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Neon Tail -  DevLog 27

Hello! For this week's #screenshotsaturday , I made several small changes along with a big update with the job system.

- Structured and wrote the Job System
- When grinding, pressing B will fall down without jumping
- When grinding, pressing Y will change grind pose
- Her head now look at the camera during selfies
- Selfie cam is now angled to the side
- Fixed bug with jumping on steep slope
- Added a mini Job to test the job system (Package Delivery)
- Added (and struggled with) a target pointer for the job's target.

Since I didn't post last week, here's also what was done before :
- Constant force Trigger Added (Makes the player float up)
- Disabled a huge amount of small scripts running for no reason, made only relevant ones run.
- Systems are rewrote
- Props and animals are optimized
- Lightmaps and occlusion culling baked
- Jump : Press Rt Flip, don't press Rt no flip.
- Normalize eyes texture on Ruby
- Decrease loading time by 500%
- Modelled, skinned and rigged a new NPC. The first job giver : Tybalt Von Badyke, the chic punk dude.

Next week I'll be polishing this new package delivery job's system. Later on I hope I'll be even able to model a cute package bag, or even better a delivery outfit and make an imaginary delivery company brand. But one brick at a time.
See you next week! ;)

Neon Tail -  DevLog 26

Hi! For this week's #screenshotsaturday there isn't much graphic work done... but a huge, tedious, boring, tiring and annoying amount of work done with the optimization.
In short, I've been organizing and restructuring the whole district so all the props and animals (and there's a ton of them) goes along with my pedestrian management system, disabling them when unused. Also did a lot of other various and exotic optimizations, be it in codes, materials or light bakes.
This led to a loading time sped up by about 500%, and an FPS increase of around 15~20FPS (yes having tons of active props does that)
The downside is I need to really be careful with what zones can be seen when. Props can be seen popping in and out in some places and debugging... it's just more work.
Ah, also now when you jump while skating forward you will only flip when pressing Rt. Changes nothing except that you can spin earlier without the flip. Feels nice.

Hopefully I'll get to some actual game content next week. Or maybe make another Devlog.
See you next week!

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Neon Tail -  DevLog 25

Hi, been a few weeks since I last posted a #screenshotsaturday !

Beside the #TaipeiGameShow, there was a huge update with the whole shopping district made available and updated with pedestrians. Ran into a lot of expected performance problems, that I dare think is mostly resolved probably. 

The list of changes since last update :

- You can now skate in the Shopping District! \o/ - HUGE rework on the pedestrian manager for optimization purpose. - Implemented Saving system. - Updated the options, now they're saved on hard drive. - Implemented main menu (functional but ugly. Visual update pending) - Added a first version of the prologue (same, will be more spectacular later) - Added a wake up from a sofa animation - Implemented it based on first mission - Dialog system code improved - Reduced Pedestrian polygon count by around 30% - Added and Animated Drones and props - Many new props will now move on player touch - Fixed grinding bug - General performance optimization

I'll probably keep working on more optimization for all the dynamic props next week, something visually visible for the next #screenshotsaturday could be nice for you guys too.

Have a nice week end!

Neon Tail -  DevLog 24

Hi there, I'm sorry this week's #screenshotsaturday is a bit redundant, been mainly debugging and preparing for the Taipei Game Show.
Here's a list of the small changes :

- Implemented the dialog conversation animations to the dialog system.
- Made and added Optrellian's animations for basic reactions.
- Fixed many small things, fixed some problems with textures.
- Shopping District still in construction :O

thank you! :3

Neon Tail -  DevLog 23

This couple of weeks I've been working on a build for the Taipei Game Show, where people will come and go maybe try the game for a minute or two then move on. For this special case, we decided to take out the VR levels and tutorials, and instead of trying to create an impossible 2 minutes skating mastering course, I decided to implement other fun sources, work on the universe, the people you meet, their reasons being here, etc...
Hopefully, people trying the game won't just be facing an impossible challenge of mastering the skating physics within 2 minutes, but will find a street to explore, people to meet, and a city to look forward to.
Also hopefully we'll find a way to help funding our project.  Coffee

