A New Project

Hello.

So, making games are hard.  I’m not giving up on Knight of Time, but it’s paused due to cash flow.  Everything boils down to money in the end, right?

But I’m currently working on a new project.  It’s called “Project-R” for right now and it’s headed to your Android phone.

It’s the not-so-historical simulator.

Here’s the exclusive first picture.

title1

It’s rough because I’m just starting out, but it’s going to be a cool little time waster.

If you want to follow development, you can through this public repository.

Posts will continue until you decide to give me back my money, Greg.

The Book & The Wizard

So, a while back I posted about how I wanted to implement a camera system.  And I did.

Knight of Time 1_7_2018 12_54_12 PMKnight of Time 1_7_2018 12_54_18 PMKnight of Time 1_7_2018 12_54_39 PM

All three of these images are from the same room (a test room, featuring trees at the boundaries of the old screen, a treasure chest, and just an array of random land tiles).  In comparison:

ps-debug

Is only one screen big and warps you when you reach the edge.

So now we can have maps larger than one screen.

What we do right now in terms of rendering is render the entire thing (which won’t be that bad of a performance impact, since most maps are going to be smaller in size, this is not GTA), and then we move the map around AND the player when the player move.

Notice the player is off center.  That will be fixed soon.  Now it’s time to redo our maps.

Dear Diary

Dear diary,

I am still working on this project.  So far, I’ve implemented an advanced debugging feature, and enhancements to battle.  I also implemented a new menu option that’ll allow you to see story summaries.

I’m still hard at work, and once I get pretty pictures of things I will show them.

Thanks,

Team 2600

Apologies

I removed Knight of Time off the Windows store because I had a revelation that my plan to perpetually update may be unfeasible.  I am also planning on updating the graphics and the music, so it might be unique.

I will upload a new demo in a few months with the new graphics, and even better it will be a more true representation of the game.

Finally, the game will be released when it’s finished for a free or minimal price.  No IAPs or anything, pay only once.

So, I’m sorry for the false representation.  Hope this will amends things soon.  I will continue to post updates to this blog.

Thanks,

Team 2600

It’s Elementary My Dear BZZZBZZZ DROP THE BASS

‘Sup?  We might be on the Windows store, but we’re already working on our January update and got a few things to show you.

First of all, we are upgrading the graphics of the cards to be somewhat more pretty to look at.

ps-new-cardsThere is one more bit of information added to the cards.  Do you see what it is?  The little colored jewel in the corner?  That leads us to our next topic of conversation, elemental affinities.

This was planned to be in the game, but was moved out when testing took longer than I thought.  Basically, enemies have affinities to elements and so do certain attacks.  Some elementals are weak to each other, some are not.  Here is a list of elements.

  • Fire
  • Water
  • Ice
  • Air
  • Earth
  • Light
  • Dark
  • Physical*
  • Electric
  • Machine
  • Poison

Physical is a special element, because it has no weaknesses or strengths.  Only attacks can be physical, but not enemies or armor (when it is implemented).

So, that jewel will tell you what element each card is, and in battle, the attack’s name will be in that elemental’s color.

Armor affinities hasn’t been implemented yet, as that is due for the February release.

The nice thing about this feature is that all of this is easily configurable in the data files, so adding, removing or tweaking an element’s weakness or a strength can be easily done.

The Happiest Day

So, we are officially in the Windows store (at least in 24 hours).  You can find us here.

This blog post will mostly be about what this game is, and its future.

This game doesn’t have a lot of content.  It’s just a sample.  Until at least maybe Book 2 or Book 3, it won’t have an hour of content.  It’s the type of game you go back and play after every update for a bit.  If you want to wait till the game is complete, it’s never going to be “complete” in the traditional sense.  The first cycle of story might be done, but there will be features added and changes made.

That brings us to our current update cycle.  Right now it’s going to be monthly, but depending on how fast the updates go, it might be sooner, or have book contents be monthly and QoL updates be biweekly.  All of this is in the air, as we have to learn the best way to create these updates.

Right now the first update, slated to be released in the middle of January, is more of a catch up update.  Adding content and features we couldn’t get to in our month of initial development.  The release after that (released in February/end of January) will be even less important features from the sample development but also setting the stage for Book1.  Book1 right now is targetted for April, but it might be released sooner.

These next few months are an experiment on how well we can update the game, create content and whether we should even do massive book releases or smaller releases per patch.  After these next few months we will focus on increasing retention by creating much more side content, side quests and even an online PVP mode.

All of these are coming, and I’m glad you’re along for the ride!  This will be a wonderful experience for all of us, because we will all learn something from this.  We will learn how to manage our content and be transparent, and you will learn the adventures of Joan, and how she’ll escape her little predicament.

Thanks,

Lucy Hill

Team 2600

An Interview with a vampire (:[)

Knight of Time 12_26_2017 10_20_31 AM

Final Fantasy II had an interesting mechanic where you can learn words from NPCs and parrot back to other NPCs.

While we’re not using that system, we are sort of using a similar system that was probably implemented in some games.  See the above bit of text that King Dino III tells you?  There are yellow words in his dialog.  Click those, and it gives you a bit more text about that particular subject.  In a way, you are interviewing NPCs.

Adding this feature sort of created an overhaul of sorts on how we display text.  Originally, in each event, the text existed as a hardcoded string.  Now this text is a key to corresponds to text in a conversations data file (not named right, as there exists text such as “Found a tonic!”.

This allows for deeper interaction with characters, and allows you to learn the setting in a deeper way.

Alit afir aice amut arub (January Release Preview)

(These are some of the A* spells you get in Final Fantasy.  OR am I calling on a demon to possess you?  HMMM.)

