Hello there, I've got another update for you, a lot has happened since the last time I've updated about this project.
Over July and August I have been working hard on the character designs, and I'm glad to say that for the most part they are finished. The enemies no longer have placeholders on them, they now look fully unique and more alive. However I did encounter a problem with the animation system. Unity has a built-in animation system which operates like a state-machine, which was a problem since I've had to create constant parameters every time I want to create a new animation controller (per character) and the animations didn't work the way I liked i.e. character takes 2 seconds to switch to the shooting animation.
I created my own animation system which switches to a set of animations (up, down and side) via a number. This worked out much better as the transitions were far faster.
In terms of the tiles for the levels I spent later August and this month completing them, and I have just completed them as well as replacing all the levels' placeholder tiles, I'll give you an example of what the process was like below:
|A boring-looking green area|
|A lush jungle|
Some areas still might be needing a bit more polish, but overall they're pretty much done.
However, with that being said, I've faced a few regrets with this way of designing levels and making animations. I did all the animations and tiles in the last few months of development, last time I did mention about how I wanted to do animations after I design levels. Now I think this isn't the best idea. Ideally I should have done animations after I programmed the character's actions into the game, to save time later on. It didn't matter if they weren't polished, what matters is that they are at least something and polishing them can become less stressful as a result. Perhaps for future games I should consider doing art at an earlier point to make production as consistent as possible, but try to not have them get in the way of debugging the game.
Cutting out features:
I have done quite a bit of cutting out lately, I've cut a number of areas in the game because I didn't really like the design and it felt like pure padding to the game, trying to polish them gave me more work to do and I think that my time and elbow grease would be better spent on creating the areas with good potential. I also cut out one boss, despite almost everything being done (including the artwork). Not to sound lazy, but I decided to cut him out because I didn't want to face the extra work of balancing him and implementing animations into him. Plus one of the testers said it was quite hard. Maybe I'll look back to this and regret what I've done... but you know, that's part of any creative process - not all ideas end up in the final product.
In the last post I mentioned about an ally character, now he's removed from the game. This is because of, again extra work (animations) and developing the AI was quite a pain. Now despite what I've just said, these were not the main reasons that I removed him; it was that he didn't fit with the game and felt like an obstacle in the main character's path.
Maybe if I ever make "Bounty Hunter III", I might go a bit further and implement an ally, if they fit in with the game. That could be a possibility. I'm working on another game that may help me tackle much of the issues I've faced when implementing an AI character (more detail on that at the end of this blog).
A few Extras:
Today I've added an after-image effect when the characters dash, I added this in because the player/enemies dashing without it wouldn't be as effective. I actually found other uses for it too, for example it can indicate when an enemy is dashing towards you.
Here's the dash in action:
|Looks cool doesn't it?|
The other day I've also added in a fade-in effect when the player exits out of a map and goes into another. I wanted to make it so that the fade-in happens then the game loads the level and it fades out once it's loaded, but I've been having a few problems with it so I should sort that out.
The game is near completion which is both exciting and scary... scary because I feel like a simple error might completely blow the game up. so I'll need to go into crunch mode and rid any bugs along the way (hopefully get it in beta by late October). I strive to get this game out in late November (hopefully slightly before Evermoral's 2 year anniversary).
In other news I've also got another game in the works that I'll release about a month from now which I've mentioned in my last post. That game is quite close to completion so hopefully little should come in the way of that game releasing.
Well, maybe... except school, this year's pretty crucial so I need to get my act together and update my revision summary to do all that dirty memorizing work for me! Study hacks for the win!
Hope you guys have a good morning, afternoon or night.
That's all from me!