Solace Crafting

Solace Crafting
Redefining the Crafting RPG

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Building improvements amidst video production

Hard at work on my promotional video! It's coming along nicely, albeit sort of a rough draft version for now. I'm getting all the scenes built, recorded, and in order so that I can make sure the flow and length of the video is good and get a better impression of the kind of music I want to use with it. Here's a little gif from the video I made with the text removed:
I implement little things every day, regardless of what my overall goal for the day or week is. This past few days I put in a new set of building models, upgraded the camera controls/collision detection, and am working on some physics upgrades to the character controller.
Our building system allows for super fast construction. Where you place buildings in most games is a Select type -> Select location approach, but we go backwards. Once an area is selected you can pick from many different types of buildings categorized first by type (edge, floor, roof, etc) then by recipe, wood wall, stone wall, metal doorway, etc. Then you're free to move the placement around using wasd, qe for up and down, and zc for rotating. By default you're locked to the grid so everything lines up perfectly.
Building a long wall is as simple as hitting space to construct, 'a' to move the selector left, space, a, space, a, space, a, space, a, etc.
The buildings are still mostly square, walls, doorways, as well as stairs and stuff, but I want to get some round stuff in over the weekend, maybe tomorrow night! I really want to be able to make castle turrets freely, maybe with a 2x2 placement option in the future, but as a 1/4(1x1) piece for now. You can rotate everything freely already, so that fits into the system super easy.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Third Party Goodies

There is a part of us all that wants to do everything from A to Z, write our name on the cover and marvel at our success. In years past this has turned into me working on a feature for weeks and not getting it to half the quality of a 30$ asset on the open market. More recently I've learned that there is a time and a place for doing everything meticulously by hand, and that time is not now.

There is however often some very nice middle ground.

I recently picked up a new weather package to help improve my clouds, sky, and weather, but am not using it as advertised. I already had a weather system that I liked very much, and so have merged the two into a glorious companionship.

I'm using my own cloud maps with more layers than are supported out of the box, spreading the different layers into different short range and long range rendering schemes, some overlapping terrain with others not. I have taken full control of each cloud layers coverage individually, the different layers of rain and their animation sheets, multiple layers of fog, atmospheric scattering colors, and more. It would have taken me months to write all of the helper functions and shaders that I'm using just for the weather.

My budget and free time are non-existent, so it's not easy to pick something and go with, but it certainly beats trying to do everything by hand. Many of the assets available to indie developers such as myself are built by passionate indie developers that spend months or even years perfecting their products... just like me! It's just a different target customer base.

I'm currently hard at work on a promotional video as I finish the last bits of company registration fuss with some help from my family. With Steam's Greenlight getting the axe... I'm not sure how that will all play out, but Kickstarter is getting closer and closer. Stay tuned!