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Wednesday Recap #32

Wednesday Recap #32

newspost

You might have heard that Kickstarter date for the Courier of the Crypts is revealed. I’m yelling around about it for a week now. Because preparations takes time I’ll stop with the weekly recaps until the campaign. After that, everything will go back to normal. So, no more recaps for 1 weeks but don’t worry. Instead of text blocks I’ll supply you with image material. That’s cool right? smile

Let me show you some stuff then.

✰ Sewers ✰ Tentacles ✰ Pathfinding ✰ Torch/Health bar ✰ Secret Areas ✰ Screenshots ✰ Much more ✰

Wednesday Recap #29

Wednesday Recap #29

Hello everyone, I hope you’re having a great week so far. Great or not, I’ll try to make it a bit better with this post, ok?

Last week I left you empty handed because I was studying for the exam and there was not much progress done except the one for the trailer which is TOP SECRET for now. I’ve passed 1/2 of the exam (oral part left) so at least time wasn’t wasted.

To get your attention – have you seen latest screenshot? The one titled Disembark that I’ve posted this Saturday? Here, this is the one:

Courier meets the mummies with some "friendly" oil urns after his disembark.
Courier meets the mummies with some “friendly” oil urns after his disembark.

Question that will be answered: Why is trailer taking so long?

Those who follow me for a long time already know that I have lots of things planned, drawn and designed but I don’t have everything implemented in the game. Far from it. Normally, I’m implementing stuff while I work on the maps. I do have prototypes for most of the stuff but prototypes aren’t enough. That means I’m implementing stuff and building parts of the maps just for the trailer right now. No harm is done though for everything will be used in the game as well later on. Except for the delay, that’s the minus here and I’m sorry for that.

Animating the big fire dude

Pixels here, pixels there, pixels everywhere
Pixels here, pixels there, pixels everywhere

Courier will meet this fire dude at some point and you’ll be able to see it in the trailer as well so I had to take my time to make some animations for it. It takes some patience and lots of time to animate pixel art stuff, especially big stuff like this one. I’ll show you only idle animation for now ok?

More stuff

Here are few more stuff that I was working on this week. Let me remind you that this is not the final quality of the game. I’m far from polishing phase so…yeah. You know wink

Ahoy!
Ahoy!

Deadly-fiery-explosion spell that will be casted by some deadly crypt dweller

Opening chests was always fun right? I’ve done some slight improvements but I’m still not entirely satisfied with it. More shiny lights and treasure next time.

Opening the chest

Question that will be answered: Soo…when is the trailer release date again?

When it’s done! No, seriously, I’m doing my best – it’s over 50%, music is shaping pretty well, visuals are there and people say it’s not “THAT” boring so far. So, I guess that’s it for you. I would like to say next week but I won’t because I don’t know what problems may arise.

TrailerInMaking
Windows Movie Maker now, I’ll need something else later

That’s it for the week. I hope you’re satisfied with the gif animations and that lots of text didn’t bring you down along the way. Have a great week on and enjoy the weekend wink

Wednesday Recap #28

Wednesday Recap #28

Hello everyone! I hope you had a as great week(end) as I did. I’ve done a lot of progress on all sides of the development and I’m closer and closer to the demo, trailer and kickstarter. Let me start with the cool stuff!

Creepy foggy fog

I’ve made this simple fog which looks really nice in the game or at least that’s what I want to believe. Thoughts?

Behind the scene for the devs: I simply render two fog sprites (one is flipped horizontal) with inverse alpha value factor which I’m changing up and down. This gives you a feeling that fog is changing it’s shape. Add movement to it, place more instances and you’ll have nice simply fog in your game smile

Screenshot

Courier binded on the sacrificial altar by the shadowy figures.
Courier binded on the sacrificial altar by the shadowy figures.

Cultist

I wish I could tell you more about this but I can’t. Let it serve as a teaser ok? I just wanted to let you know there is more in to game than walking and shooting urns at the mummies.

Off we go!
Off we go!

Another thing I was working on – boat! This was in the plan for a long time and it’s in the game now. You can control it and before you ask – yes, it will get really fast at some points.

Teasery-trailer in development

Teasery-trailer-work

I’m a bit late but it’s in development. As you can see from the image above, plan is done amd some scenes are ready for recording. I still need more footage to make it cool. I’m really exciting about this for I’ll be showing Courier of the Crypts in action on the video for the first time. It will be short and more of a teaser than trailer but it will be awesome.

