Good morning (or whenever)!
Just jumping right into it -- this update sees the completion of the game's save system! YAAY!
This was one infuriatingly complicated task, I don't mind saying. To give you a rough estimate of the keyboard gymnastics involved, to get it up to this point (fully functional, with save slot support and deleting said slots within the UI) took over 60 hours this week -- but it was worth it.
There were a number of complications I ran into, especially getting those save slots to draw their relevant data correctly. I was originally accessing the appropriate save files (in .ini format for the time being) to draw things like armor, HP, play time... this caused the framerate to plummet like a ton of bricks.
To remedy this, when the game now saves, 'display data' is now saved to a much smaller, seperate file that is only accessed to display the nifty graphics on the load menu. In fact, as I write this, I'm thinking of ways to improve it even further... so everything I just typed will probably change - ha!
Deleting a slot was challenging to engineer as well -- having to set a flag in another settings file to reset the "working save slot", and also tell the newly deleted and recreated save slots that it has "no data" in it, so the game knows that when the empty file is accessed to simply start a new game.
It's all working and fully functional now, though! The game will save your progress every time you transition from screen to screen -- this will NOT, however, function as a checkpoint. For now, checkpoints are invisible, but will eventually look something like the main character taking a swig of some fun juice (as pictured in the first gif of this post).
When you die, you will start back at your last checkpoint visited, but will retain all of your items and story progress.
Another challenge moving forward is remembering to save the player's location and state after a big story event or something, like after you're taken prisoner and complete the initial burning village sequence:
Go here to check out the latest archived livestream I captured while working on the save system:
Sorry it's muted -- I was listening to too much unlicensed rock and or roll. I'll re-upload the stream on my youtube channel with some of my own music over the video later on.
The forge hammer pickup is now active in the game, and you now need it in order to interact with the forge. To convey this I threw together some extra UI animations and elements:
... And then after finding the hammer, you can go ahead and pound away on the anvil:
I have a live build constantly updating via the Steam pipeline, and it feels pretty awesome to access it via the big screen!
For the past week, I have been doing most of my playtesting this way to get a feel for how everything works the way someone playing the game normally would -- I gotta say, it's pretty exciting to interact with it this way!
... And next up:
Try the new build here: http://gamejolt.com/games/savage-the-shard-of-gosen-alpha/16310
That's a wrap for this update! Have a great rest of your weekend and I'll continue to keep you all posted!