(This post is a few days late. Holidays are very sneaky things and suddenly there’s no time to write!)
The last day of Indie Goodbye, Day 4, was probably the busiest of them all. At this point I still didn’t have any menus or UI in place, and there was no way to restart the game if you died, so there was quite a bit left before the game was user-friendly enough to release.
(This post is about 2 days late. I went into hyper overdrive around the end and didn’t want to waste precious cycles trying to get a forum post out in time. Nonetheless, this post shall still exist!)
Day 3 of development of my Indie Goodbye game was an interesting one. I started the day by working on the title screen logo. Adding a title screen goes a long way to making your project feel more like a real game, which gets pumped back into your motivation center through a process called “science”, or so they say.
Today didn’t go exactly as I’d hoped, but it was still fantastic.
I had forgotten that I had already made plans to do some Christmas shopping today, so, after a few hours of shopping and a Chinese buffet-induced coma, there wasn’t as much time to write code as I would have liked. That said, I’m still rather pleased with what I did manage to do in the short time I had left.
This is a quick peek into how my Indie Goodbye game progressed over the course of Day 1. I decided to use the default EGA Color Palette this time for an added challenge, instead of the 4-color monochrome Game Boy look I’ve gotten used to.
Yo dawg! I heard you like maps so I put a map in your map so you can map while you map in Episode 10.
“Welcome to Episode 10 of the Island Survival Dev Diary.
In this episode, I’ll go over the changes made during Day 10 of the game’s development.
I changed the titlescreen again. This time it uses a live map instead of a static image, which makes it look a lot more polished. All the lighting and weather effects work just as they do in-game, so the titlescreen stays visually interesting even over longer periods of time. The map is also loaded in externally so you will be able to change what the titlescreen displays if you wanted.
Using the same system, when you start up the game it’ll also automatically load up your last save, which is also a nice feature to have.
I worked a bit more on the options menu as well. Now you can change the settings using the left and right keys, so you don’t have to cycle through the entire list again if you pass through the setting you want. When you exit the options menu, your settings will be saved so that the next time you launch the game, you won’t have to configure everything again.
I also added a minimap to the editor in this build. There’s no toggle for it right now, and it doesn’t show your position or where you’ve placed objects, but I’ll add those features soon. I may make a map item that you can craft to display the minimap during gameplay, but I haven’t decided yet.
If you were wondering about the brevity of the last few episodes, it’s because I’ve also been working on getting my new game, Recursion, out. I finished it today, so it should be available for free within the next few days. I’ll post a video of its gameplay with a link to play it sometime soon.
Episode 9! Sorry for the terrible quality. I recorded this on my laptop while out of town.
“Welcome to Episode 9 of the Island Survival Dev Diary.
In this episode, I’ll go over the changes made during Day 9 of the game’s development.
I spent most of my time on this build working on some systems which aren’t immediately visible, but I did find time to add some things to show.
I added menu headers to my menu system, so it’s more apparent what you’re viewing when any given window is visible.
I also added an options menu, from which you can set the window to one of 4 sizes or enable fullscreen mode. You can also set the scaling behavior to one of 5 integer-scaling settings, or one of 2 stretch modes; “fit”, which will stretch to fit the screen while maintaining the aspect ratio, or “stretch”, which will ignore the aspect ratio and just fill the entire screen.
A lot of people mentioned moving the item count over in the inventory window, so I did that too. I need to find a monospace font to use so that the numbers will be flush regardless of how many of an item you possess.
I also added new sprites for unlit torches and campfires, and a command to light them in the command window. Now when it rains, the sprite will change to the unlit version, and it won’t come back on until you light it again. I’ll make lighting fires require an item sometime in the future.
As for the features you won’t be able to see yet, I added the concept of tools to the crafting system, so a recipe can require that you just have a certain type of tool to craft the item. Tools will also not be consumed by the recipe, but I may add a chance for them to break, with copper and iron tools being more durable than those made with weaker materials.
I also worked on cleaning up the codebase a bit, so features will be easier to implement in the future+.
“Welcome to Episode 8 of the Island Survival Dev Diary.
In this episode, I’ll go over the changes made during Day 8 of the game’s development.
I made a few changes to the firefly effects in this build. First, I changed color and size of the light they emit, and then I made the light fade in and out randomly. This makes them look and behave a lot more like believable fireflies. I changed the lighting for the campfire and torches to use this system as well. They will now flicker using the fading system, rather than by scaling, which makes it look better in my opinion.
I also added a weather system, and added rain as the first weather effect. The rain is set to start and stop randomly, but you can invoke it by pressing the K key. You’ll also notice that fire-based lights will go now out once the rain picks up. For now, there are no assets for unlit fires, so they still keep their fire animations while the light is out, but I’ll change that soon. The lights will automatically re-activate when the rain stops, but I’ll change that later when I add a contextual options to the command window.
