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Project - Hiro's Ascension & Development Log

A topic by JonSpencerReviews created Nov 02, 2018 Views: 1,069 Replies: 73
Viewing posts 1 to 31
(3 edits) (+2)

Hello fellow Game Jam folks!

I'm totally new to itchi.io but I'm excited to have this opportunity to make a totally new game and have people play it. Win or lose, this is going to be one heck of an experience!

Anyway, on to talking about the project:  Hiro's Ascension.

Hiro dreams of venturing off to the legendary city of Válor, a centuries old labyrinthine structure that people flock to in order to make a name for themselves. On the day of his 18th birthday he is finally able to leave his sleepy little village in pursuit of his dreams. Be it alone, or with the friends he may meet along the way, Hiro aims to join The Hallowed Hero's Hall by exploring the many secrets held within Válor's walls.

*Day 1, 2, and 3*

I wasn't aware of this thread and didn't have an account for the first two days so the progress I made on those days will all be condensed into this entry. 

Day 1

I simply decided I would enter the competition on a whim. I was struggling on deciding what engine to create my game in because I have access to all the RPG Makers, Unity, SRPG Studio, and a few others. However, I'm really most familiar with SRPG Studio as I've made a prior project with said engine. Unfortunately, I couldn't use that project or anything from it so I was thinking of just moving to RPG Maker. Most of this first day was me just figuring out what the heck I wanted to do.

I also run a review site (Jon Spencer Reviews) and had other things I needed to take care of. I'll be juggling both of these things so maybe I'm crazy?

Day 2

I had a concept that would be best executed in SRPG Studio, and thus project name TBA was born! This will be a tactics game with some visual novel-esque sequences that act as a sort of, "choose your own adventure" from the days of yesteryear. There will also be some minor management mechanics if the player chooses to engage with them as you may have multiple party members throughout your journey. 

My brain is a bit wonky and I design things inside out compared to most people. I started with what aesthetic I was going for first and the general ground work for the story. I wanted the game to follow this general pattern:

  1. Introduction + Tutorial - Acting as a prologue, this would be two unique maps and one real combat encounter. Playing around with the idea of some minor character building/selection moments as you, "travel" to Válor itself.
  2. Válor Chapter 1 - Even when people finally turn of age and are granted permission to travel to Válor, they must prove that they are worthy of actual entry to the dangerous and labyrinthine structure. This will also serve as an introduction to the city itself, key locations like shops, and possible NPC's that may join your party!
  3.  Válor Chapter 2-4 - Players have proven themselves worthy and enter Válor. They will progress through a series of floors (simple combat encounters, puzzles, and boss battles) which will consist of 1-3 levels each. Floors and levels would be themed for variety and a new experience for multiple playthroughs. Players influence progression by making choices and achieving stated goals in each level, outside of the standard gear upgrades in games similar. Additionally, the player may choose to specialize into different classes and/or obtain party members to fill out their ranks as Válor is quite dangerous... especially further in!
  4. Válor Final Chapter - It's a secret ;)
  5. New Game + - Given time I will implement a new game + that will have a similar core loop, allowing players to explore different choices, and a special surprise that pertains to the previous point. Included with this would be optional achievements.

Features that will likely be included but aren't necessarily essentials:

  • Stated above New Game +
  • Stated above achievement system
  • Multiple difficulty levels (for sure at least 2)
  • Bonus missions that may optionally be completed once per floor
  • Minor voice acting (the most iffy item on this list; just tedious)

As for the aesthetic I chose this as my base image:


This to me, and everybody I work-shopped this on (which was a lot of people and a lot of what this day was actually dedicated to), this looks like an elaborate floor plan or blueprint. It has an old, worn, parchment look which, as you'll see in day three's entry, becomes an established motif.

I then went through and added altered text bubbles and some icons so that they would better match the parchment motif I have going on here. They kind of feel more map-y, but that still feels inline with the core vision this evokes. Probably not something that I had to do, since the default option is pretty great, but cohesion is important!

Lastly, for visuals, I imported a ton of new character portraits so I could have more options. I sorted those into categories of likely use. Since Válor pulls from several backgrounds, some of these have differing art styles that still match my existing ones visually (if that makes sense?) which allows me some room for playing around with character ideas as I get to hammering them out fully.

In addition to choosing this image I carefully selected a menu theme which would act as a tone setting piece for the player. Unfortunately, I cannot link to that here, but I believe it is a really good fit. The music opens with a soft progression on piano which builds to a fantsy-esque  orchestral (think Witcher). As the song continues it becomes more intense, mixing in some battle-style flavor which culminates into an uplifting climax that mellows out into a few moments of silence before looping. While normal people won't sit on the menu for almost three minutes, I'm weird and do that sometimes so this is also a feature for myself. Still, the opening 30 seconds is fantastic and more than enough for the average person. I do have a composer working with me so this is subject to change, but I doubt this will be swapped out.

At this point in time I didn't have a name for the project or the central location. I had come up with a boring placeholder name for the game, "The Trails" but that was to be used in a creative emergency only. During the Halloween themed Ballroom Dance I attended that night, I spoke with several people regarding the project and we were finally able to settle on the final name for the game, "Hiro's Ascension" and location, "Válor" after about 4 hours and lots of talking between dancing.

Why Hiro's Ascension?

I am terrible at naming things and the main charter was place-held as, "Hero" as I spoke about the project. I changed the name to, "Hiro" because it pronounces the same and it is aligned with the premise that Válor is a melting pot of various cultures and ideologies. It's a famous place and people come from all over just to explore, be it for tourism, adventure, coin, or other reasons!

Válor was chosen because I liked the theme of valor. It is not the most creative, but it gets the job done and is an exciting enough sounding location name. It is a big place, I mean just look at the image I provided above, and the name comes with a lot of associations that just make sense.

Day 3

The goal of today was to finish the main menu, build the first map, and script out the opening scenes on paper (but not in engine yet). This actually ended up being a big pain in my side because the original font design was not cooperating with me. I originally had intended to go with something like this:


Note that this is a rough draft only because it was scrapped for a few reasons (meaning this never made it to actually being put into the engine w/UI and all that). One, the text is actually super hard to read, even with the few tricks I did to make it legible in this image. Two, after throwing this through my editing software the words, "Hiro's Ascension" had a disgusting white halo-like outline that was fuzzy, that or the text turned brown and you literally couldn't read it. Three, I decided this looked too busy.

The idea was to be able to see the image through the text, because that is one awesome effect, but it just doesn't work here. Additionally, I liked the concept of the letters looking like a drafter did them up in a slightly rushed/messy fashion which dovetailed  into the blueprint design nicely. Sadly, after wasting several hours on this, it was totally scrapped.

Instead I opted to simplify the font and play into the weird results that I was getting from my photo editing software. You see, the engine I use wants you to have the BG and, "Logo" or title, as separate entities. I could have doctored the above image more and probably gotten in to a workable state, but that would take more time that I don't have since I want to be implementing story and gameplay ASAP moving forward. Here is the (mostly) final result, this time UI included as this is a screenshot:


Noticed the mistake in the spelling of, "Ascension" which has been corrected for the next update

One thing to note about this is that, "Config" displays as, "Options" in all instances for the player. It only reads as Config for me since this is done from the developer console and I hadn't bothered making the switch to the more common terminology yet. New Game is pending a change to, "Begin Journey" or something akin to that. Drop me a line in the comments if you have an idea, I'll even give you a credit in the game if you give me a real whopper idea!

Notice that button called, "Extras" there? Guess what, I already have some of those made and designed custom menus for them! Here are the images I'm using:


This acts as the primary background for most of the other menus. As you can see, it is another vintage parchment. The image was created by the same person so it has a lot of visual consistency. As an added bonus, the menu icons really pop off of it. I didn't have a chance to capture this in-engine for you but this surely gets the feel across. You'll see this on all Extras menus EXCEPT for the Sound Gallery. That utilizes this image instead:


Also made by the same person, and a bit on the nose perhaps, but this image is very fitting for a Sound Gallery. I just find it very pleasing and was happy to see that it looks equally good in-engine with the UI layered on. Again, didn't have the chance to pull a screencap of this one for you at the time of writing this.

All that had to be finished for this day was the introductory map. This pertains to just the visual aspects of the map itself, not any of the story or scripting necessary to make it playable. That means there are some elements missing, most notably the characters, and you can't actually play the map yet. Still, getting it put down and planned out is a BIG step. I need to create a custom sprite for a practice dummy but that's really all this map needs made special outside of me putting all the story and code stuff in. I'll easily have that done over the weekend most likely. No screenshot of that right now because it still needs some tweaking and the game won't actually let me launch that level without me sticking stuff into it (which I really don't feel up to at the time of writing this, the menu stuff was a TON of work).

Final Thoughts

This has been so much fun to do and people around me seem excited for the project. I did have a prior project I was working on, which is tabled for this, but even the people who helped me with that are totally cool with it! In fact, some of them are returning to assist me with this project moving forward. I can't stress how grateful I am for all the encouragement and support I have received thus far.

If you have feedback, ideas, or just want to ask me some questions please feel free to drop a comment here or email me at jonspencerreviews@gmail.com if you prefer being more private. The weekend is coming up so I will not be investing as much time in the project because I have other duties to tend to, but I will be back in full force come next week. Expect more updates (and hopefully shorter ones!) as I continue to make progress on the game.

Until next time!

-Jon Spencer

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Wow! Never heard of SRPG Studio before. Look like it's an engine for tactics game. I love tatical game but I really like Final Fantasy Tactics style more than Fire of Emblem style. Anyway, I'm waiting for the next update.

