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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in pyrian's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
9:54 pm
Dev Log: Faerie Project
Added text and sound to the Achievements boxes. Modifed the "tweak" Achievements (like escaping a closing Flytrap) to require a mere two seconds of not getting caught, rather than requiring you to reach a checkpoint. This feels reasonably natural without having to explain the checkpoint condition.
Monday, July 14th, 2014
9:02 pm
Dev Log: Faerie Project
Achievements now have display boxes. When you accomplish one, a box with an image slides out, waits a few seconds, and slides back. Half of the achievements require three actions, and each time you successfully complete one, the box slides out with a new check mark in one of the three checkboxes.

This was actually rather a lot of effort, most of which was making the icons and fitting the images together, but quite a bit of coding, too.

I still need sounds, and some kind of text to tell you what you should be doing at the beginning of each section, and eventually some icons in the level map.
Saturday, July 12th, 2014
12:04 am
Dev Log: Faerie Project
We have achievements. Almost. You can achieve them, anyway. There's not a lot of actual feedback yet, just a note at the end of the level. So that needs some more work.
Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
6:46 pm
Dev Log: Faerie Project
Difficulty settings are fully functional. All maps are updating, all enemies are slower or faster on easy/hard respectively. The Venus Flytrap turned out to be the most difficult, because the sound for it is a set amount of time!

Not entirely sure of the curve; I can't get through Hard without dying a few times, and Easy is kind of pathetic and empty and not much fun...for me. Will want some playtesting!

For testing purposes, I temporarily exaggerated the difficulty settings. Frogs with halved wait times and double-power leaps are freakin' hilarious, especially when you've got Breezy/invulnerability going. You just ping pong around as they dive all over the place. Great fun.

There's a new build on-line in the same place as before! Drop me a note if you want to try it out.
Monday, July 7th, 2014
7:23 pm
Dev Log: Faerie Project
Spent today updating sections 1&2 for the new difficulty and randomization scheme. This was grueling, thankless work. And I still need to do section 3...
Sunday, July 6th, 2014
9:57 pm
Dev Log: Faerie Project
Added "Breezy" and "Iron" sub-difficulty settings. No in-game explanation yet - I'm not sure how much I want to put into that, given that I'm determined to completely redo the map scene at some point.

I decided I'm not satisfied with my current randomizer and wrote a new one. The old one was "translative", it simply moved things, and wasn't really compatible with the difficulty system for several reasons. The new one inactivates, instead. So, I can just throw a bunch of enemies into the scene, and then set how many of them are actually there for each main difficulty setting. Each RandKill is completely stratified with a single random number generation, so if I want random positions to be linked, I set them into a single RandKill, and if I want them to be independently random, I place them in separate RandKills. My algorithm works really well, even for crazy numbers like 3 of 5. Individual enemies still have a minimum difficulty setting, for when I don't want them to be randomized.

I've only just started actually using the new system, though. All current sections need to be reorganized. Gah.
Friday, July 4th, 2014
11:21 pm
Dev Log: Faerie Project
Trying to get back into this habit.

Added difficulty level framework. You can select easy, normal, or hard on the main menu. It remembers your choice (saved with your level unlocks). Enemies disappear if they're not in the current difficulty. ...Right now all enemies are set to "Normal" difficulty, meaning that Normal and Hard are identical while Easy doesn't have any enemies at all. That will change... Still need to have some enemy behaviors and randomizers that can change their behavior based on difficulty. Probably going to add two more difficulty levels, as well; "Breezy" where you're invulnerable all the time (but it will still track hits unless you're using a seedpod), and "Iron" where you cannot teleport and can only restart. Not sure if these should be separate mutex boxes (so you could play "Hard Breezy" or "Iron Easy" for instance).

Got a fantastic new set of branches from Jennifer. Basically re-did all three scenes with the new assets. I'm not entirely happy with the new six-part branch behavior - it bows in the middle too easily. I can't seem to fix it. Maybe I'll work on it some more. It's not too bad, though.

Earlier in the week I made a bunch of modifications to the Bird. There's now a targeting HUD element that tells you where the bird is diving to and whether you're safe behind terrain. I'll probably take that out of Hard. Also, the birds never dive at the same time; they'll queue up, instead (and no more birds will come if the queue fills). Interestingly, this change obviated the need for the special nesting birds, which are now just two normal birds with a larger overlapping territory.

