August 2022 Progress Update

Happy August! We hope everyone is continuing to stay happy and healthy. Here’s what we were up to during July!

The Last Province Update

Yes you’ve read the title right. We’re done! Well kinda. There’s a few spoiler areas that need to be sorted out still, but we can’t show that, right? So that means today we’ll be showing off the “mostly final” overworld.

It’s been a lot of hard work over the past few months! We’d also like to thank everyone who came and hung out during streams while we worked on this. We’ve come a long way!

QOL Improvements

One focus for us in the last month was adding some QOL improvements. For example, we added in Skit Skipping! We also adjusted the inventory screen so that character portraits will always be shown, and adjusted the inventory battle items to auto assign when new items are gained.

The auto assign is particularly important since at the beginning of the game we got feedback that lots of people tend to not realize they need to assign the items they gain. This should help out a lot on this front – and as an added bonus it gives parity with the battle skills (since those auto assign).

Other than that we’ve also been doing some general performance improvements! For example we doubled the performance inside buildings!

Debate Improvements

As part of our effort to improve the debates, the first place we looked for improvements was in our own workflow. After all, the faster and easier we can add and edit the debates, the quicker we can get them done!

Thus far we have been designing the debates in Twine. Twine was a great choice when we started because of the node editor and the fact that we could preview the debate flow. BUT we ran into a bunch of road blocks and sticky points:

  • We could not export Twine files to Gamemaker
  • We had to recreate the whole debate and all of the nodes and connections through code manually
  • Debates started to have over 50 nodes at the START of the game – not scalable
  • Ctrl-S does not save in Twine. We lost entire debates we had to rewrite if it crashed.

So we looked around a while ago and found Yarn/YarnSpinner. It seemed like a good solution since all of our pain points would be solved! So we implemented Chatterbox this month and it’s been a big improvement. A lot of the debate logic has been significantly simplified and it’s much faster for us to create new debates – after all we have to convert all the old ones over!

We’re hoping to finish off this round of improvements this month so that creating new debates will go more smoothly.

What’s Next?

Our major goals for the next little while will be focused more on planning and general improvements. We will be:

  • Starting on expanding the TTBattle and creating new graphics
  • Finishing the Debate Technical Improvements
  • Designing some end of game dungeons & puzzles
  • Adding Overworld VFX
  • Gamepad support