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A new engine!

Started by CraigStern, June 05, 2016, 05:39:11 PM

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-- added more Telepath Tactics music tracks into the game.

-- the game now supports the PlayAnim script action. Makes a character on the battlefield perform the named animation. Two parameters: Character name, Animation name.

-- remade Goniff Bastid's first shop scene from the The Vengeance of Emma Strider campaign using the new shop interface!

-- updated the date scripting for the The Vengeance of Emma Strider campaign so that these values show up correctly in the info bar.

-- updated the money scripting for the The Vengeance of Emma Strider campaign so that it all works correctly with the shop interface and info bar.

-- added proc gen equipment to the The Vengeance of Emma Strider campaign.

-- the Shop editor within the Cut Scene Editor now checks to make sure that the % chance and number values for a given stock are valid.

-- fixed: setting a single, non-zero number (rather than a number range) for the number of items to generate for a stock in a shop would cause the game to generate a number of those items between zero and that number instead of generating exactly that number.

-- fixed: XML comments within scripts would be read by Unity as inner text that would overwrite the script name, thus rendering the game unable to find the script.

-- fixed: ending dialogue in battle with NextScene would not prevent the game from popping up the Actions Bar or the Turn Box upon closing the dialogue window, even as it began to fade the scene out.

-- fixed: after performing attack animations, characters would remain on the last frame of their animation rather than returning to their rest pose.


-- added more Telepath Tactics music tracks into the game, as well as some tracks from prior Telepath titles.

-- replaced old track names from Telepath Tactics with the proper titles of songs.

-- the game now supports the FlipPortrait script action. One parameter: the reference name of the portrait whose facing direction you want to flip.

-- the AddSpeakerPortrait action now works with characters not physically present on the battlefield during battle scenes.

-- if you progress to a new dialogue branch while portraits are still moving from the MovePortrait action, the game now snaps them to their destinations before proceeding.

-- the cursor now changes to an hourglass when loading sub-editors within the campaign editor, then returns to normal upon completion. Similarly, the cursor now changes to an hourglass when exiting sub-editors, then returns to normal upon successfully loading the campaign editor.

-- expanded upon the game's built-in guide to getting started creating a campaign.

-- fixed: dialogue could inappropriately re-trigger upon completion in certain circumstances.

-- fixed: the music browser wasn't allowing you to browse beyond the first page of tracks.


Played through The Vengeance of Emma Strider again, fixing bugs, tweaking content, and taking screenshots for a much-needed Steam page update.

-- added missing facial expressions in the Caravan battle.

-- improved camera zoom and positioning in multiple cut scenes to better frame the action.

-- fixed some scripting that wasn't working quite right in the Caravan battle.

-- fixed: character selector graphics weren't getting positioned to match their facing direction when characters first spawned.

-- fixed: the AI would sometimes act as though it had moved a character that it hadn't yet moved, skipping to the "use a skill" portion of that character's turn and using a skill from the wrong space.

-- fixed: if a character's move was interrupted (as by a trap), the AI could fail to notice that the character ended up in that space and could potentially try to move another character into that space, producing a null error.

-- fixed: if a character leveled up by counterattacking and slaying the last remaining enemy on the map during the enemy turn, the level-up screen could get stuffed by the AI routines continuing to run and calling the end of the AI player's turn.


-- the game now has its own built-in logging class. It maintains a list of the last 3000 log messages and saves them to a file (Log.txt) within the Documents/My Games/Together in Battle/Logs folder whenever the player presses the 'L' key, or whenever something sent to the log throws an error. (This is important for helping me track down and fix bugs that players experience!)

-- added support for the Log script action, which writes a new message to the log. One parameter: the message to send to the log.

-- removed the behavior in which the game ignored saved units who had last appeared in a different army when loading them in battle. It turned out that this was causing the game to save inconsistent variants of characters from their appearances in different armies, which it turns out is pretty problematic. Maintaining multiple copies of a character in a campaign is still possible--it'll just mean giving them different load IDs.

-- fixed: the SetSeed action was set to search for the seed number parameter in the wrong parameter spot.


-- created ogg files out of the remainder of the Telepath Tactics soundtrack, numerous additional TSoG music tracks.

-- imported the new tracks into the game, updated asset names list so that all music tracks in the game can be easily referenced by custom campaigns.