Drew a new stem for the Flytrap. That was bugging me, especially when on Easy all the stems were left behind.

Also added mushrooms for flavor. They're extra bouncy because why not.
Monday, June 16th, 2014
8:03 pm
Dev Log: Faerie Project
Been remiss in posting. Updating architecture is productive but not very exciting to talk about. It's going to be a lot easier to add new levels now, though.

Made a branch that bends in two places in the middle instead of the whole thing swaying.

Added the first web, which sticks to the player, but lets her break free with some flapping. Miri comments on the occurrence if you fly into it.

Added the invulnerability seedpods, including temporal animation for the invulnerability itself, immunity to enemies, and the flytraps basically "spit" you out (this had to be worked on separately because the flytraps are collider traps as well as mouth triggers, so they wouldn't "catch" you but you'd still end up trapped). The seedpods themselves are just green circles at this point. Also added the conversation where Bluebell talks to the Miri about the seedpods and, if you stick around, her name.

Aside from a handful of art considerations, this completes section 2 of level 1.

Next up: Section 3 needs a full four more challenges plus the end-of-level scene (which means animating a trapdoor spider - oh joy).
Sunday, June 1st, 2014
10:59 pm
Dev Log: Faerie Project
Level 1: Section 2 has its five challenges and 25 fireflies. Now there are flexible branches. You can bend them by landing on them, push them up by flying under them, and leaping frogs can really get them moving, potentially launching you into snakes or flytraps.

Still need to add the mid-section dialog and invulnerability pickup.
Wednesday, May 28th, 2014
9:08 pm
Dev Log: Faerie Project
Added new hanging fern art, and made adjustments to existing stump arts.

Wrote a randomizer object that lets me set alternate positions for enemies (or terrain), and link the results in simple patterns. Went through and randomized almost all enemy positions, reducing the total number as well. Game is less punishingly difficult now, but can be reset to hard by simply having the randomizers Clone their targets instead of moving them...

Added a new snake/flytrap challenge area themed around the new ferns. Modified the frog introduction challenge - made it wider, with two frogs that avoid each other's side. Reduced the first section of level 1 to five challenges (fly traps, snakes, snakes and flytraps - horizontal, snakes and flytraps - verticals, frogs).

Next up, section 2. I've got two frog challenges and a bird introduction challenge I'm pretty happy with. I'll need two more to round out the section; maybe something simple with just snakes and flytraps to start the section, and something more complex with multiple levels of frogs just before the bird intro. Also, section two will have the first seedpod, so I'll need to code that in.
Tuesday, May 27th, 2014
6:59 pm
Dev Log: Faerie Project
Today, Unity 4.5 came out. It includes a crucial fix to the Android implementation that I felt I couldn't live without. It also includes a whole raft of fixes to the 2D physics engine, which I'm using heavily. And had heavily customized to the quirks and bugs of the previous version...

So, today was spent porting my project and fixing all the physics interactions that suddenly stopped working for various reasons.
Monday, May 26th, 2014
9:40 pm
Dev Log: Faerie Project
We have dialog balloons now. Each balloon is on the bottom of the screen, and has a tinted gradient based on the speaker, and also a sort of arrow from/to the speaker.

Set up a skeletal level transition system.

So, now when you start, only the first section is unlocked. As you complete each section, the next section unlocks. You can reset to re-lock everything but the first section. (There's also an ability to unlock everything for debug.) From the "map", you can start/continue or select any unlocked section. Unlocks persist (in the local user account) until reset, so you can leave the game and come back to the last section you reached.

'Course, there's still only one working section so far...

Next up I'll work on actually having multiple sections and/or tracking scores.
Wednesday, May 21st, 2014
9:13 pm
Dev Log: Faerie Project
Put together the first story scene, including NPC faeries, dialogs, movement, and a condition. Settled on generic Faerie scripts but a custom handler script for each story segment; normally I might use a tool and data file for this, but working in code is basically most comfortable for me anyway. Will need tuning. Re-did how the sparkle trails are generated to perform better (using a pool of objects rather than creating/destroying).
Friday, May 9th, 2014
9:14 pm
Dev Log: Faerie Project
Completed a first draft of the script. Want to make an editing pass before I send it out for comment.

