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Progress Report

THE Captain's Log #49 - Maglev, bugfixes and New Parnassus

Hello people! Your captain speaking.

This week I have been working quite a lot. Since this is the only free week I'll be having, it's, like, vacation = work on Dreki all day! Because it's my favourite thing to do.

So, yeah. Things I've been working. First is the maglev. Didn't knew how to call it, but it's a small transportation device that works pretty much like real magnetic levitation trains, except it's not a train, it it comprised of only one bug-shaped small cabin-wagon. Thing.


I seriously had no name for it, so let's just call it maglev!


The maglev is used for travelling between Fierro and Aleko. It's available to be used after you get to Aleko. It's for reducing backtracking. And it costs 60£ per passenger. There are some things to be refined, but I'll work on it later, there's WAY too much essential stuff to do.

Let's talk about new places. I've made New Parnassus, the kind-of-capital of the world of Midgard (more like the most populated because all cities have a meaning/importance). It's supposed to be the biggest city, so there are lots of (not accessible only meant to "decorate") houses.

New Parnassus has some story behind it. The old Parnassus was destroyed by monsters. This is something better explained in the game, but the main thing is survivors of old Parnassus now live in New Parnassus. The old city is now just ruins, filled with monsters. And mystery.


The Combat School (that thing at the top is the school) and the Barracks were made here in order to reinforce the defenses available. We don't want another tragedy!


Now, let's talk about bug fixes... Since the past blog update, many things have happened so let's see if I can remember some things.
- Fixed a bug at battle events that repeated each turn. Some stupid unnecesary code that was resetting a flag. MEH!
- Counters now behave properly. They broke because of reasons.
- Thanks to KK20 the game doesn't crash so often in Win7/8/10. It's actually a very funny bug in RGSS3 (wonder how do I find that funny xD). Thanks KK20! You and Blizzard are the real men this world needs!

Also a good friend is now helping me with music. He's awesome, and you can check his work here: https://soundcloud.com/aarl/abyss-battle-four-noble-devils

And that's all for now! Cheers mighty readers, thanks for doing it! (Reading).

Salut!

Progress Report

THE Captain's Log #48 - Text, text and HUDs. And text

Hello! Mighty readers. It's me, your captain, again with a blog entry that concerns TEXT.

HURRAY! MOAR TEXT GIBBERISH!

Now, this is actually not that much about text. It's quite small that part of the entry. You see, I'm always looking at how well/bad the text reads and/or is presented. So, yeah, bear me. This time is the damage text, pop up texts, whatever you want to call it.

Before, I used a nice font called Visitor 2 TTK. It's actually pretty rad! But the thing is, it didn't emulate the 2x pixellated feel I'm looking for (kind of complicated to explain that...). So I went and made another font by using my trusty place FontStruct. Yeah, I use that place a lot to make my own fonts. So now all fonts are mine! Uwahahaha. I like to make my own things anyway.
To make things short, here is the end result.


Showing the looks of a damage text with a recovery skill. Delightful!


Now that part is done. No more throwbacks to damage fonts. And I hope all text is good.

The second important part of this entry is about the battle HUD. I "just" (yesterday I presume) implemented a new HUD style. You can actually see it at the previous image. And with that, I added the option to change between them too. You can switch between them whenever you wish. Here is a comparison of both.


HUD style 0. In-game is referred to as Individual Battle HUD.


HUD style 1. In-game is referred to as Classic RPG Battle HUD.


And that's it for today. Buddha Sidarta Gautama says goodbye. I made it on some free time. I like to read about buddism.


Good bye!

Progress Report

THE Captain's Log #47 - More Language Gibberish

Oh Jeebus, sometimes even the simplest things complicate everything. But alas! I think (and hope) this is the last time I'll be writing about this.

So, let me tell you all. Since I moved on to Windows 10, Drekirökr loved to crash very often. I was pretty worried, so I set up to make a change. Now, since I implemented that language script there has been QUITE A LOT of problems.

  • First of all, I had to implement a loading screen for when it loads the language file. That's kind of... bad, you know? As an example, Final Fantasy GBA games tend to be multilanguage, and they're fast as shit. No loading. So, this was a very profound annoyance.
  • Second, crashes. It actually didn't started after installing Win10. While I had Windows 7, it rarely crashed while loading, so every time I ran the game I left the PC alone and untouched for at least 10 seconds. Because that is the time it took to load! Urgh!
  • Third. You can probably notice all the blog posts I've made about "I finally fixed some characters!" things. Because RPG Maker loves to screw things when reading UTF-8. Well, yeah, that was another annoyance.


