OddGames maintains a Development Journal at gamedev.net. Below you can find the latest posts or you can read the journal over at gamedev.net.
Be warned, this might not be your ordinary game development post.
The New Year has just settled in so I thought I would keep my record straight and at least post one journal update per year. Real life has begun to catch up on me and my game development time has almost shivered up and died. This might sound like a very depressing post but it is not, and all for the good reasons!
You might ask how this came to pass. Well, first me and my girlfriend got a baby girl about a year ago =) and then I landed a new job which involves non-game programming. My old job offered lots of free time during weekdays - this was ideal for game development at home. Now I work 8-17 Monday through Friday so I’m only free on the weekends. This works excellent for my family, not so great for my own game development project(s).
How much time is left for game development then? Well, right now I’m on paternity leave until April. So when the kid is asleep I can get some alone time, this is around 3-6 hours per day at most. During this time I also need to fit in other things such as cleaning, bills, write journal entries etc.
However, I have not quit on Medieval Story and I have been at it for quite a while. My isometric game is coming together bit by bit. I had imagined beforehand that this game would be a huge undertaking for a single developer… nonetheless I had hoped to be done by now. My problem is that I haven’t laid out the game’s story properly so the game just keeps growing and new areas are created when needed. I need to call it done some time and that is a difficult thing to do. I am not much of a storywriter which this sort of game kind of requires. Well anyway, to end this post I thought people might be interested in some screens of the current state of the game. Not much have changed graphics wise.
You can now kill wolves!
Some graphics showing the inside of building.
Conversation with an NPC.
You can't ride horses in this game - but they exist!
The outside of a fort.
Pug the mastermind.
That is all for this time, thanks for reading!
Great news! Medieval Story has been greenlit! Since I don’t update this journal as often as I should there might be readers wondering what Medieval Story is about. Well, here’s a short summary…
Medieval Story is a single player game which features action, puzzle and RPG elements. It is played from an isometric view point which can be zoomed in and out.
There are no experience points to be earned (so no level grinding). Instead different equipment and potions make your character stronger. Players can follow the main story arch and finish the game more quickly, however it is encouraged to explore the world. The game will be episode based and the world will get larger as I release new episodes.
Medieval Story is currently in content creation phase, progress is pretty slow since I am making the game on my own. The last few weeks I have focused on script writing, dialogs and map making.
This is done using lua, a scripting language used in many other applications and games. I use it to control character dialogs, changing of maps, setting character and object properties among other things.
The dialogue is displayed via a special a GUI window. Here you can follow the conversation and make critical choices for how the story will unfold. Alongside the conversation is a hand drawn character portrait for each NPC you meet.
I have developed a level editor called Nimrod the Isometric editor. Nimrod (for short) is tightly connected to the game. It can place actors and objects, assign scripts and set animation behaviour among other things.
The game will be released on steam in the near future.
Thanks for reading!
Been a while since the last update. I’m still working on Medieval Story, my *long* running project. The engine is more robust and I have changed my windowing framework to the latest glfw-master branch from GitHub. I decided to switch from 3.0.4 in order to get the latest mouse cursor support. Previously I rendered a textured quad and used that as a cursor. With the new cursor support in glfw I get much better mouse response. It is especially noticeable when the frame rate is low.
In regards to gameplay I have also made improvements. Both the mouse and keyboard controls have gotten more precise after tweaking the physics engine. The player slides better along walls and climbs stairs more easily. This is achieved by modifying the friction of the object that the player collides against (bulletphysics only has one friction value for the entire rigid body). When an object is walked upon it has a high friction value, it is treated as a floor. If the player walks up against the same object the friction value changes to a low value, it gets treated as a wall. I know this could be done more elegantly by dividing the objects up by walls and floors… but this would mean the double amount of physics objects.
I guess this sort of problem is not so common in ordinary 3D engines when objects are not treated as a whole. My world objects can often be walked on top of and slide along or against.
