Friday, March 22, 2019

Menus, Items, and Saving

Hi guys,
The following may get a bit technical, but recently in Conception Maiden I've created an Item database system, an inventory system, a save/load system, and a multi-purpose menu system.  Aside from that I've also added the fighter system from my last post into the main game(though they can not take damage yet and only Victoria's sprites are set up for this so far).

The item system is very simple right now but can be used to easily create new items for the game.  The inventory system builds off of the items system, and basically keeps track of what items and how many are in your possession(along with money) like in other RPGs.  It can also be used to create multiple inventories.

One of the highest proprieties after I adding the stuff from my last post, was to create a Save/Load system so the game could be saved.  For this, the game needed to know what should be saved, which turned out to be mainly data relating to characters/fighters, inventory, system info, and the general current state of the game.  In order to save, the player would also need menus to select where to save, so I also made a multi-purpose menu system.
This is different from menus I made before and took far longer to make than the items/inventory systems.  The basic idea is to have a menu system that can be used almost anything in the game.  It looks very basic right now but it can be used to make lots of different menus with transitions.

After everything was set up, I added pausing to the game and a pause menu, with one of the options on it being save:

This is how the save menu looks at the moment.  The save time is shown as well as a screenshot.  Each time the game is saved, two files are created/overwritten for this.

The ".sav" file contains all the save data while the ".png" file is a small screenshot to go along with it.  This save system would need a few more test but should likely be fully-functional on the next demo.

Character Menu Layout in progress

Right now, the pause menu have 5 sub-menus, Characters, Items, Save, Options, and Quit. Though only Save/Quit will probably be usable in the next demo.  Save files can now be loaded from a new menu on the title screen.


Also, about load times between maps(rooms):
This game is rather optimized, but there is one major thing that makes the player wait, this is the time it takes when the game changes maps.  For example, at the very beginning of the last demo, immediately after the title screen(right before the games first line of dialog), it's noticeable that it takes the game a moment to load. 

This is because autotiles are being merged together in real-time before the map can be played.  (Autotiles are images used as tiles on the ground, and then automatically merged together based on where they are from each other.  This can make the map look very nice.)  The more autotiles on a map, the longer it takes to load before playing.  This basically accounts for most all of the waiting time in demo once the title screen appears(without it, loading could be just about immediate aside from asset sprites/sounds/etc loading when needed).

The best way I can think of to fix this would be to have all the tiles per-merged.  This means nothing would need to be merged while the player is playing.  However, with pre-merged game maps, I won't be able to easily edit the maps(my custom tile editor would probably need a complex update to account for this) and the animated autotiles(like animated water) aren't currently designed for per-merging.  I will try to fix this in the future, though I probably won't have time to do it by Demo #2.


With the basic Save/Load working now, I will probably focus on the writing of the storyline now and a few other smaller things.  Once I have the stroyline far enough, I will likely focus on adding/updating fighters and eventing.

Once that is all done(Though I am not sure when that will be right now), I think Demo #2 will be completed and ready.  This demo will include the Utrila h-event.  Thanks so much for your support so far guys, I will let you all know when the demo is ready.

Um, that's all for now,
see you later.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

CM Update + Animations (Victoria)

Hi everyone,
I was planning to post this sooner but wasn't able to (mainly because of free time).
On my last post, I talked abit about how I updated the visual of the models, I modded them even more.  Victoria in particular, where I completely redid her proportions again.  Here's what the massive Victoria looks like now after the new modding:

The differences from the one in the last demo is Victoria's model itself is higher quality(among the highest I've seen in 3DCG), her proportions are better(longer arms/legs, better butt shape, more emphasis on butt, her hair texture is been changed to a nicer custom one).  Basically a big overhaul, If it's hard to tell the difference, please look at this one:

On the left is how they look in the last demo, on the right is how they look now(though Lorelei's skin tone has been adjusted slightly since this CG).  Victoria also looks quite different from on my last post too.

This shows her butt, even know it was big, it use to be rather flat, now it's much rounder and smoother.  Animated it is something like this(I haven't added butt physics atm but I have set it so I can manually deform it.  I might also try to make her butt a bit rounder from behind).

Now, the new model bodies are a little taller(which I gave to all the girls), and I made minori's head a little smaller to balance it better with his body.  Plus I gave Victoria a little bonus height so I could make her butt a little bigger while still looking more balanced.   So basically everyone is even taller than Minori now.

Until I had finished updating the models I had to put a number of things on hold, one of the things were making fighter animations to battle in side-view mode. However, after I've finished updated them, I converted a number of them to MMD so I can make new animations.  Before I could do this I had to figure out their new in-game height.  Minori is now 84 pixels tall, while Lorelei is 96 pixels tall, and Victoria is about 137 pixels tall.  After animating in MMD and photoshop, here's an example of Victoria new animations(jumping north-east, attacking):

The weapon Victoria uses is similar to a spear.  I also decide to rebuild the side-view fighting from the beginning in the game, along with the new animations.  So the platforming is much better now (I've been reading some stuff on creating "intuitive controls").  Here's what Victoria's sliding animation looks like in-game now:

Here's some different actions in-game(yellow block is a placeholder for an enemy character of average height):

All of this(mainly modding/editing characters and platforming rebuild) has taken a very long time and has problem set me back about 2 months in development, but it seems to have turned out rather well.  I was planning to post a tech-demo here of the new platforming but there are still things I would like to do with is before that.  Currently the AI player(yellow block) has goes by choosing a random movement goal: idle, move toward player/item, move away from player/item, and when in range there's a chance the AI will attack you.  For Lorelei, she will have a bow & arrow that gives her long range attacks.  I still don't have a release date though, but once this is all done I will put it all into the main game and write the storyline, add gameplay up to the point for the next main demo.  I will let you guys know once it's ready.

That's all for now,
see you later.