Hello everyone! We hope everyone has had a good November. As we enter into the holiday season, we hope everyone continues to stay safe!
A New Challenger Approaches
Last month we mentioned that we’d be updating all of the old SFX and adding a few new ones. What we didn’t mention was just who would be doing that! We’d like to introduce Christoph who recently joined the team and will be making sure all of the SFX are sounding great!
Last month we spent a LOT of time working on writing out the cutscenes for the next update, which is why there’s not a whole lot of imagery we can show. We ended up adding a few more cutscenes more than we expected, and even an extra quest or two. We’ll be working on implementing them in the next couple of weeks, so look forward to some Twitch streams.
The next update in general will focus on the Lakure province, so that means the Main Story Quest, the NPCs and even the debates and other battles will all take place here.
We’re currently looking to release the update before New Years, but likely after Christmas.
In other noteworthy news, we’re starting to work on fulfilling everyone’s Kickstarter in-game rewards: custom NPCs and house interiors. Also to that end, we’ve begun to make a few more tiles for both landscapes and interiors. This should help bring some more visual interest to the world. We look forward to showing off all this work in the near future!
Hello everyone! We hope you had a Happy Halloween! Here’s what we’ve been up to the past month!
In case you missed it, we released an update to the demo last month! We expected to update closer to the end of the month, but it was done earlier than we thought! We hope everyone has enjoyed the improvements we’ve been working on for the past year!
With the demo update out of the way, we switched back to working on the Beta Update! Most of last month was spent planning and writing, which doesn’t have too many visual things associated with it unfortunately! One thing worth noting is that we’ve made a small adjustment to the scope: we will now be updating all of the SFX, and adding a few new ones! We’ll have more information in the near future, but we hope you look forward to the coming change!
Last month we did quite a lot of planning for the beta update, but we also spent time planning out the next six months of development. This past year we have tried to put out a demo update each quarter, because it fit in well with the story and the gameplay. Following the December Update, the story and gameplay will open up a lot, as shortly after your full party will be assembled, fast travel will be unlocked, and you will be able to go anywhere.
We would like to keep the final stretch of the game’s story a secret until the full version is launched, so there’s the question of “What should we put in for beta updates?”. To be honest, we are still working to figure that out. Some games release updates based on regions or features, and theme them around that, which is one option we are considering. In order to do that though, it will mean that updates will no longer be quarterly, as some sections of the game can be added within a quarter, while others cannot.
We’re considering many things, and will have some more information in the new year, in the meantime, please look forward to more news about the Beta Update in December!
It’s been almost one year since we released our graphical overhaul demo! This demo was really big since not only did we redo a TON of assets, we also switched game engines to Gamemaker, adjusted story content, and addressed a lot of feedback.
We’ve been working hard on development since then, and decided to release an update to the demo with all of the improvements we’ve made! We hope you all enjoy it, and maybe find some requested features down below!
We recommend making a copy of your save files (the .sqlite files) in your game directory before continuing. There should be no issues, but we do upgrade the files in this release.
If you come across any issues, feel free to send us a Tweet or DM, message on the Discord Server, or shoot us an email. Bug reports and feature requests can also be logged here.
Status Point Shortcut
We often watch people who post Let’s Plays or do live streams of the game, and something we noticed a LOT was that people would often forget to use their status points they gained when levelling up.
Generally speaking, setting one or two points can make a very big difference in battle, so after going through a whole area, and then facing a boss, you might find yourself in a lot of trouble. In fact, lots of people failed when fighting the first boss battle because they forgot to set points.
Although we have a reminder in the main menu screen, it wasn’t enough, and we wanted to provide an unobtrusive way to remind you about it. So now when you have status points to spend, you will have a shortcut on the HUD to the skills screen beside the main menu icon!
Full Screen Support
Something that was highly requested was 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 add this to the game, and it’s now available in the demo!
Please keep in mind this is more “experimental” and will be improved over time, but we hope that this will help those who had difficulty with the smaller windowed size of the game.
We’ve started to add difficulty options! Two options that are now available in the demo is “Enemy HP Multiplier” and “Enemy EXP Multiplier”.
If you’re finding turn-based battles take too long, try decreasing the amount of HP the enemies have. If you dislike grinding, increase the amount of EXP you get from battles! These options can be changed at any time while playing, so we hope you can tweak the game to your preferences!