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It is a relatively new engine, at least outside of Japan. I also enjoy tactical games, and while I could probably bang out a typical RPG Maker game more quickly, I'd rather give myself the challenge and offer something a bit more unique for this competition. Glad you are waiting for the new update and I hope that I'll be able to deliver an enjoyable game experience to you :)

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You know I bought the original Japanese version of SRPG studios like a year ago and then proceeded to be lazy and not do anything with it. :p

But it's definitely a cool engine!

Looking forward to a game with SRPG Studio!

Lol, I totally know the feeling. That's how I am with Unity. I have tons of tools for it but I absolutely hate coding if I don't have to and just haven't bothered to put in the work to utilize it XD

It's been a really great engine to me, I would highly recommend it to people, even first time creators. Like any engine, it does have a learning curve but I have been able to figure out almost everything as I go from just the resources provided by the English publisher and the few videos that are floating around for it. Still some stuff I have no clue about, but that's part of the fun!

Glad you are looking forward to the game and I hope I can deliver a fun experience for ya :)

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Day 4 - Prologue Progress + Menu Corrections

Alright folks so today I did a lot of work but it only resulted in one minute of playable content. Why? Well I came across a few bugs and corrections that needed to be made. Additionally, I saw it necessary to make an amendment to my original story outline (thankfully it doesn't really change anything stated previously for you guys, just for me moving forward). This was the result of an issue I had with sprite creation for the prologue.  I'm awful at that and coding so after trying at this for a few hours I scrapped that idea so I could get some other stuff done and still hit the goal marker for today's progress.

With that, here's what I got done:

  • Imported about 100 additional character sprites + animations (won't use all of them, just saving myself time because I'm not sure which I'll use 100% yet). I will have to make animations for any non-standard units I choose to include which will take me about 10-30 minutes each. This can be done at a later date once I reach level creation for Válor Chapter 2-4 & Final Chapter.
  • Imported some tile recolors and minor additions. I need to triple check these are ok to use commercially as I did not create them. Sent a question to the person who posted them as they did not provide that information. Either way, not a huge issue but it would save me a full day of work and open up the possibility for added flare/polish down the road.
  • Corrected the spelling error on the main menu and made alterations. New Game is now, "Begin Ascension" and the game's logo has been enlarged. Changed, "Config" to, "Options" for clarity.
  • Selected additional music to use in the prologue. Two tracks were selected, one created for the opening credits discussed in the next point, and another for the village location.
  • Created an opening credits sequence with music which acts as a tone setting piece and setup for the punchline of the opening for the game (makes sense when you play it). Examples provided below with an explanation on my process.
  • Coded the entire prologue map, temporary name, "Sleepy Village" and added an extra character to the prologue. This was necessary as the map is not comprised of a standard set of tiles. It has a completely different perspective and art style from the rest of the game but still matches aesthetically. Screenshot of that to come upon completion when I can remove the developer markers so it is clean.
  • Updated the, "Extras" menu to reflect new assets added to the game. 
  • Set the groundwork for a New Game + which only needed to be done on the prologue at this juncture of the project, I will not need to do any additional codding for this moving forward. This feature is only going to be implemented if I have enough time but the groundwork is necessary since it will be more difficult to retroactively include.
  • Storyboarded key moments of the story that still needed finalizing. This was partially due to the (minor) alteration of the prologue with the inclusion of an additional character. They were planned from the start but served a different function prior.
  • General debugging throughout this process and QA. I played the opening sequence about 20 times making tweaks until I was able to feel good about it consistently.
  • Additional workshopping since I spent some of my evening with a friend. He provided some valuable feedback on the script and really thought my idea was fantastic!


This might look like I did a lot but honestly, it was a fairly unproductive day. Importing the new character sprites and animations always makes me physically ill since the task is very tedious and the same thing ad nauseam. I could have mitigated this by sifting through everything but that's much easier after I already have it ported in VS via files only. Having to scrap my initial opening sequence and rewrite the whole prologue to accommodate these changes was also a decent time sink.

Still, the changes were positive and I was able to finish everything I needed to in accordance with my schedule. In some ways this will benefit me later down the road in development. A playable demo should be released on the project page early next week that will be the complete prologue and most of the tutorial (some things like shops, party members, and additional mechanics will be explained later as they become relevant).

Menu Corrections & Creating the Opening Credits

Starting with menu corrections, astute followers of my thread will notice that I completely misspelled, "Ascension" on my original menu screenshot. I also made changes to the name of some of the menus which are noted above. Here is the final product:


As you can see, this is a fairly large improvement that also brings added flavor to the game. These changes took approximately one hour to implement but initial impressions are VITAL to a game. I'm considering adding some, "excitement" to the logo or title card (which I'll cover below) but I have no idea what that would entail. Tabled until a great idea strikes or will revisit if time permits.

I also made the following images that are being used for an opening credits sequence. What you see here is not from in-engine, so bare in mind that they look slightly different in the final product. Mostly, the image is cropped a bit and slightly zoomed. This does not negatively impact the quality of said images with slight exception to the title card, which is subject to change. Take a look:


Obviously the contest logo, which I felt was necessary to include somewhere

Creator credit of course

The title card, which is really bland, but it does the job for now

These are things that I consider absolutely necessary since the way I do end credits will not include images at all. Everything here is perfectly timed so I don't have room to add a new image, nor do I want to. I'm satisfied with this and would only make changes to the title card provided I can come up with something good. An artist I am not, so creating something more attractive is not entirely in my wheelhouse.

You might be wondering how making these images and the credit sequence took as long as it did. Well the answer is in the process, which I also had to do for the main menu. It is tedious...

  1. First I begin by opening PowerPoint and starting a new project.
  2. If a background is need, meaning I am not working with just text, I have to upload the appropriate image to use as a backdrop. In this case, that is the brown vintage parchment. Text added as needed.
  3. Using the title card as an example, it actually starts with the blueprint & text.
  4. The project is saved twice. Once as a PPT and again as a PNG file.
  5. I go into either Canva or a web application, LunaPic, to edit the image as needed. Using the title card as an example, I start in LunaPic.
  6. Using LunaPic I eliminate the original background using the transparency tool and then resave the file. Sometimes I also crop things if needed.
  7. Using Canva I select the desired dimensions, in this case 640x480, based on what I need to make.
  8. From here I upload the new image and fit it to scale and center it within the desired dimensions. Note for the contest logo part of it is slightly cutoff because I made the initial PPT -> PNG version too large. However, it looks good so I didn't repeat the process. This caused the title card to appear slightly fuzzy on the blueprint edges  in-engine but did not result in any changes to the other two. Not really sure why since it shows up great here.
  9. After using Canva I almost always need to use LunaPic if I haven't already. Sometimes it is just minor touch up stuff, but usually it is to make the unwanted background transparent. In the case of the title image, this was to get rid of the white space so it was just the blueprint and words that would act as a top layer.
  10. Need a new layer? I throw the newly created image back into PPT and repeat the necessary steps from earlier, which results in what you see above.

Here is an example of the process with just the title card in image form:

Phase 1


Note:  The white background is not shown for you when I upload it but the file size is wrong at 1280x720 too

Phase 2

Now it is the correct size after being tossed into Canva at 640x480 but the white background is in the way!

Phase 3


Great, halfway there. Still the right size but now the prologue map leaks through when displayed; not good!

Phase 4

Oh no! It's 1280x720 again T.T However, the parchment background is added an prevents the game map from loading in behind the image.

Phase 5

Now we are finally done!

Lastly, I put all this into the game and time everything out. This took me about 2 hours to get everything perfect with no bugs. I playtested the game a TON to ensure that everything run smoothly with no issues. Ultimately, this sequence takes a full minute to complete and makes the opening scene of the game land a lot better than it would without this. 

Final Thoughts

Each image I make has to go through these steps which is a lot of clicking and minor edits. Most images take me 2-5 minutes each but they often go multiple rounds of edits before reaching a final product at my minimum quality standard. The title card barely passes but I like the other two fairly well, especially the one for the contest logo.

As far as time management goes, today told me I need to schedule a little more break time and allot some extra time for correcting errors that pop up as I go. I'm managing time well but want to avoid burnout, silly mistakes, etc... Additionally, setting aside special playtesting time to ensure that bugs are eliminated is vital. I wasn't setting aside enough time for that, so probably need to extended each creation session about 5-10 minutes.

Next up on the docket:

  • Complete prologue & tutorial.
  • Add map 2 which acts as continued tutorial and checker on key gameplay information (can you move, attack, ect...?).
  • Tentatively add some character building moments as you, "travel" to Válor. These would grant minor bonuses like an extra item or stat increase. Max of 2 instances of this.
  • Upload a playable demo of the above.
  • Begin work on the introduction to Válor.
  • Time permitting:  Válor Chapter 1 completion.

Since the weekend is coming up I will only work on the project sporadically. I will likely not provide another Dev update here until Monday. Hopefully, have that demo added Monday at the latest. Just depends on how much other work I need to get done and such.

Finally, please feel free to provide any feedback for me here or at jonspencerreviews@gmail.com as I value it greatly. If you have questions or anything else you would like to chat about, don't hesitate to bring those up either. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope that you look forward to the next phase of Hiro's Ascension!

-JS

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Day 5 - Minor Corrections

I made a few corrections to the opening sequence after showing it to a few people. Part of it was a touch too long but otherwise people enjoyed it. Easy to fix too! That's it for what I did yesterday. Today I will likely work on things a bit later. Weekends are busy for me, so this lack of major progress is expected and planned for.

Been keeping up with the other logs and I have to say, people look to be making some great games!

-JS

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Day 6 - Tutorial Progress

Today I made the second map for the tutorial and finished 90% of the scripting for both parts of the initial tutorial. My story outline is helpful, but a lot of things are kind of free-form right now with this introductory story outside of a few key points. I am liking the way things have been coming out though. With that said, I have screenshots for you today!


