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Together in Battle Dev Log

Started by CraigStern, February 06, 2020, 05:37:30 PM

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Created a demo version of the game for PAX East!

-- it is now possible to use a list of characters as part of the stat name parameter for SetStat with the Familiarity, Friendship, and Romance stats. In place of a character name, simply use List:List Name.

For example, this will create a list of every unit other than Larry, name it IntroduceToLarry, then set a familiarity floor of 5 for Larry with respect to all those units in the list:

<Action>SetStat/Larry,Familiarity List:IntroduceToLarry,f:5</Action>

-- the recruitment interface can now be passed a minimum recruitment value; the player must recruit at least that many characters in order to leave the interface.

-- made the introvert character greetings more interesting.

-- fixed a small typo in one of the blunt character greetings.

-- fixed: it was possible to bypass cut scenes with menus by clicking the background at the exact right moment between when the scene faded in and the menu appeared onscreen.

-- fixed: code for the SetStat with the Familiarity, Friendship, and Romance stats was not correctly set up for the formatting currently used by those actions.

-- fixed: cut scene dialogue in a frame of narration that automatically ran and then closed via EndConvImmediately would lock the player out of clicking the background to advance the narration.


Designed, ordered business cards. On the development front:

-- added the all-important time-out timer to the PAX demo. (After 1 minute of inactivity, it resets itself to the title screen. Without this, I have to run around manually resetting the demo over and over all weekend!)

-- added email sign-up functionality to the PAX demo. (Signing up adds your name and email to a text file whose contents I can later copy-paste into Excel.)

-- spruced up some more of the proc gen character dialogue; applied a missing personality requirement to the Depressive general response line, applied a sad face to the regretful victory lines for Kind characters.

-- improved the Battle at Grabber's Grove.

-- fixed: characters burning to death at the start of a turn would not actually be removed from the battlefield until someone attacked.


-- hitting enter when the email sign-up screen is active now checks the contents of the fields and, if they're complete, submits them as if you'd hit the "done" button.

-- adopted some of the pacing changes from the demo into the main campaign to make interesting event variants start appearing earlier and with greater frequency. Gatherings now set a familiarity floor of 5 for all recruits relative to all other recruits; group practice is unavailable the first two days.

-- you can now attach multiple warning conditions and multiple gray-out conditions to the same cut scene menu button! Simply delimit each with a vertical bar (|).


I have returned from Boston and PAX East! What a whirlwind of a week. I talked to hundreds and hundreds of people over those few days, signed up more than 525 people onto the email list (I'm told that 100 email list sign-ups is more typical for a PAX weekend?!), and gave several impromptu previews of the game to passing games journalists and streamers.

As part of the process of getting the booth ready to go, I had to throw together a rough trailer providing an overview of the game. It came together surprisingly well considering what a rush job it was. I plan to polish it up, add in a few things, and then release it to the wider internet as a "sneak peek" trailer. Hopefully that'll come later this week.

In the meantime, it's back to work on the game itself!


-- added particularized backgrounds to more camp activities.

-- the game now also checks the actions contained in scripts called by Run actions in the first branch of dialogue for EndConvImmediately, NextScene, and the like when determining whether to pop up the dialogue window. (If any are found, it won't start to open the window.)

-- skills now support separate knockback and impact timing attributes.

-- created a separate Shove animation for the Stone Golem class.

-- fixed: the timing on several abilities (including all of the Stone Golem and Kineticist knockback abilities) was off.

-- fixed the vertical alignment on the Mind Shock visual effect.

-- fixed: Feedback and spriggat breath attack visual effects were not showing.

-- fixed: the game was failing to select variants within certain particularly long proc gen dialogue lines.

-- fixed: the game was sometimes hanging after a character burned to death at the start of an AI-controlled turn.

-- fixed: certain character sprite sheets weren't using the correct compression settings.

-- fixed: skills could appear redded out within the level-up screen.

