Let’s Talk Business

This will be a two part post.  First part – what have I accomplished today?

Well, I have implemented a leveling up system, random encounters, and also made some fixes to the event system so that each event will actually run.

Random encounters are implemented by having a move counter that goes up to 1000.  Each time you move, the move counter goes up by 1, then we get the per mille of the move counter against the 1000.  If it’s below a certain threshold, a battle won’t occur.  If it’s above a certain threshold, there’s a 3/16 chance of it occuring.  If it’s above the final threshold, then there’s a 3/8 chance of one occuring.

So this’ll make it so that you will have random encounters, but hopefully they won’t be so annoying that you’ll get one every other step.


Leveling up is exactly what it sounds like – kill enemies, get experience, get level up.  Leveling up affects your offense, defense and max HP.  There have been some changes how offense, defense and max HP are tracked in game – we generate them on the fly, as opposed to…actually keeping them as a variable in the player information.

Okay, so now I’m working on chests, equipping things, and maybe even battle effects.  Then we go through game testing and we’re really on set to get this game out the door.

Now, let’s talk business plan.  I want to make the Sample free, and the full game will be free as well, but supported with reasonable in app purchases.  First purchase would be a donation item.  Cards that you can use in battle will be available for purchase.  No lootboxes or booster packs or anything like that.  Anything you purchase you will know what you get ahead of time.

Any expansions (if any) will be available as an IAP.  The game will basically be freeware, with the exception of donating some money or buying special cards or anything like that.  I think that’s fair – graphics are subpar, music is public domain, but hopefully the story makes it something special.

I also think this system will allow us to be truly experimental and try a lot of interesting and cool things!

Also, after the sample, I do plan on updating the game.  Basically, if you download the sample, that’ll eventually become the full game through updates.Graphical and musical updates will also be used in this system.

Merry Crustmas

Good morning and happy holidays.

I am proud to say that I have finished the maps of the game.  This means that everywhere you need to go, have graphics, tilesets and collision with it.

This means it’s time to work on a lot of the nitty gritty.  We are in good position to finish this sample by the end of the month.

Here’s what we have to implement:

  • ending screen
  • credits
  • shop (see below)
  • level up
  • switches
  • random enemies
  • battle effects
  • receive items after battle
  • chests
  • passive events
  • equipping
  • in-battle item menu

So, what can I show you today!  A lot of stuff.  Behold, a debug room which will help me with implementing the above!


(Ignore the title in the title bar, it’s actually changed since then).

There are two debug rooms, this is the first one.  Both debug rooms contain all of the events in the sample, plus three that are debug only: the blue guy on the right hand side will teleport you to the second debug room, the chest underneath him will display the music test, and not seen in this image but there is another chest underneath the music test with a shop.

Music and sound tests are important to make sure that the music library or whatever is running like it should.

So here is what our music test looks like.

ps-musictest2It’s a little hard to read, but it can only be accessed by this chest.  When you click on the link, the song will play.  We don’t have any SE yet, but we will add sound effects to this menu as well.  Currently, all music is working correctly.  Hooray!

We also have a basic shop implemented.


This is basically a first draft of the shopping interface.  Prices are to the right.  Your total gold is up on top, and it’s “frozen”, so you can always see it.  Each item has a description, and it’ll tell you what type.  When you buy an item, it gets added to the specific inventory, and then you get a notice that you bought an item successfully.


If you do not have money, you keep your money, and you get a notice saying you didn’t have money.

To do from here:  play with the transparency of the windows, maybe add a background. Also, the ending screen and credits.  And find some sound effects.  We’re in good shape!

A Short Wooden Post

A lot of progression has been made, but not a lot of things to actually show off.  Mostly a lot of work has been done in creating maps.  Three areas have been finished or nearly finished, out of five.  The first dungeon is almost ready to be worked on.

I also looked into increasing the size of each area so that a camera would be used to render the area around the player.  However, I came up to some issues with that and decided that it was too risky.