- Improved dialog system for more flexibility with missions
- Optimized A LOT the pedestrian management system (most of the time went here)
- Fixed many small dialog bugs
- Added Optrellian NPC
- Added lost hat side mission
- Fixed dialog trigger detection bugs

- and shopping district still in construction

Neon Tail -  DevLog 22

This week's #screenshotsaturday shows a little about what I'm working profusely on at the moment. I also implemented a main menu full of placeholder but it's really not much to see yet. It's all just functional. This is what I did this week : - Implemented saving system - Updated the options, now they're saved - Implemented main menu - Added a first version of the prologue - Added a wake up from a sofa animation - Implemented it based on first mission - Shopping District accessible but all rail collisions are to be done.

Neon Tail - Devlog 21

This week's #screenshotsaturday I'm finally attacking the story's implementation... This video clip might look unusual, but it's part of the story.
So development wise it's going to be short :

- HUD now displays speed (in km/h)
- Grinding speed goes to a set speed when no triggers is pressed.
- Grinding speed max limit was increased
- Imagined created and coded a simple grid system to move around and encase the player in a performance friendly cluster of particle system. I can now haz snow storm or dust storm and such... with the right sounds and effect it can be really cool. :3

Have a happy new year!

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Neon Tail - Devlog 20

Well, this week's #screenshotsaturday is quite a big one. Been changing many key designs and fixing big issues with the wallruns.
Added animals to make the city more alive, but right now it's so alive it became visually messy. I will use spread pedestrians and animals into a more cinematographic way later.
Here's a list of all the new things we're preparing for the monthly builds for our Patrons :

- Modeled / animated the Zombeanies
- Added pedestrian and Zombeanies invasion system
- Improved Hypershot system (can now shoot pedestrians... Evil )
- Birds, cats, dogs
- Removed Boost from Button B
- Added Spin Boost system (perform Ground Spin then press trigger)
- Improved wallrun system
- Fixed many wallrun bugs
- Fixed and added grind poses
- Added spin pose based on rotation while falling
- Added snow fall + auto optimizing code
- Fixed accidental heaviness on Hypershot
- Added a VR Challenge level
- New NPC basic pose loop added
- Upper city in construction Wink

Happy holidays in advance by the way! \o/

Neon Tail - Devlog 19

Hi, for this week's #screenshotsaturday , a little more mood work, a little less acrobatics.

- Added Pedestrian clothes, hats and bags management system
- Added Tricks and Combos system
- Added Reputation system
- Added Hypershot system and tutorial
- Added more Keyboard & Mouse support (Icon change and stuff)
- Added a Pause menu
- Changed to night time

Next week I'll work on the surface city, maybe design more characters, and finish my devlog.
Have a nice week end! Smiley

Thanks for your comments :)

We are building new district now, if you like and want to support us, here is our patreon

or want to get the latest news about Neon Tail, here is NeonTail's Twitter

Happy New Year!!

Sorry I don't have a mac to port a mac version. Maybe if I get enough money I'll port it. ;)

Oh? I'll try to debug that xbox one problem before release. Thank you for your kind words by the way! And yeah I'll try to get the project on consoles if I can! :D

Thanks! That makes my day! :D

Nope, life without income is hard enough... But I don't lose hope ;)

Thanks man, awesome video and really nice voice! :D

Hum I get your point of view, but even so I don't think I went that far into "something really different" nor "heavily innovating", I'm just mixing 2 genres... and oh yes I can think of a dozen indie games using crazier controls than what I plan... and ended up being awesome : Papers please, Getting Over It with Bennet Foddy, Road of the Dead, QWOP, Octodad, Surgeon Simulator, Snake Pass, Grow Home, Enviro Bear 2000, FTL, Crypt of the Necrodancer, Darkest Dungeon, Captain Forever Remix, Olli olli, Hammerfight, Insatia.
Those titles have more or less heavily innovative control, but I think they all go equally or further than I do.
I'm basically just mixing classic driving games and classic third person game's control mapping.

