Devblog Update #12

So I meant to post an update back in October but life just got away from me. That said, here’s how things have been going and what we’ve been up to since then.

Tilesets and Map Art
Art rework is taking longer than I thought, but progress has ramped up hard once more the end is in sight. I’m elated to say that all of the interiors have now been redone! There will be more time put into finer details and common house items to help these maps feel like homes and to really show off the personalities of the people who live in them. I’m also about halfway through the exterior map parts, so the rest of the city should be finished very soon! I took a bit of an extended holiday break from my day job, so I’ll have a lot of extra time to focus on art and animation work right around the end of the year.

A lot has been added to the core engine since we last posted. We now have party select in place, which will let you manage how many units you take into battle and who they are. The active party has a max of 8, so any new allies will have to get swapped in if you want to use them (and the party is already full). There are also some required party members on occasion, so the blue star denotes when someone cannot be removed.

We also now have the frameworks in place for the Progress and Settings menus. Most of the Progress code is in place but there are a few tweaks we’ll make later on to polish it up. The Settings menu hasn’t been hooked into all of its relevant code yet, but you can see what options there are (which may change).

Most recently, Justin Mollenauer spent most of November refactoring the code that controls combat and combat interactions, splitting them into component scripts that will help us develop new features with less hassle in the future. An added benefit of this rework is that we’ve changed how combat interaction calculations are made, which let us implement a new feature that many of the alpha testers have asked for: skipping combat animations and dialogue! I won’t show it off just yet because it still needs some polish and fine-tuning, but we’ll be adding a Speed Mode to combat where you can turn off interactions entirely if you want. All of the damage, effects, death, loot, and level ups will still happen, just behind the scenes. This will be particularly useful when players want to get some quick farming in or end up needing to really speed through a random encounter.

We’re currently working on how to handle abilities that can target multiple units. Justin already has the core of this working and sent me a screenshot for a quick battle test. Once we do a big code merge and polish this up some more, I’ll show some versions much closer to real game scenarios.

Andrew has been working on some new music in a few spots of the game where we didn’t have music before. First and foremost is the Prologue battle, which is a quick tutorial fight against a single boar enemy in the forest near Pell. Those events lead directly into the beginning of the game, but that little bit of combat needed a fitting bit of music. We’ll be fleshing that theme out some more and plan to use it later in the game as well. He’s also been working on polishing another battle theme, as well as getting the main ideas together for the bright, flowery meadow that is just south of Dellador. That’s the next map I’ll be working on, so having some musical landscape for it while I retool the art will be fantastic!

Sound Design
Emman has been cranking out some new sound effects for us and they add so much to the game. All of the effect used before were placeholders and now we’re really starting to develop the overall audio scope and feel of the project. I’ll try and get some videos made to show off how these new sounds mix with the music in the next update, but there’s a whole pile of sounds we need and he’s working through them with solid speed, and really delivering some seriously good sounds.

We’ve added yet another great mind to the team! Casey will help color in some finer details of the world and write up little bits of searchable info to be found if you go looking for it. They have already begun to shape some of the later map details with super interesting lore and ideas, so we can’t wait to see what else they come up with!

Not exactly a new face in the Loreweaver team, but new to this project, Caroline Hoyle (Caz or Cazwolf, commonly) is going to help me with some of the world animations. These are things like hearth fires, waterfalls, torches, and all sorts of sparkly magical things in Glasmere, to name a few. I just don’t have time to work on these bits and she’ll do a better job with them than I can! Caz has been working with me on some animations for another, unannounced project, but I’m happy to be able to pull her onto this for a while.

That’s about it for updates. I’ll share more progress soon as we wrap up new combat features, continue map rework, and get lots of other little art and sound bits in place.

As always, please leave comments with any feedback or questions, and follow us on social networks if you haven’t already.

Thanks for your time and interest, and I’ll really try to be better about updating more regularly. Emman, Casey, and I will be attending MAGfest at the beginning of January, so expect another post shortly after that.

– Justin Mitchell

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