-- updated music track references in The Vengeance of Emma Strider to match all updated track names. (Previously, tracks were referenced by unofficial work-in-progress names.)

-- the title screen now changes the cursor to an hourglass when loading a new scene, as do the battle and cut scene scenes.

-- you can now talk to Sabrina in the Training battle in The Vengeance of Emma Strider.

-- improved some of the scripting in the Training battle as well as the Zash and Red battle in The Vengeance of Emma Strider.

-- fixed: attack animations were being cut short.

-- fixed: when AI-controlled units became stunned, frozen, or otherwise incapacitated during their turns, the AI would blunder right over the 2-second "determine the next best move based on changed circumstances" timer, sometimes resulting in strange behaviors or bugs.

-- fixed: under certain circumstances, it was possible to drag-pan the camera during in-battle dialogue.

-- fixed: repeatable OnTurn dialogue could inappropriately re-trigger upon attempting to move directly to a new scene via a script action or reply.


-- the 'L' key now saves a log when used inside the campaign editor and all of its sub-editors.

-- made some placement and scaling tweaks to the in-battle weather particle system.

-- made a few small updates to the old Guard Llama mini-campaign.

-- coded what should be support for custom destructible object images in the game, but alas, Unity is being frustratingly recalcitrant.

-- fixed a bug with the RemovePortrait action.


-- new facial expression supported: Peeking. Has the character peeking out from behind the "Pained" expression with one eye, as if discovering that they are not, in fact, actually about to die. :)

-- the skill editor now has a character animation field that lets you specify a type of character animation to be used in concert with the skill (e.g. "Cast" or "Ability"). It has an explanation of what the attribute does when you click in the field.

-- the skill editor now successfully saves and loads the anim attribute for skills.

-- the game can now randomize character camp activities in the character creator. Added randomize and clear buttons to the camp activities window in the character creator.

-- the game now sets its custom campaign folder appropriately based on whether it is set to be Telepath Tactics Special Edition or Together in Battle.

-- updated the AddPortrait and AddSpeakerPortrait actions to use the destination peg system used by MovePortrait. This makes it much easier to predict where portraits will be placed, and far simpler to replace a portrait that has already been moved so as to update its facial expression.

-- updated a bunch of the scripting in The Vengeance of Emma Strider to comport with changes to the scripting system.

-- implemented the LightBackground script action for cut scenes. It remains just as it was in Telepath Tactics, but with different supported presets: Black, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Purple, Dark, Fire, and Custom.

-- fixed: the impact timing field was not being read when creating skill data upon validation in the skill editor.


-- fixed: I had accidentally caused the blinking status effect displayer that appears over characters' shoulders to stop working by switching the order of two lines of code.

-- updated the scripting in the Training battle within The Vengeance of Emma Strider to use IfInAreaRun instead of the now-deprecated IfOnCoordsRun, thereby allowing the game to once again handle it if the player is blocking Silithis from exiting the training area at the conclusion of the tutorial fight.


Uploaded an alpha demo of Telepath Tactics Special Edition in the new engine for Kickstarter backers, and created a Sinister Design homepage on Steam. With that done, I'm back to focusing on Together in Battle for a while!

-- when you refuse a character a raise, they now become resentful for a few days to a week.

-- added a message within the victory box explicitly letting you know that loose item sacks have been auto-looted at the end of a battle when the Post-Battle Looting condition is set to true.

-- tweaked values on some 2D particles to improve appearance and performance.

-- fixed: VFX would continue to update even after failing to load an animation.


-- new script action: ChangeExpression. This action finds an existing portrait and rebuilds it with a different facial expression, precluding the need to remove and re-add the existing portrait across two separate actions (and also avoiding the need to remember its current location, if it had been moved). Two parameters: reference name and facial expression name.

-- added to the first big plot event dialogue tree in the Telepath Tourney campaign.

-- updated the death monologue scripting in The Vengeance of Emma Strider to use the new names of script actions in lieu of deprecated actions like KillChar and CheckForMoreDialog.

-- fixed: the CryoBlast_1 visual effect was missing a "directional" flag in Attacks.xml, which was causing none of the visual effects associated with Cryo Blast to spawn.

-- fixed: visual effects with OnDeath spawning dependent on a prior directional VFX would not spawn because they didn't recognize the visual effect name with a direction appended.

-- fixed: in certain circumstances, the game would conclude attacks before checking for counterattacks, leading to character moves inappropriately overlapping during AI turns.


