Current restore progress: 033.0% > 037.0%
Good afternoon space adventurers, this is a minor news article as one has already been made this month. I chose to do a second news article to compensate for the times since January I should had posted a news articles but did not; usually because I had not enough content.
From the last news article until now I had been posting about what I had been working upon at this game profile images and videos pages, and now it is the time to explain in more details what I showed. A word of warning: The video below contains loud noises.
One of the reasons the progress percentage was not higher was because of that "special thing" I said at the last news article. Although I had to do so for the restoration extra I promised, it is something which mostly belonged to the "development phase" of the game which should only come after the "restoration phase"; so I cannot add most of the progress percentage to the current phase percentage. After planning for a while I came up with the above menu for controlling a musical instrument at the game. It is not yet complete; the selected buttons must be highlighted, the selected note added to the sheet measure, there must be an area which tells you the name of the sheet measure line your mouse is currently upon and the play and clear buttons must work too.
I usually post a news article 1 day before the date I aim to because it usually take 1 day for it to be authorized at indiedb. Perhaps I have time to already show you more of the above menu before the article is authorized (or not). I do not seek to offer the full control over an instrument, as it would be hard for many players. I made it contain just basic music stuff, and during the game the player will be requested just a couple of notes to for example unlock a forbidden area or perform a special attack. If the player disables the "musical realism mode", then this test will be done by other means. Let us not forget which there will also be some more usual, not musical weapons too. About the image:
- Clef - At the example a G clef, in portuguese and japanese "sol". Each instrument usually have its own, although some share the same clef. It defines most of what the music will sound like.
- Time signature - How many notes are contained in a single sheet measure and which note represents one beat.
- Tempo - Beats for minute. It defines how fast or slow a music should play.
- Key signature - At the game it defines if a note is playing "sharp" or "flat"; changing its sound slightly.
- Note duration - How long a note should last according to the measure. I decided to include there a button for "pizzicato" (Pz.), that is when you play a note using your fingers; and you can see it at for example the violin.
- Sheet measure - With the example signature of 4/4, one beat corresponds to a quarter note (the third button); and one measure can have 4 of that note. Depending on which line you place the note, it will play different. For example, the "mi" can be played both at line 5 and 12, but will sound different.
Sounds hard? The game will slowly explain them to you; and as I said you will be demanded only simple things. For that, I restored more of the game sound system and had to upgrade it to do new things.
I am not worrying much with the audio sample quality for now, just in getting it working. For a higher quality audio sample I will need a special mic and it would help having a room prepared to reduce outside noise. I am a average instrument player and not a professional, so getting some samples right will take more than a few attempts; it does not help I have a condition which make my hands tremble a bit and a "mutant" little finger which make it troublesome to play properly.
This is just 1/3 of the job for the "special thing". For the 2/3 part of the job:
Years ago my focus was coding a working character creation code which would be applied to the player character only. Now, after planning a bit, I decided to make all the game characters belong to this system; making it easy to generate a random character like for example a generic inhabitant of a city. I am not going to lie to you, having multiple part characters is complex in coding and art content; but I want to grant this customization to the game players, I personally do not like games without customization. For me, RPG IS customization.
I upgraded how the game folders and files are organized and introduced new file extensions for the game. The system now works as follows:
- Inside the 3d folder, the folder of a given race have a file called body.parts which tells to the game which parts he should expect for each race and to load the code related to that specific parts.
- There is a folder with "template" files, for example, "scientist", "psi", "vampire" and so on in the case of the nightkin race. Those templates have registered which parts and equipment belong to a base character from that template and generic data.
- A character is created from a template, containing specific data and changing if needed the data from the template. It is the characters you will truly see and be able to modify outside the game editor.
By default a character will show all its different body parts, but when you for example equip a dress, it will be a single model replacing the "upper legs", "lower torso" and "upper torso" body parts. Each dress model has the "dress" category, and that category is set to occupy the above mentioned body parts. That will make the models more easy on the resources of your computer and will allow more detailed models; instead of loading a clothing model above the body model; that would be easier and more correct, but it consumes a lot of resources. It works when you have just one or two characters, but for a whole city... no. There is a "master" .blend (from blender) file which contains the full model and animations which is then split into separated files.
The 3/3 part of the "special thing" will be related to particles, and it will be a new game code. The funny thing is which by coding those extra thing I am already making some progress at other scenes which remains to be restored. For example, by coding this new character system I am already restoring part of the code for the scene "character creation".
Other things about the game:
Perhaps you have noticed it, but I changed the way the game project is being developed. Years ago I was more worried with coding the game and only later start working at its art, but now I am making the opposite: I am focusing in the arts and focusing less in coding. My original goal made sense: Having a working game and adding content to it later is logical; but the game back then was murdered by the extinction of the Blender Game Engine without me being able to show what I was capable of. Changing that goal after its rebirth allows me to have more to "showcase" not only related to the game but for myself as a digital artist; attracting more attention to the game and myself. It makes sense too, so why not trying a different approach at least once?
I would also like to mention other aspect of the game development: There must be days, moments in a month dedicated to just resting; otherwise you will get tired, and if you get too tired you get sick. That happened more than once to me during the game development before learning which overworking is not always good, it was a painful lesson. So, if you are developing a game alone or have people working for you, do not forget which if you or they are dead or too tired you will not be able to complete your project. Simple as that.
I already created a Github repository for the project Starchild, but still had not added content to it. What can I say, I am a perfectionist person, thus I will only share the game files there when I think there is enough restored content and this time is not now. I decided to do a bigger update than smaller updates. The link is this: Github.com
I still had not purchased a new keyboard, and that decreases my productivity by having to use a builtin laptop keyboard. The ergonomics of that is awful.
Part of my time lately is being consuming with the application process for a japanese language school I had been welcomed to after the usual interview process. The third time is the charm as they say, and while at the first attempt I ended up having to use the money I would use to study there and at the second attempt the corona virus pandemic cancelled my plans; now with a different school, it worked. I will be adding a "Japan" area to my site blog with information regarding studying in japan in case someone is interested. There are issues which most do not imagine.
I had been doing further experiments and having success regarding the two products I probably will sell in the future: customized shirts and vegan cosmetics. When I am confident enough I will code their pages at my site. For now, their pages currently only show a "coming soon".
As that looney tunes character used to say: "That is all folks". I hope the project friends shape this project with me and make part of my personal life too, just do not be rude as I do not tolerate that.
If you liked this project you can help make it happen by sharing its indiedb, panda3d or my site game page at your social networks or mouth to mouth promotion (pick your favourite). Also, constructive criticism is welcome as always
That is it space adventurers, until the next news article!
© Yuko Arts, 2021