Hello! We hope everyone’s been having a good summer thus far! Here’s what we’ve been up to over the past month!
Gamemaker 2.3 Update
Last month we were able to upgrade Gataela from Gamemaker 2.2.1 to the 2.3 Beta! The new beta has a large number of features that would really help to clean up a lot of the code and make it easier to add and organize content, so it’s something we’ve had our eye on for quite a while. If you follow us on Twitch, you’ve seen us stream some of the process while fixing the bugs.
Overall the upgrade is going well, but it is very, very time consuming. Much more time consuming than expected. While doing this upgrade we are also taking the time to refactor code and clean things up so that we can fix a number of fundamental bugs, and add new features like cutscene skipping.
So as a result of this, we’re planning to shuffle around some of the content from the Fall Beta to the Winter Beta. We’ve gone ahead and updated the Roadmap to better reflect our plans. In summary, we’ll be removing the inaccessible map additions, and moving over two of the MSQ to Winter. This is also a good opportunity to make this change, as we’ve been feeling the amount of content we try to get into the Betas is more than a little ambitious.
Something that is highly requested is the ability to fullscreen the game. A big reason why we haven’t supported it thus far is that Gataela’s UI is not pixelated, while the game itself is. This means that either the pixel art is blurry or the UI is pixelated when scaling.
We took the first step to implement this by making sure all of the UI was rendered on the GUI layer. This way we can specify the UI be rendered at a specific size with interpolation.
At the moment we haven’t yet figured out how we want to scale the pixel art; if we want it to be at whole numbers only (1x, 2x, 3x, etc.) or not. Once this is sorted out, we’ll be implementing the second step, where the pixel art can be rendered scaled without interpolation.
While working on upgrading to 2.3, one of the big things we wanted to do was clean up and change how we add skits to the game.
Each one of these skits is a small scene showing off a small interaction between the different members of your party. They are usually very short, so it is very easy in comparison to the cutscenes to write and add.
One of the big problems we had with how the skits were handled programming-wise was that they weren’t very flexible when it came to editing them, and it took longer to add than desired.
How we had it setup before was that each skit was a timeline, and each “node” of the skit was a timeline moment. Timeline moments cannot be easily swapped around, so if we wanted to insert a character jumping, or another one slowly moving in, it would be quite difficult. We also needed to remember a lot of enum codes, sprite file names, and other information, and if any one of these changed or we mistyped them or we forgot them, it would cause a huge headache.
We’ve since adjusted everything to solve these problems, and to have the programming be closer to how the new cutscene system works. The skit shown above now looks like the following in code:
This is a lot less code, a lot easier to edit, and a lot easier to read!
Another benefit of these changes is that we can now implement skit skipping, which is something we are also looking to put in for the cutscenes during the next beta update.
This month we’re hoping to finish the 2.3 upgrade and related bug fixes, convert all of the current cutscenes (80 of them!) to the new cutscene system, and fix a number of cutscene related bugs, while also adding some new maps and working on the content for the Fall Beta.
Take care, and we’ll see you all next month!