Well hello there!
Welcome to this week's Weekly Update!
First, let's get something out of the way right now... I've talked about some kind of demo by the end of February, and unfortunately, it won't be possible. There's still a bunch of critical optimizations to be done before a demo can be made. I know there might be some of you that really wanted to try this game at once, but I guess my estimations weren't as exact as I thought... However, I really want this demo to be launched as soon as possible. Right now I'm aiming by probable end of March if not later, but I'll probably am going to keep you updated on that.
But anyway, let's get right to the updates! Aside from many optimizations and refactoring, there are two new features: one is a bit more aesthetic and the other is more gameplay-specific.
First, let's talk about visual effects. Beforehand, there weren't any VFX at all (some actions did, however, induce effects like blinking, but those doesn't really count).
Visual effects have a great role in UX in general. People usually like it when a lot of feedback is given when taking an action. This way it encourages the player to interact with the game, making the latter more immersive as a result.
In particular, hitting, parrying and guarding didn't really shown any type of feedback what-so-ever, giving the impression that those actions didn't really exist in the first place.
So to fix this I've decided to add some fancy particle systems that create nice visual effects for each of these specific actions.
Let's take a look, shall we?
(Keep in mind that these effects are subject to change)
This is a quite simple effect that is being played when an attack successfully lands on an enemy. Right now it's a simple burst effect with circle particles.
Their red-ish tint is also reminiscent of blood, strength and courage which are all feelings related to attacks in general.
Its size depends on the amount of damage given.
This one is quite fancy.
It's supposed to mimic an impact flair. Its blue tint is also to represent metals hitting each other, as well as reinforcing the guarding by invoking ideas of trust and efficiency.
(these circle particles are placeholders as of right now)
This one is one of my favourites.
It's supposed to represent some kind of burst, like if two opposing forces collided and released a bunch of energy altogether.
The spiral movement is also supposed to invoke a sense of choreography, reinforcing the idea that the move was calculated and planned from the beginning.
Its yellow colour also indicates a sense of pride and joy, but in another way, it also can induce anxiety and/or depression on the receiving end.
That's about it for VFX. I'm also constantly working on these to get them just right.
But let's take a look at these in action:
Finally, I've also added Fruit trees.
These special props act as a food source. They could be found in any room and can sometimes bare some fruits.
The player can easily eat some of these fruits for a temporary stat boost.
Each tree can have many fruits spawner. After a fruit was eaten, another one grows back onto the tree after a while.
That is if those fruits spawners didn't reach their regrowth limit, though. This means that players have to be wise about their fruit play.
Here's a list of all fruit trees currently implemented in the game
This is a standard banana plant. It usually spawns in tropical/rainforest levels and whatnot.
As the name suggests it can have bananas on it.
A more standard tree, this one is all about that lime stuff.
It is slightly smaller than banana plants, and although it's supposed to be a tree some concession had to be made in order for the fruits to be reachable.
That's it for plants for now...
If you're interested in fruits and how they work I suggest you take a look at my previous blog entry.
We're still doing those refactorings, optimizations and whatnot. I would say that this was by far the things that took most of the development time.
Cut a lot of duplicated shader code into their own .cginc files.
- This means cleaner code and smaller shaders overall.
- Refactored the code to remove a lot of duplicated code
- Cut a lot of duplicated shader code into their own .cginc files.
Added hit positions to damage events.
- Really useful to place those new visual effects
- Fixed bugs with sounds and food items
Changed how diners menu works.
- Now they also use food spawner
- Fixed grass strain particles so that they also have a velvet finish to them
While the demo isn't going to launch this month, I'm still trying to get things done for an eventual demo.
It's a lot of work to look at all those bits of code and think of other more optimized ways to achieve the same goals. It takes time and sometimes doesn't yield anything at all...
So this means more tinkering, balancing, adjustments, optimizations and refactors...
Aside from that, it's the usual suspects.