Archives for the month of: July, 2017

Another week another update. This week has been kinda slow. This is partly because I’m still slightly recovering from AVCon. The other reason is this week I’m working from home and I always find a way to goof off when I’m at home. (This would be why people have work studios).

That said I do have some fun stuff to show off. The first thing which I am personally most excited for is the background art of the second world!ParralaxTest2GIF.gif

So I am super happy with how this turned out. The biggest thing that is different between this art and the tutorial background is that this has been designed to not be a static image. I drew each part of this background on nine separate layers that will repeat. The reason I have done this is because for each world I want to be able to add as many levels as I want without needing to redraw the art. This was a problem I noticed vary quickly from the first background: that it was drawn for a specific number of levels. If I need to change that number later on, making my backgrounds this way will allow me to do so. So now onto some of the artistic decisions with the piece. So this piece is set in summer following on from the last background that was set in spring. The rice in the foreground is a dead giveaway for this. A couple of other fun things about this piece is that it was inspired by the town I used to live in (Asago in Hyogo Prefecture). Lots of stunning mountains, rice fields everywhere, and ever so slightly worn down buildings. A couple of small details on the buildings is on the announcement board I wrote “テオドの” which basically means “This is Theodor’s”. Yes I am capable of being that vain.

Next up is Katakana. Katakana is one of the three writing systems in Japanese. All the gifs and images shown previously have been of Hiragana. Hiragana and Katakana (mostly) produce the same sounds, but Hiragana is used for native worlds whereas Katakana is used for foreign words. I have planned to have Katakana in the game for a while. The reason is that mechanically they will operate the same as Hiragana and A LOT of people forget their Katakana. So usually what happens is folk spend a lot of time learning Hiragana, then they get to Katakana and are just sick of rote learning letters. So it was simply a matter of when I found the time to implement it. Its not particularly hard to put in, just time consuming. But the first step is getting the Katakana sprites done.

 

Well as of this week I have all the Katakana versions of the normal and slime tiles ready to go. Not gonna put them all up in the blog post because that just takes up space for no real reason. Haven’t got them working in game yet, but the sprites are done so that is one big step to implementing it.

The way it will work in game once implemented is the player will choose Hiragana or Katakana from the options menu. Then all puzzles will appear as they normally would with the selected letters. This way the player can practice the one they want freely.

Ok. That’s me for the week. I’ll see you all next week. Take care.

 

So.

AVCon just happened.

My head is buzzing a bit still. My voice is shot to hell (I don’t sound like myself anymore). And boy am I tired.

But I had an amazing time. Getting to see people playing my game for the first time and genuinely enjoying it was incredible. And getting to become friends with game devs from Adelaide was a blast.

But this is supposed to be an update on Kana Quest and its development, not just me gushing how much fun I had. But as a result of AVCon, I honestly can’t remember what I added to Kana Quest leading up to it. So instead I’ll give a list of things I learnt from this weekend.