We are about ready to submit to the Windows store, but we ran into a little gotcha and so we’re going to submit after Christmas.  What happened was that we failed certification – not a big deal, it was mostly over UTF-8 encoding issues.  I thought they would look over it, but not really.  Then when I fixed that and when I resubmitted, they wouldn’t look at it until Christmas anyways.  But we achieved our goal!  Hooray.  I also set up knightoftime.com as a branding thing while we wait for the game to come up.

You’re probably wondering what’s next.  I’ve talked at length about the release cycle, and I do have a release plan for the next month.  Here’s what we will be adding in the next month.  This plan is not final and might change at any time.  Things with * are more quality of life changes for the developer.

  • Tests*
  • NPC Name Display
  • Balancing and fixes
  • Conversation system
  • Elemental Affinities
  • Alert for level ups
  • Advanced Debug*
  • Better looking cards

Today, I’ve started working on Tests and Branch switching.  Tests is simply write tests against the code.  It’s…going to be a lot of trouble, and I might have to wait to do this after I make some major infrastructure changes.  The problem was that in the haste of getting this product out the door, I did not design the infrastructure of the engine very well, and as a result, it is difficult to test without mocking up a whole visual infrastructure.

So it might just be that new functionality need tests, but existing functionality won’t until the infrastructure changes.

NPC name display will display the NPC’s name in a system wide manner.

Balancing and fixing may not be there depending on what comes out of test plans.

Conversation system will allow you to question an NPC using a system similar to FF2.

Cards have certain elemental affinities meaning that using a Dark power card on an enemy with a light affinity, would do more damage.

Right now the game doesn’t tell you if you levelled up.  I totally missed that one.

Advanced debug would basically give game developers (ie me) an easier way to test the game.  Right now there’s a debug room but that won’t work as well once the game gets longer.

And better looking cards replace the crappy cards we have now with something a bit easier! Hooray!

One thing that might happen is that some of february’s items might end up being worked on January.

 

 

test test test 123

The game is nearly ready for it’s soft launch!   Here is all that is left.

  • end to end testing
  • help page

So, end to end testing  is basically playing what is available of the game from start to finish.  I did it about an hour tonight, got about half way through and found a lot of bugs and things to fix.

The help page is something that is needed, and will basically describe the game in detail.  It will be replaced in the future by a much more comprehensive help system, but right now it gives you some idea about how to play.

The goal is to get this onto the Windows Store by 12/27, which is extremely achievable.

When the game releases, what will happen then?  This is not a one and done type of deal.  The plan is to keep updating the sample with new features (on the road map is saving/loading and conversations…the reason why saving/loading isn’t in the first release of the sample is because the sample is a short game, you shouldn’t need to save and load), and eventually add BOOK 1.  Yes, the sample is merely a prologue to the actual game.  The story in the game will be told through books that are released once a quarter.  Between each book will be new feature, tweaks, balances, etc.

Instead of doing the typical versioning system (as in v.4.0.4000), we’re going to just refer to each version of Knight of Time as a four digit number.  The higher it is, the more recent it is.  The differences between each number would be the weight of the features added to it.  So, the differences between 1001 and 1002 are pretty minimal, but the differences between 1400 and 1900 would be more substantial.

The first release will be in January and is slated to contain a bunch of under the cover work, as well as the conversation system.  February release will have save/load and the ability to discard cards in battle.  Your first book release is in March, which will, depending on availability have new graphics and work.  Beyond April, comprehensive help system, and a few more surprises.

And remember, you will be able to access the world of Knight of Time for free on Windows 10.  No matter what changes we do or make, that’ll never change.

 

 

Blueprints to a Better Day

It’s another day where I can’t show anything…hahaha, sorry that was a lie.  I spent the last day working on UI enhancements and fortunately, UWP makes that really easy, as all UI improvements are simply just changing a component’s CSS.

We’re at the last stage of development for the sample, which mostly consists of balancing various encounters.

But let’s talk UI improvements!

Here is the new title screen.  We have our team name there, we have a revision number next to the Build name, and we have a fancy new “logo” for our purposes.
ps-title-2

We also made a lot of changes to dialog.  Here’s the old dialog box:

ps-npc-text

It’s kinda blah.  Oh, and this NPC doesn’t exist in the game anymore, neither does this map, if you’re curious.

Here’s the new one, which is a lot more prettier:

ps-npc-text-2

We’re using a new font that is easy to read and we feature a nice gradient in the background.  Finally, the box has a border.

We added a similar treatment to the subscreens that you get to via the in-game menu, which makes the game look a lot more clean.

ps-config-menu-2

Here is the config menu, which is probably the worst one to start off in, since it’s nothing but the sound volume right now, but one day will include difficulty and color options.

ps-equipment-menu-with-cards-2

The equipment screen which is still bare bones, but still looks a lot nicer.

ps-item-subscreen-6

Item screen looks much nicer.  We will probably change the font color in the right pane.

ps-status-2

Status menu’s text color will probably change at some time.

Debug menu is not shown because…that’s private information!

We also applied this treatment to battles.  Here is the old battle subscreen.

ps-battle-ui

It’s very Dragon Quest I.

ps-battle-ui'

It’s very…that boss from Kirby Superstar that makes fun of these type of games.  Notice the HP counter is below the pane itself.  That will be fixed – there are some changes that need to be on this screen.

And the biggest change of all…

Here is your old player sprite:

ps-debug

(She’s the blondie near the center.)

Here’s the new one:

ps-new-player-image

(She’s the brunette near the center)

The reason for this change was that the old sprite had tattered clothing, and I’m inept at art design and couldn’t even put her head on another sprite.  However, I did have this other sprite available (who was actually supposed to be an NPC), and she looked…knightly in a feminine manner.

That’s it for today!  I’ll probably not be posting a lot, because balancing changes are hard to really report about, but if there are any other changes, I’ll report them.