Alright, let's suppose I make Neon Tail controls exactly like JSR, first I lose quite a lot of new features, and new game designs, as well as all my tricks and combo system. Then I also lose all the hooks / features that goes with it, that I can use to present or promote the project with (The classic question from bosses / investors being "What differentiate your games from XXX?")
Right now, I already get comments saying I ripped off JSR, I got no creativity, etc... not that I really mind, it's the internet, but killing what's different in fear of adaptability is not an absolute win win situation. I would say it has its risks, but making a clone has its own too.
1 (big I concede) plus, many (risky I concede, but oh so much more interesting for both the players and the devs)  minus, all not absolute in theire positive or negative feedback as for the same feature, some will love it or get intrigued or interested, others will hate it, get bored, already seen, or too much effort to get in.
I'm thankful for your efforts to convince me otherwise out of a very supportive thought, but... I'm not really convinced rolling this back is the way... I'm more into polishing this until it's brought smoothly and gets intuitive to take in hand through game design. At most, our discussion might make me look for a way to go in between... I'll think about it. :o

Thanks for your insight. I agree with what you say, and I don't intend for any player to watch my devlog before playing my game. I still have a long way to go and I intend to polish the game for the player to have a very pleasant experience, even with new control to learn.
I know in general that controls have been refined to a point each genre has its own standardized control mapping.
On the other hand, roller skating as a genre in the video game history, wasn't refined at all. Only 5 video games can be called roller skating games, without going to obscure flash games played by 10 people. And among those 5 games, 2 of them are good enough to remember, but they are also the same IP : Jet Set Radio 1 and 2. So we can't really talk about generations of AAA developers refining the controls. Especially when you know JSR was underestimated by Sega and had no budget and tiny team.
I think my control mapping is an improvement, or a refinement to stay aligned with our discussion, but it needs both more polish and a little time to get used to as any new thing.
I don't think it's that bad of a brand new control mapping, it's just a hybrid between a car game and JSR, so it's not completely alien, and I believe this can bring something fresh and cool.
But I agree that as it is now, the game will get negative review and I'll even think it deserve it. I'll need to work on everything a lot more to get where I want, and those reviews are helpful to get me there.

Thanks for the feedback. Yeah what you describe about the physics is pretty much what I want, inputs influence physics instead of directly the character, kind of like Monkey ball in a lesser degree. However you dislike it while I like it...
About the camera, since I prefer this kind of smoothing I suppose everybody will have different opinion, so I'll just add an option to increase or decrease smoothness in the options later.
I might be copy pasting this a bit, but since I went through the trouble of making it to answer people about the controls, please take a look at this video. We might not agree and it's totally fine, but I won't ignore your opinions neither, knowing you feel this way helps, so thank you. ;)

hahaha thanks for the video man, awesome Gum thicc edition thumbnail! :3
I know about the controls gotta make it better, I'm on it, but I made a video to explain what's in my mind : 

Thank, I'll try to improve everything over time, nice playthrough! ;)

Thanks for your feedback, I won't be working the controls and camera toward what you suggested for many reasons, but I do have many plans for everything overall. Without going into details, the game will have both triggers often pushed and released, much work has to be done for the game design to be set toward this goal, but I'm on it. Hopefully it will work out in the end, I do believe in the potential of my plans, and I don't really want to create a THPS or JSR clone.

I will increase the glowing rail's hitbox as you suggested. Thanks again! :)

Thanks for playing and giving feedback!
We fixed the bugs you found and yes the second bug happens once the first bug happened. Good catch! ;)

Thanks for the kind words! Your quirks have been noted, I'll see what I can do to improve those points, thanks for the feedbacks!

Sorry I should add a message saying the longer you press the higher you go, taking a little momentum helps too. Will add that on the next update.

Wow thanks for playing, recording, and giving useful feedback!

