Monday, July 13, 2015

The first Monday Update!

Wow, sorry lovely readers. You have suffered some serious neglect, and for that I apologize!

Based on the previous post, it must look like the end of days for Hellenica. In fact, that couldn't be farther from the truth.  We've made a ton of progress over the last two months, we've just been doing it very, very quietly (disregarding all of the chortling and singing that takes place in the office).

From here on out, I'm going to attempt to put up a quick post on Mondays detailing what we did the previous week and providing some hints about developments in the upcoming week. Then every so often I will try to piece together a more in-depth look into a specific topic. I know they're more interesting to read, but they also take up quite a bit of precious development time so, you know, trade-offs.

Consider this the first Monday update post!

What we've been up to:
- New social hub UI (this deserves its own post later)
- New sound effects to support social hub UI
- New social hub ambient and background music tracks (check one out here and be sure to loop it!)
- New map UI (note to Kurt: one more separate blog post)
- Ported the dialogue UI from NGUI to the new Unity UI
- New dialogue authoring tool. Should hopefully make it easier for people other than Victor to generate complex, branching dialogues.
- New combat features:
 - Neutral actors. Currently using this for destructible obstacles.
 - Moving platforms. Think steam-powered conveyor belts, elevators, and maybe some more mystical devices that make the environments more dynamic.
 - 3D game positions. This might sound a little weird since our game is 3D, and it probably deserves its own explanatory post in the future. For now, just know that it's going to let us do some cool new things, but it'll take some time to iron out all of the wrinkles.
 - New playable characters! Unfortunately, they're still a secret.
 - Status effects. Root, stun, taunt, etc.
 - Cinematics! The new cinematics editor is hooked up and we've got cinematics built for our critical path.
 - A whole slew of new party abilities and a progression system to unlock them. (My favorite new ability is code-named Beardozer, and it is a thing to behold.)
 - Some new enemy abilities
 - Smarter camera work during turn execution.
 - More intentional backgrounds to help establish mood.
- Redesign of the various UI pieces in the combat portion of the game. These will start popping in as I get time to integrate them.
- A bunch of new combat levels (you'll see this one a lot)
- Improvements to the level editor
- AI perf improvements
- A bunch of new story dialogue

This week:
- Updated visuals for each actor's in-world UI
- More social hub background music
- AI reasoning about multiple abilities
- AI reasoning about abilities that target multiple tiles
- Update pathfinding to support new 3D game positions
- Make platforms play nice with new 3D game positions
- More dialogue :)

Whew! Usually these will be much, much shorter, but hopefully you're convinced that Hellenica is still alive and kicking. I'll try to get some more detailed posts going every few weeks to explore some of the more interesting features I listed.

Until next time!

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