Map one, early story - Edit:  Adjusted text so it is in a better position & made a cosmetic change to the nameplate.

This is how the story starts after some semi-goofy narration. It isn't exactly original but it is getting the job done. Here I establish the main character's goal, why this is a big deal for the character, and introduce a plot point that will become relevant later. This map is unique in that it is the only time this perspective and particular art style is used. Don't worry though, it still fits in with the visual style of the rest of the game and will create a neat effect when you, "zoom out" to the actual game map. The rest of the game will look more like this:


The second tutorial map where the game officially begins to have consequences...

This map is a bit unusual because I have to have a certain map size but also need to restrict the player's movements. My solution was a more minimal approach in providing just enough detail to convey the action of moving to the red squares, and then again to the forest. It is reminiscent of older world maps you'd see in something like Super Mario World (just as a random example, I know it is still fairly different). Alternatively, I could craft a fancy map with lots of detail but that's time that could be better spent elsewhere. I may expand the forest to the screen's edges based on feedback, but currently I believe this is a more balanced feel.

Tomorrow's plan is to finalize everything here and get the prologue published onto my game page for Hiro's Ascension so people can give it a go. Plus, this will allow me to get some feedback and make any needed changes/corrections. There is a chance I don't finish this up until Tuesday, but once this portion of the game is finished, the rest becomes a fair bit easier to produce because tutorial moments decrease. Dialog scenes will still occur, but they won't be in as many scenes, nor will there be need for as much narration. Most of moving forward here is map creation and coding, which still takes time, but I can do more quickly based on the parameters I established for each chapter. I can template a lot of stuff.

Any way, I hope you look forward to it!

-JS

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Damn, this is looking amazing! Looking forwards to test it!

I'm glad you think so! Thank you so much for the kind words :)

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Day 7 - Demo Completion

So I said I probably wouldn't get much done on the weekend and that the update would likely only come Monday. Well ended up with more time than expected, meaning you got more updates! I said the goal was to get a demo up today if possible and I just barely made the deadline (or I would have, if my internet didn't take 2 hours to upload the game files). You can now play the entire prologue/tutorial any time you want now :D

Here's what you need to know:

  • Download zip file from the Hiro's Ascension page & extract
  • First thing open the Read Me file.
  • Then launch, "Hiro's Ascent" .exe application.
  • While you can fullscreen, it is recommended that you DO NOT do this if you want everything to display properly. If you really want to, don't do it until after you press, "Begin Ascent" for best results.
  • Game volume may be a bit too loud so adjust as needed; greatly depends on if you are using headphones or not.
  • If you need to, open the game ini file and make the appropriate changes.
  • Enjoy!

Please keep in mind that this is NOT the final product. Any and all events herein are subject to change as I move through the development process. If you would like to provide a suggestion for a change, future feature, constructive criticism, or just leave a compliment for me then please do feel free to comment with that here or on the game's page. If you notice any errors please let me know ASAP so I can get that fixed. I know fullscreen mode doesn't always work for everybody. I am looking into fixing that but I don't have a solution right now.

Another thing to note is that I will likely scale back my original idea a little bit so I can show everything off best in the 1 hour limitation. This shouldn't be a big deal since I had scaling and modular level design. Going to focus on the core ideas, only adding extra where possible. I would really hate to make a great game, but one that the judges can't complete, at least, most of, if not all of it.

With that, here's a complete list of features:

  • Complete tutorial & story introduction
  • 2 full maps
  • 1 full combat encounter (fairly challenging, you've been warned)
  • Complete soundtrack (for what has been implemented at least)
  • 2 secret endings

I have no clue how long this takes to complete since I made the thing. Personally, I can run through the whole demo in like 10 minutes without skipping  everything. It'll probably take you closer to 15. If you are familiar with this type of game, you can probably do it in 5 minutes-ish like me. Either way, I hope you enjoy it!

Thanks for reading and I look forward to the feedback.

-JS

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Day 7 - Balance Changes + Chapter 1 Progress

Today I actually didn't do very much so this will be a rather unexciting update. The first thing I did was advertise the demo out to people because I need feedback. Is the tutorial too long? Too much story? Balance needs? Stuff like that. I want to avoid silly mistakes and/or boring content so this is an absolutely necessary step moving forward.

Speaking of balancing, I made some changes:

  • The cookies Hiro's mom gives you are now the best healing item in the game (heal to full) so they become a risk/reward for keeping them as they become much better as the game goes. Still remains at 3 uses.
  • Dull Dagger uses dropped to 5 from 15 because at the end of the demo you gain a standard dagger with 15 uses and improved stats. The weapon is honestly trash tier so you don't really want it any way. If you can manage to beat the tutorial without breaking it, you can sell it for a minor boost in chapter one or perhaps use it for other things...
  • Dagger reduced from 20 to 15 uses
  • Hiro is given a free level up after the completion of the tutorial because I just forgot to include that in the demo :p

For chapter one I have decided to make the following modifications:

  • Include a 2-step random event system to grant a chance at certain bonuses to make each play feel unique. Before, this was an optional inclusion to the previous chapter which was moved here for pacing. This will work by providing the player with 2 choose-your-own-adventure style encounters that will be randomly offered from a pool. One may have you foraging in the woods, another playing cards with a pirate. The pool of encounters is not finalized but will be a minimum of 4. This is the kind of thing I can easily expand later.
  • Introduce optional party member [name TBD] - a cleric who can provide free healing for you, but is otherwise unable to fight (she'll need protecting in battle or you risk losing her). Originally this character would come after the next bullet point, moving to before.
  • Shorten the, "trails" required to enter Válor. This is so I can have those travel encounters and keep the less interesting combats to a minimum. Considering making part of what I had planned optional for bonus XP, bonus currency, and small gold reward.

The only progress I made in chapter one today is laying the groundwork and setting up the, "map" for it. In reality, I spent like 20 minutes in engine today actually doing stuff so, like I said, rather unproductive day. I needed some rest after pushing pretty hard the past week. Better to pace yourself than falter later.

Make sure you guys are taking care of yourselves to, and remember that there is still quite some time before the Jam ends, so don't push too hard!

-JS

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Daaaaamn. Looks great so far. I need to start busting ass on some art lol

Thanks! :)

I hope you'll give the game a try as I'd appreciate the feedback. Wishing you the best of luck on your project as well!

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any time I enter a jam I play every game that gets submitted

Wow, that is some dedication! I admire that :)

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just seems rude not to. The only one I REALLY don't do that for is Luddum Dare cuz there are so many , but I play as many as I can lol

I get what you mean. I'll do my best to play as many games as I can, so long as the number is reasonable. Either way, I look forward to what people are going to make :)

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Yeah currently there already appear to be 30 entries, we'll see how many end up getting posted.

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Oooh, I'm totally looking forward to this!
Wanted to try out SRPG Studio for a long time now, I'm excited to see what you'll do with it. Keep up the good work! 🐣

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Wow! Thanks so much ^.^

I have a demo of the prologue available here if you want to give things a go. It is pretty short but I know everybody is busy doing the best they can for the competition :)

I gave the SRPG Studio demo a go when it launched day 1 on Steam and was really surprised with how much I could do with it, even in that. Truthfully, I am not the most skilled at the application and a lot of resources simply don't exist for it so I've been having to figure out almost everything as I go on my own. Still, I hope I can release a fun product that people enjoy :)

Thanks again, and I'll be sure to keep the work up!

(+1)

Cool, I'll give it a go when I have a bit of time!
Thanks for the info, I'm also not super skilled when it comes to using engines, so it's good to hear that it's kinda a friendly one :)

(+1)

Sounds great, and no rush at all!

There have already been two really minor bugs found and fixed so the current version publicly available will be getting regular updates. May not be a bad idea to let this one age so-to-speak ;)

Any way, yes the engine is unbelievably friendly and one I highly recommend if you want to make a game like this.

Looking forward to seeing how your game comes together because it looks AWESOME! Saw that pumpkin upload today and loved it :D

(+1)

XD Thanks! :)

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Not a game-breaking bug, but since it is possible to defeat the thug boss before the underling, the conversation between the boss and underling after the first strike on the underling makes no sense if the boss is already dead.

Also, consider implementing the feature to auto end-turn if all player characters have already moved (or if that's in the Option menu, make it ON by default).

Cheers!

(1 edit)

Thank you for the feedback! I hope the game was pretty decent so far and gave a good impression too.

Noted and corrected, the conversation trigger condition was messed up. I had actually fixed this today but I'm glad that somebody else caught it and brought it to my attention :)

I'll look into the auto end-turn feature since, for everything I'm implementing at least, that makes sense. It may be in the options menu, and if that's the case I'll make a note to change that to a default setting. Unfortunately, I'm not a skilled coder so if this isn't something standard or really easy to fix I won't be able to change that but I still welcome that suggestion of course.

Edit:  I checked and the auto end-turn is a standard feature. It was just marked, "off" by default. Updated and fixed. I noticed a few other things that could be changed from the options menu too so thank you for pointing me in that direction because it will only make the game better!

I'll be uploading a new version later this week if everything goes well. If you would like to take another look at the game after that let me know and I'll be sure to inform you of when I have it available. There will be any fixes I find, or other people find, and a whole new chapter with a lot of neat stuff!

Again, thank you for taking the time to play.

(+1)

I like the graphics! But one small thing I noticed is that the cursor at the end of dialogue is there sometimes and not there other times. It seems to randomly show up.