Researching persistence. So far my game is just a single level without so much as a loading screen, and nothing is remembered between plays. Soon I want to have multiple levels, saved scores, and persistent unlocks.
Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
8:43 pm
Dev Log: Faerie Project
Added sounds to all the enemies. Flytraps slam shut, snakes hiss, frogs ribbit, birds warble and flap. I'd like to add sounds for the frog jumps and landings, though at the moment I'm at a loss as to what. Maybe I'll record dropping a wet sponge or something.

I finally tuned the Flytrap. Used a sin(sin(x)) smoothing function so it looks faster in the middle, while increasing the overall time to make it easier to escape.

Started work on a first draft script. Got maybe 1/2-2/3 of the way through. Hopefully finish that tomorrow and send it out for comment.

Thinking about what my friend said regarding mobile devices and level size (3-5 minutes!). Maybe multiple short levels is the right way to go. For the time being, the plan is to cut each of the six levels into 3 sections, with each section having 5 checkpoint-divided challenges. There won't necessarily be story updates associated with sections.
Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
3:44 pm
Dev Log: Faerie Project
Worked on many sound effects; now have new background music, collisions, 2 random getting caught, escaping, and catching fireflies. Aside from the collisions, the sound is much better in quality now, too.

Added a level complete screen with statistics including number of fireflies caught, number of teleports used, and time taken.

Added a "Caught" box which appears when you get caught and tells you how to revert to the last checkpoint.

Added instructions to the pause box and splash screens.

Added a more touch controls for Android; the menu button now pauses the game and brings up a restart option. The level complete adds a tap to restart, as well. Added instructions to match in the splash, pause, and caught boxes.

Toned down the dang birds. Again.

Game feels much more "playable friendly" now.
Monday, May 5th, 2014
9:21 pm
Dev Log: Faerie Project
Today I worked on sounds. We have background music and several sound effects working properly. Getting the RIGHT sounds has been more challenging. I've been messing around with Audacity for editing and mixing.

It seems my "next up" plans have been largely fiction. Oh, well.
Sunday, May 4th, 2014
4:14 pm
Dev Log: Faerie Project
Mostly working on the Android version. Turns out multi-touch is a lot lower fidelity than I was hoping for; touching both sides simultaneously to trigger up-flapping just doesn't work. The "second" touch takes far too long to register. So, I converted it into separate touch areas, and also added a touch control for the revert-to-checkpoint.

Seems there's a bug in Unity's Android version that means on some older phones - including mine - it tends to crash the entire phone upon exit. I have to remove the battery every time I test. There are some suggested partial workarounds, but I'm going to put that off for now.

Oh, and I Built a new web player with a higher resolution - contact me if you want to try it.

Next up: Still need to do a bit more level design, then I'm going to work on achievements and scoring, before taking a good, hard look at the GUI.
Friday, May 2nd, 2014
8:51 pm
Dev Log: Faerie Project
I have successfully built to Android! There's also Windows standalone and webplayer versions, all working, and all needing work...

Debug Build on Android! photo OnAndroid_zps7b7abb52.jpg

Need to tune these builds a bit, especially the Android version. I'm running a Droid 2, which is good because as written the game is mostly unplayable without the physical keyboard.

Then, maybe back to finishing up the first level design? And tuning the Venus Flytrap.
Thursday, May 1st, 2014
4:32 pm
Dev Log: Faerie Project
Today I hammered away at level design. There are now eight checkpoint-divided discrete challenges, and man, they are not easy. I've had to tone down several, and even toned down the basic settings for the snake and the bird.

Incidentally to creating and testing challenges, I put in a number of updates to the enemies. Fixed a bug in the bird's swerve counts. Modified snakes to only catch you when their mouth is open, and to respond to other collisions by starting to coil for a strike. Updated frogs to behave a bit more randomly in their normal cycle (they can start facing a random direction and can randomize the length between normal jumps), and also added the option for the frogs to have preferential areas to which they'll return if they jump out (for relatively open sections).

Next up: I want to add two more challenges to the first level. Maybe distribute the large hanging branches manually instead of procedurally; right now they end up in some unfortunate places. Then, adjust the Venus Flytrap closing a bit (make them slightly more forgiving while LOOKING like they're faster). After that... Builds. Or maybe before that. I don't know. I have all this stuff I need to work on, but none of it depends on any of the rest of it.
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