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NIRAVASI Devlog (10/05/2022): Harvester

Hey everyone,

We're back with another Devlog for NIRAVASI. Now that I think about it, we're getting very close to the release date of the game (less than two months from now), so the content of these Devlogs may very well dry up when that time comes. But in the meantime, there's still a lot to talk about. Let's get started then, shall we?

Spring Cleaning

I'm not sure if I mentioned this in the previous Devlog or not, but I'm currently replaying through the whole of NIRAVASI to nail out any pesky bugs that may potentially cripple a player's experience, as well as iron out some minor bugs like spelling hiccups and grammar atrocities. One of the most significant bugs I encountered while playtesting through the game had to do with how the game render the player's flashlight and general light aura (the radius of light around the player), which I go into detail below.

When I started working on NIRAVASI back in September 2020, I initially had a bit of trouble setting up the eventing for both the general light radius of the player and flashlight player beams. The RPG Maker MV3D plugin was completely new for me at the time and I had no experience working on other titles that utilised it. As such, it was a very much trial-and-error when it came to developing the Kickstarter build of the game, which often resulted in some stuff I'd change upon later revision. Since then, the game has flourished immensely and is now at the point where it could be comfortably released to the public (albeit, in a semi-incomplete stage). But one of the ways I found to generate lighting for the player was to create two parallel events that existed on every map that would generate these sources of light for the players. For those of you that don't know, Parallel Events are events in RPG Maker MV that run repeatedly while the game instance is still running, regardless of whether the player is in a cutscene or not.

While this worked well initially in the early stages, I began noticing a significant drop in framerate for players whenever they entered instances that utilised more parallel events (such as chase sequences and major story events). As such, it became clear to me that a solution would quickly need to be found before the game releases on July 6th. This issue has since been resolved through better ordering of the events on my part, which has resulted in a significant reduction in frame drops while playing through some of NIRAVASI's most visually intensive areas. And it's not just the lighting events that have adopted this change.

Swift Death

One of the other issues I faced while playing through NIRAVASI was the severe input delay whenever the player was escaping from special enemy actors (like the SARA unit and Red Sentry). This was in part because of two reasons:

The first was that those robots relied on a Parallel Event to continually move the actor closer towards the player. Normally that wouldn't sound bad on paper, but this event would repeatedly run for every FRAME of game time. This meant that the CALI wasn't just running towards the player once, but instead hundreds of times for every second that passed.

The second issue was that whenever a robot dealt lethal damage to you, the game wouldn't stop registering the damage calculation when it touched you. This would cause the jump scare death scenes to overlap with each other visually, creating many more frame drops for the player.

Now that these issues have been resolved, I can't tell you how it good feels to play through NIRAVASI without a giant robot crashing your game whenever it touches you.

Full Steam Ahead

Some of you may be wondering when NIRAVASI will have its Steam page set up. Well, there's still a bit of work that needs to be done behind-the-scenes first before I get it up and running. First off, I want to get the game fully tested on my end before making the time to work on a final Demo build of the game to show off (which will take you back to Old Hanirr). Additionally, I want to create a proper full release trailer for the game, which I'm hoping will really sell the game to everyone that's expressed interest in purchasing the game upon its release (as well as new audiences that haven't heard a thing about this little Dark Adventure game).

That's it for this NIRAVASI Devlog. I'll likely be unavailable to work on NIRAVASI in the next few days, as I'll be attending a very important family wedding. It's something that's been a long time coming and I want to do my best in any way I can with it. With that said, thank you all so very much for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful evening.

Kind regards,
Angus (Sangos)