I did not post here for a long time, again, and I have many many things to tell you. The year 2018 has been very eventful, and I am writing a very long devlog to detail everything.
Here are some glimpses of what is coming:
Yes, I am still working on the game, and “it has never been so close to release”. However, that release date has been postponed, again. The project is incredibly advanced, especially for a one man team, but I finally admitted that it’s not a 2 years project for which I am 2 years late, but a N years project with N > 4.
Goblin v0.3 v0.4
Goblin v0.3 and v0.4 are done. Most features are complete and perfectly working, some are more difficult to complete. I am still facing many difficulties, including reworking on the AI and the level design. The difficulties comes from the fact that it is one big complex metroid-like dungeon in which I mix several gameplays, and getting everything to work at the same time is a real headache.
How to actually release the game
I spent a lot of time thinking about the best way to effectively release the game one day, before I run out of money and energy. Over the year, I tried several approaches. I will detail in the upcoming devlog what I decided to do. There will be one bad news and two good ones :)
Assets update 1.7 coming
Finally, I also worked on the Ultimate Screenshot Creator and the Multi Device Preview & Gallery assets. Version 1.7 will have several new awesome features, like “screenshot composition” or “device and notches preview”. The update will be out in the first weeks of January.
It has already been three months since the last news, time goes too fast. I was very focused on the game and I did not have much time to feed the various social networks, etc. I will continue like this until the end of version 0.4 and start posting more again. These three months have been very productive, here is a glimpse of what I did.
v0.2 Level Design
I finished version 0.2 of the game, in which the effort was focused on level design. I reworked all areas of the dungeons, their shapes, sizes and connectivities, I made a first playable version of all zones. Some levels still require a lot of work but most are already very satisfying. I would love to show you pictures of all this but I do not want to spoil everything, so I will not.
Thanks to that, I finally apprehend much better the game on its entirety. I have a better idea of the amount of work remaining and where the effort is needed. I will also be able to choose to keep or not some areas depending on the remaining development time.
I bought an asset to make decals (projecting texture on the floor, walls, or objects) but eventually it did not suit my needs, and I had to implement my own solution. In particular, I added the possibility to display decals on physical objects, such as traps. With this new system, cleaning the traps is now much more fun. For example, a blood stain on a stunner is well animated.
v0.3 Janitor & Adventure
I almost finished version 0.3 of the game, in which I focus on the janitor experience. I reworked the associated missions, quests, dialogues, gameplay, etc. I am quite happy with the dialogues and opportunities for quests and missions proposed for now, and writing dialogues and descriptions with always a hint of sarcasm is something that I really appreciate.
I also reworked some levels, like the introduction, the integrated tutorial part, the entrance of the dungeon, and the Adventurers’ Maze. For example, here is a small piece of cave:
I also reworked some traps, and I created a few. For example, here are the new stakes floor and a wall of blades:
An important part of the fun of cleaning the dungeon comes from staging the sad accidents of the adventurers. It was essential to put in place ragdolls (dolls almost unarticulated) to be able to “play” with the bodies and limbs. Adventurers can have a large number of clothing variations, so I’ve set up a system to automatically create ragdoll variations based on the deceased adventurer. Here is a small example of what it can give:
What is good with this version is that the many different elements of the game are working well with each other, and that for now it’s going as expected. The concept of the game is quite complex, I’ve done a nice diagram on paper this week that describes the interactions, which will help me make it work, but I’m sure that if it is well done it will be a game very original and very interesting to play (and replay!).
There is still a lot to do, but everything is going well. My priority in version 0.4 will be to finalize the stealth gameplay, including reworking the first associated areas, and the artificial intelligence. When it’s done, the whole gameplay and story base will be implemented. Then, I will “only” have to rework the other levels and add dialogues, 3D models, and so on. I will start to seriously look at the music and sound effects in version 0.4 to start setting them up in the 0.5.
First of all, happy new year to all! I wish you good health, and success for your projects. As for me, I hope that this year will be productive, with the release of The Goblin’s Week :)
It’s been a year since the publication and acceptance of my game concept on Steam Greenlight, and the first video trailer. I announced that the game would be released in 2017, and that was not the case. The game should be released in 2018. It’s time to take a look at what has been done this year, and to present what remains to be done.