We have made a TON of battle improvements within this release such as displaying levels, adding criticals and misses, adding chances to fail escaping from battles among other fixes such as fixing the block and dodge skills, and how stats are used during battle!
Please see the release notes for full details on what sort of changes we’ve made!
Added a block animation for when the Block skill plays
Added a dodge animation for when the Dodge skill plays
Added swapping party members
Added a level indicator to enemies in turn-based battles
Added NPCs in the market when coming back from Cole’s encounter
Added a number of enemy, player, and equipment name strings to the translation file
Added new debate facts
Added an animation to text boxes when they appear
Added Battle Critical Font
Added load from save on the game over screen
Added color variations for Bandit Girl and Bandit Boy characters
Added the ability for enemies to have randomized color variations & ensured they matched the overworld when engaging with them
Added dialogue to man outside Vuni’s inn
Added a blocker to Wiska Forest to prevent early entry
Added a chance to fail escaping
Added max and min inventory item counts
HP bars will now change color to better reflect remaining percents
Added gameover modals
Added a short input delay when a text box appears to prevent spamming the button and missing key dialogue
When a character levels up, they will gain new skills if appropriate
Added a shortcut to adding points to your character’s stats
Added Criticals and Misses to battles
Added confirm changes modal to a number of menu screens
Added new difficulty options: modify the enemy’s EXP and HP values using a multiplier.
Skills can level up after use
Added first pass of fullscreen mode
Fixed UI briefly appearing after transitioning screens before an event plays
Fixed camera abruptly jumping to follow Rob in opening cutscene
Fixed crash in inventory when no items exist
Fixed camera during Cole’s encounter from having a tangent with the outside wall
Fixed lists accidentally cutting off Text
Fixed player sprite ordering issue in mountains near border with chimney
Fixed transition bug to the north east of Pharyon
Fixed missing boundaries near the mountain flower field
Fixed transition bug when heading between the Villa and the Town in Wynoa
Fixed main menu opening with interact key
Fixed text for post-Wiska Forest quest to be clear where to go in Wynoa
Fixed being unable to interact with the innkeep npc or use the inn in Vuni
Fixed learned recipes not being saved properly
Fixed crafting resulting in the wrong learned recipe
Fixed key items not being readded to the crafting grid after experimenting
Fixed a bug where you could accidentally soft-lock the game by interacting with the minimap just after starting a cutscene
Fixed typo in opening cutscene
Fixed player getting stuck when transitioning in to western Wynoa
Fixed sprite overlay issue in eastern Wynoa
Fixed character walking in place after battles
Fixed ambience audio blipping out when transitioning screens
Fixed area name continuously appearing when standing on a trigger
Fixed hidden collidable objects being interactable
Fixed transition bug in mountains
Fixed a HMS format bug when playing for over 10 hours
Fixed Big Meanie skit not being removed after the relevant quests
Fixed Block and Dodge to now work correctly
Fixed skill information not being included when calculating battle damage
Fixed equipment information not being included when calculating battle stats
Fixed boss battles being marked as being escape-able
Fixed line beside skit button on the HUD
Fixed party members not correctly executing their actions in the right order during battles
Fixed shadow appearing wrong in Vuni behind a house
Fixed a number of bugs in the Equipment Screen
Fixed tile checking for water was incorrect
Fixed a potential save crash
Fixed flashing when starting a cutscene
Fixed flashing when changing maps during a cutscene
Fixed actors during cutscenes sometimes not appearing
Replaced Battle Damage Font
Made running children unstoppable
Refactored how quests are stored and loaded
Made the Turn Based & Debate Battle Results Screen show all characters that leveled up
Updated cutscenes and overworld NPCs to use the new bandit color variations
Adjusted some dialogue during the flower hunt quest
Upgraded saved files to gain facts in previous cutscenes
Upgraded to Gamemaker 2.3
Converted & consolidated all of the cutscenes to a new system
Hello everyone! Welcome to the spooky season! Here’s what we’ve been up to for the past month!
Battle VFX Upgrades
This month we wanted to show off some of the Battle VFX Upgrades we’ve been working on!