Most of my time on this build was spent developing the crafting system. When you select “CRAFT” from the menu, you’ll see a list of items you can create, based on the items you have in your inventory. So far I’ve only added a few crafting recipes to test out the system, but now that it’s working, adding more will be as trivial as data entry. You’ll also notice that recipe chains are possible, where you must first craft parts of an item before you can craft the end result.
I’ve made a little progress on the pre-order store page, so it won’t be long before I can start letting people try it out. If you’re interested in the game, don’t forget to subscribe and comment for a chance to win a free copy.
“Welcome to Episode 7 of the Island Survival Dev Diary.
In this episode, I’ll go over the changes made during Day 7 of the game’s development.
In this build, I added keyboard shortcuts for all of the editor options.
You can select a tile layer by pressing the number keys, or select an object by pressing the Z or X keys. If you
have a tile selected, your first press of Z or X will refocus on the object tool, and the second will change the object.
You can also change the brush size using the left and right square bracket keys.
The contouring system can be toggled with the C key, and autotiling with the V key.
All of the shortcuts were just picked at random for now, but they’ll be
customizable in the future. These shortcuts make editing maps even easier.
I spent most of my time on this build working on the map saving and loading system.
You can press Q to save a map, and R to load one. The terrain, your position, and all of the objects in the world
will be stored in the map file. Maps can also be saved and loaded from any directory you choose,
making it easy to share maps between users.
I did a lot of work on the inventory system as well. Items of the same type will now stack when placed in your inventory,
and the number of each item you possess is displayed next to its name. There are also functions in place for removing objects
from your inventory, such as when crafting or dropping an item, but those features aren’t available yet.
Items in the world that do not behave as containers of other items, will now disappear from the world when searched.
Additionally, you will never fail to collect these items when attempting to search. In the future, I will replace the search
command with something more obvious such as “pick up” or “take”, to differentiate the action.
I will be working on the preorder system for the game in my spare time over the next few days. When preorders are available,
I’ll start selecting a daily winner randomly from everyone who subscribes to my channel and comments on the video from the
previous day. I’ll announce the winner in the video for that day, so be sure to subscribe and comment if you’re interested
in the game.
“Welcome to Episode 6 of the Island Survival Dev Diary.
In this episode, I’ll go over the changes made during Day 6 of the game’s development.
I added quite a bit of functionality to the editor in this build.
First, I added support for variable brush sizes. You can change the size of your brush by clicking the left or right arrows located directly under the object selector. There are currently 6 brush sizes available, but I may add support for more sizes or different shapes in the future.
Next, I added support for auto-contouring, which you can enable by clicking on its tickbox. What this does is loop through the layers backwards, placing tiles in a larger radius as it goes. This is useful when you want to automatically add transitions from higher elevation tiles down to water, without having to manually draw it in. Of course, you can always turn the contouring off to touch things up exactly as you want.
The algorithm for this is pretty slow at the moment while autotiling is enabled, especially with larger brush sizes, so I added the option to temporarily disable autotiling. Any tiles that you paint while autotiling is off will be resolved as soon as you turn it back on, so it’s a useful option for when you’re editing large areas of the world at once.
I added 4 new objects in this build as well. Iron Ore, Tall Grass, Clams and Fireflies are now available in the object selector. The fireflies have their own AI and also emit a small light which makes them look really cool at night. I’ll probably add in random blinking to emulate how real fireflies behave.
I finally added an inventory window and hooked up the search command to an inventory system, so anything that you find will automatically populate your list of items. Items do not stack yet, nor do they really do anything, but it’s a step in the right direction.
“Welcome to Episode 5 of the Island Survival Dev Diary.
In this episode, I’ll go over the changes made during Day 5 of the game’s development.
I added the concept of world time to the game, and some colored overlays to represent different times of day. The game will automatically tween between them in a continuous loop, but you can skip to the next state by pressing L.
Once this was done, I needed to add a way for the player to see at night, so I added torch and campfire objects. The torch emits light in a small radius, and the campfire in a larger radius. They also flicker randomly to give a sense of realism to their lighting. There are still a few graphical anomalies to work out, however, as you may notice here.
I improved the crabs by giving them some simple AI and reducing the size of their hitbox. They will collide with the player, world objects, and even with one another, which makes it fun to watch them scurry about.
The menu is a lot nicer as well. I added a cursor, and the menu will now take focus when expanded, so you can move the cursor to make your selection. Once collapsed again, the focus returns to your character in the world.
When you interact with an object, you’ll now see a command prompt in the corner of your screen. If you choose examine, you’ll get the same dialogue as before, but if you choose search, it will attempt to find an item on the object and award you with it. Once I get the inventory system running, these items will be listed under the Inventory heading of the menu. You’ll also notice that I improved the visibility of the text that you see when performing either of these commands, so that you can easily read it at any time of day.
I spent a lot of time working on the 9-slice scaling system, which allows me to use one graphic for the various UI panels, and scale them to any size I need. The menu and the command prompt both make use of this utility.