Programming

  • Further FMOD implementation: do you remember when I’ve decided to use FMOD? I started implementing it to work with FMOD Studio but left it behind since there is a lot of documentation to read. I’ll do that after the demo release & kickstarter campaign. For now I did basic implementation for it and it works great. I added more sounds to the game and it feels great playing it even more now.
  • Memory leaks: Why do you have to leak??? For joke I’ve decided to take a look at the memory consumption and memory was stacking…alarm! I’ve used like two hours to fix all the leaks and it’s fine now. I was afraid there will be more complications. All good!
  • Custom resolution: My framework supported only one screen resolution with fullscreen mode (one picked at the start). I also had a problem on the widescreen monitors where screen got stretched and it looked like courier weighted 100 pounds more. I never did this before so it took me quite some time to implement custom resolution support and it works like a charm. I was postponing this “basic” feature implementation for more than a year but I’m over with it now.
    <Resolution champion achievement earned>
  • I did some more programming on various parts – more components for the map editor, new objects in the game, fixing old stuff and more.

Publicity

Latest screenshot (one with the binded courier)  was featured on the Warp Door:
Below, we present you the most intriguing ones we’ve found during the last feverish 24 hours of screenshot sharing.

I’m glad that mine is one of them. Check all of them out wink

 

That’s it for the week. I’m going back to work – teasery trailer needs to be done. Have a nice week and let me know what you think. I appreciate every comment and critic.

Wednesday Recap #27

Wednesday Recap #27

I’m back after two weeks and I’m really sorry for no Wednesday Recap last week but I was having short vacations at the seaside. Don’t worry though, I did some progress over there as well. wink

Seaside vacations

Vacations were quite relaxing although I’ve used some of the time for Courier of the Crypts as well (I’m not saying gamedev is not relaxation…). Beach was a great place to work on texts for the game since all I needed was a notebook and pencil. I was working mostly on the dialogues for the story because that was another black hole in my game. I was also shaping game description for the website since puzzle-action-exploration-adventure doesn’t tell you much now does it?

Seashells I've gather from the bottom of the sea and my "Courier Notebook"
Seashells I’ve gather from the bottom of the sea and my “Courier Notebook”

Next to all that I’ve placed some random pixels here and there and made more art. Yay!

Mushroom kingdom

That’s not real name of the environment / map or anything else in the game – more correct would be “Cave full of mushrooms“. Anyway, I did some more progress on that part. I have to admit it’s not part of the demo but I felt like working on it since I did few pixels for that environment when I was off.

Everything is work in progress but you should get an idea what to expect. I want this place to be magical – dark yet full of colors. I was writing about this place in one of the post when all I had was a concept.

Cotc_Mushrooms_Scr
That’s…TRIPPY!

To get better feeling of the environment I’ve alse prepared tiny gif just for you to see these huge mushrooms in aciton. Do you think everything is too colorful?

Do you see those insects on the screenshot? They look like this when idle. I wrote about these cute creatures of the night once already but let me tell you again. If you have your torch burning they will drink light from you and lower your torch bar drastically. You can turn your torch off to prevent them that but you’ll angry them and they will charge into you. You don’t want to meet these, especially not in big numbers.

Cotc_Insect

 

More gif animations for you

Power of the magic crystal
Falling column…dangerous!

And to show you something interesting, here is a comparision of map (tiny part of it) between map editor and game. This map I’m working on has tons of events and triggers that requires A LOT of objects and let me quote myself from recent twitter post: “If this map that I’m working on survives all the events, triggers and other objects then all maps will O_O’“.

Timers, particles, triggers, animations, terrain modificators, connections...all for 1 minute of gameplay.
Timers, particles, triggers, animations, terrain modificators, connections…all for 1 minute of gameplay.

That became quite a long post and I’m wondering if I forgot something (besides some load of programming done on the rendering side) but I guess that’s it.

Right now I’m working on a first official teaser for the game and it shall be released very soon with the new webpage. I hope I can do most of the work until next week.

