Author: gataela_mftu8r

0.7.0 Release Notes

Summary

Welcome to the big ol’ grand ✨ Performance Update ✨. We’ve improved loading, we’ve improved transitions, we’ve improved shaders, surfaces, FPS stability, memory usage – the list goes on! We’ve also added a few QoL changes, a little bit of polish and a bunch of various bug fixes. Plus a bunch of engine upgrades! See the change log for the full list of changes.

It is available to download on Itch, Gamejolt and Steam.

If you come across any issues, please log them here. For more dedicated support feel free to send us a Tweet or DM, message on the Discord Server, or email us.

Change Log

Improvements

  • Drastically improved performance for loading maps, transitioning between screens, etc.
  • Improved performance for shadows, interiors, tall grass, overworld objects and the minimap
  • Improved performance for all entities that use surfaces and shaders
  • Sped up most screen transitions
  • Lengthened the DBattle transition
  • Added a splash screen on startup
  • Lower BGM when ambience is playing
  • Added button hover effects
  • Added party swap animation
  • Made some improvements to SFX
  • Added VFX when running over sand, dirt, water, etc.
  • When gaining items, items that you can use in battle are auto assigned to the battle wheel if there is an empty space
  • Party portraits are now always displayed in the inventory

Fixed

  • Fixed many, many, many issues related to Gamemaker upgrades (70+)
  • Fixed some flickering that may occur when starting cutscenes
  • Fixed confusing minimap arrow in bandit camp
  • Fixed crash when interacting with certain bandits in the bandit camp
  • Fixed an area where you could get stuck and soft-lock in the bandit camp
  • Fixed an area where you could get stuck near wiska forest
  • Fixed some enemy attacks not occurring
  • Fixed the countdown clock showing hours in battles
  • Fixed DBattle music playing after a transition and not before
  • Fixed party members who are not in party any more levelling up and gaining exp in debates
  • Fixed Continue From Save breaking when in a battle triggered by a cutscene
  • Fixed flashing battle bar at the start of TTBattles
  • Fixed use item in inventory not applying when clicking on the characters face
  • Fixed automatic inventory assignment causing duplicate entries
  • Fixed white border on fighters in opening cutscene
  • Fixed action events not visible after valid cutscene without map reload
  • Fixed post cutscene events may run out of order when loading a map
  • Fixed shaders breaking when entering into the menu from inside of a house
  • Fixed an infinite popup that may occur when interacting with a locked door
  • Fixed input may be checked when the window is unfocused
  • Fixed double shader effect inside buildings
  • Fixed laggy skill up button
  • Fixed being able to click on buttons during a screen transition
  • Fixed infinite dialog box popup
  • Fixed minimap crashes
  • Fixed interior crashes
  • Fixed title screen buttons disappearing when pressing back at the start of the game

Other

  • Upgraded Gamemaker to v2023.11.1.160 Runtime
  • Upgraded Steamworks SDK
  • Upgraded DLLs to work with x64 configurations
  • Reimplemented all Debates to use Chatterbox
  • Changed input handling to use Input

February 2024 Progress Update

We hope everyone is having a Feb-ulous Fab-ruary! Here’s what we were up to for the last month~

Ziacia

Ziacia is the capital city of Gataela and home to the King’s Palace, just north of the city across a small bridge. The city itself is surrounded by a star fort, but it’s still easily accessible by boat if needed. (And we hope that won’t ever be needed.)

Ziacia is home to many tall buildings, many of which function as apartments. For example, this building contains four apartments with two on each floor. Pictured are two small units on the first floor:

  • Left: Someone with quite an expensive taste in furniture, but it seems they blew all their budget so they don’t have much else
  • Right: A single parent lives here with their child. It seems they’re getting ready for a picnic.

Some of the buildings also house groups of students all renting together… although it seems like this particular one has someone cramming for an exam, thesis or some other important thing. Let’s wish them luck, it seems they’ll need it.

Ziacia has a “famous” local bar down by the pier. Many sailors and military officers stop by here everyday as their favourite spot so it’s always packed. That being said there’s never any reports of issues because, after all, no one wants to anger the bar manager. Or else.

A small home belonging to a local sailor. It doesn’t seem like they are home very often, or perhaps they just haven’t cleaned in a while. But hm? Is that something behind their wardrobe?

What’s Next?

