Dog-O Devlog
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Posted by goobliata on 2019-01-30, 6:14pm
[Please scroll down to see new posts. Older posts such as this one are not being updated.]

When I finished Monster RPG 3 in March, I took a bit of time off. I had worked crazy hard to finish it up and needed a break. A month later, after rest and pushing some updates, I started a new project. I have now been working on it for 9 months.

I've got most of the basics in place now. I've got a title screen, settings and main menu (the "boring" stuff,) and the field view in place. The first area of the game is finished, which leads into the really interesting stuff with battles.

This game will have a unique battle system that I can't talk about yet. It won't be the same turn-based battle system as Monster RPG 3, nor will it be a full on action game like Crystal Picnic. That work hasn't started yet though, but hopefully after I finish some art I need to get done this week, it will.

The main gist of the story is your dog, Jellybean, has fallen into a well (see the second clip below) and you need to rescue him. Adventure ensues. The game will be bite-sized like our other recent games, both because I like shorter games and because I'm working solo so it's not possible to create a long epic game of good quality alone.

In this thread, I'll periodically post progress updates on the new game which is entitled Dog-O. Feel free to register on the site and post a comment, or just check in here from time to time. Here are some current clips of the new game to give you an idea of what it looks like.











The most recent task I had was to support Steam Input for controllers. It's working really well and should play nicely on most controllers out of the box by the time the game releases. There is also non-Steam-build controller support which is at feature parity for Android and tvOS builds.

Although it's still early, I'm looking for experienced alpha/beta testers to check out the game during development, so if you have tested games before and this looks interesting, get in touch. That's all I've got for now, but there's a lot more to come, and many existing details will likely be changed. Thanks for reading!
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Posted by goobliata on 2019-03-04, 3:41am
Things have been progressing slowly over the past month. I released a new alpha (0.6) on Steam and Google Play tonight. There were a few changes and improvements. Here's the list:
  • Add some joystick rumble effects
  • Wrap cursor on first/last items in some cases
  • Onscreen controller now works on mobile
  • Fix lists with headings when using touch/mouse
  • Fix 'Next Character' button on mobile
  • Use newer SDL library on Android
  • Bump required Android version to 6.0
  • Fix Menu button on tvOS (roll back SDL version)
  • Hide red triangle on title screen on iOS
  • Bump required Windows version to Windows 7
  • Use profile pics with alpha, outlined
  • Remove attacks you won't have right away
  • Add Pleasant Punch, Tom Kick sprites
  • Add player animations to Practice menu

The last bullet can be seen here:



The top things on my TODO list now are the map for the next (small) area and the battle tutorial. That will require getting the battle system working, as not much is done in that regard yet. That should be fun, because the battle system is kind of interesting. More on that another time.

I will keep chipping away at things, and be back with more updates soon.
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Posted by goobliata on 2019-03-22, 3:13pm
In my last update to this devlog, I said I didn't get a lot done since the previous one. This time, I've got a more substantial update. The main highlight is the battle system, which is now fully functional and playable. There were a few other changes as well, listed here:
  • Improved some sound effects
  • Play sound effects in practice menu
  • Added the battle system with an enemy
  • Added a small new area with a random battle
  • Use some C++11 features
  • Autosave fixes
  • Fix audio volumes not saving
  • Fix player directions in autosaves after cut scenes
  • Increased the base resolution
  • New battle, victory and gameover music
  • Various other fixes

I spent quite a bit of time working on the transition into battle. I ended up with something quite like another game. See if you can guess which game it is:



I call the battle system the RTTB battle system for "Real-time turn-based." It's similar to the ATB battle system except you can add multiple consecutive turns by any character. Currently I have it hard coded to two simultaneous turns, but that value will vary in real gameplay.

What it means is you can stack several commands at once, and as long as any player/enemy commands don't conflict, they'll execute immediately. This will add a skill element to battles because the moves you get later will require entering combos on your gamepad or keyboard. In the current version, the combos are low level, single button moves that you can execute very quickly (even quicker than I show in the clip below.)



As for what's next, this unique battle system requires a tutorial so I'll be working on an interactive battle where you can learn how to play. After that comes the first level where you'll fight real enemies and continue the search for Jellybean.