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Thank you! :D

I'm glad you like the way things are looking. As for the cursor thing I will mess around console side and see what's up there. My best guess for now is the rendering settings are the issue. If you would like to try testing this for yourself set hardware rendering (the third down in the config file) to software rendering by making the 0 into a 1 and then saving the file. I did not do this in this build, which I normally do, so it is a theory. Like I said though, I'll look into it either way :)

Edit:  Hey so I just booted up the same version as you and my console version and I'm not seeing the issue you describe. Could you provide me with a screenshot of when it is exactly happening  and one where it is not so I can see the difference? That would be super helpful. If you can't, no worries.

Thanks again! 

(+1)

Here are screenshots, one where the cursor showed up and one where it didn't. I tried changing the config to 1 and it didn't fix.

Not a game-breaking issue in any case, I'm just a little OCD. =)

Ah! So this is what you mean. I know exactly what is going on. It isn't a bug at all. So the cursor shows up when there is more text for that character/narrator. It's like a, "continue reading" indicator. I could look into removing it altogether but at the moment it is working as intended.

(+1)

Oh! That explains it. Haha I guess I was expecting it to be more like how in RPG Maker it's there at the end of every piece of dialogue. Sorry for the confusion.

No worries, even seemingly little things like that are things worth mentioning. If other people find this confusing I'll remove the cursor altogether. I really appreciate your prompt response on this so I can continue to improve Hiro's Ascension swiftly!

(+1)

if you placed in smaller text the words "continue reading", or even "continue", I bet that would solve any confusion

Unfortunately, that would end up being more work than it's worth. I'd have to make custom graphics for that which is just not worth it. Would be easier to remove altogether.

(+1)

Day 8 - Demo Corrections & Chapter 1 Progress

Some people gave my game a try and I got some feedback! Thank you to the people who did that, it was very valuable. Some silly mistakes were caught and now the game has been improved for the better. Let's explore what changes will be coming to the public demo and check in with the progress of chapter 1.

Demo Update - Live for YOU Later This Week (My Internet is Slow)

Here I address feedback & list the following changes:

  • Bandit Leader no longer provides banter if he is already dead. That was a dumb mistake which I caught earlier today but I would like to thank hadecynn for pointing this out to me. If I had missed this in the final version I would have felt very silly indeed! If you find a bug, please let me know ASAP so I may correct it. I'll be keeping track of who helps me out and I'll give a proper thanks in-game.
  • Speaking of hadecynn, it was suggested that I  implement a feature to auto end-turn if all player characters have already moved (or if that's in the Option menu, make it ON by default). Well wish granted friend! I also tweaked some more setting while I was looking into this ;) Of course, players may change this stuff anytime in the game themselves too.
  • SapphireScribe mentions a possible bug with the text cursor. I think I might know what this is (and if that's the case, it isn't a bug) but I'm not 100% sure what's going on. I asked for more information and waiting on a response. If there is a problem, this will be fixed ASAP though as it should be an easy solution.
  • I noticed some really stupid spelling mistakes, like, "hero" instead of, "Hiro" once. Another one, "edn" as opposed to, "end" early in. Nothing that major but it looked very silly. Fixed all the ones I caught. SRPG Studio does not let me use my spell checking stuff so things simply go unnoticed longer than they should. I will toss everything into a Word document once I finish Chapter 1 and fix any others then.
  • See last update regarding balance changes for those.

Chapter 1

Progress on chapter 1 has been intense. This is easily the most scripting I have ever done EVER! Just one event is over 400 lines of (admitably) visual code! Holy cow that is a lot O.o Right now my focus has been on the encounters you get as you travel to Válor. I have almost 1 encounter done and the other 3 in the pool are in progress. You'll only ever see 2 at any given time but I'm making a Vertical-Slice like the judges want so this feature is a MUST. Really thinking hard how I want to approach Válor's introduction and, "test" part. The intro is great but the test bit is kind of bland. I may just put a time-skip with some humor in there instead as a placeholder. It isn't that the test is bad per se, it just eats up playtime that could be better spent elsewhere is my thought. I have far more interesting encounters to show off with EVEN MORE player choices that impact the run.

Here is what I added for encounter 1:

  • Forest encounter - Night:  Rest or Gather Herbs (80% chance of occurring).
  • Resting heals player to full & grants a bonus. This is necessary since you DO NOT heal between encounters.
  • Gather Herbs grants the player 3x healing item that grants 15hp on use. They are worth a lot of $$$
  • A press-your-luck mini game done like a choose-your-own-adventure with % based success or failure (hidden values). You may choose to stop at any time and receive a small heal that decreases in value over time. The idea is that you are spending the night searching for rare herbs so the longer you do that the less you sleep. This can eventually negatively impact the player. Otherwise, you may have a chance to discover more herbs or even something else.
  • If you press-your-luck enough times and manage to dodge all the whammies (<1% chance) then a super special event will occur. Otherwise the player is punished for staying up too late! Hiro becomes exhausted and suffers -1 to movement & speed, which is not something you want at all.

The other encounters are still in the very early phases and not worth mentioning at the moment.

Thanks for reading and keep working hard!

-JS

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Day 9 - Feedback, Demo Update, Chapter 1, and Music!

How is everybody doing this evening? I hope well! Today I have some more feedback to address, talk some more about the demo, a progress report on chapter 1 + an idea to pitch, and lastly, some music to share with everybody from my composer friend, ComposerJF. With that, let's jump right into things!

Feedback

Yesterday SapphireScribe mentioned a possible bug with the text cursor and I was waiting on some screenshots from them before doing much on that front. They came through with those and I confirmed that this was NOT a bug. However, if the cursors are confusing or just cluttering the screen I can remove them. So the question to you guys is:  Should I remove the cursors altogether?

What they are there for is to let you know when text continues from the same source. However, I write my dialog and narration in such a way where words are never cut off like-

this or anything.

It looks bad and encourages verbose writing. This way it challenges me to be as succinct as possible with all my dialog. Especially relevant with that hour long time limit for judging. As silly as it may seem, I work diligently on ensuring that Hiro's Ascension is pleasant to look at, listen to, and most importantly, fun to play! I've had to use some placeholder art and assets, and I'm not too happy about that. My point is, I care about polish at all times, not just in the final product. Some dings and dents are to be expected but I want to minimize them as much as possible.

Demo Update

  • Realized I teach a concept in the tutorial but in the bandit encounter don't reiterate it by allowing the player to, "talk" to the bandits instead of fighting them. In my mind this was because they obviously want to fight you so why would you try talking to them? That was the wrong way to think about it. Instead you can try and talk to them but they quickly shut you down and the option to talk to them vanishes. However, you are rewarded for the attempted by getting a free 1-time 100% hit chance with the weapon of your choice on either enemy.
  • The above change makes the encounter easier but you can still fail it, but only if you really don't understand some basic mechanics or you get unbelievably unlucky (like an enemy gets a crit on you and you die).
  • Speaking of dying. Man, it sure is awful to have to restart the WHOLE (well mostly, whole) demo over if you die at the bandits. Well no more! The game prompts you to save before the fight for easy resume on death.

Chapter 1

Last time I talked about how I had one random encounter of four almost finished but it was SO MUCH CODE! Today I finished, and rigorously tested, that encounter. I tried everything I could to break it or mess the logic up but it seems pretty solid. I am confident that it will work as intended at all times. Here is the final version notes:

  • Most of what was in the last update remains unchanged with the exception of the super special encounter getting a significant bump from a <1% chance to an almost 5% chance. I felt like it was just too rare, especially with something else I added. However, that's a secret ;)
  • Increased a sub-event chance to almost 15% chance, up from 10%.
  • Added ambiance and music to this event. Also a few sound effects. It was reeeeeeeeal awkward without something in the background. Since this is the woods at night I chose wind rustling the trees for the ambiance. I wanted crickets, or better yet cicadas, but apparently that is asking too much... then I realized I had tons of both after the fact XD I ended up keeping the wind and rustling though. If you trigger the super secret event it changes to a mystery track that builds suspense, however, it is not a spooky track as it keeps the tone more on the casual end. Sound effects are minor things, that weren't necessary but I thought needed to be included for that extra little push of immersion.
  • Finalized all benefits you can receive if you reach the special encounter. Rewards vary depending on your choice but range from a unique item, stat increases, money, or some combination of each.
  • Decided this is a mainline story encounter but it still has an 80% chance of occurring. I'm sure that means nothing right now, but trust me, it will be clear when I get to the sub-plot development for this encounter pool later. 
  • Seamless transition no matter what path you take to ending with music fading as you leave the location.

I know some of you are dying to know what the secret event is up there. I'll give you guys a special taste, but it is just a hint. After all, it is the kind of thing best experienced for yourself!



Hmmm... I'd love to hear your guesses as to what is going on in the forest based on this. You won't see this every run, more like once-in-a-blue-moon, but I wanted to make sure I show at least a peak behind the curtain so you know I have been working on stuff.

For event number 2:

  • Dock Encounter - Story development & bonus chances (80% chance of occurrence).
  • This is mainline part 2 and picks up right after the previous encounter.
  • Currently this does not involve any player choice, but it may. Primarily this is text driven.
  • Due to above, special attention has been put into visuals and sound design. Currently there is one background but a second is probable, just depends on time. However, it has two tracks. One is a bustling town ambiance which later transitions to an ocean journey theme, complete with gently crashing waves. The NPC introduced here has one voiced line where he shouts, "Hey!" to Hiro in order to get his attention. Slipped this in here just to show that I can have minor voice acting, which was an unlikely feature that could be included in the final product. For something like this, it makes sense though as it cuts through the busy ambiance and aids in the transition to the quieter music.

I haven't made any more progress than that on the encounters. This leads to the idea I have to pitch and see what you guys would rather have. Here are the options:

  1. Intro to Válor -> Humor based time skip and right into the meat of the game with the themed floors.
  2. Intro to Válor -> Coliseum boss battle where you fight a Goliath enemy that alters the playing field with his attacks while waves of minor enemies attack (though they can be hurt by Goliath just like you can). This would allow me to let the final boss have some extra attack patterns.

