June 2024 Progress Update

Happy June everyone! Here’s what we’ve been up to for the past month!

Interior Completion! Puzzles! Cutscenes!

Yes that’s right you heard it – we finished off all of the interiors! (Well, minus a few special ones and some backer houses) We also “found” time to complete adding some puzzles for a dungeon, and doing a whole lot of cutscene work!

Since cutscenes don’t have anything visually to show without spoilers, we’ll be showing off the city of Olvia and it’s interiors this month, and talk about the puzzles next. Keep an eye out though since next month we’ll be talking about the next leg of development.

Olvia

Olvia is a mining city located beside the Saren-Croix Mountain Range, which divides Gataela and the Ovion Empire. Lots of raw materials are available thanks to industry in the area, and so the city is also home to Steam-powered research, technology and advancements.

The Miner’s Association has a convenient break room in the quarry outside the mines for any workers to use. The entrance contains a register of current people working in the mines along with what equipment was rented. This room is usually filled with people coming and going, as well as those chatting. A quiet space/nap room is available in the back for those who need it.

Olvia is home to one of the most prestigious printing houses in the country – although they may not look it. Covered in paper, coffee stains and filled with overworked editors – this publishing house is famous for discovering and publishing My Fairest: Gataela’s most popular romance-adventure novel series.

The city may be covered in dirt and grime but the inn keeper will fight tooth and nail to keep his business clean and spotless. That being said, the children have taken this as a challenge and often try to barge in, make a mess and get out as fast as possible.

A warehouse was recently converted into a laboratory of some sort. They call it a “garage” – whatever that is. Rumour says they are making a horse-less carriage, but how can that be possible?

What’s Next?

This month will be strictly focused on finishing off adding the MSQ cutscenes! Look out for more news next month!

Take care everyone! Happy Summer!

May 2024 Progress Update

Hello everyone! We hope you had a good start to spring! Here’s what we were up to last month!

Turn Battle Animations

Guess what? We are almost done!

To be specific – we have basically all of the VFX complete. A few need some last minute touch ups but otherwise it’s there. It’s real. It’s… not in the game yet… But it’s there.

We’ll be doing a big round up about the animations next month and start showing them off with some explanations, but a big shout out to Owen who popped off coming up with these guys.

As for what’s remaining – well we need to stick them in the game and assign them some relevant stats so they do what they are supposed to do. And SFX. Yeah these guys need to make sound too. But we’re just about there for the turn-based battle re-balancing we started last year. Look forward to more information soon!

Layoffs & Future Development

Well, with the good news out of the way let’s get to the unpleasant news.

Unfortunately this week I (Paige) was subject to layoffs. That on it own sucks, but I’ll be explaining what that means for the project.

For those who are not aware, this project is 99% self-funded. Yes, we had a small Kickstarter and got a small grant in 2014, but it only covered the initial tileset & visual assets (which was the purpose of the Kickstarter). Most of the game’s development costs are covered out of my own pocket. I obviously don’t pay myself either. I was using a certain % from my monthly pay to pay for development. This is why development is on the slow side – we need money to pay people to do work, we need money to live, but there is no money. So we work to pay for people, which means not working on the game.

But I digress – what does this mean for “Gataela”?

Well- simply put the next quarter is going to be a weird one.

In some ways development might be faster, in other ways it might be slower. For example, all of the work assigned to myself might suddenly zoom since – well – other than job hunting what else do I have to do 🤷 However for anything where others are involved that’ll probably be put on a stand still.

So please have some understanding over the next little while.

What’s Next?

We’re going to move into some REALLY vague goals for the next quarter below since there’s no guarantee on what will be tackled. Some things to look forward to include:

  • Wrapping up the remaining TTBattle animations (minus SFX)
  • Interior Completion
  • Cutscenes Galore

And of course, wayyyyy more development streams. As always, you can find them here.

Take care everyone! Enjoy the good weather!

April 2024 Progress Update

Happy April! Let’s get into what we were up to last month!

New Battle Effects

Last month we added another new set of battle effects to the game with their accompanying audio. Here’s a couple of them below.

Splash is used only by Turtles. They do a little hop and a skip (it’s really quite cute) in order to lower your guard (and all of your stats with it).

Drum is only used by Crabs. They wave their pincers around in the air and psychs up the other Crabs on the field, raising their defence.

Birds, Cats and Ducks

Another improvement we made was adding movement to the birds, cats and ducks.

Cats have three distinct modes: wandering, sitting and sleeping.

Birds can be wandering around, stationary or in flight. If you walk passed them they don’t particularly care, but run and they’ll be spooked and fly off. As for the ones in flight, well, they’re too high up to care.

Ducks are similar to the other birds, however they are water-bound. If you run near them they’ll get spooked and fly off.

With this all the animals now have some sort of movement logic which means they’re ready to be added to all of the maps!

What’s Next?

We’ll be wrapping up Olvia’s interiors and hopefully the Kickstarter interiors with that along with the usual Cutscenes & Battle effects. If all goes well, we’ll also be putting in some dungeon puzzles!

  • Olvia Interiors
  • Kickstarter Interiors
  • MSQ Cutscenes
  • TTBattle VFX & SFX
  • Dungeon Puzzles

May you have April showers!

March 2024 Progress Update

Hello everyone! We hope you’re having a Feb- Wait- It’s March?

Demo Update

This update will be a bit of a short one as what we did last month was *checks JIRA* the demo update. That’s it. It was a lot. But that’s it.

So in case you haven’t seen it yet- ✨Here’s the release notes for the update!

The demo update was mainly for:

  • Fixing some small bugs reported
  • Introducing all the performance changes and some QoL changes
  • Gamemaker Engine Upgrades

Engine upgrades are pretty straight forward in terms of bugs – upgrade the engine and run into API changes, lifecycle changes, Steam extension changes, etc. So this led to random crashes, weird artifacts on the screen and so on. One upgrade actually broke the starting map and it required an interesting use of excel, php, and scraping the raw map files to figure out what what affected and how to fix it.

As for performance, well, things ran too fast so we had problems with flickering – cutscenes, screens and maps loaded so fast you could now see state changes (ex. showing and hiding NPCs based on completed events).

So we ended up replaying the demo a few times to fix all the various issues, which came out to 70 or so bugs, if not more, all of which were fixed during the month! Then as for getting the update out, we had to scrub all of the cutscene additions we’ve made to the game from the demo due to ✨spoilers✨

Suffice to say, there won’t be a big update for the next while.

Please don’t find bugs. But if you do please tell us.

What’s Next?

We’ll be going back to our original plan for the month which was:

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

Happy March!

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