1. We will tweak both the grinding collisions width and air control, we don't want this to be too easy neither but maybe right now it is adjusted to our own level, (people who plays the game everyday to work on it) making it very hard to normal new players.

2. Yes, the keyboard and mouse was a bit neglected and it is my own fault. I did not and still don't have a clear vision on how to make it feel good, but I'll keep thinking on what I can do about that.

3. Well, I did put this secret input Lt+Rt (rmb+lmb) when going faster than 15km/h. However I think braking by orienting yourself 90 degrees is the real way to go, both in style and game feel, but maybe this is more a subjective opinion than I thought. I will also increase slightly air control, as mentionned on 1. Thanks for your input there. :)

4. Yeah, we'll work on that. Tiny team, big project, no fundings, but we'll make it. :)

5. Yes you found that too. This is the unfinished Drone menu. The camera is actually a drone following you everywhere that you can customize and upgrade. The code is ready but the features aren't implemented yet. I feel a bit sorry to put so much unfinished things, but as the message on the bottom of the screen reads,  everything is still work in progress. I'll fix that soon.

In any case, thank you for the help, I welcome all criticism that explains why, like the ones you give. It is very helpful. ;)

Haha thanks for playing and recording, here have my sub! :)

I'll see what I can do about the keyboard mouse controls. ;)

Thank you for your feedback! I'm sorry in advance for the long answer, you don't have to read everything if this bores you. You can just go all the way down and just read the TLDR. :P

I understand the point of view about reverting all the controls to existing layout such as Jet Set Radio or Tony Hawk in order to get into a familiar way of playing. On the other hand there is 2 reasons I'm not doing that.

First, well, making the game play and feel the same way as another kind of destroy the point of making a new game with a new IP and a new gameplay that I believe is better for roller skating while needs a little time to get used to. On the other hand, I'm all for a new THPS or JSR to be made!

Now the second reason is yet to come : the overall design for this specific control mapping is not showing nor complete yet, and I am aware that one way or another, I will need to harmonize a player's positive experience, friendly learning curve, and solid understanding of the control layout, all with level design. Not an easy task.

Let me elaborate the design: the triggers are used to skate forward or backward. You usually see that kind of input mapping in driving simulations, like on cars, tanks, or boats. 
Somehow I find it even more legitimate to have this in a roller skating game. You see, in driving games, 90% of the time, you'll be pressing the right trigger, braking or driving backward just happens less frequently.
In Neon Tail, going backward goes exactly as fast as going forward, you just got the direction reversed. So what's the point of going backward since it's harder to control? Well performing combos of course. So there's a high probability that new players will be pressing right trigger most of the time. But over time with the combo system, I expect players to be switching between forward and backward skating all the time, in order to perform combos.
The more combos you perform in the streets under the awestruck gazes of pedestrians, the more reputation you will gain.
The more reputation you have, the more things you can do, but this is another subject. The point is, there's an ongoing incentive to perform combos all the time.

Right now the combo system is yet to be done.
I will create a list of combos, that are fixed orders of actions, each with a different amount of reputation point gain. For example, a combo named 180 grind to grind would be performed by being grinding in the first place, jumping, turning around then landing on rails again. Each character will have their own set of combos.
Skating backward will usually be more rewarded than the forward counterpart, to balance the difficulty of having the controls inverted.
I think this system might prove good enough to keep the players performing combos as much as they can, while make use of this new control layout in a good , challenging  and fun way. You can see that playing this way making use of the separated input of Lt and Rt all the time makes sense. Although the worst thing a player can do is to never release Rt, and this is where I'll need to craft good level design and tutorial.

The left stick is used to rotate the character toward a direction. Do take note that I'm separating the action of rotation and the final direction.
Whenever the player uses the left stick, a blue arrow will show the direct input of the player, putting a visual to the player's intention.
Depending on the alignment of the roller blades, the direction in which the player is moving, its speed, the character's weight and the gravity, physics will decide how the character will act while trying to go toward the direction of the player's input.
Our main character is quite light and agile so it is almost unnoticeable at first. But give her more speed, or more weight, and the difference will be felt. This physics based control makes it even more important for the player to play with both trigger's analogic input with subtlety and skills and that is where I think the fun resides in this control layout.