Now, I'll present the solution. It actually took less time than what I tought to change all the necessary stuff (though I'm still testing just in case). I need to give a BIG, ENORMOUS THANK YOU A LOT to kk20 and his localization script. This one
http://forum.chaos-project.com/index.php/topic,12164.msg168799.html#msg168799

This localization script is actually the best idea I've seen. It uses INI files along with the WinAPI to load them. The nicest part is that it loads each line when it is needed. So I can even translate sentences while playing the game! Loading screens? Gone. Character support? It now supports UTF-8 perfectly! It took me pretty much some adaptations here and there, and voilà.

Now, what I really took the time to make was a parser for my old language files, because I had to change this...

...into this


And of course I would never do such thing manually! But since I parsed things using a small RPG Maker scriptlet I wrote (and took some time to do because of bugs and RGSS stupidness), I had to fix all characters like these áéíóú¡¿ because RPG Maker writes them like this \u{bf}.

In other news, here! A little eye-candy. Still working on his animations, but here he is, Lance Vredevelt, fourth character of the group.


There are actually two more in the works too, but these are the hidden characters so, no spotlight for them. Though their artwork silhouettes are at the images section.

And I think this is it for this log. So thanks a bunch if you've read this far.

Salut!

Announcement

THE Captain's Log #46 - I got the spotlight, and I have nothing else to talk about


...So, let's take a cheap and selective screenshot to commemorate it.


This is your capt'n. Here just reporting the day that I saw I was on the main page, not as part of the image spammers as usual. Though just some days ago I got an image spotlighted <3 (love always triumphs). Not as part of blog spam neither. This time. IT'S SPOTLIGHT. Yeah.

So, thanks a lot for that. Not like I was hoping for you attention sempais.

On other news, let's talk about a side project I am working on. It's going to be quite delayed, slowly developing, uh... and that, because it was initially going to be my entry for the No RM Event, but plans changed, now I'm going for a NES-styled collect-a-ton platformer. I think.

There are no screens because all is still in planning stages, but here are some monsters! Because it is some sort of Pokémon-esque thing with Drekirökr monsters. On the most part.


At least the mole and the flying thing at the right are.


There are some more on the making process, and one secret thing there that, honestly, makes this side project unable to be released until I finish Drekirökr. So, expect news on this not so soon.

Again, thanks a lot for the spot. And by the way, we have over 200 downloads. Considering there are at least 100 more in GameJolt. Hurray!

Salut!

Progress Report

THE Captain's Log #45 - Map fixes, retrocompatibility fixes, etc fixes

Hello! I'm trying to post blogs more often. Because why not. At least when I have more than one small thing to talk about. This time, I'm going to talk about fixes! AS ALWAYS!

So, here is the first one. Since I added a minimap, there have been some issues regarding how the maps were being visualized, that annoyed the hell out of me. So, after a small playing around with tiles, I came to this.


I mean, this is the kind of weird stuff you can do thanks to the mapping superiority in RPG Maker XP. All hail Satan!


You can see a bunch of glitchy tiles, I suppose. Well, that ensures the passability is now 100% correct, both in practice and the minimap. I noticed before on other maps some passable places that were not meant to be. And adding events over them works for preventing the player passing, but not for the minimap displaying it as intended. Ending in a complete mess. And that made the minimap pretty much useless.

A liar is a liar. If a map lies, it is worthless.

But fear not. Everything looks as intended ingame.


And you can also see the minimap is clean. And hopefully useful now <3.

___________________________________

Now, about the retrocompatibility fix. I tried to synthesize this issue in the title because of space, but here it goes what was happening. Since I released a demo (some months ago already, mind you?), I promised it would be possible to use that same saved game in the next versions.
But thing is, it didn't worked. RMXP saves the entire event that was running the last time if you save from an event (and probably it will also save it if you have a parallel event running and you save from the menu). So, I loaded the game, and it did all things just like in the demo, something that ends up with you being thrown back into the title screen.

So, an idea came to my mind.

