So, my first game was done awhile ago, but I decided to post the postmortem here instead of at this site. Most of my updates regarding what I do will be present there from now on, but eventually, I may come back and blog about City Across the Sky: Redux, once I feel that my skills are good enough to really make CAS the way I wanted it to be made.
I've been pretty hard working on the final stages of CAS (though, at this point, it's more of a grind to the finish than anything). All of the cutscenes have been implemented and for the most part, I can't seem to find and reproduce any serious bugs that I don't already know about, so that's good. At this point in development, I'm working on doing the last 10% or so of the game: adding music and sound effects, adding NPCs and NPOs, adding extra chests (though not yet filling them with items), making sure that the weather and times of day change at the right intervals, creating and placing enemies around the maps, etc (the full list will is viewable at the bottom of the post).
These final stages are definitely the most important parts, because I was somewhat unhappy with what I had prior to these points; now I'm beginning to enjoy walking around my own game, and the first time I hear music in-game is a great feeling. What's great is I've already heard these songs out of game hundreds of times, so I can't wait to see what people think of the atmosphere and maybe even to a certain extent some of the other things when they see and hear it all for the first time. CAS was always supposed to be a game based on the atmosphere and to an extent, the exploration. My original goal was to work on three or four different games focusing on different aspects of a bigger game I hope to make in the future. CAS took...a little* too long to make and I ran into A LOT of problems, both with design, organization, and my ability as a programmer. It is my first game however, so I didn't expect anything spectacular, just a finished work to prove to myself that I could finish; I'm nearing that goal now. *Much too long.
Ultimately, what I'm saying is that I'm happy that I'm nearing the completion of CAS and I'm happy with what the game has become despite all of the problems it has and that I've run into, but I'm more ecstatic about my games to come and what I'll be able to create with the knowledge that I've gained from creating this game. So expect greatness. Ryan Huggins~
Here is a list of all the minor things left to do. This will be my last post before I release, so instead of updates, I'll remove and add things to this list as they are done or as problems arise.
Adding Music and SE (35% done)
Implementing Music and SE into SAVING and LOADING
Making sure that all Cutscenes work correctly and a full playthrough is possible.
Making sure that Weather/Time of Day change correctly (40% done)
Creating and adding enemies to the maps
Adding NPC dialogue
Adding NPOs (critters like butterflies and stuff)
Rewriting dialogue of cutscenes
Rewriting STATUS updates
Rewriting and adding new STORY updates
Implementing CHESTS and ITEMS to be found by player
Implementing more interaction objects (for atmosphere and exploration)
Jeez, I haven't updated this blog in so long. It's pretty ridiculous, honestly. Regardless, I don't have a lot to say. I've been working, rather slowly, but progress is being made. Sadly, I'm hoping to move on to another project soon, so I'm working on getting this last (two or three) cutscenes finished and then adding sound to the game. So far, the game is great for my first attempt at a game, but I'll be writing a pretty lengthy post-mortem soon; there were a LOT of things I'd do differently. Expect a larger update sometime tomorrow, but at the moment, the game has around 45 minutes of gameplay. It's definitely going to be short, though it took way too long to make.
Last 2 or 3 cutscenes
Implementation of enemies (mostly to impede progress and offer more motility challenges)
Addition of music and atmospheric sound effects
Addition of more interactive objects and various NPCs for atmospheric purposes.
I'm working on some pretty serious stuff now. I've gotten more coded in the last 3 months than all of last year...and it's more efficient. Optimizing the game for these weather effects is going to take some SERIOUS effort, but I've managed to boost the maximum amount of precipitation objects on the screen from like 15 to 35 on lower-end systems. My i7 2.2 Ghz laptop with 8 gig ram can manage about 300 weather instances at one time before it begins to lag.
SUN RAIN (before the darker clouds were established)
Currently, I'm working on establishing quite a few things...
Weather effects (I have, rain, snow, hail, thunder storm, and some atmospheric stuff, I want leaves and such as well).
I'm also working on a very simple day/night/in-between system where the BGs and tint changes based on a timer variable. The switch would take place during map transfers and not in real time, though the tint MAY change a bit if I can get it working right to hint at the changing times.
Optimization (I hope to reduce the total number of objects at any time by around 30 to 50%) The map in these videos was reduced from 1562 objects to 724. :D
Writing a basic cutscene engine (For images and preventing movement during NPC important talks).
Fixing damage recoil
Adding enemies (last...combat is unimportant)
Mapping final locations (3 left to map...so about 2 weeks of continuous mapping)
Whatever else I figure I'll need to add...I'm nearing completion, so lots of story writing is left after this, but that's it...
This is a heads-up post. The main domain for City Across the Sky and Siifour Studios related works will be moving to http://siifour.tumblr.com/ in the coming weeks. All of the main posts for Project CAS will remain here however.
As for news, make note of the City Across the Sky 2.0 label. It's less of an upgrade and more of a size reduction since the hardships of IB life and trans-Atlantic collaboration have made it very difficult to make significant progress on CAS over the the last few months. The game has been reduced to about 4 major locations:
Grasslands/Grass Ruins/Dark Forest
???? Secret Location
The project's gameplay will remain intact, but the overall size and pacing of the game will be significantly smaller and quicker. As our first game, Jack and I have decided that the size would prove too difficult for our busy lifestyles to maintain, so instead, we're going to focus on a smaller, more condensed experience. As for tile variation, each location, despite there only being 4 now, will have significant variation. The Grassland/Forest Biome will be the largest and have the least tile variation, but I hope to rectify the issue of repetition with changing backgrounds, music, sound effects, and also, a simple day/night system exclusive to that biome and the City biome. Weather is also poised to be implemented, but it's not necessary to the gameplay.
I will be returning to a weekly update schedule. And all progress will be documented in a fairly easy to understand manner. Hopefully, time permitting, I will release a trailer of the art and expressing a bit of the story within the next 2 weeks.