Music

I have The Ultimate Music Collection and a few other places I get music from, which is making a up bulk of my music and sound library this time. However, I have done work with a composer in the past on a different project and he has agreed to return for this one! Currently he has finished one track for me but he is working on a few more. This one is for the final boss of the game. Please enjoy and give a listen!

That's all I have for today's update. I could do more work but I'm honestly feeling a bit tired and don't want to get lazy on this as a result. Hope you enjoyed the song and other bits of info here. Please let me know with a comment if you have an opinion on the 2 questions I pose above. As a reminder those are:

  1. Get rid of text cursor?
  2. Which Chapter 1 conclusion would you rather see? Right to core game or bonus boss battle?

Thanks as always for reading and keep up the hard work everybody!

-JS

Day 10 - Extras, Chapter 1 Progress, and The Weekend

Hey there everybody!

Today I did a lot of things, but there wasn't a lot of tangible progress that you can actually see for now. I put the groundwork down for later chapters and completely updated the Extras library. Beyond that I made more progress on completing the random event pool for chapter one. In this update I'll also talk about the weekend plans so you know what to expect by next week!

Extras

I added A LOT of content since Day 1 so I wanted to make sure it was all in there. One reason for this is so that credit is given in multiple places for all the stuff I use that I didn't create but also so you can enjoy the various tracks and images I used at anytime (once you've experienced them at least once in game). The other reason is I have a character library, which gets updated as you go. Things were starting to get unruly because I added so much stuff so this was in dire need of updating. I could have saved this for later but it was a major distraction for me so I opted to update as I go from now on.

Oh, a special note, I obtained some new map tiles for when Hiro reaches Válor. It will be the final time the art style shifts outside of the character chips, but I think you guys will really like it. No picture of those for now, I'll let this one be a bit of a surprise until I actually begin work on the modular floors & corresponding boss battles ;) Lot of cool ideas though so look forward to 'em!

Chapter 1 Progress

Event 2 progress temporary halted today. I was given some sudden inspiration for the remaining 2 events, which will be called B-Plots 1 & 2. Don't worry though, Main Line Event 2 is basically done. For that I just need to add some probability modifiers on things and write a few paragraphs of dialog/narration and it'll be done. As for the remaining events, let's talk about them.

The Fortune Teller - 20% occurrence rate (fixed event if you did NOT see the forest encounter, AKA Mainline Event 1)
  • Hiro comes across a lone caravan during the home stretch of his journey to Válor.
  • Player is given a meal to restore health to full.
  • Player is given the option to have their fortune read for a small fee. Choices are:
    • Pay - Player selects their IRL sign (Libra, Cancer, etc..) among the 12 choices. Fortune is given and funds are reduced. Price is not yet determined but I'll probably make this cheap (5 gold) since it is a short event. Each sign will have a random chance of providing a minor benefit or hindrance to Hiro, so this option is a bit risky. Nothing that will spoil the run though, we are talking like +1 or -1 in a stat or minor skill pickup. Keep in mind that Hiro (and the player) will not have seen a shop until he reaches Válor on this path so 5 gold could be a lot of money to gamble here, or it could be no big deal.
    • Decline - Player chooses not to pay and leaves. The event ends with the only benefit received being the free heal from the meal
  • Added 2 tracks for said event:
    • Campfire loop
    • A lovely music box tune with a creepy title, "Calling Death Music Box." However, it just adds an air of mystery to the fortune teller and her reading (if given).
  • Added event image (see below)

Partial credit to this idea goes to my friend, "Cherry on Top" who was helping me by bouncing ideas around with me.

▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ - 20% occurrence rate (fixed if you did NOT get the dock encounter)

In a fully expanded version of the game, this event would be more rare. However, for the sake of the contest and so that people will sometimes see it, I have made it a fixed event if you don't get the normal story progression + bonus from the dock encounter where you travel via ship to Válor. I'm really excited to talk about this one though so let's look at what it will entail!

  • This whole time ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓, which may be a hint for something to come later.
  • ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ is shown.
  • Finally, ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓.
    ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓.
    ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓, ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓.
Ḧ̵̛̤̗̙̼̞́͛͛͋͑͊͑̚͠o̸̤̎̎͌̐̄̔͘͝w̷͉̪̞̮̑̈́ ̷͍̱͑̉̂d̵̙̑͒̈͒͌̒̋͒͛̆͆͂͗̕į̵̗͙̺̅͛͐͝ḏ̵̺̆̂̾͂͝ ̷̦̫͎̱̤̣̥̈́̽͆́̑̏̇͗͑̾̀̈͘̕͝ͅi̷̠͒̎͒̀͒̈̐̚t̵̢̟͖̲̮̼̘̞͚͓̠̼̥͍͗͐͐̑̀ͅ ̶͚̩̬̫̠̠̟̗̮̟̫͌̈ç̷̪̮̲̣̟̘̓̒͝ͅo̵̡̞̣͐̒̓̐̈́́̀̈́̓̚͠m̵̧̛̛͍̱̺̼͚̝̄̔́̿̇̀̃̾̊͘͝͝͠ȇ̸̢̧̡̠̺̙̘̳̫̣͓͎̞̓̿ ̸̤̙̰̙͆̃̾͌͐͊͆t̷̨̬̳̭́͐̽̓͗͝o̴̧͈̭̬͉͇̳̮̳̟͍͂̾̊̒̌̅̍͒͐̐̚̚͠ ̶̱̼͇͈͔͖̣̜̬͙̤͕̾̏̓͋͛̾̿͜͜͠ţ̷̺̮̼̣͓͇̑̽̇̐ͅh̴̛̫̮̝̭̊̃̀͐͑̈́̐͒͑̃̽͘̚ì̶̡̛͈̳̣͈̹̾̇͗ͅͅs̷̢̡̖͓̝̮̯̲͖̳͈͕̮̘̦͂̿͐̈́̕ ̴̹̰̜̘̤̜̝̊̇̒̈́̾͌̈͛͊̂́͛̈̀͝ͅH̵̭̱̹̃͗͒̀̋̚i̸̧̧̡͚̞̦̻̖̱̤̅͋̿̆͛̈̌̋͝r̴̗͈͓̅̌̃͋̌͊̔͑͑́͊͝ở̷̱͆͊̎?̸̢͚̖͕͙͓͓͙̲͛̇̋̏̔̆̓̅̎̐͝


Needless to say, I think the temporary shelving of Event 2 was worth it. The only things left for chapter one are to introduce Válor. I would still like to hear your thoughts regarding the two questions I posed yesterday, which are:

  1. Get rid of text cursor?
  2. Which Chapter 1 conclusion would you rather see? Right to core game or bonus boss battle?

The Weekend

Alright, so last weekend I was actually quite productive and the dev logs here continued. I should be a little bit more active than normal this weekend but I may not have time to do daily updates like I have been. That's just for the weekend though. Worst case scenario I do a big update again when Monday rolls around. Things on the list to get done though:

  • Complete Event 2.
  • Finalize everything for the other two events.
  • Update the live demo to include the fixes noted in previous logs and let people try these events out!
  • If time permits, get the introduction of Válor in there + tutorial for shops and such. This will depend greatly on if I get feedback regarding question 2 from above. Regardless, it will get done, I just mean for the live demo (meaning, this may be left out of that for now).
  • Finally begin work on the various floors, the easy part!

If you have any ideas, feedback, or just want to chat about the project, feel free to do so with a comment or email me at jonspencerreviews@gmail.com. If you want to play the demo before the patch so you can see all the cool changes, and maybe find the secret endings nobody has found yet, you can download that on the Hiro's Ascension page.

Have a good weekend everybody and happy making!

-JS

Day 11 - Chapter 1 Progress

I had some time today and made the following changes to the encounter pool:

  • Mainline encounters 1 & 2 have an 80% chance of occurrence each.
  • If you get ML 1 only, you will see B Plot 2.
  • If you get ML 2 only, you will see B Plot 1.
  • If you dodge both ML plots somehow, a fixed benefit will be provided for you and the introduction of Válor will occur immediately.

Almost finished getting all of these scenarios finalized in engine. These take a lot of code so that's why it is taking so long. Additionally, added an image and sound assets for B Plot 2. Tried to learn how to write a JavaScript for SRPG Studio that would force close the game but it lead to problems. I am just not good enough at codding. Instead, did some other magic to get the effect I wanted.

Used most my day to relax and do other activities.

-JS

Day 12 - New Demo Release

Uploaded a new demo on the Hiro's Ascension page. I've implemented a bunch of basic fixes from previous updates and (most) of chapter 1. Still haven't settled on exactly how Válor's introduction is going to be handled. If you have a leaning to which idea of the two I've presented previously please let me know. I'm leaning towards a boss battle. If you were hoping for combat, that's coming in the next update. Moving the character around too. This update largely focuses on character generation and story development. Here's what you get that's new:

  • Chapter 1 which includes:
    • 4 random encounters, which you will see a max of 2 of in any given play.
  • Balance changes

The fortune telling event is by far the weakest. It came from an inspired place but I'm not sold on how it came out in execution. Wonderful atmosphere but... For now it is doing its job. If you get this event, all options provide wildly differing bonuses or hindrances. Some are better or worse than others and it is mostly random. I based everything on the horoscope reading for each sign this week. Fate is fickle. This does however seed your run with an interesting character who should be unique most times (if you even see this event).