We’ll be focusing on the following for the next month or so:

  • Olvia Interiors
  • Kickstarter Interiors
  • MSQ Cutscenes
  • TTBattle VFX

Olvia will be the last city we need to do interiors for and will contain most of the Kickstarter interiors (as most of you guys picked the same theme for your interiors. Wow.) It’ll take a month or two to complete, so we’ll have more about it in April’s update. A few people also reported some bugs in the demo, so we’ll begin to look at pushing out an update for that in early March which should contain other performance improvements and so on since the last update. It’ll be quite the patch notes.

Take care everyone!

January 2024 Progress Update

Happy New Year! We hope everyone stayed happy and healthy over the winter holidays! Let’s go over 2023 and our plans for 2024!

December 2023

Before getting into 2023 in review, let’s go over December quickly! As per usual, our focus was on cutscenes, interiors, and animations. We also worked on some bug fixes and updating Gamemaker! As we are now tackling larger cities, we’ll save an overview of the city and it’s interiors after they are completed. In the meantime, here’s a look at one bug we’ve fixed:

Did you know that if you happen to be in an interior with camera movement that if you entered into the main menu and returned it broke? No? Neither did we. It was a bit of a surprise when we stumbled upon this. Most interiors are made such that a camera isn’t needed, but in this case one was! A quick check in the menu for something led to… well… this. But it’s fixed now, so all’s well that ends well.

We also spent time this month upgrading our development machines (they were 10 years old) and the Gamemaker version from Feb 2023 to Nov 2023. A few important things came out from this:

  1. This bug from October 2022 is now fixed. This was one of the major blockers for the demo update since we use that feature of the engine quite extensively. We didn’t want to release an update that could randomly crash.
  2. Between the development machine upgrade and the Gamemaker engine upgrade, Gataela’s compile times have dropped from 10 to about 1:30 minutes. What a huge improvement!
  3. We are also now able to build YYC (native) for machines because of the bug fix. This means better runtime performance on machines.

Gamemaker has a number of build-related changes coming in the future so likely things will continue to improve as we upgrade over time. This largely means that development time is spent developing instead of waiting for things to compile.

And that’s it for December!

2023 In Review

Now let’s talk about 2023! And man, 2023 was a thing. Lots of exciting things happened, but there was a lot of interruptions and difficulties. Let’s go over some of the highlights and see what we accomplished!

Maps Maps Maps

The first big thing was completing the overworld! That was back in Feburary! Wow! We’ve gone through since then and added interiors for nearly all of the cities – we are left with half of Ziacia and Olvia (those two big cities in the south of the map). Once those are done nearly all maps, and sub-maps for the game will be complete! Kinda. We will still have to add NPCs and such but, well, that can’t be done until the maps exist.

MSQ Cutscenes & Skits

Another major focus for the year was adding Main Story Quest cutscenes and skits. These are the main meat of the game. We spent a lot of time working on these and finished adding all of the skits, and most of the cutscenes! We also did some general cutscene infrastructure improvements.

Turn-based Battle Improvements

Lots and lots of time was spent on working to improve the turn-based battle system. In particular:

The Other Stuff

Other improvements and work include but aren’t limited to:

2024 Plans

Now lets get into what we’re cooking for 2024!

Generally speaking we’ll be doing more of the same with adding content and putting everything together. Our year will focus on cutscenes, maps, battle systems (turn-based and debate) and general bug fixes and performance.

In the short term (3-6 months), this means:

  • Finish adding all of the MSQ
  • Finish adding all of the city interiors
  • Finish adding all of the Kickstarter backer houses
  • Finish implementing dungeon puzzles/mechanics (including UI changes)
  • Create & add more turn-based battle skill VFX & SFX

And looking beyond that (subject to change):

  • Adding NPCs, animals, treasure, etc. to the maps
  • Rebalancing Debate battles & related facts/evidence/side quests etc.
  • Map visual upgrades (ex. the water shader)
  • Performance and bug fixes as needed
  • Demo update? Beta update? Who knows.

So with all the being said, thanks for reading and have a good start to 2024!

December 2023 Progress Update

Happy Winter! Here’s what we were up to during November!

Vescha

Vescha is the largest city in the region, sporting a healthy forestry industry as well as the southern military headquarters. It is on the edge of Viche forest – a large forest along the border that divides Gataela and Aerand.

