Today was a pretty active day, covering several areas of development.
It started out much like the past few days, testing and bug fixing the new encounters. After a few more run-throughs, it seems like the encounters are behaving as they should. So I think they should be ready to go. There's one art change I may want to make, but I can survive without it. We'll see how things go next week.
I also decided to add two new creatures to the game. So in the next build, you'll be seeing some new faces around the map.
I finished rigging up the encounters I've been working on, and was able to start testing them this afternoon. I sort of went off on a tangent with one of the "return to ___" encounters, adding a whole branch that I never planned to do. However, I didn't want to not add it if I had the idea. More content is good, so I ran with it.
It gave me an opportunity to look up the toxic effects of beryllium fluoride, heh heh :)
Another good day of encounter work today. I've pretty much finished hooking up "return visit" encounters to a few locations, and had some inspiration to make one of them a bit beefier. It wasn't really something I had planned, so I'm just sort of winging it. But hey, that's what I'd be expected to do if I was DMing a game and my players went off the track :)
I finished quite a bit of encounter work today. Last week, I had most of the new encounter's illustration done, as well as a rough draft of the encounter mapped out in the editor.
Today, I was able to hook up all the treasure stats, conditions, branching item requirements, and logic to control the flow of the new encounter. And the illustration got another detail pass, mostly adding some softening details, garbage, and graffiti.
I resumed work on the encounter illustration today. Upon loading up the psd in the morning, it actually still looked pretty good, so I decided to push it further. I got started with shading some of the major features, adding texture and detail, and generally making the image look less sterile.
By lunchtime, it actually started looking pretty good! I was starting to run out of inspiration on it, though, so I decided to put it on the back burner for a while, and start work on some other tasks. I'll come back to it later, and see if a fresh perspective helps.
I rewrote the editor's save routine this morning to work in batches, which allows me to save a larger number of encounter nodes before the process conks out. Once that was in place, I was able to rebuild the encounter structure pictured yesterday, and copy+paste the text for each node back in. By the time lunch rolled around, I was caught up with yesterday's work, plus the remaining portions of the node tree.
I spent most of the day today hooking up the encounter I've been drafting in a document.
Before I could start, though, I had to wipe some cobwebs off of the editor. It appears that the recent addition of more images for the higher resolution modes broke a limit in the editor, and it was failing to load everything when I started it up. I had to write some code to load the data and images in batches, so it didn't get stuck.
I had a full day of plot writing today. (Yay!) I spent about half an hour going over what I had written Friday, and getting reacquainted with the issues I was wrestling. And fortunately, a spark of inspiration helped me come up with a satisfying solution.
I apologize for the website issues lately. It seems the website's been a bit wonky since my ISP restarted the server Saturday. I took the site offline for a few hours this evening to try some fixes, but I don't think it's fixed yet.
I picked up where I left off yesterday, continuing with encounter writing. I started writing some of the opening scenes of the encounter, and had a few early bits that I quite enjoyed writing.
However, I reached a point where I started second-guessing the logic of the encounter. The thing I originally wanted to write seems a bit flimsy and contrived. Fun, but I'm not sure a group of people would actually act the way I was writing. Particularly since it seemed contrary to their greater motives.
I had to re-upload the downloadable 0.966b beta this morning, due to a bug in yesterday's version that caused black screens on load. So if anyone ran into that issue, I apologize. The new downloads should be working ok, and Desura has similar updates awaiting approval. Sorry about that!
I started uploading a new build today, but ran into some late-day snags that delayed a full upload of the rest of the versions. So instead, what we have is an updated beta Flash build (0.966b). The Flash demo and all downloadable versions (beta and demo) are still at 0.965, but I figured it'd be worth leaving the new Flash beta uploaded to let folks try it if they want.
The Flash build (0.966b) includes the following changes:
I decided to hold off on uploading a new build today, as I think there is still an issue causing problems lately. Namely, folks have been seeing items behaving weirdly, often drawing on one inventory screen even though they're dropped on another screen.
It looks like I still missed a crafting bug in the flurry of activity. ht1237 alerted me to a bug which happens when one crafts an item that is stackable, and it matches an incomplete stack on the ground. If the existing item on the ground is the first place the crafting screen finds when checking to see if the yield fits, that existing item is deleted. The result is that completing a recipe in the crafting screen (not even confirming it, just completing it) might delete ground/camp objects.
I've just finished uploading beta version 0.964b and demo version 0.964d, which enables the Jar of Screaming Eyes in downloaded versions, adds the ability to empty out containers via the context menu, and includes quite a few fixes to crafting and other bugs.
Beta and Demo Updates
Both the beta and demo include the following changes:
Thanks to some helpful player-submitted bugs and savegames, I've managed to find and fix quite a few bugs.
Crafting and Stacks
It turns out that there's a pretty insidious bug caused by crafting things that yield stacks. Examples of such recipes include forest resources (which produce stacks of sticks), clothes (rag stacks), and disassembling the tarp shelter (string and sticks).