While battle is not yet introduced the first time you see the Cedar woods, this will be the first area that spawns random encounters. As such, it is a big sprawling area with multiple scenes to explore.
**Note: the marked cutscene begins in the indicated spot, but ends by the beds inside Rei’s cabin. I did not want to mark one cutscene twice. It is before you are given control of Ryu.
The most noticeable difference between the Dauna Mines and the Cedar Woods is that the trees seem to be allowed to break the rule I observed in the last post, where two walkable tiles and two non-walkable tiles are never allowed to be in a checkerboard pattern. It’s possible either that because the trees are objects instead of walls it skirts some technical issue, or that this is a deliberate choice to differentiate how it feels navigating these two areas.
One thing that (if I remember correctly) is unique to Cedar Woods is the single-tile-wide path leading up to Rei’s cabin. The little thin bits that jut into walls are fairly common, but the parts leading to the cabin are something you have to traverse. This is also the first time we see houses being bigger on the inside than the outside (which is very common in RPGs of the era.)
You can exit to the world map at any of the marked points. The only other place to go is McNeil Village, which ill be covered in the next post. (The world map will be covered before a bottleneck point, where two world map scenes are separated by some sort of dungeon).
Being the very first area in the game, Dauna seems to be mainly built for idle exploration so
you can get used to the controls. The game starts you off on what is essentially a big circle, at the farthest point from the room’s exit. All battles are scripted and essentially unloseable. (if you get hit you auto-KO all enemies)
**note: Colors may not be totally consistent, as I use glitter pens and take photos of the maps. (The pages are too big for a home scanner)
One thing that jumped out at me right away is that the level design seems to be avoiding having two corners touch, even if they are on different heights. Here you can see the wood path where two corners appear to be touching, but that purple crystal actually has a collision preventing you from walking over that tile. There are definitely spots where two flat spaces of different heights sit next to each other. The thing they seem to be avoiding is specifically two walkable corners and two non-walkable corners arranged in a checker pattern (for lack of a better description)
The other thing I took note of was how the south (lower-left) and east (lower-right) walls tend to have simpler shapes. (at least when there is actually a wall shown, as opposed to when it just drops off into the void) This can be seen in the exit to the first room, where it appears that the room widens on each side of the doorway. In reality, there are hidden non-walkable slope tiles behind the south wall, causing the path to come straight out from the door. I believe this was done to avoid the player losing their character in hidden nooks and crannies. (especially this early in the game, when you are still getting used to navigating the world)
The level ends in that bit where the map just sort of trails off. There’s a cutscene and a small quicktime-event-ish bit on a separate unique scene. You are dropped into the Cedar Woods, which will be covered in the next post.
Near the end of 2016 I had a really good trajectory/ workflow going on my latest project, a crayon-aesthetic RPG. Then a bunch of life happened. Between job and moving related things, I got thrown way off flow. I never use my to-do lists that I was so proud of.
I’ve been struggling to get myself back into good habits, but it’s really hard. I put a lot of pressure on myself to have show-able things for twitter, and the stress makes me very distractible. On top of this, I am also trying to get into youtubing. In certain ways (speedpaints) it helps keep me on task, but editing is also a huge time-sink. I end up putting off working on videos because I feel guilty about not working on gamedev stuff.
There are also some related study projects that I haven’t carried over from before the move. I had started doing a painstaking mapping of Breath of Fire III. Since the crayon game and subsequent projects are going to use a very similar camera angle, I do need to get back to my level design study.
I realized today that I need to allow myself to switch focus for a while. I need to put more time into/ get back to the projects that I find more fulfilling presently. The crayon game is still a thing, its just going to be the side dish for a while. Mapping and youtube are probably going to be my main focuses going forward (and possibly crayon sketches? I don’t know yet)
I’m also still trying to figure out what to do with this site. I think for the meantime it will be a longer-winded counterpart to twitter.
Now I just need to replace the controller I lost and set up a cat-proof storage spot for my pad of very large graph paper.
So I have recently completed “Fling Flour,” which is available on both GameJolt and Kongregate. It originally started as my “I’m going to learn Unity!” game. I decided to make a silly simple game about a floursack, because having some limited formal training in animation has taught me to respect the floursack as a proving ground. Then I found out about the Game Dev World Championship and buckled down. I had to cut out some minor polish things (like particle effects) to meet the deadline, but it was actually kind of nice. Apart from jams (which are super rough projects, at least for me) I have not had a hard deadline since leaving school. It was good to prove to myself that I can still meet a deadline.
Moving forward, I am starting to gear up towards a bigger project. I will be making a couple smaller iterations of the project, working off the sage advice of Sarah Northway. (Who happens to be my personal example of what a reasonably successful and fulfilling game dev life is like.) The first iteration will probably be slower going than Fling Flour was, between taking time to fill out my knowledge of C# and moving/house repairs.
I know I haven’t been very active on here (or any professional social media account).
About a year ago LTPATS and I started working on DnDPS. This was supposed to be a relatively easy project: Crank out an idle game in 2-3 months. As tends to happen with me, I bit off more than I could chew with art (especially given some of my time management difficulties and having to increase my hours at my day job) and we have essentially been stuck in a very extended art pass.
There were other projects I put off in favor of DnDPS, not expecting to be putting them off for a whole year. Going forward I’m going to *try* to have a more active web presence, and balance my time between projects.
Over the next month or so I will be transitioning my branding from RainbowSexyFish to DoppleDanger. The new branding has a similar origin but doesn’t have some of the unwanted connotations. As of now this site can be reached by either DoppleDanger.com OR RainbowSexyFish.com. The latter should still be valid until spring or summer of ’17.
I just released a game on Kongregate called Blinded. I’ve been working on it for about a week, but given the nature of the game there hasn’t really been any art to warrant making an in-progress post. The game started as a way to simulate being blind and learning your environment, so the screen is mostly black. I added a plot about being abducted so that the game would have an ending, and to explain why you are in an unfamiliar area with no one to show you around.
Blinded was also my first time editing sound effects on my own.
I finally finished the first animation pass on the player character for the game I have in the works called “Princess.” I’ve posted a bit about this game before, when I was doing a couple of the animations for my portfolio class. Previous posts may show her shaded, but I have removed shading for this post to keep things consistent. (A full shading pass will be done after I animate her parents and create flipped copies of them all.)
There is a walk cycle and her 5 emotional manipulations: (in order) Suck Up, Tantrum, Ragdoll, Pouty, Cute Antic
I did a game for the 2ColorJam where you play as a spider stuck in a dollhouse eating flies. It’s a simple little exploration game, with a slight hidden-object element with camouflage being driven by the limited palette. The palette was chosen based on photoshops colorblindness modes.