Happy new year everybody! It's time for Towards The Pantheon's 15th devlog. You can find previous ones at http://www.towardsthepantheon.com/index.php/development-history/.
Let's start with pixel art. Leandro has released a couple new Youtube videos showing the creation of our snow area, snow enemies, and cat portraits!
In my previous devlog I talked about how I planned to livestream a lot more throughout 2017. So far I have streamed every day since the new year, and now have a rough outline of a streaming schedule. Starting sometime around 10 AM PST on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, I plan to livestream development of the game including programming and level design in GameMaker: Studio. Around 10 AM PST on Wednesdays I plan to livestream some casual gaming and speedrunning, and during the weekend I might livestream randomly when I want to. For the casual gaming streams I will be playing games that influence Towards The Pantheon so I can chat about their game design aspects, and will also be playing new games and old games that I've never had the chance to play. Leandro is in a different time zone than me but he plans to livestream alongside me when he's available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, as well as possible weekend streams. Be sure to follow me on Twitch (http://www.twitch.tv/connorort) to get updates as to when I go live, and follow my and Towards The Pantheon's social media accounts as I also post when I'm about to start a stream.
While I got some work done throughout December, I didn't get quite as much done as usual due to the holidays. However I've been working hard since the start of the year, and have got the cards and combos systems working. Note that the screenshots I'm showing contain placeholder art and UI design. In Towards The Pantheon you can find cards that contain powers and combos that allow you to use those powers (if you have the cards needed). For example if you need to heal during a battle and Bam (who's primarily a healer) has fainted and you've run out of health items, you can use a combo to cast a special healing spell if you have the right cards.
Each card also has a bit of backstory and lore attached to it, so these cards and combos serve as collectibles, as battle attacks/spells, and as parts of the story telling. Those of you who have played the Harry Potter Gameboy Color RPGs will be very familiar with this gameplay aspect.
I also started and finishing all of the Speedster programming during some of the livestreams. The Speedster mechanic is similar to Funky in Donkey Kong Country, the cauldrons in Banjo Kazooie, or the fly mechanic in early Pokemon games. you can pay a Speedster coin to a Speedster to unlock his services and after doing that, you are able to use the Speedsters to travel back and forth to any previously unlocked areas of the game. This significantly decreases the amount of time spent backtracking which is important as there are lots of hidden goodies throughout the game to find!
The Towards The Pantheon twitter page hit over 300 followers just as the New Year struck. We're also gaining followers on all of our other social media pages (like Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, etc) and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been supportive of the game! We're working very hard to deliver a great new RPG for you. Please keep spreading the word around about the game, we appreciate it!
In my development notes I have the game divided up into 4.5 "chapters" and I am nearing the completion of the 1st chapter. There will be actual chapters in the game (similar to Paper Mario) but they may not be divided up the same way I have the development of the game divided up. Each chapter should prove easier to finish than the last as previously completed programming carries over, and what is left to complete is mostly level design and testing. On the other hand, each chapter is larger than the previous as far as length/scope goes, so it's hard to use this as a measurement of how quick development is going. Either way, I feel development is going great, and am looking forward to finishing up "chapter 1" and sending it to the other guys on the team!
For those interested in the soundtrack, I have decided to put off work on the soundtrack (and sound effects) for as long as possible. Ideally, I will finish the vast majority of the game before going beginning audio work again. This way I have all the gameplay and visuals I need to ensure the music fits what the player sees and experiences. That means I will most likely not be updating the soundtrack playlist for quite some time, but also means that it will be fun to livestream a ton of soundtrack work further down the line. Those who are interested in the creation of the soundtrack will be able to tune in regularly and watch the progress in real time.
That's it for this week's devlog! If you enjoyed it please share it around and follow the project on social media, and if there are any topics about the game and its development that you'd like us to cover in a future devlog be sure to let us know!
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