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! 😀

Feb. 5-11: Horseback Control & Traps

Jon: Hello, everyone! Lots of stuff this past week:


Horseback Control

Over the past few months I’ve been working here and there on the revised horseback controls and finally they are at a point we can call sufficient for the 1st public demo.

tar_screen-shot-2017-02-11-at-11-54-43-am

  • Pressing ‘forward’ causes the horse to accelerate. The horse will maintain its current speed even when ‘forward’ is released, ‘back’ slows the horse down.
  • ‘left/right’ steers the horse, which is more effective at slower speeds.
  • Holding ‘back’ while stationary will make the horse step backwards.
  • If you attack, you will attack on the side your camera is facing relative to the horse.

Traps & Locks

Treasure chests throughout Terradim can now be locked and/or trapped!

tarboomtrap

Previously, I had setup a simple trap in the Playground scene, but have now come up with a better solution for randomizing traps/locks everywhere.


Per-Player Camera SunLight

In the Grand Arena, players that are in one of the indoor sections have the sunlight culled from their view. This has caused a couple of issues for a while, but I have finally found the solution!

I found that deactivating the sun (deactivating the sun’s GameObject) per camera was causing the sun to unassign itself from the lighting settings, so I tried disabling the Light component. When disabling the sunlight per camera, the normal light would work, but reflected light would not be correct.

tar_perplayercamsun

Reflected light!

The solution – for each player camera, use OnPreCull to disable the sun, sun default state must be enabled, and use OnPostRender to turn it back on. The sun seems to cull and have reflected light correctly on each player’s camera.


Misc Improvements & Bug Fixes

tar_beltfitting

  • Setup belt equip BlendShapes for all tunics. (They fit under the belt now.)

tar_homestead_roadsndirt

  • Homestead paths now have some curviness to them, looking a bit more natural.
  • Dirt patches have appeared in the Homestead. What could this entail?
  • Doors can now be locked or unlocked by interacting with their locks.
  • Crossbow improvements:
    • Crossbow firing sound now in.
    • Bolts use a more reliable hit detection system now. The bolts fly more predictably and face forward, unlike before, when fired.
  • Dialog will now exit if the player or the chat target ragdolls, is forced too far away, or is incapacitated.
  • Fixed issue with incorrect head mounting angles, especially for horses. Mount angle was always the same for people and horses.
  • Setup a different cursor icon when targeting doors.

Take care!