Sunday, 17 September 2017

CoffeMonster day

Around month left to release of TD2 (Tech Demo 2) ... sound of typing and laud sigh spread around the room. Once again I siting in front of the open new blogger post and thinking what to write to all this people who wait for news about project. This task almost never coming lightly but well it's was long time from last post so this is best time to do it.

Compilation on second screen just finished with error this interrupting my thoughts. Quickly found small mistake in my recent changes. Pressing F7 on keyboard to compile project and once again returning to writing post. 

Where I stop ... ah yeah what to write. This week was rather intense but mostly because I done another jump into dark depths of engine and iterated over main loop. The way how I do stuff now is a lot cleaner than before but from outside game look almost the same.

On other screen I see "Build: 4 succeeded, 0 failed, 18 up-to-date, 0 skipped" this mean project finally compiled. Once again my thoughts  drift to coding. Pressing F5 to start editor. This simple action result in anticipation for results and then disappointment when application crashed...  I ... didn't expected that. Well time to dive into debugger to see what I doing wrong. 

Turned out part of my code was optimized by compiler and I needed to enforce that it stay in build. Whole editor functionality depends on this behavior so I need to fix it. I could of course reverse some of my actual changes but then I will need to deal with manual register events to communicate between editor GUI and editor back-end. There is no way I will return to this. There need to be way to fix it... 

Before I notice passed few hours. Everything now works how it should.  Yeah I was writing post ... Yes I should really finish it.

"Maybe I should focus more on game and it's cool features?" this simple thought flash in my head but quickly was replaced by another one "If only I done some cool features recently". 

This reminded me that my recent work is mostly playing around with changes I wanted to do for some time. Now was occasion to do it because I have some spare time before TD2 which is almost ready. I really believe in long run whole this improvement will pay back and allow me to do great game it also opened me road to some cool improvement of rendering and whole game structure. 

I thinking too much about future and to little about writing post. But what I can do I'm just geeky programmer who is really excited about stuff he working on. Time to dig into rendering code. Post with announcement of cool stuff will need to wait a little bit longer.

(another day of my programmer life)


Tuesday, 22 August 2017

What is the plan ?

Inspired by comment under youtube video:
When will the final version be released?


TD1 (Tech Demo 1 - which you can download here) was spontaneous release without bigger plan. Like I mentioned in "Tech Demo 1 + Postmortem" whole release was successful even with its issues and relatively small amount of people downloading it (at this day 68 people). The most cool think about whole TD1 is that I finally could share my work and hear what you think about it. The most complain was about : Mouse & Keyboard support.

And here good news folks : I finally took care of it and implemented new input system. I also started testing game with gamepad and Mouse & Keyboard to verify that both controls delivering the best experience they could.


Currently I work on TD2 (Tech demo 2) which is a lot different than TD1 because it have theme: "Movement".

Plan is to tackle as much issues related to player control as possible. Bellow list of things that in 99.9% will land in this build:
  • Improved movements 
    • Better control over character.
    • Additional interactions (climbing small obstacles).
    • Climbing ladders.
    • Elevators and platforms.
    • Better Mouse & Keyboard support
  • Interaction with environment - levers
  • Item placements - Fixed issue where coins sometimes move around when they shouldn't
  • Improved animation system - I rebuild way how I handle animations
  • Bigger and nicer  level
  • And like always a lot of bug fixes and internal tool improvements.
This may look like small amount of improvement but it isn't. Also this is not final list and will probably grown with time.

Another thing that I need to take care of is how to protect myself from breaking any of engine/tools functionality. I'm one guy and it would be wast of time for me to iterate over all of functionality each time I do any update. This is why I will follow example of Unity Technologies and start making more test for my code. This may not sound like a big work but it will consume time from my development. Good thing about this is that when I will have good test coverage it should save me a lot of time.

ETA for TD2 : Middle of October 2017


Hard to say for sure what will bring future but this is my current plan.

Theme for TD3 will be "Story telling" and it will contain:
  • NPC characters
  • Story system - records progress of story and make player choices matter
  • Dialogues system - you can talk with other characters 
  • Quest system - there are quests which may influence story 
  • Saving/Loading - game progress
ETA for TD2 : End of December 2017 or Begin of January 2018

Theme for TD4 will be "World in War" and it will contain:
  • Enemy NPC with AI
  • Melee combat
  • Magic ball
  • Firearm combat
  • Traps
  • Breakable objects
ETA for TD2 : April 2018

Ok but this is not everything I will be working on. My plan is to work in background on:

  • PBR rendering 
  • Animation system
  • Terrain system
  • Movie system
  • Sound system
  • Music system
  • Clouds system
  • Particle system
  • Decal system
  • Gui system
  • Unit Tests
  • Build system 
  • Mac build 
  • Converting all resources to new compile system
From more artistic things:
  • Modeling characters
  • Modeling environment
  • Creating both islands
  • Improving animations
  • Create new postrocesses
There probably few more things but I don't remember them right now. 