You can notice that NEWVERSIONSKIP n line. That means that, when loading, if it is a newer version than the version the savefile came from, it will check the saved event AND the actual event that's stored into the map file. It checks if there is a NEWVERSIONSKIP tag (commentary), and if there is one, it does all the mambo jambo for you (reloading the event and skipping up to that tag), ending up in IT WORKS!. Before that, I did changes to the same event, and didn't mattered. Now it matters!

So yeah. I'm happy to announce that I was able to maintain my promise.

That's all for today! Stay tuned, next time I'll... put a preview of two new characters. :^).

¡Hasta la vista, cowboy del espacio!

Progress Report

THE Captain's Log #44 - I've fixed text problems! At last!

Hello mighty readers! It's me, your captain again, throwing some tasty news for me-- I mean, I have some news.

First of all, let's talk about text and dialogues. Thing is, I've finally fixed two annoyances I had before regarding text display. First one was, I was unable to use certain characters, like ♥. That was because of RMXP's script editor encoding. I don't know, it just loved converting ♥'s into ?'s. AND THAT MADE ME PRETTY MAD!

But I had this idea of using a small workaround to fix this. I made an extern script in Ruby...


Making it .rb because I like the icon!


...and imported it manually by using the built-in require function. It didn't worked because of some weird issues. I found out it was because of the file path containing a ö, and since this game hopes to be played by anyone and there are a zillion of people using éëê... I made a something that mimics the require.

def require_new(name)

eval(File.open(name).read)
end

As I wrote somewhere... the longest script code I've ever written...

That's it! That made my life easier! So I can now put things like this...



No, really. All this mambo jambo was because of that heart. ♥


The other issue I fixed today can be compared with the previous screen. Characters now have ZERO of that ugly antialias. Finally! All is in perfect 2x (except when I screw things up using zoom in animations, but no one will find out!--whoops...).

And so, that's it for texts.

Now, let's have this here!

5 out of 8 character artworks! Yay! This could potentially mean a new release is coming. Or maybe it's just me teasing people to get attention. Who knows? Let's find out next time Jesus celebrates his birthday, maybe!

Time to eat, so, thanks for reading! See you next time damas y caballeros.

Progress Report

THE Captain's Log #43 - Three member party!

Hello! This is me, your captain again. You know, this is a huge change, and it has several reasons to be. Some will think "meh! the real Final Fantasies used 4-man parties!". But then I say "you sure love Chronno Trigger, don't you?".

Ahem, what am I saying? I DON'T KNOW!

The party size has been reduced from 4 to 3. Why is that? Well, the space. My sprites are kind of big, and one particular party member needs a LOT of space *cough cough*. So, the change was made. I also revised the story, and saw that due to several cuts I made in game content (unuseful characters and things that only made things worse and gave me extra headaches), 50% of the time the most you have in your control are three members.

So, a friend said to me "why don't you..." and I said "Yeah! Why not!". AND THERE! Three member party!

This means huge changes obviously, both in interfaces and gameplay.


Feels like something can be accomodated into that extra space <3.



Position subject to change.


You know some people say: less is more. So I can go with that, polish the characters (7 characters, one optional, and two temporal, to a total of 10). And... yeah!

A little spoiler. If you finished the demo, you've already fought against the big guy I mentioned earlier.

Have a good day! And thanks for reading.

Progress Report

THE Captain's Log #42 - Escape! Controls! Errors! And Synthesis!

Hello people! Been a long time since the last blog post. Well, here are some news about the game. Changes and stuff.

Internally, the control binding support is finished, with support for two sets of keys for keyboard and one set for the gamepad. Right now I haven't decided how to accommodate the two separate control sets for the keyboard, but I'm working on that, the interface design. This is how it looks right now and will be updated later.


The escape option felt a little unfinished, so I did two major improvements to it. First one is the animation. Characters can now be seen running from battle, instead of the battle just ending. Second thing done is the individual escape. Enemies have always been capable of this, and so your party is too. This rebalances the escape because it doesn't affect the whole party anymore. But all your character needs to escape is fill the ATB gauge. No randomness or additional escape gauge.


The enemy fleeing. Some things to fix here, but no problem!


The party members escaping, one by one.

Now all is left is implementing more synthesis recipes and make more items collectable. The demo right now doesn't make too much use of the synthesis shop because of these two things. There is a recipe for maybe 2 weapons and some items, but a lot of the required items are inaccessible. The next area will properly introduce and make more visible its existence anyway. And the auction house will feature some useful items for that regard too.

