3-Year Development Anniversary

Jon: Hello! Today marks our 3rd year anniversary of developing The Arcane Relics™! Wow, already 3 years… We certainly underestimated the amount of time needed to get this game to where it is, but we’ve learned a lot and continue to surprise ourselves by what we’re able to accomplish. This past year we’ve managed to release the 1st public demo and are getting closer to the next update.


We’ve made a lot of improvements since last November. Some notables:
(Some of these images may look familiar.)

  • Dalwood has grown in size

  • New Zombie-infested Catacombs

  • Revised magic system

  • Day/night cycle improvements: moon, stars, sky colors, clouds

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  • Hefting unconscious characters

  • AI Improvements: simple Town Guards, pathing for Villagers, & NPCs capable of opening doors
  • Crossroads (yet to be revealed)
  • Increased movement speeds
  • Control changes: Attack buttons & sprint button change
  • Revised Party setup: characters can be created right in there
  • Crossroads Directional Signs: helps locating areas
  • Loading screen changes: radial loading bar, target scene/location name, spinny sword icon, & more message variations
  • Updated most object cursor common name displays (bottom-right)
  • Sprint FOV zoom
  • Texture improvements/changes (environment, items, UVs)
  • Look sensitivities dropped
  • NPC dialog improvements
  • Scene transitions besides warp portals
  • Additional skill group: Trades
  • More items: Helms/Hats, Weapons, Gems, Magic Catalysts
  • Few more spells & additional spell effects
  • Hit lean animations & hit block animations
  • Left-hand attack improvements: uses directional attacks, offhand does less damage
  • More settings
  • Butt-load of bug fixes 🐖💨👾

In public demo, but not present a year ago:

  • Upper Town
  • Additional plants: Blueberries, Strawberries, Rosemary, Sage, Parsley, Thyme
  • Town buildings:
    • Chicken Keeper’s house
    • Clothier
    • Inn
    • Botanical Shop
  • No NPCs in Town (just an angry mob & bats)
  • No sleep jingle
  • Cursor highlighter system: used to swap materials…

This is not a complete list, either.

Another main focus of mine has been rebuilding and cleaning up old code. Since you can learn a lot in 3 years, I’ve found the need to rewrite or, at least, clean up some systems that I started near the beginning. The tricky bugs seem to crop up in the stuff you haven’t looked at in a while.


Past Week’s Progress

This last week I’ve primarily returned to the party setup, trying to improve the usability of the menus and fixing bugs with creating characters. I also improved the device query (“Waiting for input…”). Joining on a controller should be much more responsive now.

Andrew worked on making the newest buildings into prefabs & made lily pad hats and cattail props.

Unity Tip: I also discovered builtin API in Unity for capturing a screenshot! 
ScreenCapture.CaptureScreenshot("Screenshot.png");

Maybe we won’t have lots of crazy cropped screenshot resolutions in the future…


We’re still working away and are still aiming to release the next version before the end of the year. Hang in there! 😀

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Sep. 17-30: Sabaton Sabatoge

Jon: Hello, again. These past 2 weeks I’ve managed to get quite a few bugs. Andrew had to deal with a broken computer, which means this’ll be a short one.


Sabatons

The smell of defeat.

Before his computer pooped out, Andrew made some Sabatons! Along with expanding Dalwood, texture improvements, and some material optimizations.


Misc. Improvements & Bug Fixes
  • Throwing weapons/projectiles now fly farther if performing a ‘power attack.’ (Held attack button)
  • Set the ‘default invert look y’ on a controller to false.
  • Setup incandescing weapon to display timer on cursor (radial bar).
  • Improvements to the Interact-Hold feature.
  • Any cause of ragdolling should now release a held heftable. Previously, only ragdoll by incapacitation would cause this.
  • Developed a system for caching mesh instances generated due to vertex color manipulation.
  • Fixed a bug where certain actions like rolling or attacking could still occur when ragdolled. This would cause your stamina to drain though no action would occur, and the animations would then suddenly play on ragdoll recover.
  • Fixed a bug where players would be stuck incapacitated, if incapacitated in a new scene after leaving the Grand Arena during a match.
  • Fixed horses always facing the same direction on start.
  • Fixed some issues with ragdolls falling into the failsafe trigger outside the map, shouldn’t get decapitated anymore… >:D
  • Unity Tip: After updating to the 2017 cycle of Unity, I noticed that performing a Teleroll would crash the game! After some forum browsing I discovered a hack to make it work again.  It seems a number of people have encountered issues with disabling an animator or deactivating the animator’s gameObject. The solution/hack that worked for me: use a coroutine that yields until the end of the current frame before the animator disable/deactivate.

Fortunately, the computer issue has been resolved and we should be able to get back to a better pace. Most of my tasks are getting down to bug fixes.

See you next month! 😀

Sep. 3 – 16: Raw Gems, Settings, & Roadmap

Jon: Howdy! Here’s the past 2 week’s progress:


Settings Progress

I’ve been continuing to plug away on the new settings systems and have got the majority of it setup. Here are some new options that will be available in the next release:

  • Attack HUD toggle (displays attack direction)
  • Camera offset amount
  • Default camera zoom – when toggling from 1st to 3rd-person, this will be the initial distance.

In addition to the previous graphical settings (Bloom, DoF, SSAO, etc.) there are some new graphical effects that can be turned on now. Most of these settings can now be toggled per player too!

  • Additional Graphical Effect Settings:
    • Greyscale
    • Anti-aliasing
    • Motion Blur

Certain graphical settings such as Realtime shadows are global, and cannot be edited per player – at least, for now…


Raw Gems

Andrew has made and setup raw gems that can be mined from certain sources.

WIP raw gems.

More collectibles to be sold for mediocre prices. 😛


Misc. Improvements & Bug Fixes
  • Andrew has been working on expanding Dalwood along with a transition to the Water Cave.
  • Magic work:
    • Added spell fail chance, which decreases with corresponding Arcane skill.
    • Added 2 support spells for the Cleric’s Staff: Pacify & Dispel.
    • Spell nodes in magic HUD will ‘Gray out’ if you lack the stamina to cast.
  • Added lockpicking as a crime that guards detect.
  • Lockpicking speed now increases more gradually with Dexterity.
  • Hefting throws now scale with Strength.
  • Added props:
    • Bench – 2 seater
    • Long thin carpet.
  • Swapped potion bottle shader. It is now visible in menus.
  • Tweaked sky & fog colors when it’s raining. More desaturated and dark.
  • Fixed issue with height damage. This may have been the cause of seemingly random height damage at times.
  • Fixed additional limb objects (neck, feet, hands) from not clearing their vertex colors/injured effect when healed.
  • Added some additional loading screen messages.
  • Tweaked experience points for lockpicking and bartering.

We have also released the roadmap for this next version: Roadmap v0.1

We’re getting there, and are still shooting for December. Enjoy your weekend.