Sunday, December 27, 2015

Another progress report on my updated game engine

With the Christmas holidays over, I've decided to get back to further working on my updated game engine, and the changes so far have led to the following decisions:

* Player characters will have a full range of emote busts, not just mere facesets. Major characters will likely remain with just facesets, barring exceptions where I have a full set of bust graphics on hand for them, but at the least, all playable characters will have waist up bust portraits.

To that end, a few characters are getting a minor makeover to accommodate the new bust graphics, especially Sarah, but they shall otherwise have no other major cosmetic changes.

Note; I plan to make use of some slightly altered artwork by Archeia for some of the new character art, who is far more talented than myself, and whose art has already vastly improved my game so far, and I plan to further display her talent because she's an excellent artist and I feel her work does my own honor.

* When it comes to coding, I'm good at modification and bug testing, not actually writing it, so I plan to use scripting that either uses its own self contained calls or builds on the stock engine without fancy overrides. This should make bugtesting a LOT easier in the event of scripting errors

* About a third into the way into making DQ1 Remake, I decided I was serious about doing so, it was no longer a mere lark, but then I was young and foolish and started bolting scripting code onto the engine without making sure it all would work with each other, leading to lots of regressions and issues along the way.

So far, I'm still not even halfway done, and I'm currently betatesting all scripts as I add them and retesting them every time I add new features in a closed test shell (none of the new engine is being tested on the current game data so far) because I plan to do a rump transfer of all my new engine onto the old, and I want to make sure all the new parts gel nicely with the old before I attempt to pop the old engine out of the chassis and replace it with the new one.

* I have tossed out some of the fancier things I wanted to add, or least plan to belay their addition - I added a lot of cool visual frills like an enemy sensor, a full blown explorer HUD, and a few other visual frills to liven up the engine, and unfortunately thanks to my foolish monkeypatching and failure to edge case test to make sure they wouldn't cause unexpected issues, it led to tons of regressions, so I'm saving adding any fancy visual frills for last, AFTER I've ensure all the core gameplay scripting won't break.

I will continue to leave regular progress reports of some kind as development on my new engine continues. I do not have a projected ETA on it's relative completion, but I hope to have very significant progress done by the end of January.

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