The camera has also gotten smarter. Instead of just chasing the player the camera focuses on the area that is ahead of the player. However, when in battle it focuses on the player so it does not to miss any action.
I have come to realize I will have to cut down on the scope of the game. I begin to worry that I might not actually finish it. However… there still are a few mechanics I feel the game should benefit from. One such item are Bows, they can be used to pick off enemies from a distance (*duh*). I might implement more types of ranged weapons in the future (crossbows, magic stuff) but right now I feel they are quite sufficient.
Another of these items are the possibility to sneak around your enemies. I have adjusted the level editor to compensate for this. I can now adjust the awareness radius of an actor right inside the editor (this was hard coded until now). Each actor has a max and minimum radius from where he can spot the player. The maximum radius (blue) is used when the player runs and the minimum (green) when the player uses sneak.
I think this will allow for more intricate quests where you are unable or forbidden from just killing your enemies.
Well that's all for now, thanks for reading!
... Oh, on a last note. I hope you consider voting for Medieval Story on Steam greenlight!
I've uploaded a new version of the alpha demo. I know there still are a few bugs and tweaks that need to get fixed... but things are moving in the right direction.
Here follows a change log since last version:
- Renamed game back to Medieval Story (read previous post for details).
- Added more anti-alias modes (2x - 8x).
- The buttons in the options screen can be right clicked to go backward when cycling choices (resolution, anti-aliasing, quality etc.).
- The bandits are better at chasing the player.
- Added a knife as weapon. It can be found inside a chest at the beginning of the game.
- There are now rats in Mosscroft. They are good for practice before taking on the bandits.
- Fixed a bug that could occur when talking to Cedric.
- Made the enemies near the end a little bit easier.
- Fixed a bug that made the battle music play when it shouldn't.
- Fixed a bug that caused OpenAL not to be initialized correctly.
Medieval Story is now also available on steam greenlight! If you like the game please vote for it:
You can find the new alpha on the indiegogo campaign site.
Thanks for reading!
I've started designing the outside walls of the tower. I want it to look a little bit weathered but not too much. Here’s a step-by-step animation that I've made while working on it.
The lighting is a mock-up since the rendering engine will calculate the lighting and shadows. I did a quick shade because fullbright textures look like crap most of the time. Now all that is left is the interior...
On another note, I have decided to change the name back to Medieval Story. There is an American restaurant franchise that goes by the name Medieval Times. So to prevent any trademark conflicts I’ll use the old name. Although they belong to a different industry I better be on the safe side.
The alpha demo can be found at the indiegogo campaign. Please consider supporting if you like the game. =)
Thanks for reading!
New levels are taking form. This is a large stone tower set along the sea side. It's the local wise man's residence. The protagonist must seek him out to solve a number of problems. I have drawn this sketch to get a general feel for how I want the location to look:
Since this is a rather complex building I want to be sure all pieces fit together nicely when building the tower. I have therefore prebuilt the base structure of the tower with only simple building blocks. This allows me to determine the size of each 2d texture block before I start to draw it. Here is an animation from the level editor. It shows the progress of the construction:
It also allows me to test whether a navigation mesh can be built. This is a very important step to do since I want the player to be able to walk around and up the different stairs cases. No passage should be so narrow that the player can't get through.
I will be posting an update when the tower gets nearer completion. Be sure to visit my indiegogo campaign if you like this project.
Thanks for reading!
The Medieval Times Alpha demo is out! The alpha is released for demonstration purposes alongside the game's indiegogo campaign. You can find the campaign and alpha demo here.
The alpha is a short introduction to the first episode and the protagonist. The game’s plot is gradually revealed as you progress. I am pretty certain there are a few bugs that are yet to be discovered but I hope you enjoy the game nonetheless.
The pitch also contains some video from Nimrod the isometric editor. I hope you enjoy the video and alpha demo!
Thanks for reading!