RPGs are like a Bag of Holding

Arashi and Ket take a bag into a new map
Arashi and Ket take a bag into a new map

Yes, I made a description of RPGs using an RPG term.  And no, I didn’t get the title of the blog because of this screenshot… it totally wasn’t planned that way.

I am trying to limit the number of screenshots now because I’m still working on the first major area, which I’m sure all of you are getting sick of seeing.  I am in the middle of making new tile sets as Arashi explores the deep forest during the opening act so that it’s not just grass and trails, but I don’t want to give all my efforts away before anyone even plays the game!  The first screenshot above is the beginning of one of the new maps, the “Kasumi Crossroads”.  It’s just outside of the training camp that I had been taking screenshots of for the last… well since the project started.  It doesn’t look too different yet, but it will start showing hints of something a little more to the forest than originally imagined.  I have been working on the architectural style for Seikyo City, the game’s second major area and where the real game begins, while finishing up the map for Kasumi Forest.  As for the bag, Arashi was carrying it around from the previous map, and I just decided it would be a good place to drop it.

One other thing I failed to mention is I finally got around to programming stereo sound effects for the game, before I never even bothered so everything just came out of the authored channel.  It’s kind of neat effect hearing the crickets chirping in the forest to the west while you’re running by, and a wolf howl in the northeastern mountains.  Though most gamers take it for granted, I honestly never thought I’d be making a sound engine like this.

Arashi playing in the water
Arashi playing in the water, while Ket wonders why I haven't give him more animations

One of the major pain in the butt things I worked on this weekend which killed a lot of my time was polygonal collision areas.  In other words, collisions that aren’t tile-based, rectangles (like I showed in the previous blog entry with my level editor), or even circles (another fast way to detect collisions).  No, these are irregular shaped zones such as, in this screenshot, a shoreline by a river, that need to be smooth rather than staggered as tile-collisions often are.  It was infuriating and reminded me why I hate 3D programming so much… but the effect is there.  It took me awhile to polish up how Arashi reacts to hitting a diagonal wall, including keeping her animation from spazzing out too much, but after an entire weekend the whole system was implemented.

It has the additional bonus of letting me define special “floors” that aren’t necessarily obstacles, but as the screenshot demonstrates, when Arashi is walking on a shallow water zone, a water ripple at her feet is correctly displayed, rather than the typical shadow.  This feature has many other uses.

I was going to post another colorful forest screenshot I worked hard on, but like I said, I don’t want to ruin the game before anyone plays it.  Suffice to say, although I know most people aren’t anime fans anymore, I really want people to like the visuals of this game, so it won’t be the only area like that.

And finally, the title for my blog entry?  Well, just when I think I have everything taken care of, once I dig around I am always finding stuff I need to program or draw.  It really is a never-ending task to make an action RPG, especially one that isn’t just a hack and slash like this game.  Thankfully, the worst is over, everything else is just polish and user-friendly controls/graphics.

About Nightfox

A long-time independent game developer that was lucky(?) enough to have grown up with the gaming industry. I am a programmer, a game designer, a concept and pixel artist, a music composer, and a novelist. This has been my dream for as long as I can remember, and I am determined to take advantage of every talent I hope I have to make it happen!

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