Thanks for reading, and check back in another 2-4 weeks (hopefully) for another update.
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Posted by goobliata on 2019-04-11, 8:06am
It has been about 3 weeks since my last devlog update. Last time, I had just finished the new battle system and had a test battle in place. The new battle system is a bit unique, so a tutorial is needed to get a feel for it. So that is what I've been working on this time for the most part. Here is a list of the main changes since last alpha:
  • Added an interactive battle tutorial with a new character who teaches you how to fight. Added the sprites, music, sound effects and special moves to support this change.
  • The game now pauses if you're playing with a joystick and the joystick disconnects.
  • You can now access the settings from in-game. The language settings are disabled except from the title screen.
  • Modified the Run sound effect.
  • Modified "widget" sound effect to make it more audible on various devices/speakers.
  • Lower combo sound effect volume.
  • Small improvements to battle music.
  • Player characters react to getting hit by enemies.
  • Added Belts as a type of armour/object that gives you new skills. In this alpha, you get two White Belts.
  • New skills earned from belts are Uppercut and Roundhouse. These have animations in the Practice menu.
  • Change appearance of some popup dialogs.
  • Better tolerance of different system audio settings. Defaults to the standard Windows settings of 48 kHz and floating point samples.
  • Adjust in-battle cursor so distance between player/enemy is the same.
  • Fix for switching between different screens (e.g., laptop screen and external monitor) of different resolutions.
  • Fade all the way to black on area fade outs (sometimes it would only go most of the way).

A fellow known just as Sensei drops in on the players to teach them how to fight, since they've found themselves in dangerous territory.





It's a simple interactive tutorial. The battle system isn't that complex, but without a quick overview it might be hard to figure out at first.

Sensei gives you two White Belts after the lesson. Belts are the main type of equipment in the game. They act as armour and also give you new moves. The White Belts give Pleasant an Uppercut and Tom a Roundhouse.



I spent about half of the three weeks working on art. I needed a bunch of sound effects, a new music track, a lot of Sensei sprites and several other graphics. Most of the rest of the time was working on the battle tutorial code. It seems like a simple thing to do but I had to handle many dozens of edge cases, most of which are extremely unlikely to ever happen. On top of that I spent a few days on the Fireball effect you can see above.

The game has 5 main sections. The town is the first and that is complete. The second section is about half finished time-wise, as the battle system and battle tutorial are big chunks of code that are now finished. Next up is the first dungeon area and first boss, so the real fun stuff is just starting, but a lot of groundwork is done.

Check back in 2-4 weeks and hopefully I'll have the dungeon (sans boss) finished. Thanks for reading.
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Posted by goobliata on 2019-05-20, 12:23am
It's been quite a while since I updated this devlog. Not because I haven't been busy working on the game though. I just released a new alpha and it has more changes on the issue tracker than any previous release. There was a lot to get done in this release so it took a while. Here is a summary of the changes:
  • Lots of work improving the experience on mobile
  • Added new areas up to but not including the boss area in Cave1
  • Add the Yellow Belt with new moves
  • Add Ninja Stars as an item to use in battle
  • Added several enemies and battle combinations for Cave1
  • Add shadows to entities in world view and battle
  • Add SP costs and multipliers for combos
  • Add SP replenishing over time
  • Enable rumble on iOS
  • Redo onscreen controller images to be larger
  • Graphical consistency/other graphical improvements
  • Allow exiting game easily from within battle
  • Improve battle notifications for player moves
  • Add (temporary?) icons for some builds
  • Battle UX improvements
  • Fixes/improvements to battle tutorial
  • Other minor fixes and improvements



In the last update, I finished up until the battle tutorial. This new update adds some random battles and other elements in a bunch of levels that lead up to (but don't include, yet) the boss area.



One of the most time consuming parts of this build was drawing all the enemies and other graphics. All the enemies are animated and I drew some level features and player attacks as well as mapping all the levels.



The above enemy attack took some playing around to figure out. I'm not a math wiz and from what I could gather I didn't have enough information to find the centre point, start angle and end angle of a semi-circle that would start at the enemy's horn tip and end at the player's feat. I came up with a formula that was close, but in some cases it was off by too much. So I used that as a starting point, and wrote a loop that "solves" the equation, or at least gives a good approximation of it. It felt good to finally get something that worked, using a method I haven't used often (making more and more accurate educated guesses until it was good enough.)



Next up on the to-do list is the first boss which should be fun. The new alpha with the features I just described has been released for those with access. The next one might not take as long but making guesses on development times is never accurate. Thanks for reading and I'll see you then.
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