TLDR : I think the control mapping right now feels good but is very new. I understand people who wants a new Jet Set Radio or THPS will just want exactly that, but I'm not making a sequel of those very good games. I have plans of my own and if you give me a chance I hope it will prove to be a positive experience in the end.

Thanks for the feedback, and sorry for the bad experience, I will borrow a PS4 controller and work on it. I will also try to optimize the keyboard-mouse input. Your post is very helpful although I hope it didn't ruined your opinion on my game forever.

There's a ton of work to do on it, but I'm a hard worker, I hope you'll appreciate future updates as I improve everything.

Thanks for playing! We actually learned quite a lot watching your video, we will fix the bugs, and try to design a clearer and smarter tutorial. We need to make the player understand how going along with the physics instead of against it is how the game will provide the player the best sensations. I did made a video a long time ago on the game's prototype to explain this (link below), but I think I will need to create a better tutorial for the players to take it in. I don't intend to copy Tony Hawk's games skating system, as I have very different designs in mind for later. I do like THPS a lot though! Anyway, pressing X near the spheres hit them, the fact that you missed the message entirely shows how bad our tutorials are. Your video helps a lot, we'll try to fix all the problems! Thanks again!

Hope you'll have fun playing this demo, it is still all a work in progress, so we'll work hard to improve it all the way! :)

No, sorry, we don't have a mac to build and debug with... :/

Neon Tail - Devlog 18

Hi, it's been a long time since I posted a #screenshotsaturday !
But I've got good news to people who wants to try the game, however much the game is a work in progress.
A demo will be available on November 1st, I will post more about it then.
This #screenshotsaturday doesn't show much new features, but mostly everything that is already there has been polished.
Added 2 languages, french and chinese (traditional and simplified), fixed many bugs, added this and that logo...
Started to code in a new tricks & combos system.
And started to make real devlogs, going in depth into game design. More later. :)

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Neon Tail - Devlog 17

Hi, this #screenshotsaturday is almost wrapping up a presentable mini demo of our progress.
The demo is really short but it's something. \(o_o)/
Not public for now, sorry, but that should be feasible some time later. Smiley
Added a loading screen, fixed many collisions, added a secret level, fixed many small bugs, added objective panels, tutorial messages, pedestrian bugs, dialogs, sounds, fonts, lights, UI, optimization, etc...
Really a big bunch of tiny things in the end.
For now I just don't like the cheering sound when a game is won but meh... will change it later :p
Have a nice week end! :3

Neon Tail - Devlog 16

Hi, this week's #screenshotsaturday is of a lesser gameplay quality, I'm exhausted so excuse the missed jumps and such. Tongue
- Added temporarily a free music, recorded some grinding sounds, and created and integrated a bunch of new sounds.
- Made groovy grandma dance, made her into a talking NPC.
- Added the guy who'll let you in the game.
- Added small badges to collect mini quest.
- Fixed wallrun and grinding physics.
- Other dozen small stuff.

To do for next week :
- new bug appeared : Cutscene's ponytail goes crazy.
- VR Challenges and Tutorial.
- polish demo.

I'm exhausted, but like this week, many 4 hours nights are scheduled next week. Have a nice week end! Smiley

Neon Tail -  DevLog 15

For this week's #screenshotsaturday a lot has been done, while a lot of sleep were lost. Also a lot of retries for this video haha.
- Environment update
- Hitting Goal cutscene (missing FX, WIP)
- Intro and outro added (WIP)
- Created and placeholding textured dummy pedestrians
- Animated many moves the pedestrians can do, like watching smartphone, lean on wall, sit on ground, sit on chair with without smartphone, party hard, evade, getting angry, getting hit hard, etc...
- Wrote the Pedestrian Manager, optimizing spawn amount and activities based on distance to player and camera visibility
- Integrated interactions with pedestrians
- Added pushable props physics
- Added secrets in the streets with good precision skills required (hence my many retries)

I'm looking for some electro pop music that are very dynamic, if possible with female vocals in. Something like "Fusq - Perfume" or "She - Coloris" would fit.
I don't have budget for now but arrangements can be made. Or if I really love the tracks I'll sell a kidney or something. ;)

Anyway, I'll keep rushing. Have a nice week end, see you next week!

