I thought of a clean and efficient way to allow each page of a menu to be configurable by files... and to move around and create and edit the menu elements from within the game itself while it is running. Nothing that hasn't been done before by other programs in the past, but I realized how I can leverage some of what I already wrote in ways I hadn't thought of with a bit of extra work (prior to this, I was just going to hard-code the menus, with only minor maneuverability from config files).
Right now I'm still working on it, and there's still alot to be done, but here's some screenshots of the first piece working:
Drag and drop: (completely functional)
Positioning by percentages from the left or right of the window: (~80% done)
Editing object properties and changes being reflected in the object: (60-70% done - 4 days more work, maybe)
Eventually all the menu buttons (and hopefully the in-game GUI) will be work the same way, but I haven't re-implemented those, because I'm still fine-tuning the base class and property editing windows.
I wrote down on paper a couple side-quests that came to me while, uh, err.... walking around in circles in the kitchen for three or four hours, waving my hands around in jerky movements.
Sometimes, when guests are over at the house, or visitors are staying with us for a few days, they catch me at it and get really confused. After I've been walking around for twenty or thirty minutes they suddenly notice it and look up in surprise, asking what I'm doing. One asked if it's autism or something.
Pacing really helps me think, and pacing in circles is nice because it doesn't require conscious thought to move if I don't have to maneuver around obstacles, giving me full mental power (all 5 kilowatts of it) to think, daydream, and explore creative ideas at the fullest.
Going for walks outside is nice too, but I have to focus more on what's around me. Plus, I can walk for an hour and a half before I get tired, because it's 'exercise'. I can walk non-stop in the kitchen for 5 or more hours without feeling any physical difference.
But you don't read my blog to find out about my eccentricities - that's just an added bonus. Onto concept art!
This is the Right-hand man of the young king. He's very loyal to 'his majesty', and an excellent swordsman. You, as a member of the non-government controlled but government-allied organization known as 'guardians' run into him alot during the game. He helps you on a number of missions, as you help bring law and order to otherwise chaotic situations that arise.
He was in the government military (the 'Guards' branch, explained below) with you the player, and eventually rose to prominence as a favorite of the king. You meanwhile, left the military, having been recruited by the Guardians. Since you know each other from your younger days in training, you are on friendly terms with each other and are very open with each other with concerns about the events occurring during the game.
This favorite of the king is, aside from the king, the most powerful person in the nation, since he speaks with the authority of the king. Even the Head Ranger and Head Guard take orders from him, though the Guardians which you belong to, don't take orders from the government.
None of my characters have names yet... names are very important to me, so it always takes alot of time for me to figure them out. (Hence the entire game still being nameless and simply called 'AdventureFar' as a placeholder). So this character, in the multiple locations he comes up at in the plot, is just referred to KRHM (King's right-hand man).
There are two main branches of the military in the government. The 'Rangers' and the 'Guards'*. The Guards are the primary military force, securing and upholding the law in cities and towns. Since the nation is land-locked from other nations due to the terrain, they don't really have an army. 'Guards' can be thought of more as policemen.
If 'Guards' are policemen, then the 'Rangers' are the highway patrol. Rangers patrol the main highways and keep them clear of monsters, as well as carry government messages back and forth, and escort merchant caravans or groups of travelers from town to town. They also have small presences in towns and cities as outposts to rest in at the beginning and ends of their patrols.
Not to be confused with the guard[color=#A52A2A]ians[/color] which you are apart of.
While the nation goes into deeper and deeper confusion and chaos, and as monster attacks increase and even the Rangers are getting pushed off the highways unless in large numbers, the criminal elements of the nation are thinking up ways to take advantage of the situations to line their pockets with the bloodied gold of the dead and dying. (As a guardian, you'll have plenty of opportunities in the game to choose what punishments to hand out to such criminals (or suspected criminals) who have been captured by yourself or the government)
There are many highway robbers, thieves, and bandits of all sorts - but while organized in the casual way of crime, it's not a cohesive organization. The bandit leader in the picture above is the head of a small group of about twenty ruffians, who have the audacity to hijack a merchant vessel that just arrived at the only major port town of the nation, and attempt to sail it away. Unfortunately for them, the original captain of the ship damages it in such a way that they don't get far from shore and have to dock at a small fishing village only a dozen miles south. Trapped and cornered, the bandits have the crew under the knife, and a hostage situation rapidly develops.
Guess who gets to go 'resolve' it? And guess what you're favorite instrument of negotiation is?
In all seriousness, your choices determine the outcome (at least partially) of the situation, and directly effect how many hostages and bandits survive or are killed, as well as the punishment for the bandits.
But you're not alone in this situation, having not only the King's Right Hand Man with you, but also the force of the government, with a handful of Guards and Rangers who came from the nearest fortified city and arrived there before you,
Seeing that the bandits are unarmored and have an assorted collection of knives and swords hoping for a quick getaway and having no intention or desire to go one on with with soldiers, while you and the guards are fully equipped in armor and trained for combat, and the rangers have bows and arrows and leather vests, this shouldn't be too much trouble.
I've started writing Act 2 of the probably four acts. My brother who was co-writing it had to back out (whether permanently or temporarily, I don't know yet), but I've come up with (while pacing in circles ) some great scenes for the game that really carry some weight to them, so I'm excited to jump back into it.
As mentioned in a prior post back in January, Act 1 is entirely completed at a macro level, but not at a micro line-for-line level. At a macro level, I expect Act 1 to take 6 hours of gameplay. At the very largest most general level, the entire game is figured out, but that's just a paragraph's framework, not detailed at all, so on it's own it's worthless.
I'm kinda torn about Act 2, because Act 2 begins with a bang and I wanted it to end with a bang which marks a major turning point in the game... but Act 2 looks like it'll burst with the amount of content I'm wanting (in my head, not on paper) to cram in it, so the major turning point must be pushed back into the first half of Act 3... which apparently is what I was planning anyway (?!), looking over my past notes. My subconscious is two months ahead of me.
But I'm talking in vagaries, and knowing how annoying that is I'll shut up about the plot and get back to posting pretty pictures next week until I have something more solid to share.