It's got a cool kind of Mad Hatter look, doesn't it?
We're getting pretty close to our midway goal, which is to have a trailer and demo level ready to possibly use as crowd funding tools. Features are being quickly struck off from the list of what's needed and I'm getting a short level ready for testing.
So that's all well and good, you say, but where's the proof? For now, I can't offer much. We've still got some tweaking to do (the jumping is behaving extremely erratically at the moment) and lots of animations to do before I can show a proper video without it looking like more of the same.
But Murilo's making some major strides through animations and we've got a much more Sprout-appropriate looking run cycle on its way. Last night we spent some time chatting about trying to get distinct aspects of a character across through minor changes in an animation. From what I've seen so far I'd say Murilo's managing to accomplish that.
Meanwhile, Mihai's been storming through our ever-growing feature list so that everything's starting to finally work together.
Not least of all are trees. Now modeled, animated, and coded, Sprout can once again throw down trees to make platforms and defeat enemies. Also they look pretty as all get out.
Murilo's also put together a little test scene using a few of the tree texture variations which you can have a look at by clicking this link. Fairy warning, it may take a minute to load.
Here's a gif of the animation:
I also took some time recently to make sure to get Sprout's name onto appropriate forum places. Going to try to hit weekly updates on all of them, despite the apparent tedium.
Alright if anyone reading has any cool ideas for rewards you'd like to see for a crowd-funding campaign, please let us know!
With so many posts on our recent technological advancements, it's possible some of our readers may not even know what our vision for the game is, so here is a brief summary of Sprout's Tale
Sproutís Tale is a 2.5 D game set in a dying world. As the protagonist, you are tasked with battling back the end of times with a pouch of seeds and a mysterious friend. Grow trees, vines, grass, and flowers to solve puzzles, kill enemies, and restore the world.
Sprout, the central character of the story, is awoken from non-existence when the world is on the brink of collapse. Darkness has breached almost every corner of the land and water, and it seems that only he and a winged companion have the power to stop it.
Find and plant seeds to create bridges, stairs, ladders, and traps. Using the right seed at the right time and place will be entirely up to the player, and saving seeds to utilize other tools in the environment will also be entirely within your power. While not strong alone, Sprout can use the fairy to help him carry and push heavy objects. The fairy itself will be entirely in the control of the player.
You can see our latest video here:
To be developed for PC, Linux, Xbox, PS, Android, and everything else we can afford.
hings are coming along. We've got the bare-bones of the new terrain now, though still not quite enough to start putting things together properly. For the time being, that means you're going to have to settle for more rough draft kind of stuff
As you can see, we've been working on adding some more camera movement to the Z and on the enemy patrol and chase movement. In this video, that little reddish orb is an enemy (don't worry, just a placeholder) and you can see some of the path he's set to follow. As discussed last week, we set nodes to tell it where it needs to go, and Mihai has included a funny little tick box called "Ping Pong" which means it repeats the path backwards at the finish.
If the player were to get in front of the enemy, it would start the chase routine, doubling speed and running at the player to eat him. Needless to say, that animation is yet unfinished.
If you strain your ear, you can hear the sound of the cloud dinging when the player jumps on it and the rain falling. The rain is used to kill enemies underneath. That means we'll need to fix the camera so more of the bottom is visible when the player is up high.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the layout here. The enemy is set to jump over obstacles properly, which should add some more tension to any chase moments.
In case you've forgotten what our old enemy looked like, here he is again:
At the moment, I'm putting poor ForteSounds through hell by nitpicking the Cloud sound like crazy. My ears are apparently broken because all the cloud sounds seem too metallic to me, and I want something very very soft. He's now made so many versions, we're approaching the tenth one.†
Luckily, he's keeping his ire hidden from me so I can just go on pretending I'm not annoying the crap out of him. Poor guy.
This new terrain can be pieced together to easily create a variety of different looking areas.
The green here is the grass texture that spreads over a piece†as the player walks on it and grass grows.
Besides that, it's been more of the same here, generally though. Dev dev dev. Time's been a little constrained lately, but that's about to change. Next Tuesday will be my last day at my "dayjob" (I'll be getting another). So for one month, I'll be free to devote virtually all of my time to Sprout's Tale.
Right now, we're working on the enemy and fire enemy. Mihai's come up with some really incredible logic systems for defining enemy patrol paths, and they're going to work really nicely with the Z Axis control we've added. Basically adding nodes to define a path and setting them before obstacles so the enemy can know exactly how to climb over them. It sounds perfect.
Also, I had a weird idea in the shower this morning! Perhaps adding some kind of plant or flower or something that shoots poison and causes the controller to start going wonky so that all the directional controls are randomly rearranged. Seems like something that could make for some very tense situations.
I don't know though. I'm pretty worried about feature creep. Anyway, it wouldn't go in before the trailers ready, since it would be impossible to convey that kind of feature in a video.
What else, what else. Story?
Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry.
I've got the story well figured. LaconicLelex gave me some really really nice framing tips a while back that I've put to good work. He used Land Before Time as the example and explained how the beginning of a visual story needs to be bright and wonderful and wowing. Then the darkness (and poor Little Foot's mom needs to bite it) so that the player/viewer feels they are working to get something back. Then brighten it up little by little as the player makes progress and - boom, explosions of color.
Sounds like something I would like to play.
One thing I've struggled with from the get go is making sure the player is getting a real sense of accomplishment out of the different aspects of the game. Growing a tree and covering a landscape in grass might look pretty, but I need the player to feel like it is something he/she has personally accomplished.
I'm actually still having trouble there. I think I need more sparkle on the grass and some little tinkly chime sounds. Anyway, I'll get there.
This was an unusually long entry. If you actually made it to the very bottom here then you are a true hero and I promote you to Blog Reader Rank 7, Regal Dragon Knight Reader.