For the other event, that might change slightly moving forward. I would love to hear thoughts on this. Both main line events are in a comfortable place. Could add more to ship encounter later if desired. Would rather focus energies on the rest of the game for now though. May revisit these things at a later date or if there is pressing feedback.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend,

-JS

Day 13 - Rest

I mostly just relaxed today. I pushed too hard to get the demo out for you guys. Received some feedback saying my game lacked a good hook so maybe I need to gut some stuff and fix that? I just don't know how I would do that right now. I'm a solo developer with a lot of other things going on in my personal life. I appreciate the feedback when I get it though. Tomorrow I'm gonna start on the, "meat" of the game + the ending. Currently the game takes about 12-18 minutes so I have room to have everything else I wanted. Well, even if the game ends up being terrible at least I tried.

-JS

Day 14 - Preparation

Today I made preparations for the rest of the game. I scaled back this portion of the game, even though it is the, "main part" just because I want to be able to show everything off within the hour time limit. New plan is this:

  • 3 Floors:
    • Floor 1 is The Graveyard, which may just end up being the boss battle.
      • I want to have an area you can explore/loot with some secrets and a possible fight but the boss battle is kind of the BIG thing with the graveyard. In the final version this would not be the first floor but in order to highlight things best for judging purposes I'm front loading it.
    • Floor 2 has the player make a choice to go left or right (given time I'll add a third; straight):
      • One path leads to an ice themed level (short) and have a Christmas-y vibe.
      • One path leads to a fire themed level (short) and will feature round based mechanics & environment damage. 
      • Time permitting, the third path will be a woodland themed area which will focus on buff & debuff mechanics.
    • Floor 3 will be the final chapter of the game and consist of a boss fight only.
      • This will be a culmination of all the mechanics and should be fairly challenging.

I also coded new tiles because Válor's labyrinthine innards are wholly unique compared to the rest of the world in terms of geography and such. There are some really cool tiles I'll be able to show off, even with just a handful of locations in this version of the game for the competition. Not a lot of progress you can see right now but all very necessary for the rest of the game.

-JS

(+1)

Awesome progress, man! Keep it up! 

Thank you very much :)

Day 15 - Chapter 1 Completion (If I Could Art, I Would)

I finished up the first chapter and the corresponding tutorial for shops. Here's the basic rundown:

  •  Válor introduction is complete, decided to got with a gag and skip any extra combat here. I want to ensure there is enough time to explore interesting combat, and even though I had good fights planned here, they cut into more interesting stuff. You can see from my above image that I did not have the means to make art for Válor that I deemed satisfactory. Instead, I wrote a semi-lengthy narration about Válor with an attached developer's note. If by some miracle this won, this would assuredly be updated.
  • Shops are implemented for the end of chapter 1 + tutorial:
    • Smith - You can purchase armor and weapons here.
    • Guild - You can obtain special benefits, party members, and equipment here.
    • Apothecary - Not actually implemented yet as this is currently folded into the smith.
  • Due to time constraints, shops will only play a minor roll in this version of the game but their inclusion gives a good idea of what I'm going for.
  • You may access the shop after completion of each floor provided you buy an access card (5 Valor, which is labeled bonus currency, and spent at the guild), this will allow you to magically shop from within Válor. Otherwise, you will have to rely on drops and random encounters that give you a shopping opportunity. Planning is extremely important if you plan to succeed. It is highly recommended that you purchase the access card in this version of the game.

That's everything I did today. Been kind of lazy this week but I am confident that the game will be in a (mostly) final state around the 26th of the month. That's when I'll officially enter the game under the, "entries" page for the competition. No point in having it there early when it isn't finished yet. This will give me a little wiggle room for any last-minute adjustments if they end up being needed. Of course, you can play either version of the demo on the Hiro's Ascension page at any time up until that point.

Hope everybody is making great progress as half the contest period is almost up now!

-JS

Day 16 - SRPG Studio Developer Talks

Kind of an unusual update today since I didn't make much progress on the actual game itself. As I've moved through the project I have noted some bugs with the English release of SRPG Studio. As such, I have been speaking with the developers to get those fixed because one of them is really bugging me. Most notable for you guys is fullscreen mode. Currently, this only works if I publish the game with the smallest resolution and it kind of looks squished and zoomed in if I do that. It isn't awful but I don't like it. Alternatively, you get a game that can be fullscreened at higher resolutions, but then stuffs the game into the top left corner of the screen for no reason.

Today that was supposedly fixed, but it unfortunately wasn't. Now the game doesn't always go top left, but it never centers and there is still tons of dead space. For now that means the game is stuck being in windowed mode but I can do a few things to make stuff a bit better for folks through the magic of custom scripts in the interim. It is not a big fix but it is something. So why am I telling you guys this? Well I'm one of a handful of really active SRPG Studio users and the devs take our bug reports and feedback really seriously. This is important for folks who want to utilize the engine, and even though this cuts into my development time for the contest, is a little more important for the long-term use of the engine.

Don't worry though, I only lost a day to this and that really isn't a big deal since I had the foresight to do a lot of the prep I'd need to do in advance. Still, I did do a few things that benefited Hiro's Ascension. Here's the very brief list:

  • Added a few things to the original shops.
  • Lay groundwork for the Apothecary so it wouldn't need to be folded into The Smith (not finished).
  • Corrected some consistency errors in how I stated certain things.

That's it for today, not a whole lot. Might do a bit more tonight but I also might just take things easy.

-JS

Day 17 - Apothecary & SRPG Studio Developer Talks Resolution

Another day where I was not all that productive. I'm really going to buckle down and get moving over the weekend through next week. Part of this has been due to IRL stuff that cropped up unexpectedly but also I just needed to slow down as to not burnout completely. I've never done a jam like this and I might have gotten a bit too enthusiastic with how much work I could reasonably do each day. Any way, you don't really want to hear excuses or anything so let's get into the more important stuff.

SRPG Studio Development Update

Yesterday I discussed how I was talking to the folks who brought the English version of SRPG Studio over and we were able to get the fullscreen bug completely squished. That means you can play Hiro's Ascension in fullscreen when the next update drops at the tail end of the competition. I don't know about you, but I find being able to play a game in fullscreen if I want to adds a world of difference  in my opinion of said game. This means that the game will now default launch fullscreen and have overall better presentation. Yay!

Of course, that wasn't the only thing fixed but as far as you guys are concerned, that's all that is really relevant. However, knowing that the devs for this engine are listening to its community is very positive. I hope more people decide to look into the engine a bit, especially since the demo is really good, because more people developing with this means better resources for everybody. Right now I am having to do a lot of magic just to get this to feel different from other developers using the same engine, most people only really use the stuff out the box and this project is maybe using 60% (character sprites, animations, some icons, and a few backgrounds/map tiles). However, even some of the stuff out of the box still requires a lot of work to actually use on my end so don't think that I have things too easy!

Apothecary

I did fully implement The Apothecary today. It is run by a grandma like character who sometimes speaks in puns. Why? Well, why not?!? Any way, she currently only sells potions but will likely carry some magical items as I move through the project. If anything, she's easily expandable. Here's her current inventory list:

  • Healing Potion - Heals user for 20 HP and may be used 3x (cost 125). Currently the most efficient low-level healing item.
  • Healing Potion+ - Heals user for 45 HP and may be used 3x (cost 250). Double in price but much more efficient, a mid-tier healing item.
  • Antidote - Cures user of the poisoned condition and may be used 3x (cost 120). Limited usefulness as most enemies do not cause this state but I may expand the item's range in terms of what it can cure. Right now this is largely a placeholder item as i flesh out the themed areas. 
  • Resurrection Potion - True resurrection of 1 dead alley and is single use (cost 1,000).  Most useful in hard mode where characters are lost on death (normally). On normal, they come back a map later so this item isn't as useful then. There is no way you will be able to afford this at the start of the game so I'm not worried about somebody thinking they have to buy this item like I am for Antidote. You have very sparse funds at the start of the game (ranging anywhere from 100-500 depending on choices and random events) so it would be most wise to purchase actual gear than potions anyway.

Things that are important to keep in mind regarding these potions:

  • Using a potion takes up an entire turn in combat, so it is much better to have a dedicated healer in your party (which is the first party member you are offered).
  • Each potion eats up 1 inventory slot but offer multiple uses as opposed to other healing items you may find early in the game, say for example, Forest Herb which are single use and heal for a little less. Raw materials are always worse than refined ones, the idea is that this communicates a resource chain. Any way, I generously gave the player 10 inventory slots as opposed to the default 4 since EVERYTHING eats at least one slot. Don't worry though, you have a convoy (default name, likely will rename) you can send extra stuff to but you can't pull from in in combat.

While I was added I modified the other shops a little bit. Stuff like The Smith selling armor now, instead of just weapons.

Be sure to take breaks as you continue to work on your project, and I can't wait to see how everybody's work turns out!

-JS

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Days 18, 19, & 20 - Busy

This weekend I didn't do anything. I was way too busy. However, my composer got some more music done for me. This latest series of tracks is for a boss battle with phases. Should be pretty cool. As for today, I made the first of 2 maps for the graveyard level(s).  Found some minor issues and corrected them as well. Not much time left for development so I'm gonna really get on that this week since last week I didn't do much. Have had some personal things crop up so it is damaging my work efforts here.

Edit:  SRPG Stuido's latest patch removed the screenshot feature for some reason so I had to do some magic so I could show you the newest map. Here it is:


It looks a little sparse because the enemy units aren't on the map yet, but trust me, you want that empty space in there. On that note, who could that girl be up there?

