Repo Build 0.7.2897

Build 0.7.2897 is now up in the repository. Whole bunch of bugfixes in this one, including one right after the title screen (dummmmm). So if you have repo access and you were wondering what the hell was up with 2886, those bugs are gone. Enjoy!

 

Progress Report (20 March – 5 June)

It’s been a long time since I posted one of these! Thankfully, the lack of progress is only superficial.

Major Updates:

  • The radio system works now! In addition, I’ve implemented many bugfixes to the actionqueue that center around enforcing proper queue behavior.
  • I’ve applied many bugfixes to the sound system, including to the BGM looping mechanism. I’m proud to report that all BGM implemented so far loops seamlessly.
  • The Contract system is finished, for the most part. Courier Services offices have been placed in most towns to handle receipt of completed quests.
  • 38 new maps have been designed.
  • 5 new NPCs have been designed.
  • All edits to the script made between March 20th and May 22nd have been implemented into the cutscene system.
  • I’ve made various other bugfixes to graphical, sound, and gameplay system components as well.

I’ve also decided to stop posting raw devlog data for spoiler’s sake. Sorry!

Anyway, see you next time!

Funded!

So, Alcarys Complex was funded on Kickstarter with eight hours to go. Really unbelievable. I mean, there’s this, and then, like, flying to the moon in a bathtub. I’d like to say thanks to everyone involved: the backers, supporters, and people who did a pretty absurd amount of legwork on our behalf. We wouldn’t have been funded without you.

Anyway, we’re going to continue our weekly progress reports once I sit down and get back to work. I was only able to actually program maybe three days this week, and I need to pick up the pace if I’m going to get this game out on time! Later!

Brief Downtime

Well, we had a little hiccup in the database connections, but it’s fixed now. Sorry about that!

We’re on Kickstarter!

Hi. Among other happenings (I’m slowly but surely going through all the cities and finishing them), we now have a Kickstarter page. I hope that we meet our goal, but if we don’t, we appreciate the support of every backer, no matter how much they gave. If we exceed the goal, we’ll issue quality physical rewards (soundtracks and disc copies of the game). These will be well-designed; no CD-Rs here!

I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

New Demo

Hey, I just posted a new demo that contains the new title screen UI, as well as bugfixes and some other things. The content in this demo is the same as the IGF demonstration, so if you’re looking for new content, you’ll have to wait a bit. We’ve definitely got some more coming, so stay tuned.

A Tale Well-Calculated to Keep You in…

So, you may or may not know, but there’s a system in Alcarys Complex called the banter system. It allows any NPC or character to talk, in real time, without restricting the movement of the party like a cutscene would. If a banter box is interrupted for some reason – going into a menu, moving from map-to-map – it regenerates after the interruption so that the player can read it. The overall design goal of this system is to allow the story and narrative to pervade the entire game, rather than just set cutscenes.

The banter system was designed to communicate passive information, and one of the best forms of passive information is the radio. Since NPCs can spit banter, you can extend a Radio object from an NPC and it’ll spit banter too.

Naturally, when you have radio, you need radio content, so I started listening to radio serials and dramas in order to get an inspiration.

When I started doing this, I knew next to nothing about shows like Suspense, X Minus One, and This is Your F.B.I. As I got a feel for the shows I liked and the ones I didn’t, I started to notice some things.

I’d had a few template titles and rough concepts in mind for the kind of radio content I wanted. Talk radio was a given. I knew I wanted some kind of propaganda broadcast by Xirdalan State Radio, but I didn’t know how to go about it. I knew I wanted science fiction, so I made up Star Willows: Galactic Adventurer, and I threw in an idea that was too hilarious to pass up, The Intrepid Dr. Cuckold, about a master doctor who works way too much for his own good.

The funny thing is, I’d assumed that central characters were the norm, because I grew up watching television, and more often than not, the same characters show up again and again. I was really surprised to find out that drama serials with a strong central character are actually in the minority, outnumbered by self-contained plays often adapted from short stories (in fact, a lot of Bradbury, Heinlein, and Asimov’s stories were adapted for the various science fiction programs). There are quite a few dramas that rely on characters, like Lone Ranger, Sherlock Holmes, and Dragnet, but there are about as many that are completely self-contained.

Anyway, I’d written in some base advertising as well, but I generally had no idea what I was going to do with that aspect of the radio. So I listened. And I heard the sponsors: Roma Wine, Signal Gasoline, Auto-Lite Batteries, and so on. Old radio dramas weren’t shy about inviting the guest actors to sit in a comfy chair and sip some of the sponsor’s wine while telling everyone how good it was.

It’s not much, but I think it adds to the game, if only in a small capacity.

Progress Report (23 – 29 February)

Ran my first physical table last weekend. It was tiring, but it was also a blast – I got to talk with a lot of different people about what they like and don’t like about games, and those people got to play Alcarys Complex (if they wanted to). Some of them found bugs, which I’ve attempted to address.

Major updates:

  • Made fixes to the way message box positioning is handled. Changes to message position constants were not initially made across all systems, resulting in some boxes popping up, for example, in the middle of the screen when they should be at the bottom.
  • Fixed a bug in movement where hitting a diagonal stair in the right way would allow the player to “break” the stair contacts, resulting in diagonal movement when not on diagonal stairs. This was due to overly restrictive collision conditionals.

Raw devlog data below.

Continue reading Progress Report (23 – 29 February)

Progress Report (15 – 22 February)

 

Major updates:

  • I implemented the final version of the code that’s going to handle window mode, aspect ratio, and scaling. You can scale the game window up to three times the original resolution (for a total resolution of 2400×1440) if you have the display width for it.
  • I’ve also fixed most of the crazy errors that occurred when a player decides to use any mode but windowed mode. There are still a few left that I have to hammer out, but for the most part, it works.
  • I’ve started locking scenes. When I lock an aspect of the game, like a scene, or a town, or a game mechanic, it means I’m not going to touch it at all until the bugtesting period.

Raw devlog data below.

Continue reading Progress Report (15 – 22 February)

Progress Report (8 – 14 February)

I think it’d be beneficial to start updating you guys on what I get done from week to week. I hope to have build videos really soon, but I need to figure out a good way for me to streamline the videos I need to post in order to do that.

Major updates:

  • Finished radio content: radio content is now finished (for now). I’ve written a few major radio dramas and some news and talk radio segments for use with the banter-style radio.
  • Final title screen: I’ve implemented the final title screen. This title screen is a lot more usable than the beta title screen: basic controls are a key away (this was a major problem with the old title screen), it looks better, and there are a couple of new features like Quick-Load, which allows you to load your last saved game with the press of a key from the moment the game window opens up.

I hope to do these every Wednesday. In the meantime, raw devlog data below.

Continue reading Progress Report (8 – 14 February)