Project: Indefinite Hiatus

Unfortunately I’ve reached the point with this project where every little thing I want to do just takes up enormous amounts of time, and I’ve decided that I’m going to focus on other projects instead as I feel my time is better spent elsewhere.

I’m not sure if I’ll be coming back to this in a month, a year, or never, but for the time being, this project is on indefinite hiatus.

Going into this, I always knew this was most likely never going to be a finished game, but I had a lot of fun and learned a whole lot of things during these five or so months that I’ve been actively working on it, and don’t regret a second of it.

Hence, I would recommend trying your hand at making video games any day of the week if there is any sort of inclination to do so. Just go for it. Why not? The worst case scenario is pretty much that you’ll figure out it’s not for you.

I’ve slowly been picking up a few readers here and there as I’ve gotten deeper into this project, and over the course of these months I’ve written around 100 posts. In fact, this will be post number 99, which isn’t a insignificant number.

In total, for this blog I’ve written a short novel’s worth of words, so it’s definitely helped me progress as a writer as well as a game designer. All in all, this has been a very worthwhile and rewarding journey, but for now, I will bid you all adieu, and thanks for reading.

 

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Who Said Complaining Doesn’t Work

About 10 minutes after writing the previous post, I opened up Unreal Engine and tried the last thing I could come up with as the solution to one of the problems I had ran into, which was extending the animation time of the animation that refused to work.

And you know what? It’s now working. The problem was that the game blended into the pose and out of it, and that took the entire time of the animation itself, so it looked like it never even played. As I mentioned before, I didn’t even know if it was possible for that to happen, but apparently it was.

So if you’re making quick character animations, make sure they’re at least around half a second in length in total, because a 200ms one will just never happen if you’re using pose blending. I wanted it to be really quick and snappy, since it’s an instant spell after all, but this turned out to work fine too.

After fixing that, I updated the spell effect for the instant spells, because I had just used the only one I had available as a placeholder, and fiddled around with the animation timing a bit to get it looking slightly better. I also made some new music to go with the new zone, so once more I’m making some progress, which is certainly welcome.

Maybe now I can actually get to making a couple of new videos in the next few days. No promises, but it’s looking good.

Bumps In The Road

I admit that I’ve been slacking with the updates as of late, mainly because of some unforeseen problems I ran into that I haven’t been able to really solve yet. A few of them just popped up when trying to finish some things up before making a video on all the new things I’ve done, and they’ve just halted almost all progress.

Eventually I got so frustrated that I just took practically all weekend off just to get a break from it, but I’m back at it again, although I still don’t know how to deal with these problems. One of them in particular is just driving me more or less insane.

A while back I added some new spells, but I didn’t add any new animations to them, I just focused on getting the mechanics working, and that all went well. Last week though, I decided to make a quick animation for the instant cast spells, and it just refuses to work.

I’ve checked the animation file itself, it’s identical to the sword animation in settings, and I can’t find any issues with that. I also checked the script, which is the same one that the sword animation uses, and it runs just fine and executes everything its supposed to, except this particular animation.

It also doesn’t give any error reports. The script has access to the animation, and from what I can tell, it does execute it, but nothing happens. The guy just stands there. I really only have one idea of what it might be at this point in time, and that’s the length of the animation.

The animation is a very quick one, and when an animation fires it blends into that pose from the previous one, and then blends back to the pose it’s supposed to be in after it’s done, and I’m thinking the blending of poses back and forth might take up the entire time of the animation itself.

I don’t know if that even makes sense, but I don’t know what else to do, so I think I’ll just try to make the animation significantly longer and see if that makes any sort of difference at all, or if I just wasted another hour beating my head against the wall.

The thing is, I love problem solving. It’s probably my favorite thing to do. But if I try everything I can think of and I’m still not any closer to a solution than when I started, it gets extremely frustrating. For problem solving to be fun, I need to at least make some headway, and with this one, I’m making none.

I had this issue with the passive skill tree as well, and I still haven’t figured that one out, but with this one I at least know I can get it to work, since I have other animations firing using the same script, I just can’t seem to locate the problem so that I can fix it.

Oh well, I’ll have to find the problem eventually, don’t I?