Enjoy your week and let me know what you think about stuff I just posted, I’ll appreciate it smile

Wednesday Recap #23

Wednesday Recap #23

Hello again my dear readers and passers-by. You know how the drill goes – I show you what I was working on, give you some excuses why I don’t have more to show and complete everything with nice cute gif animation (to forget those excuses…). So here we go.

GIF animation

Of course, I’ll start with this one to get your attention (it may take a while to load). I got quite few requests lately to show some more gameplay. I know there is mostly ambient that I’m showing off but I’ll do my best to show something more “interesting” from now on.

Fear of light or not
Afraid of light…

This animation answers one question – What happens when your light goes out?
Spiders feel your vulnerability and starts chasing you of course. If you have enough oil urns with you and a good aim you’ll be safe though. Just watch out when you lower your torch, will you?

Sound system

In previous post I mentioned my problems with sound editor I was preparing for the game. And you know what?

fmod_free

 

Yep, FMOD is free for indie projects (with revenue < 100.000$). I know I’ve switched sound engine / library many times but I really need that special effects and FMOD offers good cross-platform compatiblity + lovely sound editor which I WON’T have problems with. It’s totally worth it I take it. I’m making my move this weekend – I’ll ask FMOD out for a hot date.

Time time time, excuses, school, excuses, time time….

Those of you who are following me on twitter have already heared about my study frustrations. I have 2 lectures left at the University before I finish it for good and guess what? Those two are as interesting as hard and time consuming. I even had to take tuesday off from the day job to attend all the lectures and lab practices. To fill that whole in my work schedule, I’ll have to work one day in the weekend to bring everything in. I’ve tried without that plan but I was deadly frozen without hearing those lectures at the university. This will go on for next 2 months until the exams. I really have to get rid of these last two weasels for good. Courier of the Crypts will be developed by my best efforts in this time. Maybe one of the big issues is time management which I’m fighting with. Sometimes I simply fail on that area. Sorry in advance for less cool stuff but just for a short time.

Map design

I’m working on my maps normally and implementing missing stuff from my previous version of the game. You see, I have many game objects implemented but not in the current version so I’m moving stuff to the new project by need.

mapeditor_wr
Hello there map editor!

I use my university Tuesdays as efficiently as I can. When I have breaks, small or big, I try to sketch stuff to my notebook. I already have some really cool parts of the maps with events planned and I just can’t wait to implement everything.

Oh right, notebook! I got this cool gift from my friend you see. It’s a really cool looking notebook actually and on the first page he wrote something like this in translation:

There is no courier without a letter like there is no game developer without a notebook.
May this notebook be filled with the craziest ideas which will help you through all the crypts you’re entering

If you are reading this, thanks again, that was one awesome gift!

Future

We all like to talk about the future yet we don’t know what will it bring. In my case I can at least preddict it to some degree. I’m making some major changes and moves in my life that’ll give me tons of time for the game. One fact is that I’ll finish with all the lectures at the University forever or at least I don’t have any plans to continue my study. There are few others things I’ll reveal very soon but that big change is comming in matter of few months.

I just want to thank you all once again for all the support / comments / sharing / caring…you’re the main reason I’m pushing everything forward regardless of all the life situations (and my own mind) that try to hold me back sometimes. Stay cool!

Wednesday Recap #22

Wednesday Recap #22

I’ve skipped one wednesday recap but I didn’t leave you empty handed. Last time I did a nice post featuring first music pieces for the Courier of the Crypts (and video with the scenes from the game to accompany the music) – check it out here.

As most of you know I’m working on the short playable demo to get some feedback. Demo will include storyline map + 1-2 fully playable maps. I still need some basics done like audio system as well as maps. I can’t stress enough how important is the ambient and just because of that it takes time.

Audio Editor

Since I’ve decided with Zdravko to add special effects like reverb, distorstion etc. and audio editor so we can test and add sounds to the game without coding I put some extra time into that. I wrote Sound Editor in C# because working with custom UI in C++ is pain in the ass. I’m using primitive method – I save everything to file which is then used in the game to load / reload sound data.

soundeditor_cotc
sound editor preview

I found one problem along the way though – saving structures in C# and using them in C++. I’m quite a n00b when it comes to C# and therfore I’m not familiar with all the tricks. One evening I left the issue alone and moved back to map design. I found a possible solution to that but I yet have to implement it. Game part of the audio is mostly done as well as sound editor. Only thing that has to be done is connection. Next week maybe?