Also, finalized the title, finalized story details, finalized finalized finalize finalize.

Doki Doki Panic Literature Club World Universe

A lot of progress has been made but not exactly anything that I can show off that easily.  I’ve mapped out the sample map, sample items, sample enemies and sample attacks. (I still need to do sample bosses and some story themes going around.  I’ll share those later.)

I also created a debug screen.  I roped in a coworker to help me test the game, and thought this would be useful for reporting issues.


The debug screen returns the current room’s key (which is how we retrieve it from data), as well as the definition of the current room.  This definition includes what tiles it loads, npcs, music, player Start, etc.  When you bring up the screen, your HP gets healed.

The first town has been created, and in the sample it is a short hop away from where you start.  There are about fifteen NPCs there, including one that you must battle and you’ll go into a boss battle with.  However, talking to him will unlock the rest of the sample – otherwise, you’re basically stuck.

When talking to the non playable characters, you’ll see a few streams of plot come up.

  • Something that used to be part of their daily lives has fallen on the wayside for a particular reason.  You don’t hear about it though.  This important NPC tells you that they’ve been doing this thing, but getting no result from it.
  • An evil kingdom have been taking away land from small towns, and this particular town is scared that they’re next.
  • People have been doing weird things, like attacking each other and even eating each other.
  • People in this small town have been disappearing on their way to work.

In the sample, you’ll figure out the last point, and you’ll see a particular reason for the first bullet.

The full game will resolve all these plot lines.

And I don’t really know what else to say.  Really, we’re going to be focusing more on getting the map and things ready before working on the engine again.  There is a lot of work to do.  Shops need to be implemented, an actual leveling system needs to happen.  Random encounters and switches and getting items from chests.


All the Small Things

Just like the song, today’s programming session is mostly all the small things, but there are some major things.  So as a result I’m a liar.  Hooray!

Yesterday, I finished up the battle system.  It works really well, and you can kill baddies and get experience and gold.  Hooray!

There really isn’t anything to show about this, because it fits better in a video format, and I haven’t recorded video of it at all.

Another big thing is that I trawled the internet for music, and music has been incorporated into the game.  I can’t really show this either, because well…music.

What I can show is that the config screen in the title and the config screen in the menu have been implemented, and there have been some slight changes in the title screen.


Here’s the very basic (and unstylized slider) that will automatically adjust the volume of the music.  Hooray!  Fortunately, UWP makes this process very easy, so I have to give props to Microsoft.

Also, here is the current title screen.


The current working title is Fallen Deity, which is misspelled, because of course it is.  The red text would be whatever “label” I’m releasing this game under which I don’t know what it is.  The random Sample text indicates the current build, which is the Sample.  You can see the button to get to Game Editor, of course that’ll be removed for the final Sample version.

What’s left is a game over, ending and credits screen as well as getting into battles and saving/loading (but that may not be necessary for a sample), and I might punt those so that I can actually start working on the game itself.

The way I plan on working through that is map out each room in a spreadsheet, which will contain what items and stuff you might find in each room.

So, this is a shorter message post because…well, there is not a lot to talk about.  But the game is taking shape, and I’m excited to see where it will be at the end of the month, when you can find it on your handy dandy Windows Store.

All I Want For Christmas Is You*

First draft of our battle UI is done.  It took a surprisingly a large amount of work to get this far.  Next is the battle itself.


What you see here is a Dragon Quest-esque battle system.  Messaging on top, monster sprite in the middle, stats & actions on the bottom.  Enemies have a health bar because that’s just nicer.

The numbers near the bottom of the screen are your cards, which represent your actions.  The number itself is the power of actions.  You get five at the beginning of battle, and 1 every turn.  You can also pass, although that’s not implemented yet.

You get cards from using items, and having equipment.  You start off with one at the beginning of the game – Use Item, which allows you to use an item.

The rarity of each card determines how often they appear in deck, and thus, how often they appear in battle.  For instance, “Use Item” is common.  “Concussion”, an attack that creates a DoT is rare, because it’s a powerful attack ontop of adding a DoT.

