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Developer Chibi-Blog

11-12-2012, 06:53 PM,
#1
Brick  Developer Chibi-Blog
Greetings!

I'm busy working on DE2 and the new website, and I wanted to give everyone a quick update.

The new version of zenosoft.net will be something of a development blog (Shocker, right? I'm totally going against the web 2.0 grain...) and once it is done, I will be making posts like this one over there.

I took a pretty decent sized break from development for awhile. DE2 sat relatively dormant for about 2 years, during a time I had to focus on my career. I'm still focused on my career, but I have carved a large amount of free time out of my schedule earmarked specifically for DE2 development. This has been the case for about 4 months now.

Over the last 4 months, I have noticed a few things about DE2 that bug me. These things range from big to small, and most are easily fixed with a few low-key script changes. However, some are art based and were a little tougher to figure out. I have dedicated myself to fixing these quality-of-life type problems, and so far the results are pretty good. Here is a short summary of what I'm talking about.

-Battlebacks-

The Bottom Bar of Death. This is what I call it. That giant, ugly bar that sits below the party actors. Why is it there? what is its purpose? Well, either way I always hated it and recently decided it was time to do away with it. The 'BBOD' existed for two reasons;

Perspective- The bar, in conjunction with the battleback, created a false sense of separation between the party actors and the enemy actors. It kinda tied the battle scene together, albeit in an ugly manor.

Resolution- RMXP runs at 640x480, and thus the battle system also runs at 640x480. However, the battlebacks themselves are a bit smaller. Big enough to fit the entire screen WITH the 'BBOD', but not big enough to fill the entire screen by itself.

So I axed it. I killed the 'BBOD' and gathered all new resources to completely remake ALL of the battlebacks within the game. Resolution was not a problem, as I had hi-res images to start off with and crop down into rmxp-sized portions. Perspective, however, began to jump out at me. I realized that, although the giant 'BBOD' was not necessary, some type of bottom bar would be needed. So I added a simple, opaque black bar to the very bottom edge of the screen. This bar is about 1/4th the size of the 'BBOD', and is much less intrusive. It also answers the perspective issues.

The end result will be battles on a larger scale, that feel less pinched and claustrophobic with more of an artistic, vibrant style.


-Animations-

Previously in the original DE, much like battlebacks, I felt stuck with the base animations that come with the engine. I wanted something better, but at the time I originally started this project, resources were a little limited. Of course, I made my own custom animations BASED off of the default artwork that comes with the engine.. But there was only so much I could do with it to make it stand out, or appear "unique".

That becomes a major problem with the advent of the essence system, a one-of-a-kind behemoth of a custom magic system. I plan on utilizing this system down to the bone, and my projection for the total # of essences in the complete game will be nearly 100. Considering that essences range from 1-6 custom abilities per, that means I need a LOT of abilities/spells, and in turn need A LOT of unique animations.

For the reasons above, I have begun scouring the internet for custom animations that fit with the dark style of DE, and so far my results are more fruitful than I would have ever imagined. Resources are much easier to find nowadays, and within hours I managed to collect at least 30 different custom animations. From these 30 pieces of art, I can realistically create nearly 150 unique spell animations. This puts me well above the +/- 100 I needed as per my own projections.

-The Bottom Line-

To summarize, I have completely overhauled the battle system's graphical base. These high quality, larger battlebacks will create a more vibrant atmosphere that will pull the player into the battle scene that much more. The 150+ new custom animations will add a ridiculous variety to the already varied essence system, and in combination with the battlebacks, will completely change the face of the DE2 battle system.

I hope this post was readable, and that perhaps I've made you slightly more excited about the impending release of chapter 2!

-Danial
REPLY
11-13-2012, 01:43 PM,
#2
RE: Developer Chibi-Blog
Good to hear from you again man, shows that its good to have faith Smile

Thats a biiiiig info dump there, really makes you remember why this game is so awesome, but I cant say I ever noticed the Battleback your'e talking about Huh

Also you might want to add a sort of "In previous episodes" type of retelling when releasing episode 2 to get people back on track as to what happened.
REPLY
01-13-2013, 12:05 AM,
#3
RE: Developer Chibi-Blog
So...Any progress on that blog?
REPLY
01-15-2013, 05:03 AM,
#4
RE: Developer Chibi-Blog
(01-13-2013, 12:05 AM)BioFrEaK Wrote: So...Any progress on that blog?

Funny you should ask! The new zenosoft.net is up! Check it out!
REPLY
01-18-2013, 02:25 PM,
#5
RE: Developer Chibi-Blog
(01-15-2013, 05:03 AM)Hakuzen Wrote:
(01-13-2013, 12:05 AM)BioFrEaK Wrote: So...Any progress on that blog?

Funny you should ask! The new zenosoft.net is up! Check it out!

Wow, it looks really gorgeous, love the dark gothic style.
REPLY



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