More pixels

I do more pixel art when need for that arises. I don’t have huge list of stuff I need to pixel for the maps. I have rough list that I do as soon as posible but after that, I just go and start making maps and if I need something, I place those pixels around. Here are few pices that were done.

cotc_morepixelscotc_staringLevel design

I was pimping out a map where you get your torch and…anyway, here is the animated gif just for you. You saw this scene before but not in animated state I take it? And there is a stained glass behind the old man now. Also, walls got higher and changed.

This map still has some sequences that needs to be scripted so I’ll be doing this next (right after I finish that audio system anyway). It’s interesting in game development how simple can a scene like that looks like yet I have to write a dialogue with the old man, make that moment when you grab a torch special, move that old man to unlock the doors when you pick the torch…well, you know, it can take lots of time. Lots of time for 1 minute of gameplay. One learns to appreciate games that way.

We’re having a small Slovenian Game Developer event and I’ll have short presentation of Courier of the Crypts from start to the present. I’ll make a video of changes through many builds. That should be fun smile

Until next week everyone – work and play hard!

 

Wednesday Recap #21

Wednesday Recap #21

I’ve been busy with studying in the last week and few more study days are ahead of me. If you add my day job to this you can imagine I can hardly find time for development. Next to that I was attending Global Game Jam over the weekend here in Slovenia which was wonderful experience. I have to make post about that as well but you can check slovenian global game jam craftsmanship until then smile

In case you’re not following me on Twitter or Facebook you might have missed last week’s screenshot and animated version of it so I’m attaching it here to make sure you don’t miss it.

Crypt Fountain
Just chillin’ next to the crypt fountain
In action

This is the part before the “accident” happens. This is still part of the storyline map or at least I classify it as that. I’m making progress towards the small test build which should consist of storyline map and 1-2 gameplay maps. Just enough to get some proper feedback.

lionhead_wip2

 

You can see “Lion’s” head design process. It should be lion’s head but it turned out more like a dragon. The fun thing while making games is that you can have your freedom and this is a good example. I thew final version in the game and it turned out great and I said: “Why not? It really doesn’t matter if it’s a lion, cougar or dragon. Let the fantasy flow through player’s mind” and it’s inded like that. That’s what I love in games – fantasy.

Sounds and music are also in production and I’m soon adding them to the game. I’ve got small update on the Couirer of the Crypts theme as well which sounds very adventurous and mega awesome.

I wanted to use this post to show you some concepts, designs and mockups for environment that you’ll be going through later in the game but I didn’t have time to put everything together by today so I’m moving that environments showcase to tomorrow / friday. Stay tunned, it will be very colorful post wink

Wednesday Recap #20

Wednesday Recap #20

It has been quite long since the last wednesday recap – 1 month exactly. For this long gap I’m bringing you many news and I’ll start right away with screenshots.

Latest screenshot: "I have to get that wooden cog in order to fix that mechanism"
“I have to get this wooden cog in order to fix that mechanism”

New wall graphics

If you were following my previous graphics of the crypt you should recognize changed wall tiles. I’ve made more obvious top part which gives you a feeling of taller area. That and it looks better in general, or at least it should – you tell me.

To understand what I’m saying, here are new and old tiles on the grid (without lighting):

new_tilesWhat do you think, positive or negative change?

Chests, give me that loot!

I have chests in the game for some time now but I never finished them. That’s what changed few hours ago. Take a look at this neat animation:

gold_pickingI need to work on treasure graphics a bit more because someone mentioned it looks like hay. For me, it’s more like sulfur from Heroes of Might & Magic 2…yep, I need to fix that.

Crypt enterance hall

Have you missed two weeks old screenshot of the saturday, displaying crypt enterance hall graphics and the mysterious old man for the first time? Worry not, here it is!

 

cotc_sss_enterance1
Clicky-click to enlarge

That’s the first level of the crypts which is more or less still part of the story. This one should look a bit more modern and bright. So, who is the old man infront of the Courier and what is that mysterious cabinet in the corner?

