Today was mostly about playtesting, as I'm aiming to get a new build uploaded asap.
My first playtest was cut short when a roof collapsed, obliteraing two of my body parts. As it turned out, the "Fragile" trait had a bug which amplified damage by 300%, and I died of acute bleeding of the lungs and severe brain trauma. So that had to be fixed. (Recent armor/wounding/damage changes to blame, here.)
Testing continued today, and wow, did I find some nasty bugs.
The day started with some tweaking to the AI "take item" code, to make sure that it was trying to equip items before stuffing them into pockets/bags. This was to fix cases where gloves and other items were being put into pockets instead of worn when the creature was gearing-up.
Yesterday's work got armor mostly working, so today I tied up some loose ends with the new feature. Namely, making sure armor condition dropped when it did its job, and retro-fitting existing clothes with minimal armor values.
Then, it was all about tying up the rest of the loose ends, and trying to get to a point where it's good to upload. In no particular order, this included:
Well, I've nearly got the new DMC police outfits done. All of the clothing and armor artwork is done, and I've started adding the requisite item data for them to the game. So far, I've got the pants, boots, gloves, shirt, helmet, and balaclava added.
Since I'm fairly certain most of you will bee-line for the DMC to steal the clothes at your first chance, I won't ruin the surprise by showing their item art. However, here's a sneak preview of the sprite art:
Went light on the PR again this morning, and managed to log some more hours against bug fixing. I think I finally figured out that save/load bug I mentioned. Looks like I was incorrectly copying values to the faction standings hash table on load, and when the save game data was cleared, so were the creatures' hash tables. This now seems to be working again.
Despite yesterday's optimism about today, I actually got much less development done. However, I still got a lot of work done. Here's why.
This morning, I actually finished my PR rounds a bit early, and had some time to spare before lunch. It occurred to me that I hadn't reviewed profits/losses for Blue Bottle Games in almost a year. With tax season coming up, that's something I'll have to do. So I decided to dig into the books.
Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Things have been pretty busy around here, due to a few unexpected surprises in the press over the past few days.
First, there was this lovely shout-out in Rock Paper Shotgun. Appearing late in the day, Friday, Adam's kind words really ramped-up site traffic in the following couple of days. In fact, for a day or two, it was almost like launching on Early Access again!
Today was all about ironing-out the issues in the NPC conversation feature. While basic functionality seemed to work in yesterday's tests, there were several edge cases that needed to be fixed.
For example, what if the player offers to talk and the target leaves battle? That offer needs to be cleared so the next meeting launches battle normally.
Or, what if the player and target both offer at the same time? Technically, the game only started conversations if one person offered and the other agreed, so I needed special case handling for double-offers.
I just finished the last of the batch of looter conversations this afternoon, and started testing them. There are five personalities, with 16 conversations between them. Most are short, either a single node or two, and a few are longer.
I decided to make them a mix of male and female, friendly and unfriendly, just to give a sense for the way I see looters responding to others. There are some lore tidbits in there, but the real thing it shows is a bit of the looter culture.
I continued work on the looter conversations today. They're moving along about as fast as normal encounter production. That is to say, it can be slow to write and hook them up. Even when trying to keep the conversations limited, it can take some time to make them sound natural, entertaining, offer at least minimal choice, and fit the style of the game. I think I managed to get 3-4 done today.
I continued work on NPC conversations today, and spent a good chunk of time on a conversation tree with a looter. Using the encounter system, they can be as complex or as simple as any other encounter in the game, once they kick-off.
For my first test, I just had a looter tell me to go away, and that seemed to work. However, if I wanted to let the player say anything, that would mean more than one-liners.
I spent most of today working on and testing the ability to exit battle peaceably. At first, I was going to call it "armistice" or "disengage," but then I noticed someone use the word "ceasefire." Since that word seems pretty clear, I went with that.
Today was mostly about getting AI to care about factions. Early in the day, I added faction standings to each creature, so they could have independent feelings about the other factions. They'd have some base standings when spawned, but those standings could change later.
After a few more tweaks this morning, I got the creature sprites finished and updating correctly. There was a small issue of draw order with some slots, and I needed a way to update mid-battle, but all seems to be working now!
As some of you have already noticed, the site was having some issues with Mollom's spam detection plugin. Users were having their legitimate posts gobbled by the spam-eater, and forum-posting was near-paralyzed in the process.
In addition to some tweaks on this site, Mollom has identified some issues on their end, and the result should be more appropriate spam-flagging. It appears Mollom's algorithm was adjusted recently, which has since been corrected. Let me know (via email, if necessary) if you're still caught in the spam traps. Sorry about that!