Status Updates

Positioning

Units will face their targets before attacks, and face those attacking them. Attacking from behind adds extra damage. This adds an extra layer of depth and decision making.

Gamepad Support

Battles can be fully controlled with a gamepad, keyboard, and mouse.

In Area Battles

Battles now take place on the same map as the rest of the game.

Path to Next Alpha

There’s a long road to the next alpha, but tasks have been created, sorted, and started.

  • Initial creation of placeholder areas, rooms, props, quests, and items for this alpha
  • Add a drag threshold to prop interactions so the player can scroll the camera without worrying about misclicking on a prop
  • Limit the camera scrolling so you can’t scroll past a background
  • Create a screen/viewport manager to better control resolution
  • Remember the camera position of each room. You can switch rooms and come back with the camera pointed at the door you used
  • Readded the set_flag script command

Small Tweaks

  • Added a rollover to props so they stand out and signal they’re interactible
  • Changes to shields, making them more than a pure damage sponge. Now with counterplay
  • Players are able to manage their upgrades and weapons after losing a battle before it restarts
  • Added different types of quest progression: quests that show all their objectives at once, and quests that objectives one at a time in order

Site Updates

Made a lot of tweaks to the site, knowing full well that tomorrow there’s going to be a huge Hugo update. That update can wait a few weeks though.

  • Created the status updates section
  • Updated the front page to better reflect what’s being made
  • Configured the privacy settings
  • Update Hugo and dependencies

Accomplishments

  • First implementation of quest chains/quests/objectives
  • World map, area intro, area clear

Tasks

109 tasks completed.

Accomplishments

Unified features so they better work together from a game design perspective.

POIs

Interacting with props can reveal points of interest (POIs).

  • The UI notifies the player how many POIs are in the room
  • Enter AR mode, the screen changes color, and POIs appear
  • Interact with a POI to learn more about the game world (details) or unlock difficult battles (scum scraps)
  • The player never has to enter AR mode, but there’s benefits to unlocking details and scum scraps.

Details

Details are additional information about the setting and the story. If a player unlocks enough details they can get a different ending.

Scum Scraps

Players can use scum scraps (called battle tickets in code) to trigger a hard battle. Winning enough scum scrap battles unlocks upgrade levels for the party and the virtual pet. This is the main method of progression for the player’s characters. It’s an optional system, meaning players can make the game harder by opting to not use scum scraps. Winning these battles also unlocks units in the bestiary.

Bestiary

The bestiary is like a Pokédex, keeping track of units that the player unlocks. It gives them a fun extra thing to do. Clear all the scum scrap battles to unlock all of the units. Gotta unlock them all.

Virtual Pet Updates

Reworked how the virtual pet side of the game works by tying it into the above features. The player can also upgrade the virtual pet’s skills with the rest of the party.

Story Changes

Planned changes to the story to narrow the focus and double down on the horror aspect. When planning the updates, brainstormed a quest system.

Accomplishments

Worked on the virtual pet aspect and started the party management screen.

  • The player can swap weapons from the party screen
  • The game remembers the last weapon swapped to in battle

Accomplishments

Worked 3 full-time days on the game, a lot got done.

  • Made new simpler scene switching and management

Visual Rooms and Props

Gone are the days of a list of things to interact with. Rooms are now visual, with backgrounds, scrolling, and clicking on images of props. This puts it closer to Escoria and a traditional point and click adventure game.

  • Made rooms and props visual
  • Redid the JSON syntax for commands to be easier to read and write

Battle System Updates

Complete rewrite of the battle system to remove spaghetti code. Also worked on game design changes to the battle system.

  • Reimplemented status effects with less spaghetti code
  • Instead of having Unit.has_effect() checks littered through code, there’s now a status effect service. Different code points contact this service, which determines if a certain effect should apply
  • Example: on the end of a unit’s turn, run the status effect service’s _on_turn_end(Unit) event. The event checks if the unit has burning and applies the damage

Weaknesses, Breaks

The interrupt system is no more, replaced with a break system.

  • Units have weaknesses, hit them enough time with their weakness and they break. Broken enemies are more susceptible to damage and status effects
  • Interrupt bar is now a break bar, inflict enough weaknesses and then the entire enemy team will be broken at once. They can do the same to you though, watch out

Why remove the interrupt system? Playtesting revealed the system as-is was too hard for players to understand. I had to explain during every battle, “Look at your interrupt bar, the enemy will interrupt this attack. Use a weak skill to cover the interrupt.”

Virtual Pet Participation

The player’s virtual pet now participates in battle! They’ll generate quests, fulfill them to queue a skill for the pet to use. There’s risk and reward of “Do I fulfill the quest by using a skill I didn’t originally plan to use, or should I stick with my planned move this turn?”

  • Party’s pet generates quests during battle
  • Quests task the player with using certain types of skills
  • Fulfilling the quest queues up a skill for the pet to use next round

Games Played

Had some fun playing Universal Paperclip, a clicker game that starts you off making paperclips and then takes the “Universal” part of the name seriously.

Introducing Status Updates

Status updates are freeform records of progress on the game. No set structure or schedule, because progress isn’t. One day I’ll be able to look back and see all I’ve accomplished.