December 4, 2013

Telepath Tactics November 2013 Update

November is now gone–you know what that means! It’s time for another monthly update on Telepath Tactics. So what’s new?

  • With the completion of the portraits for the male and female bandit, we’ve finished up the game’s generic NPC portraits and have now moved on to portraits for unique characters. Emma and Sabrina Strider are below in the center! Their father, Tarn Strider, has a finished portrait now as well.
  • Expanded Snow TilesetWe have now completed all of the game’s tilesets; the last to go in was the expanded Snow tileset, with its cliffs, ramps, chasms, and more natural-looking shoreline tiles.
  • Most attacks now have sound effects.
  • Lorne Whiting has created a Tent object that I plan to use to represent the player’s camp during battles, allowing access to the common inventory for characters who visit it. The current plan is to make the Tent destructible, thus making its defense a necessity during battle.
  • The game now has a stand-alone tutorial accessible from the title screen. This quickly teaches most of the game’s basic mechanics without the player having to start a campaign. The tutorial is fairly far along, but not yet completed.
  • Dialog can now be triggered upon grabbing an item sack from a particular space on the battlefield using the new OnGrab trigger.
  • New dialog actions: ShowActionsMenu, SelectChar, RemoveCurrConv and RemoveConv. ShowActionsMenu allows you to display the Actions menu while the dialog screen is open, and SelectChar allows you to select a character while the dialog screen is open; both are mainly there for tutorial purposes. The latter two actions, however, are there to let you strip particular conversations from the scene–important for conversations with no hard limit on the number of times they can be triggered, but which you nonetheless do not want triggering anymore when certain conditions are met.
  • You can now get the current turn in a battle using placeholder text and display it in dialog–or, more importantly, use it to set and check the value of custom variables. (These custom values can then be used with OnTurn triggers, allowing dialog and scripts to trigger one or more turns after certain events occur in battle.)
  • Due to the necessity of knowing who’s going to be in the game before we can forge ahead with unique character portraits, I’ve been writing out the game’s cast of unique characters, defining their roles and relationships. Writing is a time-consuming process, particularly if you want characters that are interesting and not just bundles of cliche. It’s also something that can be informed by design considerations, so these characters are probably going to continue to evolve right through to the end of development.
  • Fixed a ton of bugs.

I admit, I’ve had a bit of a bumpy transition back to working full-time this month; it has been hard (both logistically and emotionally) to adjust to once again having very limited time to develop Telepath Tactics.

During my sabbatical, I had gotten into a very healthy routine where I got 8 hours of sleep each night, woke up early to exercise, worked on the game for 8 hours, and then went off in the evenings to have an actual social life. Returning to work at my non-game job has hit my newfound routine like a freight train, and I’m just now starting to properly readjust. But on the plus side,  this makes me more determined than ever to find a way to do this full-time!