Neon Tail -  DevLog 14

This week's #screenshotsaturday shows steady progress :
- Environment update.
- Re positioned Spheres and rails.
- Created the game rules, simple timer, score, scoreboard.
- Added the "Style Tracker System", tracking jumps, grinds, wallruns, on beat grind and turn around. When a sphere game starts, style combos adds time to the timer.
- Added entering proving ground cutscene.
- Found a funny bug. See the end of the video! :3

Next week I'll add hitting goal animation, sphere game ending cutscene, environment props and start working on pedestrians.
Have a nice week end

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Neon Tail -  DevLog 13

Hi, this week's  #screenshotsaturday got me working quite hard :

- Added and implemented sphere slapping animation backward and aerial, as well as big sphere's jump and stand on it loop.
- Worked on this demo level a bit more with the materials and spheres placements, the grinding rail setting took me forever, and the collisions are mostly done, but still WIP.
- Fixed many invisible bugs.

Things are slowly coming together for this level. Still a lot to do, pedestrians, destructible objects, NPCs, Game Rules, points and timer, goal animations, pedestrian interactions, pedestrian animations, etc...
Made this video quite in a rush, but it's still saturday so it's all good.
See you next week :)

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Neon Tail -  DevLog 12

This week's #screenshotsaturday I did a lot of small fixes.
- Fixed many bugs tied to the slapping of green spheres. The code behind it was a bit sloppy, now it is quite solid. Mainly been about a satisfying input feel, allowing the transition anywhere between the start of an attack to a little while after its ending, while keeping a smooth transition.
- Created a very primitive physics for the ponytail, it's missing the usage of mass and I'm hacking some fake gravity in it for now as time flies and I really need to move on. It will do for now, will come back at it later.
- Created a mockup level for a demo build, as the people who will play it will have never played the game, and as previous tests showed, people would mainly hit walls for 10 minutes, not knowing where to go this level is designed to be less opened to choices, with one large road to test the movement, introducing this dynamic city with many pedestrians and fantasy sci fi, including some basic skating, grinding and introducing the sphere slapping game at the end : hitting the spheres to gather points then unleash it all at the goal at the end of the wall, scoring enough before the timer goes out. Some AI and traps will try to stop you.
To do :
- Air attacks, backward combo and goal shooting animations and implementation.
- Big spheres are special, they hold more points, and I'll have to think of a cool animation where you end up standing on top of it, on the metallic circles around it, from where you can jump again. They can be used as platforms to access higher locations.

NeonTail_DevLog10 (August 18th, 2018)

This week on#screenshotsaturday I finally started working on the gameplay, hitting those energy spheres to gather as much points as possible before shooting them all in a goal.
The winner is the one who shoots the most points in the goal. There are bigger versions of these spheres, that contains more points, that have their own bigger animations, and are climbable.
This week I've just created some sphere hitting animations and started coding the implementation. Tons of bugs for now, but it's kind of functional.
The update to Unity 2018 broke my UI, as well as the hair physics, but also revealed why I struggled so much with it.
By default Unity can have good physics handling with thing that have bigger scales, like planes tanks and car.
The ponytail is too small for the physics to work except if I made my character as big as Godzilla. I did tests, it's kind of funny as she looks gigantic.
Only 2 solutions : Either scale up EVERYTHING so that my ponytail is as big as a bridge, or code my own physics.
I'll do that later as either way it's quite a big amount of work.
That's it for this week, have a nice week end!