This week I’ve been working my way through some of the smaller tasks on the looming To Do list. First up was an attempt to make a more impressive ‘boss’ variant monster for my barbarian encounter. I thought I’d give him an impressive beard (seen above) and one of those horned hats plus the usual array of slightly boosted stats. Unfortunately the beard really isn’t all that visible from the isometric perspective so he looks like a regular barbarian warrior in a hat but that can’t be helped. I might make him some fur-esque armour to wear, give him an ornate axe or just make another head with a really huge beard. The point is the principle is now there; he slotted into the encounter with no trouble and with a bit of code cleanup it was easy to give him special hats, heads and whatever else so I moved on. Next up was dual wielding, I wanted to give players the option to stick a one handed weapon in each hand because it’s totally cool in a sort of 14 year old boy way who I can just about remember being. As you can see from the above picture that now basically works, I haven’t decided how exactly the attack is going to work for dual wielders yet but you can at least carry two weapons about and swap them in and out of your inventory with no bother. Lovely. Oh I also made the dagger item to show it off properly.
Then I decided to make some of the extra mercenary body models I’ve had planned for a while. One in regular clothes with no armour for those times when you decide not to wear any for whatever reason (seen above) and another in a magical/priest-esque robe for when you want to ‘rock it’ like a magic user. That one looks a bit like this:
I made a gnarled wizard staff for him as well, as you can see, and that’s the old ‘wizard hat’ on his head there which I did a little while ago. They’ll all look smaller and further away in the game of course but for now you can enjoy them up close and personal. Finally, today I went through all the old mercenary animations and gave them a bit of tweaking to try an make them a bit less floaty, I expect I’ll revisit them a few more times before I finish adding variants and improving the believability as much as I can.
Wednesday this week was spent out on strike (can an indie developer go on strike?) with my partner (who as a teacher definitely can). We marched around London for a few hours with hundreds of others, waved a union flag and held up a union placard. The reason of course is to protest against the large effective cuts in compensation for all public sector workers (as well as the firing of a huge number of others). My brother and my father have both been made redundant by the current government and now my partner faces a hefty effective direct pay cut (no pay rises in line with soaring inflation), a new 3% tax to help pay down the deficit, a direct cut in her pension at retirement and an effective cut by changing the inflation linking of the pension from RPI (actual inflation) to ‘CPI’ (government inflation fiddle to keep it lower). All that on top of the retirement age being boosted (which isn’t that unreasonable a measure given that we are living longer but I’m not sure I’d want to be rescued by a 67/68 year old fireman, would you?). The government thinks these cuts are only ‘fair’ because a large number of the lower paid people in the private sector have lost their pensions too in the last few years. Apparently it’s a race to the bottom, cut something from the private sector then turn around and use that cut to justify cutting it in the public sector a few years later. They also like to use disingenuous comparisons between the compensation in the public and private sectors overall, despite the range of occupations in the two sectors being so different now since all the lower paid jobs in the public sector have been privatised and outsourced. Yes teachers (currently) get paid more money than shop assistants but they have to get a lot more education to do so. Traditionally the decent pensions in the public sector have been seen as compensation for the lower wages compared to similarly skilled jobs in the private sector.
Anyway, I’m sure that governments pay strikers no heed nowadays, fears of ‘revolution’ have long since receded and generally the non striking public seems to turn against them if they go on for more than five minutes. However, even if it is just raging against the dying light, it still feels good to take back some measure of control for just a day. I expect that strikes might become more of a feature of daily life if this ‘decade of austerity’ comes to pass as predicted.
On the bright side, video games! Still awesome.