Review of the year 2017
This year, I was tired of adding more and more content, accumulating bugs, temporary 3D models, unfinished features, and so on. So, I focused on the first part of the dungeon, so that the content of that part is clean and polished.
So I redesigned and modeled the 3D characters, they are now all ready. I reviewed the 3D models used for this part, I reviewed the meshes, optimized the physical colliders, and improved the scripts. I got down to the hard task of optimizing performance, including setting up a progressive dungeon loading system. I did a thorough overhaul of a lot of the code to clean, optimize and solidify its basis. I notably reviewed the dialogue system, localization system, save system, inventory system, game management system, footsteps and collisions system, and weapons equipment system.
The first level is almost complete. All game features are implemented, although I still have to improve some stuff.
For the other levels, some are already in an advanced state, others just in prototyping phase.
Having realized that the game development would take longer than expected, I tried to find an alternative funding source by selling assets for Unity. To date I have published three assets, sales are starting to take off a little but I have finally not gained more development time, compared to the time spent producing them. I would like to publish other assets, including the dialogue system, but given the required work I prefer to focus on the game.
To conclude, even if the remaining content of the game is still substantial, the state of the game itself has progressed enormously. I now have a solid basis, and everything is ready to create the rest as efficiently as possible.
Roadmap for the year 2018
This year, once the last elements of my version 0.1 are done, I will finally be able to work on the level design and game design, so that the gaming experience is the best possible and the closest to my goals.
I have already started to review all levels of the dungeon either on paper or in the editor, to rework the overall game experience. I want to have a first version of all areas to get the game as a whole. I will also have a better estimate of the remaining work, and I will be able to focus my efforts, and remove areas if necessary. I will then rework the levels gradually and iteratively, and I will create the necessary content and scripts as I go along. I will of course continue the playtests, although at the beginning I will continue to favor the observation tests, at home.
There are still some tasks for which I have trouble anticipating the difficulty, for instance the music composition, replacing all temporary sounds, and translating the game in several languages.
I talked about publishing a playable demo, it will not be for now. I’ll let you know if such a demo is finally released.
I hope you are as eager as me to see the game out. As always, do not hesitate to give me some feedback,
That’s it, the revision of the inventory system is complete!
First, I added a quick inventory bar, to view and equip objects faster, which works much like Minecraft’s. I also improved the display and now it’s good. Here is an image of the inventory:
And here is an image of the quick bar, which appears when you pickup an object or activate a shortcut:
I also improved the controls and interactions to solve issues encountered during tests, such as picking up an object when you already have an object in hand, and so on.
For this, I decided to separate all interactions into two groups: interact with the object in hand (left click), and interact with the world (right click), taking inspiration from Deus Ex. I was reluctant because it involves drag & drop with the right click to open the doors and drawers, but finally it works really well.
We will see what the players think in the next playtests, but I think that the majority of issues are solved on this side.
I FINALLY finished modeling all the characters. I also took the time to take back the old ones and to improve them, in order to have a uniform style. The skinning is clean and even if I have to improve the colors a little, I am satisfied with the result.
Here are some pictures to illustrate all this:
An Adventurer, with an ugly anti-spoiler blur :p. There are several variations of the Adventurer that I will post from time to time.
There are two other characters that I consider spoil, so I prefer not to show them :p
If I have the time, I will add a little facial animation, and physical animation, to give them a little more life, especially in the dialogue phases. I still need to rework the AI, and that’s it.
I’ll probably do a little post with before and after comparison to show the improvements between the versions of the characters.
New Asset: Smart Shadows
I’m happy to announce that my new asset SmartShadows is available on the Smart Shadows asset store: Smart Shadows
“It’s a dynamic shadow manager with a priority algorithm, to improve the performance of your game and get the best dynamic shadows!”
I said I stopped making assets because it took too much time, but I wanted to try again, to see. And it also allows me to vary my activities a bit.
Assets Logos & Pictures Updated
In order to make my previous assets a little more attractive, I decided to review their logos, as well as the images used as examples on the asset store.
I am very interested in your feedback and criticism. Do not hesitate to give me your opinion on the presentation videos, if I ever decide to spend some time to remake them.
For example, here is the new logo for Ultimate Screenshot Creator:
I still have to make some code changes, which I have a lot of trouble finishing. I finally started to iterate on the first part of the game to improve the gaming experience (and everything else), and I will soon start doing more level design to exploit the possibilities of gameplay.