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Hey everyone,

There won’t be an SAS update this week because we got absolutely nothing done on the game. We’re kind of swamped with work as the crushing (not really that crushing) reality of school/work settles back in. I’m not exactly sure what we’ll do just yet, but obviously we’ll let you all know!

Stay tuned for more exciting school drama.

Chris

Still Alive Saturday #30: Slow Down

Hey everyone!

This week, and probably future weeks for the foreseeable future, is going to be fairly small in terms of progress. We’re all crazy busy with our respective schools/works, so any work on the game that we can actually get done is a blessing. Anyway, on to what we actually accomplished.

This week, our goal was to do a whole smattering of things, most of which weren’t even looked at. However, I was able to put some serious work into altering the player movement speeds. We’d been feeling for a while now that the player’s movement was too fast and too jerky. I took the time to slow things down and give things a bit more weight. It makes combat feel better and makes movement more strategic instead of hectic.

We also did some work on the Hardhead, implementing its attack. The Hardhead isn’t even close to done, but it is coming along and I’m looking forward to showing it off.

That’s all for this week! Next week, time permitting, will probably have a bit of an emphasis on design/re-factoring. Probably a little less exciting to hear about, but it needs to be done! See you soon,

Chris

Schooled

Hey everyone!

This is just a short update to let you know that the Still Alive Saturday update this week is cancelled on account of general business. School started up this week, leaving me a little overwhelmed with non-game work to do. I’m hoping that now that the first week is over, things will calm down enough to allow us to make at least a little bit of progress each week.

See you all soon,

Chris

Still Alive Saturday #29: This is Hard

Hey everyone!

This week we focused on making improvements to the crew ai (getting tired of hearing that yet?), world building and starting work on a new enemy.

 

Crew AI

The work done on the crew ai this week was mostly working towards making the crew members more stable when travelling around the world. There’s a ton of work to do before I’m comfortable moving on from it, and work is slow (and tiring), but it’s definitely seeing progress. They’re becoming less and less likely to fail a path. I don’t expect this to be done by next week, but it’s coming along.

 

World Building

Our goal with Tomorrow’s Horizon is to create an incredibly rich, detailed and immersive world. To do this, we need to spend a lot of time fleshing out the history, geography, etc. We spent some time this week figuring some of those details out, and what we’ve come up with is pretty exciting. I’m happy to be able to say that the work we’re doing here will directly impact gameplay as well, instead of just being flavour text.

 

The Hardhead

The Hardhead (name pending as always) is the next big enemy that we’ll be focusing on. It’s face is covered in thick plating that prevents you from hurting it from the front. The player will have to employ creative dodging and jumping in order to manoeuvre behind the beast and slice at its backside.

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Although seen outside here, the Hardhead is native to dark, wet caves where its presence in the claustrophobic tunnels is a threat to be seriously reckoned with.

 

That’s all for this week! Check back next Saturday for pathfinding progress, more work on the Hardhead, and a cacophony of other additions and improvements! See you then.

Chris

Still Alive Saturday #28: Do I Dare?

Hey everyone!

This will be a simple update, as the Ludum Dare begins this evening and I will most definitely be taking part. If you’re interested in what I’ll be working on this weekend, be sure to follow along on Twitter. I’ll be tweeting my progress semi-regularly as the weekend progresses.

As for what we got done this week:

1. We finally sat down and had our sound design discussion. We settled on a direction, as well as musical inspirations, and made a couple sounds to start things off. We now have a functional footstep sound engine (TM) and some sand/cave sounds to match. Now that we’re getting into sound, expect some actual video footage coming in the near-ish future.

2. We finished the first Quetzan variant. Following typical bird fashion, male Quetzan are colourful and vibrant, and female Quetzan are more desaturated and basic in colour scheming.

 

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3. I wrote a batch file to allow for easier adding of new character skins into the game. This will hopefully reduce a half-hour task to around 5-10 minutes. This makes for a happy Chris, believe me.

4. I made progress in developing the new pathfinding engine. AI can now navigate over gaps, which makes them about 100% more useful than before. They’re still squirrelly and buggy, but progress is being made and I am glad.

 

That’s all for this week! Expect more progress on pathfinding next week, as well as some new sounds and (I’ll say this again) potentially a new enemy. See you soon!

Chris

Still Alive Saturday #27: Bits and Pieces

Hey everyone!

 

This week was a bit of a miscellaneous task week. We spent the first two days completely and utterly engrossed by the Full Indie Summit here in Vancouver. It was a great experience and gave us quite a deal of insight into some aspects of game design and development that we hadn’t thought of before.

Beyond that, we took some time to finish up/implement a couple features that had been waiting at the sidelines for a while. Justin completed the ocean island icons for the map interface and began work on the first variant of the Quetzan. This is an important milestone for us because it will mark the inclusion of all 3 playable races into the game, at last.

I spent the week looking into re-designing the pathfinding system, primarily. Pathfinding is a complicated beast, especially in the non tile-based platformer environment that we’re working in. It’s been a struggle for me to learn, comprehend and expand on the limited resources out there for an environment like this, and so the first run of the system that I created has some flaws.

The major flaw is that I designed the algorithm to work in a grid. This works in a top-down pathfinding environment where every tile is either walkable or not walkable, but in an environment with gravity and open air, the pathfinding algorithm needs to be run on more of a general graph.

What I mean by this is that the walkable ground should be linked not based on adjacency in the grid, but based on connections created by edge detection, fall lines and jump lines. This means that the algorithm can pathfind across gaps that are as wide as I specify, allowing the ai to know when it has to jump to reach its destination.

I’m going to be spending this week largely attempting to implement it. It’s going to take some time, but hopefully I’ll be able to make a sizeable dent in it.

 

That’s all for this week! Check back next Saturday for some word on sound design, as well as (with a little luck) a new enemy!

Chris

The Pinnacle of Laziness

Hey everyone!

There won’t be a SAS update this week on account of a couple things:

 

1. Justin returned from his vacation halfway through the week.

2. Chris is a lazy piece of garbage.

3. The Full Indie Summit in Vancouver is happening this weekend.

 

We’ve decided to officially take this week off. Progress will resume in full force next week. In addition, if anyone is going the Full Indie Summit, be sure to look out for us! I’m the scrawny white kid with glasses and Justin is the muscular Chinese guy with glasses. We’d love to say hi!

 

See you all next week,

Chris