DevBlog – updates updates updates

Cotc_DevBlog_Updates

Here I am with another update from the development. There was a weekly pause with the gamedev because life kicked in, throwing some ugly stuff in my face. Next to that, studies started and I’ll be away for almost 2 days every week so I can finish the last exam and execute fatality on the final thesis. Don’t worry though, that’s not a barrier for the game.

In this Development Blog post:

  • Main menu / options progress & updates (screenshots)
  • Overworld map selection screen progress (gif animation)
  • New Courier expression portraits (images)
  • Memories leaks & nasty Memory Bug Level 55
  • Starting a sole proprietorship
  • Bag of TODOs

Main menu / options progress & updates

Main menu is nearing the stable version for the release. There will be more details added later but it will be fully functional any time now.

  • Options
    • Master volume slider added and the whole volume options are applying to the game audio now.
    • Rumble effects options added
    • Key layout selection added. You can use arrow keys to move and WASD for use, throw, torch or vice versa. I’ve added this since many players wanted that. I’ll add more layouts later and if that won’t suffice I’ll add custom key binding later
  • Profile selection screen
    • CotC_MainMenu_ProfileYouu will have 3 profiles at your disposal and you can create new one now. As you can see there are 2 simple stats – gold & complete. I think both are
      self-explanatory. There will be also a small additional window on the right displaying more stats like number of deaths, enemies killed, secrets found, relics collected etc.
    • CotC_MainMenu_Profile_ZoomAs you can see there are also some random items displayed around the Courier. Those are trophies that you earn through the game. Some can be earned through the achievements while others are found in secret places. This will make your profile tab even cooler after some time wink
  • Confirmation windowCotC_MainMenu_ConfirmationI know this is a minor thing but I felt troubled every time I quit the game or wanted to create new profile. So yeah, it is there to question your sanity.

 Overworld map selection screen progress

Finally I’ve moved forward on that part of the game and added the events to the system. Now I can decide what happens when you finish a map on normal or through the secret ending (some maps will features secret endings, yes!). Here’s the preview I always wanted to show you, fresh from the game.

Courier of the Crypts - Overworld map selection

Let me tell you what happens here. I’ve just finished a map and a new map unlocks through the whol sequence – torches and other lights turns on, map unlocks and statues rises from the ground. That’s how the whole overworld map selection system will work. Everytime you finish a map new stuff will build up and make the whole dungeon lively. Of course, new map(s) will be unlocked as well.

Art is still early but it will look something like that. I could really need some feedback on this one. Tell me what you think, do you like it? What would you change?

Also, it feels SO much better with sounds bigsmile


New Courier expression portraits

Matej made some progress on the Courier’s portrait and guess what, the young boy just learned how to make facial expressions! This will make dialogues much better and make stronger connection with the player hopefully.

Courier of the Crypts - Portrait Expressions

From top left to bottom right: normal, smirky, serious, smiling

 

Memories leaks & nasty Memory Bug Level 55

Once in a while I go over the whole project looking for memory leaks because you know, C++ gladly put some funny traps for you (or is it me that place those traps?). There was this weird crash for few months that I never figured it out so I’ve decided to do another memory leak fix. All memory leaks were fixed (there weren’t many anyway) but crash was still there and I’ve decided to start the fight with Memory Bug Level 55!

Memory bug (level 55):
Description: when you quit the game using the controller game crashes in a place that doesn’t have a single connection with the controller. It lets you pass if you use keyboard though.

1 hour passed….2 hours passed…nothing. Compiler was telling me that there’s an error in Engine Logger code (code that handles warning, error and info reports…). It was stupid really and then I’ve decided to start commenting out stuff in the InputManager Class – gamepad code and then I found its week spot and hit that bug like never before doing about 75000 crittical DMG.

Here’s the problem:

//2D aray of booleans that keeps the states of all joystick buttons
//Cmaxjostick = 4 |  EJB_LAST = 19
bool _aJoystickButton[Cmaxjoystick][EJB_LAST];

When I pressed the joystick button that’s what I did:

_aJoystickButton[jbutton][0]=true;

Do you see the crime I’ve comitted? I was writing boolean values to the memory out of array range and in this case C++ doesn’t care about it. I was corrupting the memory and that’s why mistakes were popping out on weird locations.

In short – that’s the day when then Memory Bug Level 55 was slain!

Starting a sole proprietorship

In next few days I’ll be running around the nearby city making sure to get my solo proprietorship. That’s right, I’ll have an official small business running smile
I need that in order to continue with the Steam submission because they require company information otherwise you can’t put your game on Steam. That means I’ll be making my first bucks out of Courier of the Crypts which is a huge deal for me personally. I had that goals with October challenge back in 2011 though but here I am, 4 years later. I’ll let you know when it’s done wink

Bag of TODOs

That’s what I’ll be working on in the next few days:

  • Profile saving structures
    • I need a good profile structure where I’ll be saving player stats, map stats (which maps are finished, secrets and relics found, best times etc.) and more.
  • Overworld state save
    • Overworld is one huge map and when new maps unlocks, stuff changes and I need to implement state saving, which will remember in what shape is your current overworld. Harder than it sounds…
  • Connecting main menu, overworld and maps
    • Right now all these parts are standalone states of the game I haven’t connected yet which means I can’t go to overworld from main menu and play maps from the overworld.
  • If previous tasks goes well I’ll be finishing a Reservoir map remake (the one from the early demo preview version)

In the next week I’ll be able to tell you more when will the game reach early access on Steam. Until then, have you pre-order the game yet? It is closing the Steam release and when it goes up pre-orders and perks that comes with it will cose. What are you waiting for? wink

In the mean time you can check out the interview I did with Dakota Barret, who is behind the “Life as a #gamedev”.

Stay great,
Cheers!

  • Dakota

    It is just me or does his hair look different in the world map? Like a cross or something….also the header of the website says “Pre-orderds soon” Should probably chnage that to pre-order now

    • Yes, the sprite is different because everything is smaller – it’s a complete new art for the overworld.

      Right, thanks a lot for pointing that out, I have to fix that on my webpage and blog header. I totally forgot!

  • Just finished reading the second part of this blog post and read about the self proprietorship. Is there still that 4,000 eur grant when you become self-employed? Are you going for it?

    • Nope, no more grant sadly, only -50% on pension contribution, inssurance etc. 1st year and -30% 2nd year.

      • But not that bad. still worth around 2500-3000 eur. And what is better is that it doesn’t get taxed (but I guess you get that much less reduction from the contribution). I know a lot of people got screwed over if they received the grant at the end of the year and they would extrapolate that as income that they constantly get and made people pay huge insurance contribution in the next year. So this is actually better if you ask me. Plus, you can’t spend it on anything else. :) I planned to have the grant cover my insurance for the first year, but then I pretty much used it over the Summer to work on XNI nonstop besides other things. So not that bad, yeah. :) How much are the total contributions in the first year?

        • Mirko

          about 3k

          • Actually it’s a bit less isn’t it? You save like 1200 in the first month and 600 in the second? So, 1800 in 2 years.

          • Mirko

            Oh, I’m sorry. My numbers didn’t include the savings you’ve mentioned.