One of the nearby residents has renovated their living room to be a small classroom. Whether the owner is just well off in general or has expensive tastes – no one really knows. However, they are an excellent teacher and know quite a lot of various things.

It seems we’ve stumbled upon someone in the middle of moving in! Located in a prime location in the city, they managed to get this place for cheap because the wallpaper in the house was pretty terrible – at least as far as they are concerned. One of the first things they’ll be replacing for sure.

A home-grown florist. They spend a lot of time on the first floor growing and taking care of plants – specifically plants for the local general store. It’s said that ever purple plant in the town originated from this one place.

Triage

This month’s new skill is Triage – a party wide heal! Our dear friend Zack here is demonstrating what it’ll look like when it plays over a single member.

This skill comes from our recent review – did you know that we had plenty of party-wide damaging skills but no healing skills? Whoops.

Besides the obvious gap this presents, it also is a big problem for gameplay and general turn-based battle enjoyment. When you have one party member and a single heal everything is fine. Throw in another and you might have some turns where you only heal, but most of the time you’ll be spending it doing damage or supports. When you have more than two party members then… well… you have one party member dedicated to healing.

This wouldn’t be a problem if there was a dedicated healing class – but we don’t have one. So you end up with a damage dealer that’s healing instead of doing damage and battles drag on. You may even have the whole team healing themselves with items or skills instead of attacking for whole turns very often as enemies also have party-wide damaging skills. Not very fun.

So with that said – the addition of the Triage skill is super important.

Now why “Triage” as the name? Fun fact: a lot of the skill names come from real life things, such as fencing terms, or animal behaviours. Triage is “a medical process by professionals with first aid knowledge”. Know what the singular heal skill is called? First Aid. A natural evolution.

And there’s your hint for how to eventually unlock this beauty.

What’s Next?

Goodness! The year is almost already over? We’ll be focusing on wrapping up work we started during the year, and doing our 2024 planning. We’ll also be doing:

  • Cutscenes
  • Ziacia Interiors
  • Misc Bugs

Happy Early Holidays!

November 2023 Progress Update

Happy Belated Halloween! We hope you all had a tricky treaty time. Here’s what we were up to during October!

Elzarde

A small abandoned town just across the river from Klatchez. It used to be a popular in-between town for people looking to travel to the Ovion Empire, but it became ruined during the civil war. Many bandits and others thrown away by society have taken up residence here.

Despite the state of the town, a lot of effort has gone into making the inn presentable… even if there’s only one good floor. They’ve patched up the holes, moved the best furniture in there, and may or may not serve a warm breakfast. If any merchants or visitors pass through they’re sure to get a decent stay in the hopes of providing some wares or at least some cash.

Most homes have holes in their walls and broken furniture, but this house-turned-warehouse is the worse of them. Everything here is free to use for repairs or kindling. It’s also a really fun “secret” hideout.

This makes the last small town to have their interiors done. Next? The big cities: Vescha, Olvia and Ziacia! (These might take a while 🤫)

Foresight

This month we’re going to highlight one new skill: Foresight. Our dear skill user focuses their energy and they are just so smart they can see your punches coming before you even throw them.

This skill is similar to the Block and Dodge skills in that by triggering this skill you will be able to avoid/minimize the first skill to damage you for the turn. In the same vein it will also raise your crit for the rest of the turn as well.

When reviewing the basic skills (Attack, Dodge and Block) and their relevant stats (Attack, Speed and Defence) we realized that the Crit stat was missing something. As a recap:

  • Attack – how much damage you do
  • Defence – how much damage does not affect you & how likely you are to block
  • Speed – how quickly your turn executes in battle & how likely you are to dodge
  • Crit – how likely you are do a direct hit avoiding defence

🤔 Seems like Crit doesn’t have as many benefits 🤔

To help balance that there’s two things we’ve changed:

  • Added a foresight skill
  • Crit – how likely you are do a direct hit avoiding defence & how likely you are to foresee an attack

As a side note – we consider attack to be a primary stat attribute, while defence, speed and crit are all sub stats. Attack doesn’t need help. Everyone picks it. Every time.

What’s Next?

Now with all that said, here’s what we’re focusing on for the next month:

  • Cutscenes cutscenes cutscenes
  • Vescha Interiors
  • Finishing Dungeon Puzzle Assets
  • More skills