-JS

Day 21 - Graveyard Finished & Boss Progress

Today I finished up all the graveyard coding and made the second map for that level where you fight the boss. Here's an updated map for the graveyard level with (some of) the enemies on it:


As you can see, I changed the lighting to give off a better vibe. Also, the screenshot issue has been fixed! That means I can get better looking captures. If you are wondering why there is so much black space here, it is because I took this shot from a larger resolution and out of fullscreen, meaning the black space is not normally there like that. I've tirelessly tested the graveyard today and while I still think I need to tweak the woman there a touch for if she joins your party (she's actually kind of OP right now but still dies reasonably easy if you don't protect her). That's something I'll look at tomorrow with fresh eyes. This map takes ~5 minutes to clear if you don't die. It is a fairly tough fight if you don't manage your positioning well. Since the woman moves and acts on her own (at least in this stage of the fight), that can screw ya up too.

I have the boss introduction done, it is really cool since it is all timed to music (he manipulates the map at the start of the fight by turning all the, "lights" off and spawning in a new map. Each item disappears, and then the new one reappears, with the click of a circuit breaker). I don't want to go into too much detail but I'll give a screenshot as a hint. I'll promise now that this likely won't be what you expect!


It might not look like much, and you might be wondering why this space is so small while the map is so big! Part of that is on the engine, I have to have the map be a certain size or it gets all screwy. As for why the boss battling area is so small, well, that's part of the hint ;) I said there wouldn't be much dialog in these individual levels but this boss has a LOT, which involves a lot of coding too. He's a chatty guy, this gravekeeper! He'll probably take anywhere from 5-10 minutes to beat, at most. Since time is the big constraint here, that's all he can have.

Not a ton of time left in the competition so I hope everybody is using it wisely!

-JS

(+1)

Looks great, I have the concept down for my three levels and boss level.  One level almost completely done and the others at least added to the game.  That means two days per level and maybe a day for full polish, will be close.  Hoping to get a lot done over the vacation weekend.

Thanks! Yeah, I know what you mean. I was pretty lazy last week so I turned what, should be, relatively easy work into more of a tight crunch than it should be. Oh well, I really needed the break then.

(+1)

Your progress is very interesting to read, thanks for sharing! 

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I would have to say the same for you as well! I'm glad you find mine interesting, I try to do my best to keep everybody in the loop as well as keep some mystique about all the happenings, because after all, it would be boring if I gave up all my secrets ;)

(+1)

Haha I feel you, it's hard to decide sometimes how to share things in order to keep the final game interesting :)

(+2)

Yeah, I am happy TeamTailnut that you had the chance to play my intro level, the washing machines now spit bubbles and the cannon shoots.  Hopefully can get a second version up today.

Day 22 - Graveyard Boss Progress, Lava Level & Roadmap

How is everybody doing? I've been having a blast reading about your projects and working on mine! For today we are going to talk about the graveyard level, its corresponding boss, the first lava level (of two), and the future in a little more detail. Let's start with the graveyard level first since I have the least to say on that.

The Graveyard

Yesterday I shared a new screenshot of the graveyard level and it looks pretty good. A reminder below. However, I wanted to provide general notes as to what it features here:


  • One moderately challenging encounter with the chance for the player to obtain a new ally!
    • Minor balance changes made to ally & Hiro's weapon.
    • If she dies, the opportunity is lost and the level is cut short.
    • If she lives the player chooses to have the unit join the party (recommended).
      • Fun note about how I name characters for HIro's Ascension, they ALL have a special meaning. Example, Hiro has several meanings in Japanese depending on the Kanji used. In this case, his name means, "prosperous" since it would be written with the 浩 character. Not all names are Japanese, however, the world of Hiro's Ascension is a melting pot and mirrors our own! I'm not going to give you the woman's name here though, you'll have to discover that for yourself and what her name means, along with the others ;)
      • Regardless of choice a secondary fight of hard difficulty begins.
  • Option to explore the graveyard once all fighting has ceased.
  • Currently, there is a two-step, "puzzle" hidden on the map. I would like to add more to this but due to time that's all I could manage for now. Updated this to include a tutorial because I realized that the player hasn't seen a particular event item in this game yet. The puzzle involves an easy riddle as a hint if you don't happen to stumble upon the solution on your own.
  • Each grave (with the exception of one, huh that's weird...) has an epitaph or general description (in the case of the wooden crosses). Some are silly, some are for actual people I know who died, and others might have more meaning than they let on.

That's it for that level. I know I said I didn't have much to say but O.o

Graveyard Boss

Yesterday I also hinted about the boss for this floor. Remember, you are going into this fight injured, and maybe even alone! I wouldn't worry too much though because not everything in Hiro's Ascension is what it seems after all. I am really excited for people to experience this boss because he's not something you would traditionally see in a tactics oriented strategy game. While this is in no way original in that this sort of thing has been done before, I still think it will be quite unexpected. Alright, no more hints on this guy. Instead, let me talk about why his level isn't done yet.

Remember yesterday when I said he had a lot of coding because of how chatty he was? Well I am not kidding! So far each instance of conversation with this guy is anywhere between 20-100 lines of (again, this is visual coding in-engine) various dialog, logic, and much more. There is a lot going on under the hood here, even though when you play this out, you really couldn't tell. I probably don't need to tell you folks making games that, but if you've never made one before, that's a LOT of what goes into games and why they take so long. You need to make sure all this is working smoothly and that there aren't funky bugs going on either.

As it stands he is 3/10 of the way completed because I am going to work on him in little chunks at a time. Doing him all at once is really exhausting! Thankfully, each time I add something new, I can copy large chunks of code and make minor (just tedious) edits to things since a lot of this stuff follows specific patterns. Kind of nice when you have something that works like this! Doubly good is that all the new mechanics like this one I'm including are easy to duplicate once finished fully, so the final boss, which pulls from each floor you explore to form his patterns, will be fairly easy to assemble.

That's it for this one right now. I suspect that by the start of the weekend he will be either complete or 8/10 done. 

Lava Level

As part of my break from the Graveyard boss I decided to work on the fire-themed floor. The first level's map looks like this:


This is without enemies and lighting may change of course. I know it is a bit silly to have wooden bridges over lava, but they play nice with the lava tiles so they were what ultimately won out here. If I find something better as I go, I'll change that but for now this is good enough. They are nice and narrow and do a great job of splitting the map into two uneven parts. So what's going down in this level?

  • Another ally opportunity!
    • This time for an archer. His name is not settled yet, I have to research a good name for him.
    • He'll be mobbed by some demons that keep popping out of the lava. You'll need to rescue him by giving him an opportunity to escape! Since he is a ranged fighter, he will be useless if mobbed or in melee range. If you manage to save him, he will offer to join your party.
    • I want to add this here, but may skip it depending on how difficult the fight is.
      • Introduces environmental effects (if you aren't protected of course).

Not a terribly complex level but it will make a good prelude to the boss. In that encounter you'll be fighting a fire-wielder who has phase based mechanics. He's shaping up to be pretty tough, especially if you go into this solo. The game is balanced to always have 1-2 people in your party so I can't guarantee you'd win by yourself (I won't be testing it that way). As it stands, everything so far is doable by yourself but you should really consider friends if you ask me!

Last thing for this, I talked about how my composer finished up the music for the boss here. Go ahead and give this a listen (follow him and like this too if while you are at it, he's super awesome):

Roadmap

Moving forward I know for sure I'll be able to complete all of the above. I want to give the player a choice after defeating the gravekeeper where they'll either get the fire level or another level (I have an ice level and woodland level planned out) but I'm not 100% confident I can get that all finished by Monday at the absolute latest. For the moment I have a placeholder which offers a, "pseudo" choice with a developer's note. This is purely for the sake of the contest. I would love to continue work on this project, even if it does not win. However, I do want the player to have some agency in how they drive the story and where they end up going, so I am including this as if the feature is complete (even if I don't manage to complete it in time) because this contest is asking for a vertical slice. Meaning, if I want it in the full game, it NEEDS to be here.

In addition to this, I'll add in new game + but it will have zero playable content. Instead, it will play a short cutscene and have a developer note. More details on this later because this is actually a very important feature in terms of my story. I don't want to share all my secrets here ;) For those of you who have read previous updates or noticed the thing in the current demo, than you may have a clue to what I'm talking about here.

Remember to take breaks and enjoy your family tomorrow!

-JS

Day 23 - Happy Thanksgiving!

I don't have much to report in terms of progress today but I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving :) Had some turkey, pie, and played a board game with my family. To be honest, it was largely boring XD However, it isn't everyday that you do these things so it was still nice.

Want a quick update though? Still have ya covered. Today I implemented a new leveling system that grants skills, made a few balance changes, playtested some new features, and completed the setup phase for the Lava Level.

Still to do:

  1. Finish the Graveyard boss (remains at 3/10 of the way complete) - Incremental completion through the weekend.
  2. Finish the first stage of the Lava Level - Should be finished by tomorrow.
  3. Create boss battle for Lava Level - Visuals, music, and basic programming should be complete by tomorrow.
  4. Finalize the design of The Hallowed Heroes Hall - This has been in progress since yesterday when I was laying out maps, not 100% in love with the current design but it would satisfy as a placeholder. Should note, this is a cutscene only (maybe some minor gameplay?) not the actual boss arena. See picture below.
  5. Either:
    1. Implemented final boss + design the level - Preferred option, dependent on weekend time.
    2. Go with plan b with new game + plan (that'll make sense if I go with this) - Not as desirable.
  6. Write the new game + cutscene


The worst part is the door. I don't have a good door that fits there. Don't get me wrong, I have better doors, but they are meant to be paired with other things that don't work here. There is also too much blank space on the side but if this is just a brief cutscene, then I'm not gonna worry too terribly about it unless people really are against this. I also notice now that this is off-center. I'd fix that too. Oh, actually, I may be able to use a better set of tiles here. Guess you'll see in the final version ;)

That's it folks. I'm tired now so I likely won't make any extra progress on this like I usually do the moment I post these. Again, hope you had a happy (and safe) Thanksgiving!

