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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Status Report #45 (Smarter NPCs & Shrinking Scope)

     I'm going to start titling these now. It'll be easier to keep track of them this way. It may seem mundane but getting in and out of houses gave me quite a bit of trouble collision wise. Eventually I fund just the perfect spot to put the exit collider, player spawn position, and wall boxes. I should also consider making future houses bigger. I can keep the forest homes small because this town is meant to be somewhat of a dump compared to the big city.

Find out what else I've been working on this week below!

  • Character Ideas For My Next Game
  • Timber Grove Town Scene
  • Animated Flowers
  • Started Pixie Fountain Sprite
  • Smarter NPCs (No More Moonwalking Bugs)
  • Some More NPC Sprites
  • Scrapped Cuttable Grass & Blastable Rocks
  • Idea For Shrinking The Game's Scope Dramatically.
     Lessons Learned:
  • I Probably Should Have Kept Shrinking The Game Scope When Unicorn Quest's GDD Was Being Written (I Made Significant Cuts Already But I Could Take More).
   I'm still intensely debating the game scope switch. I want the game done on time but I also want the thing I see in my head to exist. I'm thinking of ways to squeeze in all my big ideas into this smaller package. I'm slowing down development for a bit until I figure this all out and have a concrete game plan written out.

     I'm talking about really shortening the scope here. The whole world will be a 5-by-5 scene block that could be squeezed into Equica proper Johto-Kanto style. I'll focus on dungeons, enemies, and making a game that feels nice before expanding on it big time for a sequel I can put my improved ideas into. I'm just saying it'd be cool to have the game out by October...

    I thought up a way to keep my old idea too. With what I wrote down in the design document I can work everything I want (and a lot of stuff I cut) into a sequel. More details on that by Monday.


   This marks a solid 40 downloads on Amazon with an interesting division among those apps.

     Gotta admit it. Those vacant minded glitchy NPCs were creeping me out a lot. Especially when multiple were walking around town and twitching through walls. I fixed all that now and they feel a lot more normal even if I can't unsee the creepy. The way they all walked around needed to change though.

     The NPC pony AI needed some improvement so I looked closely at the way NPCs act in Pokemon games and I tried to emulate a few main behaviors. Wander, Look, Rotate, and Patrol. Wander is roaming within a set square distance from a point. Look is when the NPC always faces toward the player. Rotate is staying in one place and facing a random direction every random amount of time. Patrol is going back and forth between two or more points, stopping if an obstacle is in the way.

      I know it's bad to keep scribbling down ideas for my next project when my current one isn't even close to done but I can't help myself when I have a sudden surge of creativity. I write down things the minute they come to me because I know the though will be gone forever in an hour. I have no intention of starting any real development for the next game until Unicorn Quest is as great as it can be.

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