In the old battle system layout, we had the layout of the screen be top-to-bottom instead of left-to-right. We got a lot of feedback on this, and ended up changing the layout, but that meant that all of the battle animations needed to be changed with the new view. So if you played the old demo there were a lot of skills available, but if you’ve played the new one, there were not nearly as many.
We’ve been making good progress on this recently, so below are a couple animations that will be available in the next few beta updates.
Last month we talked about the cutscene upgrades we’ve been working on, and we promised to go into some depth on the kinda changes we were making from a coding and workflow perspective. As a quick reminder, this work was necessary to fix a number of bugs with the old system, and streamline the workflow for the rest of the cutscenes for the game.
The old cutscene system used the timeline asset provided in Gamemaker with each moment being a “node”. The idea was that other than in a few places, each cutscene would be more or less linear, so it would work well. However, we started to find a lot of issues with this. For example, you can’t reorganize moments easily, you can’t insert moments either. If we wanted to making a small change to the cutscene it was a lot of work. We also noticed that a lot of these nodes were very empty code-wise.
At this point in development, content addition is what we spend the most time on, and not so much on bug fixes and engine-level issues. So maps, NPCs, quests, and cutscenes need to be easy and quick to add, edit and delete.
One of the other main issues with the old cutscene system was that the API we chose was very verbose, and wasn’t very specific on what we were trying to do during the cutscene. In the example below creating actors, changing the BGM and playing a SFX were not obvious at a glance. Now it’s much more clear about what we are doing.
We also did a lot of copying and pasting of code because typing out the full function or also including all of the options was very time consuming. When we need to write out the same sort of information over and over again, we can simplify it by using wrappers around these functions.
Thanks to these changes, the improvements with the workflow was felt immediately. It was much easier to remember what the functions were, and it took much less time to rewrite all of the cutscenes than it was to add them in the first place. Everything is also much more streamlined, and we fixed a large number of bugs. We went from something like this:
To something like this:
So with all that said, the game is now stable again. There’s still a number of improvements we would like to make behind the scenes to clean up and streamline a bunch of code, but for now we can call the Gamemaker 2.3 Upgrade complete!
We’ll be working on doing some regression testing to make sure everything is good, and work on releasing an update for the demo near the end of the month! Afterwards, we’ll be back to working on the Christmas beta update!
Hello everyone! Welcome to the end of Summer and the beginning of Fall. Here’s what we’ve been up to in the last month!
Last month we talked about our work into upgrading the skits to make it easier to add content to the game. We mentioned that this type of work would also be going into the Cutscenes, and we were also hoping to tackle a number of bugs.
We’re unfortunately still in the process of converting cutscenes over and fixing bugs, but a majority of the cutscenes have been converted (50/80) and the others are soon to be finished. We plan to go into detail about the sort of changes we made from a coding and workflow perspective next month, but we’d like to show off the type of bugs we’ve been fixing.
This is how cutscenes currently behave when one is required to start immediately when the map/level loads. The level starts, and then for a split second you can see the level incorrectly, before the cutscene starts and sets everything up.
This was a bug that was really bothering us for the longest time. Outside of potentially causing issues with flashing imagery, it doesn’t look great, and if we wanted a single cutscene to play across different levels, it would look really, really bad.
This gif shows the bug fixes we’ve been making alongside the cutscene conversions, and what is currently running in game. As you can see, we no longer have the popping effect and the cutscene starts smoothly as soon as the level transition finishes! It looks a lot better, and it adds an extra level of polish to the game that we hope people will appreciate!
Fall Beta Update
Last month we said we were cutting the Fall beta update down and moving some of it into the Winter update so we could focus on the Gamemaker 2.3 update. Although we’ve been working hard to finish that off, there are still too many bugs, and we require another month to finish it and get the game back into a playable state. So we’ve decided to merge the Fall Beta Update with the Winter Beta Update.
The content at the end of the year will still be what we intended to publish this year, but we’ll be giving ourselves some extra time to make the changes we need to get it done. We hope to provide a very nice Christmas gift to you all!
In the meantime, for Fall we are thinking about releasing an update to the demo. There has been a lot of Quality of Life improvements we’ve made over the past year to generic gameplay elements and we’d like to share it with more of you. We can’t promise a date, but it will likely come once we’ve got the game in a stable state again.
Thanks for all your support, and we hope to have some more interesting news next month!