September 6, 2013

Telepath Tactics August 2013 Update

Another month gone, another round-up of what happened in it! I’m a little later than usual on this one, simply because PAX Prime overlapped the start of September. I’ve been scrambling to get stuff done since my return, so apologies for the late post. Here is what we got done over the prior month:

  • I reformatted the game’s existing character portraits and refactored the game’s portrait code to support oversized character portraits (with an eye to future support for talking animations as well).
  • David Hammond has managed to crank out some great new character portraits, including several of the oversized variety:
  • Tyvon Thomas has finished up the spriggat attack animations and has begun work on the Stone Golem:
  • Julia Buge has graced us with a new set of item icons! They represent a mixture of both new weapon types (e.g. throwing axes, throwing knives, rapiers, halberds etc.) and armor, plus new graphics to be used for food and quest items. A sampling:
  • Dungeon MapLorne Whiting has created an awesome new Dungeon tileset, complete with destructible objects such as statues, altars, and other goodies. (On the right, you can see a test map I created with it.)
  • I am now using the Dungeon tileset to begin work on random level generation. This is the last stretch goal feature I need to add to the engine. Ideally, that ought to be wrapped up by the end of September.
  • There are now two new types of triggers: Use and Use Once. These are like the pressure triggers we added in the last update, in that they activate an attached script. These, however, must be activated intentionally. The Use Once triggers can only be used once; regular Use triggers can be activated an unlimited number of times. You can see an example of a switch with a Use trigger on it in the clip below:

  • The SpawnChar action now has a sixth parameter for spawning objects with triggers on them.
  • You can now specify how many times a given conversation may be triggered on a given battlefield–this can be any number between 1 and infinity (the latter being particularly helpful for supporting tiles that give the player the option of either exiting the scene or staying).
  • You can now use placeholders (such as -VAL:-) in dialog triggers, allowing you to reference stats and variable values in the trigger itself.
  • Lots of new dialog actions! RemoveItem, RemoveItemByName, RemoveTrigger, RemoveTriggerObj, AddStatus and AddStatusAt. The first two actions remove specified items from a character’s inventory; the third removes the triggers from a destructible object; the fourth removes any destructible object on a specific space that has triggers on it; and the latter two give a specified character a new status effect.
  • I’ve reworked the game’s interface so the actions menu remains onscreen at all times, even when moving characters around. I’ve also made it so the option to move characters is always visible when that character is selected and has moves left. The end result is that you’ll be clicking much, much less to take the actions you want.
  • A bevy of other, smaller interface improvements (e.g. mousing over action buttons now displays the associated keyboard hotkey; right-clicking movement tiles now hides them from the screen; the key to examine space properties is now Alt; and so on).
  • I created a new multiplayer map for 2-4 players: Tavern!

  • You may have heard that I went to PAX Prime. True story! Just being there ate up nearly a week all on its own; and when  you add in all the preparations I had to make for it, PAX Prime accounts for somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of the past month. Still, it was worthwhile. I accomplished a great deal there in terms of spreading the word about Telepath Tactics. I expect that that will pay off in terms of having a better reception upon release, to say nothing of better chances of making it through Steam Greenlight.

So, in short: things are progressing well! There are a couple of subsystems left to add for combat (attack sound effects and projectile animations), and there’s random level generation.

Beyond that, the game’s core systems are now complete. Random level generation is the last really significant technical hurdle I have left to vault before I can turn my full attention to story and content creation. Until next time!