Updated the Telepath Tactics alpha demo with the past couple of days worth of fixes and improvements, including those below:

-- increased the maximum zoom-out value for the battle camera.

-- sound effects can now make use of visual effect OnDeath timings for when they spawn.

-- replaced the deprecated MoveChar and MoveCharBy actions with their new MoveUnit equivalents in The Vengeance of Emma Strider.

-- fixed: after the first instance of item use by the AI in a battle, it would just stop having its characters using items.

-- fixed: the various elemental blast skills had not had their sound effect timings updated. They now sync up to the animations.

-- fixed: the dialogue menu would visibly start to update as it disappeared when characters started walking from a MoveUnit script action, which was somewhat jarring. The menu update is now deferred until post-movement when the game detects a script action of this sort in a given dialogue branch.


-- increased the maximum zoom-out value for the battle camera yet again, this time dynamically based on the size of the battlefield. (In other words: there is a higher maximum zoom-out level for big maps than for small ones.)

-- nearly doubled the speed of player-directed camera zoom.

-- you can now only zoom one level at a time.

-- the game now records the game version version when saving a log file.

-- fixed: the game would sometimes fail to update the unit library for test mode when changing campaigns in the campaign editor.

-- fixed: the game would remain paused and in combat mode after canceling a self-move attack due to detecting a blocked movement path.


Put together and submitted my second publisher pitch for Together in Battle. I'm not expecting anything to come of it, but at a minimum, it's good practice for talking about the game.

-- fixed: the game was sometimes checking against lists of required attributes for elements of a proc gen character when it should have been checking against lists of excluded attributes, occasionally producing characters with inconsistent characterization (e.g. religious characters who believe in no one and audibly give thanks to "no one" for their victories).

-- fixed: the new victory box auto-looting message was appearing even in maps where auto-looting was not turned on.

-- fixed: the title screen would not apply loaded music volume settings to the title screen music upon first loading up.

-- fixed: the cut scene narration "text darkener" element is now invisible whenever the background is flat black.


Booked myself a booth for PAX East--looks like I'll be showing off the new game to the public for the first time at the end of February! :D

In the meantime, progress:

-- the game now gives you the option to turn on a battlefield grid. (It's ugly, IMO--but people seem to want it, so...)

-- you can now right-click units in the map editor to instantly rotate them clockwise (hold Shift to instead rotate counter-clockwise with each click).

-- you can now left-click empty tiles in the map editor while the unit properties window is open to instantly populate the window with that tile's coordinates for easier repositioning of characters and objects.

-- halved the size of the unit properties and light properties windows in the map editor so they don't obstruct the screen.

-- particles can now be spawned in the map editor! Smoke ring particles now accompany clicks to reposition, and other particle effects now accompany placement of new lights and units, as well as removal of lights and units.

-- removed the (admittedly annoying) "swoosh" noise from camera zoom in the map editor.

-- doubled the speed of camera zoom in the map editor.

-- when creating a new map or opening an existing one, the camera in the map editor now auto-adjusts its zoom level (and maximum zoom) proportionally to the size of the map created or opened so as to better see the whole thing.

-- added keyboard shortcuts for zoom in the map editor: Alt + and Alt -.

-- fixed: changing armies in the map editor was sometimes not causing the unit to palette swap correctly.


Dealt with FedEx on the phone last night after they failed for two straight days to deliver my new dev computer (which I need to record the new game's announcement trailer!) Hopefully, they'll deliver it to a nearby store so I can just pick it up tonight. In other news, I booked a flight to Boston for PAX East, arranged housing, and designed a 5' x 9' banner for the new game and placed an order for it with my usual banner manufacturer.

Meaaaaaaaanwhile, in actual game development:

-- you can now turn off Combat Zoom-in within the game settings menu.

-- extended the mouseover area for stat icon tooltips in the stat growths and stats screens in the character creator.

-- the map editor now checks to ensure that there are at least two armies before letting you exit the armies sub-editor--and if there are not, it now tells you that the map must have at least two armies.

-- when you try to exit the map editor, it now checks to ensure that there is at least one character on the map. If there is not, the editor gives you a warning and an opportunity to correct the issue before exiting.

-- implemented try/catch error handling when creating placeholder graphics for new player campaigns, to see if this addresses an issue with the game simply stopping in place of opening a newly created player campaign.