Please Bear With Me

I’ve been making a few more 3D models, but mainly I’ve just been building the new zone, and trying out some new things while I’m at it. For example, I made a cave, which is a bit counter intuitive, as you can’t just shape the landscape into a cave, you need to actually punch a hole in the landscape, and fill that hole with a separate 3D model of a cave.

Getting it to work to the point that there weren’t any gaps between the 3D model and the landscape, or any bits of landscape sticking through the model, turned out to be the trickiest part of the whole endeavor. It did take quite a bit of messing around to get it there, but I did eventually manage to get it looking okay.

Bear_V1

Another thing I’ve been working on is adding some new monsters into the world, starting with a bear, which required me to make a new skeleton with four legs. Fortunately I didn’t have to do all the inverse kinematics of the legs again, I just copied them over from my two-legged character instead.

I then changed the spine and the head a bit, added a tail, and voila, I now have a four legged animation rig. Today I’ll be looking into getting this bad boy walking around in the game, and maybe I’ll even end up getting it to attack players foolish enough to wander into its forest.

Asset Acquisition

For the last few days I’ve been knee deep in Blender making a whole bunch of new assets, mainly trees, rocks, and bushes but also some more interesting things that will spice up the game world a little bit, since it’s been pretty stale so far.

But those things I  will keep as a surprise for now, and you’ll see what I’ve come up with later when I release a video of the new gameplay area that I’ll make once I have all the things I need ready and done.

NewAssets

Most likely these things will populate more than one zone when all is said and done, or I might just cram everything into one, but I’ll have to see how that works out later.

At the end of the day, the more variety there is in a zone the longer it takes for it to get repetitive and boring, but at the same time, it does take a while to make all these assets so I’m trying to find a nice middle ground where the design is interesting enough, but doesn’t take weeks to make.

That’s just a little update for now, and I’ll probably report back later with a few new models when I’ve done some more. And then once everything is done I’ll put up a video of what it all looks like in game.

Let’s Step Into The Forest

For the last few days I’ve been working on making a few new assets in Blender and importing them into the game to make a zone with a very different feel than the valley where I’ve been hanging out for the last several months.

It’s been something I’ve wanted t do for a while now, mainly because I wanted to know if I could make a zone with a dark and creepy feel to it, since the other zone is quite the opposite of that, and I do want the game to have a slightly darker feel to it than what the original valley conveyed.

And I’ll be honest, I do think I managed to do a decent job for a first attempt. The zone does come off as dark and creepy, and very different from the other one. To help create the feel I also made a short loop of ambient music and added a random owl sound that plays every once in a while to give it a little more depth. And I think it worked out alright.

Now though, I’m back to wondering what to do next since that little project didn’t take very long, and I’m still not sure what features I want to tackle next. But I might just do another zone, this time one that’s a little cooler, if you know what I mean.

Cooler. Cool. Get it? No? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see then.

Another thing I do think I’ll be tackling is adding some monsters into the world. It’s something that needs to be done. The reason I’m a little apprehensive about that is because I’ll have to make some new skeletons and do a bunch of new animations, which is one of my least favorite things to do. It’s just so tedious. But as I said, I think it’s about time.

Anyway, below is a short video of the new look and feel I came up with.

Wondering And Pondering

I got the DoT and HoT working with the system I described in an earlier post, which turned out to work pretty much as I’d expected. So now all the new spell types are working just as they should. Which is great.

Now, I’m not really sure what to tackle next. The quest system is still a bit broken since my overhaul a while back, so that needs fixing, and I guess I probably should do that. But I honestly don’t feel like it.

I feel like getting into some new functionality and features, I just don’t know what. I might have to think about that while making some new stuff to put into the world, and I might start to actually design some zones. Maybe make a few new types of monsters. I don’t know.

Everything’s a bit up in the air at the moment and I just have a million different things I could tackle, though most of the core mechanics are starting to be in fairly good shape. Except that damn talent tree. I still have no idea what to do with that one. I just don’t see how I could make it work.

Oh well, I guess I just have to pick something and start working on it. It doesn’t really matter what it is as long as I’m working on something and making a little headway.