I'm still hard at work on finishing up the release. All the graphics are completed, as are the extra maps. The only part that's left is the much-hated database (I'm looking forward to having that all done), rebalancing the battles and test playing. I'm both looking forward to testing everything and dreading it. I'm almost tempted to take the "super lazy developer" route and have some poor beta-tester check the game instead of doing it myself. If I wasn't determined to give y'all a quality game, I would totally do that *insert crazy laugh here*.
I leave you with two gifts. One is another screenshot of revamp maps:
As I was organizing the database last night, I realized that there wasn't a whole lot of "playable" content in TUAH so far. Chapter 1 has the player exploring Bogden forest, which is all of 3 maps in size. And outside the main-quest related fights, you don't even get to fight anything! Chapter 2 is not much better. Gullad mountains is supposed to have a huge mine, yet it only had 2 types of enemies. Worse yet, the tower had absolutely nothing outside the boss fight -which, let's face it, was a pretty sad one at that.
So, I will be adding more stuff. More maps, more fights and more treasure chests.Thanks to Thalzon's fantastic battlers, I've got a ton of fun enemies for you to encounter. I've already mapped out the enemy types. I'm moving onto their abilities and testing after that. Then it will be a matter of adding more maps.
Is this going to delay the release? Well, no. I'm still planning on releasing the updated graphic version sometime this week. The extra content will be added and released with chapter 3.
In the meantime, here's an extra screenshot for you guys:
I finished the very last map needed for the graphical update last night. Phew, what a lot of work that turned out to be. Not the map itself, but the update in general. While I'm very pleased with the results, I will definitely not be doing it again.
The rest of the update isn't that time-consuming. I have to finish up converting script calls for Quest Log 2.0 (which is a handful of quests, so it's not too difficult) and play through the game to make sure that everything is in good shape. I'm also probably going to add a few more places where Alistair can interact with the environment (examining bookshelves, anyone?) and add more instances where personality/relationship levels are altered. This will, hopefully, only take a week.
So, from this point on, all you should see is new content. Hooray!
One of the things I did while away from the computer was to take a good, hard look at the features I wanted to include. While they're all really fun and interesting, I've found that some of them are unnecessary. The "lose gold when you run away from battle" is a good example of such a feature.Sure, it's fun and I got it to work with the simple use of a common event, but it's one extra thing to worry about when eventing. Not to mention that it could be a source of a lot of frustration for the player.
Other changes that have been made:
- There are more opportunities to gain/lose relationship points via cutscenes as well as character-based side quests.
- Addition of a "gift shop" where you can buy special gifts for your party members.
- More instances of where interacting with the environment (checking a bookcase, for example) will result in party chatter or relationship-altering cutscene. I'm on the fence about whether there should be an indicator (small arrow, for example) or whether the mystery would be more fun to the players.
Lastly, I'm working on revamping Sparrowight Academy, as it was the only area that still had the "old" maps. This is how Sparrowight used to look:
While the mapping isn't horrendous and I really like the layout, it's very different from the more recent maps. So, here is an updated version of the map and an extra screenshot for fun:
Over the next week, I'm planning on focusing on eventing rather than just art. As pretty and fun as mapping gets, I do want the player to actually play the game rather than just look around.
Things are slowly coming back to normal around here and I'm finding myself with time to actually sit down at the computer for longer than 2 minutes. This means that TUAH is finally back on track! I haven't completely stopped working on it for the past month, but most of the work has been behind the scenes: writing up dialogue, fiddling with the plot and expanding on the puzzle ideas. That kind of work is much needed, but it's not something that can be shown off. Well, I could technically take a picture of my notes, but they don't make much sense unless you're aware of some major spoilers.
I've also been trying to get into the swing of arty resource-making. I've finished a priestess portrait:
If you're interested in seeing all the portraits and such, I have a thread here that's finally been organized. Definitely register! There are people around there that have waaay more talent than I do.
Anyway, look forward to the weekly updates again!~ I should have something to show very soon.