Sound

Do you remember previous wednesday recap where I talked about the sound? Well, I did some progress on that part. You can’t place sounds in the map editor yet but I’m already playing 2D sounds for pickups and courier’s footsteps. Oh, and oil urn woooshes ^_^

There are also this programming tasks that I’ve done which I won’t trouble you with but I want you to know that I’m moving onwards, day by day.

milestoneBigger milestone on the horizon

I’ve decided to get some planning together and the result of that is milestone. I can’t tell you yet what is this milestone all about because I don’t want to cause some false buzz (and not that it deserves it). Date for the milestone is 1st of March. Exams and small trip in the next month can consume some serious time which could prevent me reaching the goal. I’ll update you on that in the February.

More about Courier of the Crypts in two weeks. Stay well and have fun ^_^

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

cotc_christmas

 

Pony delivery service gathered everyone together to celebrate Christmas. Courier invited lonely crypt walkers around – golems, mummies, spiders and even ghosts came over (there are more but they are too shy to show up). Others came as well! Grave digger helping out with the snow, old hag baking cookies and old man sipping the warm tea.

There is no Christmas without all the people that are part of your story and same goes for me. You all are part of my story, following my progress, sharing, cheering on me and helping me to get this game further and further, day by day.

I would like to thank all of you for this and wish you a warm and happy Christmas.

Wednesday Recap #18

Wednesday Recap #18

My lovely wednesday! Here I am, once again smile

I’ll start with honest statement – I wasn’t really productive this week. There we go, I’ve said it! I’ve been really tired every day and I hardly got anything done. I skipped #screenshotsaturday again which isn’t good for my exposure. I had almost everything ready but unpredicted stuff came into my schedule. I must get myself together and start with full force once again, starting tomorrow. Also, I need to sleep more and kill some stress, that should help as well.

Now, to the point – what was done this week anyway

Wannabe #screenshotsaturday entry

Courier in storm animation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wanted to show few seconds of the Courier on his way to the Old Hag in stormy weather. I’ve added water drop splashes but it’s really hard to see them in this gif animation. I’ll also need to add some fog here as well as more splashes.

Introducing Golems (prototype name) for the first time 

I’ve shared quite some info about current enemies in the past but there was silence about it for some time due to the storyline map development. So this may be a bit more interesting.

golem_front

I had golems in my game for a really long time but you meet them kinda late in the game. As you know, I don’t have content for the late game done and that’s the reason I wasn’t showing you anything about these. I was talking to my friend about the Courier of the Crypts the other day and got inspired to make some changes to that living piece of metal. I’ve changed the graphics and some other attributes.

golem_old_newWhen I first looked at the new sprite I saw Arthas in it. A bit different helmet, cloak and frostmourne would result in that for sure. Next to that, I don’t think it looks like golem too much but as I’ve mentioned, Golem is prototype name and when you hear me talking about golems, that’s what I have in mind.

Long ago, I’ve mentioned that almost every enemy acts differently – some are passive, others will shoot at you and some of them are invincible. Golem is one of the invincible enemies but it has it’s own weakness.

golem_howto

Can you read the trick out of this image? Golems were designed to block your way with heavy stone shield (part of the sarchopagus) in one of the hands. You could easily dodge them but in some cases you couldn’t – the only way to stop them was to throw oil urn into them. This would stun them for few seconds, just enough to go past them.

Stunning golems can be good in many ways which I won’t spoil or at least not for now. To make them a bit more complicated I’ve decided to add another element which is shield block. This is the new idea which isn’t implemented yet and I can’t wait to do it. If you’ll throw oil urn directly into his face, he’ll deflect the urn back at you. You’ll have to make sure to catch it off guard to stun him.

I hope you love the idea behind the golems and graphics. Graphics are still WIP but it is an improvement.

Storyline map progress

minimapThere is not much to show here right now and most likely I’ll stop posting screenshots about that for a while because I really don’t want to spoil everything about it. I’ll shop you my humble minimap (my first minimap in gamedev career) resembling storyline map. Don’t laugh at it please, it’s mearly a tool to help me navigate from one side of the map to another. And no, this isn’t minimap for the game – you won’t have one in the game tongue

If you remember church scene I’ve shown you a while ago, that’s the yellow area on the minimap. Just to imagine it. Some places are not connected and that’s because there are some transitions in there from one place to another.

This is it for the week – I’ll keep working on the storyline map for now. My plans are telling me I should have been finished with it by now but I can’t help it. Let’s hope next week is going to be more productive.

Have fun everyone and may the weekend comes soon!