This week has been largely spent conceiving, modelling, texturing, boning and animating some new monster models. I’m hoping to hit nine models + the more variable human models for the first alpha. The beauty of the algorithmically generated tactical battles is that it’s incredibly easy to insert new monster types into the generator (and thus the game) once you have all their details set down in data.
So this week we have the bloated giant rat:
He will gorge on your entrails and gnaw on your bones.
Then we have a giant spider too. A lot of people don’t like spiders so I’m plotting to include a ‘Cobbet mode’ in the game options that will exclude them from the generator.
This guy looks quite friendly though. Probably should work on that.
And finally we have the cowled and insubstantial Shadow wielding a giant two handed sword with preternatural ease.
Another undead beast to grapple with alongside the skeletons and zombies from last week.
I’ve also started poking around in the rusty old bad guy data code to better support the variety of behaviours and characteristics of these varied villains. Shortly skeletons will no longer bleed with ruby red blood.
That’s all for now.
Click to enlarge
So this week, I’ve created some new walls, floors and their related structural tiles to form a second architectural tileset for Free Company’s mission generator to make use of. This one, as you can see above, looks less of a dungeon and more like a moderately well appointed house. I was getting a little tired of staring at those stone walls all of the time. The ’tile’ based structure of the game makes it pretty easy to drop new sets of walls into the existing mission generator and have them ‘just work’. Hopefully, once the game is out, the relative ease of adding new tiles might inspire some enterprising modders to do just that. I started out making games through modding and love how modders can take a game and extend it’s lifespan for years. As a result I have been trying to make the game’s systems as open to modification as I have time for and I plan to make some of my dev tools available at around the same time as the game as well.
Other than tiles, I’ve been working to replace my old physics library with a new one and improve the game’s use of physics along the way. The plan is this will eventually;
- Stop ragdoll enemies falling through walls and other objects.
- Make for much better ray-casted cover calculations.
- Allow more natural interaction with doors and any other interactive objects.
- Improve performance & reduce bloaty code
- Make physics objects fit much better to their objects & make it much easier to debug them
- Added a really simple blood splat almost decal-like effect. Doing these properly looks like a lot of work for little return, at least when viewed from an isometric perspective.
- Fixed a bunch of bugs & performance problems interfering with playtesting.
- Created a fireplace object.
- Read A Dance with Dragons.
That last one was definitely important research. Definitely. There were mercenaries in it.
Click to enlarge
The development of Free Company continues this week with the addition of lighting themes to the procedural tactical battle generator. In the shot above you can see my first stab at the ubiquitous ‘orange & teal’ theme that has become so popular in Hollywood. The basic principle is to help increase the variation that players see between levels in a simple, asset cheap, way. As the generator progresses I’m intending to tie the lighting colour theme to other aspects of the contract to help enhance whatever mood suits that particular contract. Right now though it’s just a completely random pick.
I grabbed a couple more shots of it in action so you can better see to what I am referring:
I call them "Sandy" and "Red-ish"
I also spent some time since the last update finishing the first pass on the ‘overgame’ campaign code and UI. A player can now successfully navigate between the overgame layer and a series of tactical battles while retaining the same set of mercenaries. Right now the main tie between the two layers is whether the mercenaries died, whether they completed the contract and what weapons they bought from the campaign shop. As development progresses I’m going to try and increase the amount of interdependency between the two game states to help keep them feeling like a cohesive whole. Exactly how is going to depend on playtesting.
Finally I added a really big hammer.
Thor would be proud