-- fixed: clicking a non-selectable character in exploration mode without a selectable character selected would result in a null error being thrown.


Recut the PAX show floor trailer into a version I will release to the wider internet tomorrow! Also:

-- fixed: characters could use items while frozen or stunned.


Released the alpha teaser trailer.

-- improved the impact timing on explosive attacks.

-- got the Charge, Leap, and Shadowport skill timings to sync up correctly with their respective character sprite animations.

-- fixed: the map editor and cut scene editor load menus were listing loadable and unloadable scenes incorrectly.

-- fixed: status effect icon timing was off, and would sometimes fail to display at all.


-- started writing a new side quest with accompanying battle.

-- fixed: the "army color" indicators in the map editor's army sub-editor ended up with compression settings that messed up their palette swapping.


-- fixed a couple of formatting errors that had recently crept into the camp activity narrations xml file.


-- the game's bespoke 2D particle system now supports multiple distinct groups of particles with different settings all tied to the same particle effect. Laid groundwork to support custom effects.

-- created a new particle type for when characters gain familiarity to better distinguish it from gains to friendship and romance.

-- better error handling surrounding malformed camp activity narration xml.

-- added a "copy skill attributes" function to the skill editor. This lets you select an existing skill (including any of the game's default skills); whatever skill you select, the game will populate every field in the Edit Skill window (except for skill name) with the attributes of that skill. You can then easily edit the values to your liking and save the skill as its own distinct skill.

-- added in Knockback Timing as a field in the skill editor. The skill editor now correctly loads and saves knockback timing for skills.

-- updated the in-editor description for impact timing in the skill editor to reflect the new seconds-based timing system.

-- fixed an annoying little UI thing: when you used a hotkey to select a skill with your cursor was already over the target, the attack tile would spawn without displaying damage or accuracy info, nor would it spawn the hit reticles (because spawning with the cursor already there would not trigger the mouseover listener).

-- did the same for move tiles, as when selecting a character via the "next character" hotkey.


-- made improvements to the particle system.


Worked on the Steam page. Additionally:

-- fixed: if you loaded a map with deployment set to true but no deployment tiles, the game would not let you proceed.

-- fixed: due to a dumb typo in the code, particle effects in battle and in the map editor on long, narrow maps could produce null errors.


I finally finished making the frankly ludicrous array of different graphics Steam requires for a "Coming Soon" page, then submitted the page to them for review! On the "actual game development" front:

-- 2D particle effects now have an optional "enforce minimum distance" attribute that prevents them from randomly spawning clustered too close together (as was happening sometimes with some of the floaty heart and exclamation point particles).

-- improved the look of the exclamation point particles.

-- fixed: chasm tiles no longer have landing particle associated with them.

-- fixed: tile data was missing for the most common cave-chasm transition tiles.

-- fixed: the "select next unit" function would trigger pop-up text over every character it checked who was frozen, stunned, or had ended their turn.


The Steam page was approved! Got my video editing software set up on my new dev computer so I can improve upon the alpha teaser for the Steam page.

-- added a bit to the list of possible human character names.

-- wrote some more camp activity narration.

-- created a new life skill: gambler.

-- the attributes in camp activities (e.g. fam1, mor1, food, aura, etc.) can now use custom integer variables.

-- fixed: attack tiles registered a click upon mouse down rather than upon mouse up, which could cause situations in which you clicked to attack an ally or heal an enemy, and then--unintentionally, with the same exact click--instantaneously selected a button in the resulting warning pop-up window either canceling or proceeding with the attack.


-- the attributes in camp activities (e.g. fam1, mor1, food, aura, etc.) now support the use of the RANGE[] special character. For instance, having this attribute in a camp activity narration...


...will randomly provide the player between 25 and 75 aura when it is chosen.

-- new script action: AddCampActivity. Adds a new activity narration with a particular character to the current camp activity sequence. Three parameters: character name, activity name, and partner name (if it's a partnered activity).

-- fixed some issues with the new gambler camp activities.