Enemies also have cards too.  For instance, this enemy has a laser attack, a sonic attack that decreases your defense, a flamethrower attack and an attack with its weird blades.  Enemies can only choose from their current hand, so if they have all flamethrowers attack, well, it’s going to get hot for you.

The goal of this battle system is make you think about the right task in your hand for the right situation.  There is no binging the attack button, no routines you need to know.  If you play the most powerful attack every round, you could potentially die.

It also thinks about what equipment to have – do you want a more powerful weapon, or a weapon that’s weaker but gives you a better card in the end?

As a result for all this thinking, there are random battles in this game but they are rare, and you will know your likelihood of going into battle, similar to Etrian Odyssey (or at least Persona Q).

So, all that’s really next to do is to just make battles functional.  Right now, they are a static screen.  But soon, they’ll be…not a static screen.

*You = You, my friends, christmas presents, world peace, at least the ability for us to love each other

Something For People to Quibble Over

So, battle system.  Part of it is implemented and that is what you actually do in battle.

I don’t want to make a game where you mash A to win, but where you have to use strategy to complete your goals.

So, to accomplish is, Project Symphony doesn’t have an “Attack” button.  You get action cards.

An action card represents an action you can do.  Similar to card games, at the beginning  of a battle you’ll get a hand of these cards depending on their rarity.  Use an action, you’ll get another card to use your next turn.  Each card has a power level which is a multiplier of your offense (it’s not a direct multiplier, and the actual multiplier decreases with the more power you have, but that’s for another post).

So, now in the item and equipment menus that were implemented yesterday, you can see the cards that each equipment or item provides.  Oh! You get cards from your current equipment AND from various cards that you use prior to battle.


The equipment screen is a bit more colorful now, as cards can come in white, blue and red varieties.  Blue cards are locked and require another card to unlock them.  Red cards are priority cards and have to be played right away.

In these menus, hover over a card to read its description and title.


Here’s the item menu, with some errors (notice the lack of margins and the ‘undefined’ text that I didn’t catch).  The item menu will show what each item and weapon and armor and accessory cards that they provide, with tooltips.

Of course, cards are implemented, which means the battle menu has been implemented.


Basically, this menu is a summary of the cards you’ll see during battle. At some point you’ll be able to turn a subset of cards on or off.

Status menu is also finished for this particular demo.


Not really much here.  Once again, Equipment and maybe even Battle menu might be merged.

Next is the battle system itself!

And also, I decided on instead of trying to make a full game in a month which would be difficult, I’m going to focus on making a sample of an area, akin to old playstation demos.

That way, I can work on the UI, gameplay and everything and not risk leaving one in the dust.

Next time, we battle.

Rock Time

Greetings, greetings.

I woke up at 3:50 AM this morning (i.e. rock time, the official hour in which Dwayne Johnson raises his head from his silky pillow), in order to work on Project Symphony, and work I did and work I shall do and it was good.

I dread writing menu systems.  I think it’s probably the most boring part of the entire game.  Especially equipment menus, because your first instinct is to rewrite the entire item menu in the equipment menu.  I hate that.  Equipment menus are my bane, because I can’t think of a good way to represent that information, and there really hasn’t been a game that has acheived it in a fluid way.

In Project Symphony, I’m punting that ball further down.

No, seriously, here’s the equipment menu today:


It’s a useless menu right now, it just tells you what equipment you have one (and in the next few days, it’ll tell you another important bit of info, but more on that in the next few days).

That’s because the act of equipping your weapons is actually on the Items menu.  It’s one flow, and really what’s the difference between using an item and equipping it?  Wouldn’t using a sword mean I’m equipping it, or at least using it at least once?

Also, something I need to point out – in the above menu, that’s not static text.  Items are implemented entirely – items can have types, effects, special effects, etc.  The system will read the information accordingly, and will actually display the name of your equipment up there.  It sounds system, but it represented about maybe 30-45 minutes of programming (that’s a loose number – most of today was fiddling with the Items menu).

