As heatwave rips through Australia for the next few days there isn’t really much I can do but blog on a laptop.
It feels more like a Heat Tsunami. But Elise says that’s just confusing. Also, just googled it, and it is a term!
I’ve been keeping pretty busy lately despite all the fun awesome things to be had over the holidays. I’ve also been a little sick with a really annoying cold, and only just getting over it. So progress on our new game has been a little slow, but still very fruitful.
I think I’ll keep to the subtitling format because it just makes things so much easier to explain without creating mega-lo-blogs (like a Megalodon, just in blog form).
So here’s what’s been happening!
New Years Resolution!
As part of my new years resolution this year, I’m going to spend a bit more time drawing, and art in general.
Since I’ve had my head buried in books for the last few years and learning everything I can about every necessary to make a living as Indie Game Developer, I’ve kind of neglected the skills that really kind of started it all.
So expect some drawings to come!
Our Next Game
Our next game is moving along well, but slowly. With all the madness and fun-times recently, there have also been a number of technical advancements we’ve had to research and integrate. Plus the Heat Tsunamis don’t help.
It has been quite challenging, with a lot of new things to learn and existing systems being revised. We probably could of made more progress going a little simpler.
But in order for us to get to the games we really really want to get, we have to throw ourselves in a little deeper on this one. This one has been quite the hurdle but it’s only the initial hurdle to doing bigger and better things!
Elise has been working when she can to create some new props to be used in the level. She’s had a pretty busy schedule lately which has been difficult to make leaps in progress with the art. With the crazy weather we’ve been having it is also making it even more difficult.
I’ve been modelling, rigging and making some new animations for some of the new characters. They’re in the same style as The Very Organized Thief owner, except we’ve been trying to make them a little less scary looking.
We’ve also been using articy:draft (from Steam) to plot out the flow of our game. It’s probably one of the most useful things you can get for yourself as a game designer, especially for working out flows. Whether it be dialogue, game events, or even story. It just makes it so much easier. Writing things like that into a monolith document, really doesn’t help with clarity sometimes. We highly recommend it.
Working with Red
The Red Framework has a significant overhaul during the start of the project. Mostly to help standardise the workflow and iron out some issues.
I’ve been refining Red AI (our AI system) to be a little more easy to use. Also fixing some limitations which we encountered in The Very Organized Thief. Still some work to be done but it has had some major improvements.
I also recently bought Reactor AI from the Unity Store, which is a system for AI Behaviour Trees. I’ve been using it as an extension to RedAI. I had already partially built an Behaviour Tree system for Red AI but it had no tools to make it easier to work with. Reactor does! Making my life a little bit easier and giving me a great opportunity to work more with Behaviour Trees!
With those changes Red AI is now a hybrid AI system which uses a combination of two different types of AI systems, which is State Driven, and Behaviour Tree Driven. Allowing us to define States which can either be coded specifically for more control or use behaviours trees. For what we have planned in future games, it’s the most robust solution which will allows to build complex AI much more rapidly.
Red also has a Dialogue system, which was originally called DKit. But more about that system another blog post : P
The Very Organized Thief
I have been working on The Very Organised Thief a little here and there. Nothing major that a new version needs to be built and uploaded. But Elise and I have been talking about what we want to add to it.
With Australia Day coming up, and having the ability to have Seasonal related content. We thought it might be fun to have an Australia Day update. We’ll also been talking about doing Valentines Day update as well!
If things go well this week we should be releasing an Australia Day version!
Elise and I have been spending a lot of time discussion how we’re going to do it. And we’re still kind of holding off on jumping on it too soon.
We do know that if we do, our primary goal will be to get Elise a Maya LT license. Many alternative solutions we’ve looked at have only proved to be more frustrating, buggy and requiring us to do more work when bringing them in Maya (the one on my computer). Many of which I’ve written MEL Scripts to counter, but still leaves some additional rework.
If she gets a Maya LT license, it’ll be a much more familiar environment for both of us and things will hopefully require less rework. And less spontaneous bug crashes and poorly translated interfaces…
We’ll see what happens in the next few days and or weeks, but we plan to do it soon!
I’ve been making an effort this year to play more games.
I’ve recently been playing Castlestorm and Okami-den on the DS. I’m also still playing Final Fantasy VII… so good!
Castlestorm was an unexpected surprise. A little juggle-y at times considering all the things you can do. But it’s satisfying to play, really fun, and looks fantastic. The game is casual and feels like it would be easier to play on some kind of touch interface, but despite that it’s still very fun. Give it a go if you get the chance.
Okami-den. If you’re a fan of the original Okami game, you’ll love this one. I’m a little ashamed that I only just started playing it recently, since I it was originally given to me for Christmas … in 2012 … it’s been a busy year v_v”. Despite it feeling like it’s missing a little detail, it holds true to the art style and gameplay. If you have a DS or you have it, and haven’t played it. Play it! Takes a little to get into but it’ll eventually suck you in completely!
And that’s what I’ve been up to lately. That and melting into things.
CURSE YOU HEAT TSUNAMI!!