities this week, those being attributes and statistics.

Attributes are for items, skills, weapons, spells, etc. to set, adjust, or retrieve the value of. Examples:

  • The Defense skill sets the "SkillsPhysicalDefense" attribute to a specific value. Then, this value is retrieved when a sword hits the entity, reducing the damage taken.
  • The entity's equipment sets the "EquipmentWeight" attribute to the total weight of all equipped item. This is then retrieved by the entity for adjusting its speed.

Statistics are, for now, player-only. The player will be able to view his or her statistics in the options UI. There are five in so far, but will add plenty more as new ideas come up. These include total deaths, beings killed, embers collected, most embers held, and most embers lost.


Object Interation Changes

The visual changes can be summed in just by the picture. If the player is near an object that can be interacted with, an arrow will smoothly rise and fall over top of it and a particle ring will emit outward.

As for the "behind the scene", I reversed what class does what. Before, each individual object would check if an entity is nearby and activating an object (boolean). If it was, then it starts the interaction. In the case of a flower, this "interaction" means the flower gets picked and placed into the entity's inventory. However, this would not be friendly to multi-threading at all (planning for the future, here!). Now, the entity class will check for nearby usable objects, and if there is one, the indicator will appear and the player can interact.

Regardless if it's better for performance or not, it's a smarter way to structure the code.


If you have any ideas, constructive criticism, or just want to tell me how much you dislike my game, you can: Send me an email, tweet @TheShyyGuy, comment on the Facebook page, or respond in the comment section below.

Do you want to support this ambitious project? Here's what you can do:

  1. Become a Patron here!
  2. Tell your friends and family about Pilgrimage of Embers!
  3. Retweetrepost, and share the content that you like!

From Enckling, with love.
Shyy Guy

Update #43 - Map Design & Discord Improvements

  • Improved map loading speed.
  • Added a "wax seal" to the bottom right corner of each page (website).
  • New company logo.
  • Added a performance tweak to the Options UI. This allows the user to disable a percentage of non-essential "visual" objects (such as unpickable, unkillable flora) are visible.
  • A small tweak to the PercentageBar class, allowing tooltip descriptions.
  • Minor fixes to the Options UI.
  • Various improvements to a variety of GameObject classes.
  • Nearly completed a clock analzer (console window, very DIY).

Map Design

The temple is about 75%~ complete. Compared to the original level design, it was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. I had to downscale it a little bit, and it's still large. I'll add the roof in the next couple of days, and then see what is missing.

Artwork:

  • Improved temple door
  • Improved tall temple window
  • Twelve outer temple railing tiles
  • Eleven outer temple edge tiles
  • Various improvements to other temple tiles

Discord Improvements

I've been reviving the Discord server this week. Added channels, new roles, and even started work on a custom bot. Some of these features are Patron-only:

  • #polls channel for voting on various topics.
  • #suggestions channel.
  • #members channel. This requires a Friar-tier Patron.
  • #items channel. This is used by the custom bot.
  • EncklingBot, a custom bot. Get embers by sending messages, exchange embers for loot, then make use earned items (like dice, or user rolling). There's even a merchant.

I have plans to add much more content to the bot.


If you have any ideas, constructive criticism, or just want to tell me how much you dislike my game, you can: Send me an email, tweet @TheShyyGuy, comment on the Facebook page, or respond in the comment section below.

Do you want to support this ambitious project? Here's what you can do:

  1. Become a Patron here!
  2. Tell your friends and family about Pilgrimage of Embers!
  3. Retweetrepost, and share the content that you like!

From Enckling, with love.
Shyy Guy

Update #42 - Website Improvements & Map Design

Welcome back! I'll spare you the weekly introduction and jump right in. Here's the minor changes:

  • Fixed an issue with TileEditor changing tiles when clicking outside of game window.
  • Fixed a small depth bug, rendering the player invisible in the lower 20% of a map.
  • Added in option for AnimatedObject to have shadows.
  • Added CandleSmoke.cs particle emitter.
  • Added "WindMultiplier" variable to WavyFlora.
  • Improved item retrieval performance.
  • Abolished Arisonte Tokens. The new currency is embers.
  • Item data loaded will no longer be out of bounds of the current minimum/maximum range.
  • Artwork: Eight bone variants, three candle animations.

Website Improvements

As you've likely noticed, I updated the website background from the flat parchment paper to a more vibrant parchment style. I've also:

  • Added a Characters page. I''ve listed most of the PoE characters here with a short description.
  • Added a Vocabulary page. A list of game-specific vocabulary.
  • Added a "Timeline" section to the Story page.
  • Tweaked descriptions for "Races & Factions" & page.

You can see a list of the other pages here.


Map Design

I've spent a lot of time this week working on the main temple map. Rather than talking about it, I'll show you!

These are most of the completed areas. The others have the basics done (cliffs, grass, dirt), but lack the flora and trees that make it really pop. You can click on each one to expand it.


If you have any ideas, constructive criticism, or just want to tell me how much you dislike my game, you can: Send me an email, tweet @TheShyyGuy, comment on the Facebook page, or respond in the comment section below.

Do you want to support this ambitious project? Here's what you can do:

  1. Become a Patron here!
  2. Tell your friends and family about Pilgrimage of Embers!
  3. Retweetrepost, and share the content that you like!

From Enckling, with love.
Shyy Guy

Update #41 - Water Flora & Game Feels

Oh, welcome back.

  • Fixed a game-breaking issue with irregular map sizes.
  • Fixed issues with weather not unloading on map change.
  • Improved object list iteration logic performance.
  • Improved 2D SFX positioning logic performance.
  • Improved depth logic performance.
  • Minor improvements to WavyFlora performance.
  • Minor improvements to weather and wind map data.
  • Added three new settings to the Display tab: Camera Shake Multiplier, Hide HUD, Use Widescreen.
  • Fixed a minor issue when loading volume variables.

Water Flora

Currently, there are two types of water flora drawn:

  • Lily pads (twelve variants)
  • Lotuses (nine variants)

Water flora features:

  • Dynamic animation. Just like regular flora is moved by the wind, water flora gradually bobs above the water surface.
  • Harvesting. Water flora can be picked just like regular flora.
  • Entity Interaction. When swimming through the flora, they will gradually be pushed aside and move back when the entity is no longer there.

Game Feel Improvements

This week, I coded in some minor game feel improvements. A widescreen effect, which displays two black bars on both vertical ends of the screen. Camera shake, which will be used for various actions such as hitting a monster or when taking fall damage. Lastly, the HUD can now fade out completely (arguably related to "game feel"). As stated in the minor changes, these three improvements needed some additional options.

  • I wasn't entirely certain if some people hate widescreen effects, so I added in the option to disable it anyway. Default is enabled, and will typically only be triggered during cinematic scenes.
  • For accessibility, camera shake can be reduced or turned off completely. If you still want the effect but it's too powerful, you can set it to 5%, 10%, 20%, etc.
  • An option to turn off the HUD completely. Default is disabled.

I'm currently putting together the first alpha map, which I'm hopeful will be completed before the next weekly update.

If you have any ideas, constructive criticism, or just want to tell me how much you dislike my game, you can: Send me an email, tweet @TheShyyGuy, comment on the Facebook page, or respond in the comment section below.

Do you want to support this ambitious project? Here's what you can do:

  1. Become a Patron here!
  2. Tell your friends and family about Pilgrimage of Embers!
  3. Retweet, repost, and share the content that you like!

From Enckling, with love.
Shyy Guy