V0.03 Coming November 1!
So, we'll be doing the V0.03 release on November 1st. This is unfortunately quite a bit further out than I had originally anticipated, but the reasons for it are pretty solid. We're actually very close to being finished with it, but the decision was mainly either to charge patrons for October and release it when we finish (probably 10 days to two weeks to get it polished up and ready to go) or to just avoid a whole mess of confusion and use the remainder of October to thoroughly test and improve it and just release it at the beginning of November. I chose the latter because it's basically the more responsible choice. This means we should be getting a head start on V0.04, so at least there is the likelihood of a shorter development cycle for that one.
Anyways, you can expect a lot more posts this month showcasing screenshots and what not for V0.03, so do keep an eye out for those. To start it off, I've posted a set on Tumblr to show off some of the map artwork for the area in which V0.03 takes place. You can check it out here: http://eromancergames.tumblr.com/post/130266504440/v003-of-malise-and-the-machine-will-be-released
And as promised, here's a big fat list of changes and new features for V0.03!
- Added a completely new area that will be (or nearly be) the actual intro area for the game.
- Added 3 new normal enemies and am currently working on the boss.
- Will be adding a story related H cutscene event.
- Previous (V0.02) scenario will still be available so that you can try out the battle engine changes against familiar enemies.
Completely rewrote battle engine, providing better performance and functionality:
- Implemented four battle time modes which are available to choose from via the new Options menu. These modes allow for the player to customize the speed at which battle progresses (you can for instance have time stop while inputting commands, and/or when an action is being executed).
- Implemented TETRA interface for battle. This is an icon based menu which replaces normal menus and greatly improves flow of battle.
- Replaced 'HP' and 'SP' gauge markers with icons.
- Made battle interface symmetrical (mainly for aesthetic purposes, but better element placement means a clearer view of the battlefield).
- Rewrote and improved performance for drawing gauges.
- Restructured layering of battle interface elements to correct some issues where certain layers would incorrectly appear above or below other layers.
- Improved consistency and performance of battle interface animation transitions (fades, elements sliding in and out, etc).
- Improved performance of post-battle screens (EXP/money tally and loot list).
- Rewrote targeting system to behave more consistently when selecting a target for a command.
- Rewrote the scope system for actions to allow for much greater variety and flexibility, especially when it comes to H-related actions. This basically means actions can affect characters or enemies based on a custom set of conditions as opposed to the very limited set of conditions supplied by the original engine.
- Rewrote system for displaying character battle portraits for improved stability and much greater flexibility, especially with regard to timing.
- Active time gauges now display the "casting" color (red) when an enemy or player character has an action queued. Player character portraits will change to the 'Ready' pose to reflect this.
- Improved flexibility and performance of action animations and result pop-up systems, as well as integration between the two.
- Improved code for the H-skill finisher system.
- Rewrote enemy battle sprite animation system for improved performance.
- Implemented animated attack/skill special effects for player characters.
- Rewrote active time battle system. Now allows for player characters and enemies to have completely independent battle speeds. Fixed a number of bugs associated with the old system.
- Improved and optimized actor (player character) and enemy handling. Too many changes to even list.
- Added optional automatic Struggle mode.
- Improved manual Struggle mode interface elements and added capability for including additional keys (aside from just Left and Right).
- Rewrote escape system to function with the various battle time modes, as well as to be much more interactive. Added a gauge to show progress toward successfully escaping.
- Improved hold (restrain) handling by improving internal flow and interactions between the holder and player character.
- Added code for new forms of Restrain attacks that allow for the attacker to remain free and active on the battlefield as opposed to being "busy" with its target. This will allow for much more varied and interesting H-attacks/enemy configurations down the road. These include the capability for enemies to spawn new enemies that restrain a player character, spawn inanimate restraint objects that require breaking free from (some examples might include ropes/chains/shackles, etc.), or spawn appendages that restrain a player character.
Implemented options screen containing the following settings (for now):
- Audio volume controls
- Battle time mode
Improved the Save/Load screens:
- Basic improvement and optimization of text and portraits handling
- Fixed improper display of longer map names
- Changed position of the level/EXP indicators so they don't block the fun bits on the character portraits.
- Developed new workflow and process for generating map graphics/tiles from 3D objects. This allows for much more detailed map graphics.
- Added system for dynamically swapping out the entire graphics set based on event conditions.
- Improved performance of and greatly enhanced and focused the parallax mapping system to meet the future needs of the project.
- Added "bumper" system that improves the feel of map navigation. Basically the character will no longer get caught on corners that appear to be traversable (think of games like Chrono Trigger or Secret of Mana where it would slide your character diagonally away from an irregular obstruction while still moving in the desired direction).
- Designed and implemented a much more efficient system for faux height levels (system for creating the illusion that a character or object is above/below another part of the map).
- Improved design and implementation of graphic-based events. This isn't a change as much as it is a better understanding of how to exploit the engine to achieve larger, better performing event graphics.
- Developed an interactive "safe point" (machine) that will be used for many different functions such as teleporting between areas, removing Lust, restoring vital stats and removing negative status effects, repairing armor, and changing body armor and battle skills/items. Not all of these features will be available in V0.03, but the foundation will be there.
- Fixed issues with and improved handling of map portraits.
- Added advanced text parsing/caching system.
- Added support for a one character party.
- Improved functionality of image-displaying classes (Viewport, Sprite, Plane, Bitmap).
- Improved performance of tutorial system (this was significantly slowing frame rate up until all tutorials had been completed).
- Basic optimization of cutscene events.
- Improved access and performance of database elements.
That's about it for now. I know some of the features mentioned are a bit generic (mainly because I didn't want to write a book), but feel free to ask any questions you may have and I'll try to elaborate further!