I haven’t written a proper update in almost a week now, so there’s a lot to cover. It’s not that I haven’t been working on the game – it’s just that my time has gotten so scarce now, I haven’t had time to make daily progress updates like I did for the first two weeks.
First, what I managed to get done this week. Then, what I’m going to do with my remaining contest time.
My progress has slowed substantially since I got back to work, though I did get a little time during the week for some relativity small additions:
This is how the battle engine currently looks (The background graphic is temporary). This week, I just added some Major Arcana specific stuff – I implemented those enemy graphics from last week, I changed around the way the battles are displayed, I started working on the junction system, that sorta thing.
I was chatting to Robin last week (the artist I hired on Pixelation to make a sprite template for me), and he made a few changes to the template. He also made some action poses for items and magic and that sorta thing, but I probably won’t have time for that now.
Using his template, I spent the bulk of the week doing graphics work, and managed to finish all the basic sprites that I need for the first area. I’m particularly happy with how Crystalus came out!
Here are the rest of the sprites:
Heh, I’m really happy with this one. The outfit is great, and goes perfectly with her personality.
Gladius is sorta the de-facto main character. Now with standard issue arms!
Stella originally had blond hair, but I thought the purple thing was more interesting, even though I’m not sure it works as well. I may change back before the contest ends.
It took me a very long time to make the female template from the male one – you wouldn’t believe how hard it is to get a 20×40 sprite to look feminine – even when you add a set of tits, it still looks like a man with tits! In the end, I had to change practically the whole sprite – the jaw, the arms, the legs – and you know what? She still looks butch.
So far I’ve shaded only the south facing sprite, but I’m going to do the rest of the directions when I get a chance.
I: The Magician
This was sorta rushed, admittedly.
The Minor Arcana pages: Swords, Wands, Pentacles and Cups respectively
I hadn’t intended to do four separate graphics for the pages, but I’m glad I took the time to do it. They’re all the same basic sprites, but I added a turban to Pentacles and Cups, and recoloured them according to their corresponding cards.
Probably the most exciting development in the past week is that I got an offer of help. Josiah Tobin (probably best known for his work on Lynn’s Legacy) has so far created two excellent songs for the game, and he’s working on a few more. He’s said that he wants to make a final version for the release, so I won’t post the songs just yet, but you can check out some of his music on this RPGDX thread.
I’ve scribbled a few things down throughout the week, but honestly, I’ve done very little in this department.
And now, as for that remaining contest time – thankfully, more of it remains now that we’ve got an extension till the 11th of March. Hopefully it’ll be enough, but I can sorta see myself canvassing for a further extension after that 🙂
Very little remains to be done here – I’ll have to fully implement the menus, I need to make some sorta save system, and then there’s a few bug fixes left. It shouldn’t take more than a day, or maybe two.
All that remains now are the tiles, but I’ve got a sneaky way around this little problem – I’m going to draw the maps.
My basic idea is, that since I’m going to be sketching out level plans anyway, I may as well scan them in and colour them on the computer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to go to a huge amount of work here – but it’s a hell of a lot less work than throwing together some last minute tiles, and if I’m lucky this approach will carry with it a style that could work very well in the game.
Or not. I suppose I’ll see once I’ve made the first map.
Having Josiah on board is a huge boon to the project – there’s no way I was going to have time to make a soundtrack that I would be in any way happy with. Music just isn’t one of those things I can create quickly whenever I want.
The only consideration I have left here is to implement some kind of way to play Josiah’s music – the Project Distraction engine currently uses the Allegro MOD tracking library DUMB, while Josiah creates his music in MP3s. It’s not a big deal, but I’m going to have to find time to implement a new music library into the project. I’ve already tried ALOGG, but even with DevX’s valiant efforts on IRC, I couldn’t get the useless thing working. I think I might try AllegroOGG instead.
This is where the bulk of the work remains to be done. I haven’t really talked about the story yet, but with so little time left in the contest, maybe it’s better I keep it that way 🙂
I think it’s time I went to bed.