So if you ask me when game will be release sadly I still don't know :( But I can say for sure that not this year.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Update 13 August 2017

Not even month passed from my last post. For me it feel like it was ages ago. Bellow you will find really short summary why :)

Done some work on concept art and sculpting. Generally still a lot of work to do to achieve quality I want to have. But well... life.

Game story 
Around 80-90% of work is done. Finished "syncing" with Little Big Adventure 2. This allow me to noticed few issues with my version of story. I fixed already some of them and what left should be solved soon. Next step will be polishing and we should be ready to move to initial dialogues. 

P.S. I got already to level where I'm able to even logically explain why there are lamps on planet.

Mouse & Keyboard support 
Let's move to next point. Here there is not too much to tell (still considering how to do it).

Animation system improvements
Going slowly but steady :) Right now I'm at a point where I can reproduce almost all stuff from old system and even do a little bit more. Next step: change this prototype in something more polished.

And this is all for this post :) see you next time.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Break ...

First half of the year is already behind use and I need to say that this was really intense time. Unplanned release of "playable(*)" tech demo, a lot changes in technology driving the game and finally seriously approaching to the story. From things not related to project I started work in Unity Technologies and generally there is a lot happening in my life.

All of this combined put some stress on my body and mind so I finally decided that it is the best time to slow down a little bit and recharge my batteries. Probably in the end this will not help with my head which never was really ok (I working on this project for 7 years nobody normal would do this) but at least body will rest.

What this "slow down" mean? This mean I will stop coding in home for some time.  

What it don't mean? It don't mean that project is dropped. It still developing just in a little bit different way. I'm more writer and designer now.

So far this going pretty well. Thanks to youtubers who published play thru of game I could easily write down whole story from first game and based on that recreate it in the way that new version tackle the problems I seen in original story. This step is almost done for this remake scope but ... (why there always need to be "but" :/) 

We have two games that build whole Twinsun Universum and I want people to see consistency between them even if I work just on remaking of first one. That is why now I checking Little Big Adventure 2 story and make some adjustments to my story based on Little Big Adventure 1. This is not simplest thing but we will get there. 

Now you know what I do for project: a lot of story telling, watching games walk thru and doodling around L.B.A related stuff. I'm getting more and more excited and terrified about project. All of this in the same time :)    


(*) A lot of people found game hard to control so it's kind of playable and not in the same time. 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Another weeks behind us. You probably once again wonder what happening in the project. Truth is a lot and a little in the same time :)

I don't really remember stuff I was working on for this last few weeks. There were some fixes a lot of improvements. There were some gameplay changes and breaking changes in animation system. Generally all this blending together in my memory right now.

Good news is I still know on what I working right now : Animation system improvements and organizing game. First one is like always: coding coding, coding. This is why I will skip details this time :)

"Organizing game" sound a lot more interesting and it is. I finally decide to "dump" content of my head and create some kind of design document. This should save me when I will be lost.

This document wil contain all kind of stuf. There will  be whole story, history, myths and some game related notes. There will be everything what I will need to make game (maybe except dialogues). So far everything start making sense and I think that when it will be finished it will be really nice expansion to already existing world of L.B.A. 

Of course I won't share this document with you but I can share this map that I done to organize in my head how whole planet look like.


Sunday, 11 June 2017

Tech Demo 1 + Postmortem

So came this day when I release something :) Here you got link to tech demo:

Now that this is behind I think it the best to right away summarize what went right and what not so much :)   


When last weekend was starting I didn't even thought about releasing anything soon. It was just another weekend like every other. But well ... one thing to another and I ended with announcement : I will release small tech demo.
Whole idea behind Tech Demo 1 is: you get what you seen. In this small demo there is no hiding of issues that game right now have, there is also almost no hacking stuff. This past week I was mostly improving UI and preparing whole build. This of course may dissatisfy you especially after MonsieurKakis released his fully playable game but well I cannot do too much about this.
In a 1-3 month I will release Tech Demo 2. This should show you how game improving and what direction I want to take it.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Tech demo - update

Tech demo start to look kind of interesting but in the same time I see so much problems with movement system. I really want to fix all this issues that is why I trying to wrap this whole release as quick as possible. You may expect probably daily updates.

Whole idea or releasing tech demo may of course look like easy task but from my perspective this is first release to bigger audience. I need to prepare package which take into account that not everybody have technical knowledge. This will test my whole release pipeline. I need to verify all my debug functionalities to have way to diagnose issues when somebody will have crash or problems with starting game.

There is also option menu which I always delayed because I never really need it. Now I need to make it to give you some control over game. And like always there is a lot of this small stuff that I need to do. But well in the end I giving you game the way it is right now with all good and bad stuff that are there. And I think that this should be good start.