That's all for today. Thanks for reading!

Progress Report

THE Captain's Log #41 - About GameJolt integration

Hello people! So recently I've been thinking about this. There is this page called GameJolt. And there is an API for RPG Maker, that lets you upload scores, add trophies, between other cool things (it can also upload things to the GameJolt server which is something I'm kind of interested on seeing what could be done with).

It's a really nice system. And well, I implemented it on Dreki. Right now is just for testing. Here are some captures.


This one is the login. You can login from the title screen by pressing the Menu button (D by default).


And this is the login screen. Right now... well it works.

Now the issue I have is that for this to be done, I'm going to encrypt the game. That's something I was not going to do, but since the GameJolt API uses some sensible information regarding the game page in GameJolt, I need to close it. Anyway, the scripts are a mess, and the audio and graphics will be available for download in some other way. So I don't think there will be any problem. This is actually more a problem for me! Because encryption sucks time!

Other things being made with the game are making better the gamepad integration. There are some things to do, and some things already done.
- TODO: Support for button rebinding. Also I'm making a second set of key bindings for keyboard.

- DONE: Control tips on menues and messages change depending on the input you're using.


- DONE: Moved some control tips a little lower, with the intention of making them more visible.


And that's it for now. Right now I'm polishing technical stuff, and fixing bugs. Then I will continue implementing the story. Implementing story and making the necessary graphics is easy and fun. But everything gives me satisfaction :^D.

Salut and thanks for reading!

Progress Report

THE Captain's Log #40 - New version is now up!

Woof! Iesus! This has been such a long day!

Hello internet! Right now I've finished preparing the update. I'm sorry for the lateness, but there was a deceased family member, so I had to take today and yesterday for that. I'm sorry!

But I now have been hurrying to complete the task, and here it is! Drekirökr is now updated! The bug report page is updated too, there you can see the list of changes. Or I can just copy and paste it here, heh!

author=][center
Found issues on Demo Version, June 2015GRAPHICS
MISSING ANIMATIONS: Punch*, Kick*, Leather Glove*, Typhoon* --DONE
MISSING ICONS: Serpent skin*, Spiny skin*, Cleave*, Double Attack*, Leather Whip*, Leather Gloves*, Life Rain*, all Minuet passives* --DONE
MISSING GRAPHICS: Minuet overworld --DONE
Floating battlers: Crocodile, Lime --DONE
Stuck flames --DONE
Vance's character has a problem. --DONE
Chest Key's map graphic (glitter) changes direction, something it shouldn't do! --DONE
Use item background image on inventory screen has outdated parts --DONE

SCRIPTING STUFF
Change default configuration to Wait Mode --DONE
Hidden battlers can't be affected by animation opacity reset (I know what I mean) --DONE
Map animations aren't following the source event. --DONE
Battle results screen should include information about each character's gains --DONE
Check Lightningrod: It could be misbehaving.
Spiny skin tends to counter things it shouldn't! --DONE?
Language selector should save the last selected language. --DONE
Why the hay Minuet's description isn't being shown when the game is in English? --DONE

MAPPING AND SCENARIO DESIGN
Training Cave redesign: main puzzle less effective than optional boss' one --DONE
A little wait after exiting the cave, because there is a "perspective change". --DONE
Also the exit event should be moved down one tile... --DONE
Great Architect's imaginery needs to block passage! --DONE
Why the heck the church treasure is a plain useless sword? --Actually it's Life Rain, need the ID to fix it on the langs o.o --DONE

REBALANCE
Downgrade some parts of Minuet's equipment --DONE
I think I should up a little monster drops... --DONE
Red and Blue Flames should give AP, and NO Experience! --DONE
WHY THE HECK DOES ROOST DEAL DAMAGE?? --DONE
Hikari's Remedy will be available from lvl1 --DONE


Let's see... the updater is updated too! Hahah! And... yeah. There is an update package in the downloads section, you can grab it and paste its contents on your game folder, or just download the entire thing! There is no savefile corruption as far as I know, after all I didn't made any groundbreaking changes on scripts, just small tweaks to battle and stuff.

Hmmm what else? Yeah, I think that's it for today. I'm sorry but I'm sleepy.

Thanks for reading!