Items menu is complete….?

I say complete because it does its job right now – it displays your items in the five inventories that you have.  You can’t do anything with your items, but you can see their descriptions.


There are five buttons at the top – those will dictate what inventory you are currently seeing (although they don’t do that right now…mental note…).  The items themselves are links, you click on it, and get a screen similar to this:


Name, description, an effect, and the ability to use or drop.

Use or drop is going to be an important concept, because I plan on writing it so that you have a limited inventory, probably of around 16 slots per inventory.  But that’ll be up the road a little bit.

If you’re in one of the equipment inventories, Use turns to Equip, which will allow you to equip the item, and one day, it will tell you what stat has changed and how much it changed by.

As for the menu itself, here’s what it looks like:


Obviously, my disclaimer applies to all screens here: this is all prototype stuff, and it’s likely to change at some point, but I am fond of this particular menu.

There’s health information at the top.

Items will go into your items screen.

Status and Equipment actually switched places, but I didn’t take an updated screen shot.

Equipment will go into the useless equipment screen that I showed at the beginning of the post.

Status will display all your stats. There is a chance that Equipment and Status will be merged together, but that’s something I’m still pondering.

Battle will require explanation of the battle system, which will be the next post.

Config will be configuration options.

And that’s it for right now.  A lot of good progress was made.

I’m going to be laying the groundwork for the battle system next, which is basically implementing that Battle menu, and everything should be revealed than.

105 Hour Mininum

I am going to attempt to make these dev diaries longer, and part of that is going to be by ranting, showcasing bugs, pointing stuff out, etc.

Anyways, here is some of my progress!  Intractable objects (to use RPG Maker parlance, “events”) are actually finished, although buggy.  There are a couple of bugs in this system, my favorite being this:


You really have to get up in there to talk to this dude!  But he does work, once you get in the right spot.


Note: this design is beta.  The game isn’t even half finished or quarter finished.  Things will change.

NPCs and chests and traps and little cute objects share the same system, that is that they run off of actions.  Currently, an event can have a default action, and then two more actions that are run off of switches being on (in RWP, this was from actual switches on the ground, in this game, it’ll end up being more ethereal and be able to switch on certain switches from the code itself).

They are also written from the same place, which is an event editor in the game editor, as it’s now known (previously the map editor).

This editor simply is just a bunch of text fields, and then you convert it into JSON to put it in certain data files.  I’m sure UWP can write directly to these data files, but I don’t want the risk of file corruption.

Here’s a pic of the Event editor.


Oh.  I haven’t changed the text in the menu yet.

So, this is *very* exciting screen defines the event’s key (what it’s referred to in data), as well as the particular sprite it uses, the name of the event (which might be removed – I was originally thinking of using this as nametags for NPCs, but since this system got expanded…), and then it’s actions!  Each action can have five (well…) actions!

Nothing = does nothing.
Display = displays text.
Remove = Remove something from your inventory.
Give = add something to your inventory.
Kill = kill the sprite or the player.

There will probably be more added in the future, like “battle” and “love” (because all you need is love!)

So that’s current progress, and I think progress is going well, provided it’s been less than a week, and we already have NPCs working…what are we doing next?

The answer is: the menu & inventory system.  At this point in the story, the main character needs to open a chest with some items in it, so we need to figure that out.

And also – I thought of another story, and I’m sticking with it.  I’ll unveil that soon.

You are filled with determination.

My thanksgiving break ends today.  Oh well, oh hum.

In the mean time, I worked at a lot on Project Symphony – figured out not only warping from one map to another, but also collision detection.

Also added a bunch of features to the map editor, such as adding warp targets and loading existing maps to edit.

I also figured out a basic storyboard, as well as work out (in my head) elements of the battle feature.

Today I hope to work on NPCs, item chests and a menu system!  This batch of work will probably take a while, so…I just need to say determined and get through everything!