Developer's Log - May 2021
I'm pleased to report that this month has been significantly more productive than the last, and there are a lot of exciting features and improvements awaiting the game and its upcoming demo.
The game also continues to accumulate wishlists on Steam. Thank you so much for your continued support.
As a reminder, shorter, more frequent updates are typically posted on Twitter page between these monthly devlogs. Additionally, Legends of Astravia will be participating in the "Pitch Ya Game" Awards via Twitter this Tuesday, June 1st.
Below are some of the key development tasks that were completed in the past month, alongside various other planning and under-the-hood improvements.
The game runs on the open-source MKXP engine, which solves all of the performance limitations that exist in RPG Maker XP's vanilla RGSS engine, and is also what will allow the game to be ported to MacOS and Linux upon its release. Thanks to Roza's incredible work and updates to MKXP, there are continued improvements that Legends of Astravia can utilize.
The biggest one was the addition of GIFs in-engine and delta time. GIFs in-engine will significantly cut back on development time, as the need to arrange animation sheets, configure them in code, and repeatedly tweak them has been entirely eliminated. This, in conjunction with delta time, will make battles run at a smooth and consistent speed regardless of if you have a high-end gaming PC or normal workstation.
Thus, I spent a couple of weeks this month revising the battle system to utilize these engine changes. It will be hard to see an immediate difference here, but the improvement while actually playing the game cannot be understated.
Finished Conversation System
After a little more time than anticipated, the conversation system has been completed. This is another core aspect of the game that needed to be finalized before in-game content could be implemented.
Ultimately, I decided to forgo the character portrait (busts) system that were showed off a couple of months ago. The busts were too intrusive and took up a lot of space on the screen. Faces are cleaner, and allow more flexibility for emotions too. And the full character art has been repurposed in the main menu, instead.
Under the hood, I made some major optimizations to this system. It had some issues that were largely the reason for the game running so poorly on some tester's machines during the first round of testing last year. With these issues now fixed, the game should maintain a silky smooth 60 FPS even on lower-end computers.
Character Map Animations
Character motions and animations are a small detail with great importance when it comes to cutscenes and NPC interactions. Thus, I've been working on tweaking the character sprites, as well as implemented a system that lets me quickly create and reuse animations on the map screen.
This is yet another improvement that will streamline the content development process that will begin after these engine changes are all completed.
There is still a lot to do before content is added to the game and a demo becomes available, but everything is still inline with the roadmap established last month. I look forward to sharing more updates with you soon. Thank you again for your continued support.
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