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Will To Survive
7. února - Liquidoodle

I figured I would make a quick weekly progress update seeing as it seems like I managed to get a massive amount done since last Thursdays post. I'm not going to make a video as they take a bit of time to make but it's safe to say you'll be seeing all these improvements in the next development diary.

Interface
This week I've mainly been tackling a re-write of the user interface library to convert it into a much more efficient event driven system. This has been on the cards for a while as the old system was a little cumbersome and I've learnt a lot since I first wrote it. Also, seeing as we are moving from a prototype build to actual alpha/release code it seemed pretty important to start off on a good footing before we begin to tackle combat and other improvements.

In updating this system I've also created a new object interaction interface to replace the pink rectangle that could be seen in dev diary #1. This allows you to accept or cancel an interaction as you walk to it and will support future expansion for when we give you other options. Later down the line objects/items will allow you to perform certain actions without the need to go into your inventory screen such as picking up, examining, using, eating or equipping.

World Objects & Items
I've also been re-structuring the objects and items of the game. These were written very early on and so were in dire need of improvement. It was a pretty quick task and most importantly has allowed me to change the way I create art for objects to be more efficient. Objects are now using a Spine file for their art, this allows me to position them in the tile map editor much more easily and also create a polygonal hit box for them individually so that interactions with them has pixel perfect precision. It also means I can animate them using Spine and do some other interesting things later on... exciting!

Spine Interface Items
After I changed the way objects worked I realised using Spine for the detail and list artwork in the inventory screens and such would work really well and speed up the art creation process. So all UI screens now use shared Spine files for rendering item artwork.

Next Week
Dan's going to be continuing his work on the enemy AI and patrolling this next week. All being well I should have the last few elements of the interface porting done this weekend so that next week I can create some more artwork for Will's combat animations.

Until Next Time!

Alex

30. ledna - Liquidoodle

Good day everyone!

It's been a long time coming but we finally have a new development diary video for you to watch, everything has started to come together this past two weeks so we finally have something worthy of being shown. I'll get into detail about what we have been up to after the video for those who want to read the wall of text that follows.

http://youtu.be/bCY4c7s6I6o

Path Finding
So this has been a royal pain in Dan's side over the past few months, after several re-writes on his side of things and a few changes on my side with tile map code and the like he has finally got the system working and in-game. Hurrah! It works really well so far minus a few small issues that Dan is sure to fix later down the line and it really helps when navigating around by mouse/touch input as you can see in the video. For those who don't want to play using mouse/touch there will also be a keyboard/game pad input system available too. This system will also be used for AI patrol logic and the combat screen so it's been really important to get this working and working right.

Tile Maps
The tile map system as I said last update has had quite a considerate re-write because quite simply it was a little broken and needed to be fixed to work with the new artwork. I've ironed out the last few issues that were left with it so that it is now incredibly precise when drawing and converting from screen space to map space.

I've also tackled some of the things I've been wanting to do for a while with the system so the draw order is now fixed and allows Spine artwork to be drawn behind height tiles, the combat grid and other elements can be drawn above the base tiles but below everything else, the entire map can be tinted a specific colour which is mainly used for the combat screen and the whole map is cropped to the screen so there is no drawing done off screen to improve drawing on mobile devices.

Combat Grid
Something that needed to be looked into before going head long into tackling the combat was planning the way the combat grid would work and designing it's aesthetic. This is something else that I've got done and put into the game all be it in a basic manner.

Lots More
There's also been a lot of core code updates happening that don't entirely come across in the video. We've had a bit of a shift around and clean up of the main classes to improve things for what we were doing and for the future as the way I had tackled them was a bit strange.

The intro screens can now be skipped and I've massively improved and changed the screen and screen management system which will help later down the line. Spine artwork and the process of creating the art has also improved to allow me to make it quicker as well as supporting future clothing/skin changes. The tile map art generation and map creation has inevitably been worked on now too so we have a solid technique for creating this new style art and getting it into the game.

What's Next?
Now the path finding is tackled to a decent state Dan is going to be looking at enemy A.I. Logic for patrolling and guarding, line of sight for player detection as well as reacting to the player once he is seen. Hopefully this should be shown in the next development diary and once done Dan will be making way with the combat mechanic... exciting!

For myself, I'm split between making sure Dan has all the art required for the combat screens as well as having a re-write of the user interface system.

Phew, I think that just about covers everything...

See you next time!

Alex

6. ledna - Liquidoodle

It's been well over a month since the last update so we wanted to make a brief update to let you know how things are progressing.

Time working on the game has been reduced a little due to freelance commitments, Christmas and various other things but we've been working solid whenever we can.

During the December period I've mainly been working on re-writing big chunks of the tile map code, the main reason was to implement the new style artwork shown last update. We also discovered that due to my rather peculiar isometric code it was a pain for Dan to tackle the path finding and combat so I also wanted to tackle that in the re-write, luckily I found a really handy guide which has helped massively. That's all done now bar a few polishing touches so I'm moving back onto working up a small area of the map to get in game.

Dan has been hard at work writing the path finding and improved collision code which will be getting finalised this week all being well, he's also started work on the new combat mechanic so fingers crossed in the coming month we can get some video footage of that up along with the new environment in game and the other tweaks we have been making.

Until next time.

Alex

15. listopadu 2013 - Liquidoodle

Hi folks!

It's been a while since the last update, everything is progressing nicely but a lot of what has been done this past month hasn't been visual enough to show to you, until now.

New Environment Concept

Over the last couple of weeks I've been working on a proof of concept for the way the environment is now going to look and work. You can see this below. It's not an 100% perfect representation as there will be cars, objects, lamp posts and more road markings in the final game but it should give you a good idea of the direction we are heading.



The previous set of environment art was created using tiled blocks, this technique worked well but came with a few problems and it was these problems that caused me to re-think the strategy behind how it would work and ultimately look. The new technique we'll be using for mapping the environment will use tiled squares for the floor elements as before but for the building elements rather than using tiled blocks we'll now be using longer cut up strips, I've made an example of this below.



The new method of mapping means that the environment art can now look more detailed and can allow me to do more interesting things with buildings such as destroying them. Previously doing this with small tiled elements would have been a chore. This new method will also speed up the creation of the artwork as well as shortening the amount of time it takes to create the final in game map files. Another benefit is that there will now be less overdraw as buildings aren't getting drawn as lots of individual tiles layered over each other; This will greatly benefit the Android and iOS versions of the game which were previously running a tad slow. The one down side is that I've decided to cap the height of the buildings, this doesn't mean that we can't increase the height later down the line however and to be honest it looks pretty good regardless.

Hopefully you all agree that this looks much better than before.

Video Diary #2

All being well in the next couple of weeks I'll be doing another video diary regarding some of the new features, watch this space.

That's all for this update.

Cheers!

Alex

29. října 2013 - Liquidoodle

I received some amazing news today and figured I would share it with you all, Will To Survive has been successfully green lit!

A massive thanks to everyone who has voted, favourited, followed and commented. We could not have done this without your help!

Alex

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