-JS

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Day 24 - Bosses & Maps

Yesterday I talked about how I aimed to have some stuff done. Well, I got a tad bit distracted so some of it I did finish but I also made a tiny bit more work for myself. I'll start with where we left off yesterday and then circle back to some older stuff. Let's dive in and see what exactly I'm talking about here.

First up, the picture I showed yesterday is one you should forget. Here's the new version of The Hallowed Hall of Heroes:


The lighting is different in the game, but this is the final layout. So what exactly is going on here?

  • Left side:
    • Graves of previous guardians who are forever immortalized here. This space is larger than shown, just getting the basic idea across.
    • I choose to put in cherry trees because they offered nice color here and really balance the image. Furthermore, it adds to the strangeness of this general area.
  • Right side:
    • Lots of bookshelves that act as an archive chronicling the lives of the various guardians. Note that some shelves seem to be missing books and others are empty, implying rooms for lots more future guardians.
  • Time pending, this room will be one you can explore fully with story elements to read. I will probably put a secret in here too if I do that because, well, that's what I do! For the time being, it is a cutscene where Hiro (and company, if they are here) comment about the area and such.

Obviously this looks a lot better and I'm really diggin' it. That brings me to the actual boss fight, and ending of Hiro's adventure here. I set off to make an arena to fight in but things took a totally different turn once I started doing this. I think I spent like 2 hours on this, and it all was with the thought, "what does this guy's life look like down here?" Apparently, this:


Really, I didn't need to make this space, but I felt compelled to do so. There is a lot of empty space in the center but at the same time this room feels lived in. I gave the big boss everything he'd realistically ever need to live down here. The guy is even keeping some of the books from the previous room in here, and presumably a few others. I even went as far as to plan a secret in this room (if I make this playable, right now it just exists). I do have plans for this space, in terms of gameplay, but it'll kind of depend on time. If I'm running short on time you'll either see this space in place of the currently planned space or not at all. Time allowing, this will act as a bridge to the planned space. Sound confusing? Don't worry about it. Just wanted to show you folks that I made it, even if it doesn't make the cut for the competition version of the game.

Circling back to Lava Level now. That's something I made progress on. The short level prior to the boss fight needed some overhauling. No changes to the map but the enemies were causing problems. I broke their AI in an interesting way, which I originally kept, but then had to heavily modify because the whole level stopped working if I did. As it stands, this level basically received no progress. The programming for environmental damage here is done, and there is an item to counteract it, but I haven't decided yet if I'll actually keep them in the final version. Right now, the level is very difficult without that so it is disabled. The player currently has no real issue with the monsters, but the objective of this map is to keep an NPC (who becomes an ally if you save him, and choose to accept him) alive but he is very squishy. Needs more tweaking in general.

However, the Lava Level boss is looking great! He's 60% finished, with most of the heavy stuff taken care of. Now I just gotta fight him a few times and make minor adjustments so the fight feels good. Here's a pic of his level:


This is at the very start of the fight. The room actually doesn't start this way, it has no lava in it, but once the fight starts the boss floods the room with the stuff trapping you on this small island. From there he sends his Demon Generals after you with some other nasty tricks up his sleeve! The music changes to indicate a phase change, along with dialog as well. This guy has three phases that rotate every 3 rounds. You can only damage the boss during certain times so you really have to plan this one out! So far, this is the most complex boss in the game and would actually make a fine stopping point in case of an emergency with the deadline coming up fast!

Lastly, the Graveyard boss is now sitting at 4/10 + a little in terms of completion. I really hate working on this guy even though I LOVE him so much. He is just a big pain in the butt to make. He'll get done though, since I'm putting him front-and-center as the first major boss. I had an idea today when I was working on him that would make him even more robust, but I have to table it because it would double his development time, and I just don't have that. He's on track to be completed by Monday.

So here were yesterdays goals:

Still to do:

  1. Finish the Graveyard boss (remains at 3/10 of the way complete) - Incremental completion through the weekend.
  2. Finish the first stage of the Lava Level - Should be finished by tomorrow.
  3. Create boss battle for Lava Level - Visuals, music, and basic programming should be complete by tomorrow.
  4. Finalize the design of The Hallowed Heroes Hall - This has been in progress since yesterday when I was laying out maps, not 100% in love with the current design but it would satisfy as a placeholder. Should note, this is a cutscene only (maybe some minor gameplay?) not the actual boss arena. See picture below.
  5. Either:
    1. Implemented final boss + design the level - Preferred option, dependent on weekend time.
    2. Go with plan b with new game + plan (that'll make sense if I go with this) - Not as desirable.
  6. Write the new game + cutscene

Item 1 is lookin' good still. Item 2 had a setback, but is otherwise on track for tomorrow or Sunday completion instead (depends on how busy I am). Item 3 is actually ahead of schedule since it is nearly finished, as opposed to just having the general groundwork done. I may even finish that tonight once I've had a bit of a break. Item 4 is done + did extra work, may still do a smidgen more if I want this place to be playable. Item 5 is TBD, but leaning towards item A for the moment. Item 6 I haven't even touched as it is literally the easiest but I need to settle on item 5 first, otherwise I'll have to redo it a few times potentially.

Edit:  I totally forgot to mention this! I added a new leveling system for each character, made balance changes, and tons of other little adjustments that make the game feel better as a whole. Additionally, went back to modify a cutscene to provide more story and build the world some more. Created a, "useless" item in this version of the game, but if you purchase it you get a fun little secret and developer note. It is a placeholder for features I want to include but don't have time to actually implement.

Man, the days are going quick! Be sure to use your time wisely so you don't miss the deadline or have to rush your product out.

-JS

Day 25 & 26 - Homestretch Progress Report

Hey, hey, how's it going? I hope that everybody is doing well and ready to get their games submitted this week! Hiro's Ascension is sooooooo close to being finished but it still needs just a bit more time in the oven. So let's dive into what I have been up to this weekend.

The Gravekeeper

This boss was givin' me the most trouble just from the sheer amount of work that had to go into 'em! However, he is now 5/10ths of the way complete. May not sound like much until you realize the other half of his stuff is all drafted, I just gotta put it into the game. In reality, he's probably closer to 8/10ths of the way finished. He should be 100% good-to-go tomorrow!

Lava Level & Boss

I fixed all the problems with the lava level. Still need to balance this a touch more but it is more-or-less finished. Sadly, the same can not be said for the boss. Out of everything that is left, this is the most work. Should just squeak in by tomorrow night for my self-imposed deadline. However, if I have to get the competition version up Tuesday I won't be horribly upset. I would rather submit a game I've personally polished than a rough-cut product that needs some kinks ironed out yet because I rushed.

Ending

I don't think there will be an official boss fight for the ending. Instead, I am going to opt for the narrative completion and hook for the full-game concept. If you have no clue what I'm talking about here, that's fine. If you do, then you did a very good job paying attention to these updates ;) Of course, there are hints in the current demo too... Personally, I have never seen a game of this nature attempt what I am doing with this game so, at the risk of building this up a bit too much, I will say that I am quite proud of what I'm cooking up in terms of a story. Maybe I'm not the best writer, but I think people will appreciate the attempt at the very least.

With all that said, it is going to be SUPER important that people play the game when I get it uploaded because if there are ANY problems at all I will fix them ASAP and upload a patch for the game before the submission period ends. I really have no expectations of winning, and would be utterly shocked if I did, but I want to put out the best product I can. Needless to say, any games I get to try out before the deadline I'll be providing feedback for and bug reports as well. I hope you'll do the same for me!

Best of luck to everybody, and expect another update or two from me!

-JS

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As always, nice progress, man! Best of luck to you as well!

(+1)

Thanks, I appreciate the support :)

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Do you have a version up that can be played?  Hopefully I can give some time.  Also, would be great if you played my game, https://dk5000p.itch.io/shadowknight-traverses-the-terrorverse.  So far it looks like you are making great progress.  I have two boss fights I need to put together, the final boss and a boss for my circus level.  Hopefully can get one done today.  Almost have it completed so you can get to the final boss level.

I only have the old versions, from like 2 weeks ago, up at the moment. I'm finishing up the competition version today. I'll shoot ya another message once I have it uploaded. I'll certainly take a look at your game though :)

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Thanks a lot. I want to complete the final boss fight today and will see if I have time to include the other boss fight.

No problem. I also appreciate you being willing to play my game too :)

It's up man :)

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Dang the download is massive.

Well you get a complete soundtrack and the game has a LOT of content for how short it is. You could replay it 2 or 3 times and see something new almost every time if you wanted.

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I don't play tactics games so I had no idea what to do.  I love the music.  I really needed a controls somewhere.  Also, it took me a while to figure out that x closed out the menu options, these might be common controls for this type of game but I had no idea.  The game has a very polished feel to it.  Sadly, if I can't figure out how to play it, it won't mean much.  Did I miss a page that had controls?  Also, the load screen with the IGMC 2018 logo is just a tad long.  I might try to play it again tomorrow, but at this time I need to update some stuff in my game and go to sleep.

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Day 27 - Final Version Complete

It isn't perfect, and I had to make a few last-minute changes but the final version is now available. It took about 60 hours for me to put this together, and was a lot of hard work! Thank you all for the continued support and please enjoy the game.

You can download it here

Keep in mind that this is basically a giant prologue. I suggest playing the game on, "Normal" as well. The game has been meticulously balanced by hand and should be winnable via a few differing strategies. The final boss can be very tough or not that bad depending on what choices you make, and the hand you were dealt by fate, so good luck!

Please be sure to rate the game and provide feedback.

Good luck to everybody, now I need to go relax for a bit.

-JS