  1. Presentation is super important at these conventions.  All I had was an A2 poster behind me to tell people what my game was. My presentation was… lacking. But as a result of seeing my poor presentation I now have a really good idea of what I want for future events.  What I will want is a nice big poster that is as big as I can have it to catch people’s attention. But I also want one big screen for the game to be played on so that people walking by can see what the game is and what its like easily. However once I have my one big screen I will want several smaller tablets/laptops/phones running Kana Quest so that more than one or two people can play the game at once. Lastly I would like some small decorations to give my booth more personality. I’m thinking some nice print outs of the Kana tiles and a table cloth with stars on it would be great.
  2. My logo is not good enough. People who don’t know Hiragana didn’t know what my game was without me telling them. Thus a bunch of people would probably would have liked my game didn’t play it because they couldn’t tell what the game was about from the logo. This is a huge problem from a marketing perspective. I will have to change my logo a bit to fix this problem. And a smaller thing about my logo that I hadn’t noticed until someone pointed it out, the Na in my logo is drawn incorrectly. It’s not super obvious but its a small thing that needs to be fixed.
  3. The game is stable. Holy crap the game really is stable. I know that shouldn’t be a shock. But every time I have taken it to an IGDA meetup, at least one game breaking bug has been found. I’m guessing close to two hundred people played Kana Quest over the weekend and only 3 people found a major bug. They all found the same bug that when moving tiles in a certain way could cause the tiles to not move properly and thus cause a weird positioning error. Now of course I would prefer it if there were no bugs, but a bug that only three people found (one of whom was helping me exhibit) is a huge improvement.
  4. Tutorial still needs work. I knew this going into AVCon and its only been further confirmed after it. Now in fairness, the current tutorial is the best iteration yet as about 40% were able to play the game only using the tutorial and have a good idea of what was going on. But 40% is less than half. Better than it was (previous iterations had a 0% success rate). But less than half. Is. Not. Good. Enough. Thankfully some of the other devs who were there gave some good advice on how they would improve it.
  5. I’m on the right track. I know this one is really self congratulatory but I can’t help but feel as though I’m making really good progress. Kana Quest has had a total of fifteen playtests to date. And of those fifteen, from my perspective only the last three or four have been genuinely fun. I’ve been really worried that everyone would play it and just go “This is a cool idea, but its really just meh”. Instead I had people genuinely crestfallen that they finished the demo and couldn’t play more. I had people come back and play again, just so they could get gold medals on the levels they couldn’t get gold medals on. I had people upset they couldn’t pre-order the game from me. None of this would have happened four months ago when I started making Kana Quest full time. And it makes me so happy to think of how far I’ve come.

Anyway. Until next time!

ItMeeeeee.jpg

 

 

So the countdown to Kana Quest’s first public showing is in 7 days! So I’m desperately trying to squash bugs and get a few more things working before I show it in Adelaide in a week.

The first visible change this week is the inclusion of a Hiragana Table. I wanted to include this for Adelaide as its just a small feature that adds a lot of help for the player.

HiraganaTableGif

 

So that was the only major visible change. But loads of bugs got squashed this week. Here is a full list.

  • Fixed a bug where the player could still interact with the Kana Tiles after the level was complete. Thus causing layering problems with the end level screen.
  • Fixed a bug where the number of moves would not be displayed properly at the end of the level.
  • Fixed an animation in the tutorial that had a small faint line appearing during one frame that just looked ugly.
  • Fixed a bug where if you completed a level with a worse medal that you already had received it would over write the better medal.
  • Fixed a bug that caused certain parts of the UI to go away.
  • Fixed a bug that was messing with my title sequence preventing the logo from moving properly.

 

There are several bugs and quality of life fixes I need to get fixed before Adelaide however. They are:

  • Making tiles be counted as “seen” if the player doesn’t look at the tile but still completes the level.
  • Fix a bug which incorrectly displays the amount of Silver and Bronze medals in the level select area.
  • Create level requirements based on how many gold medals the player has received.
  • Create a “help” screen that explains mechanics in case the player forgets important concepts.
  • Fix the tutorial’s “next button” script so that the next button will complete the current piece of text.

That about does it for me this week. I will post a blog next week but it will be on Friday as I will be showing people Kana Quest on the Saturday and Sunday!

Sorry for there was no Devblog last week but my Grandfather passed away last week and as such there was very little to show for the week. So this is kind of two weeks in one.

So the biggest change to Kana Quest this week is the end of level screen.newEndOfLevelGUI.gif

So the GUI that was just an image last time you saw it. And this is the first implementation of it. There in this GIF there is no numbers on the medal, and some of the buttons don’t work. The biggest change with this GUI is that now the player gets a choice of if they want to go to the next level, retry the current level or go back to the level select area. There is also a close button on this GUI for reasons that you will see in the next GIF.

ShowAllEnglishButton.gif

So this GIF shows two new changes. The most obvious is that there is a “Show English” button. This allows the player to see all the English of the kana once the level is complete. This allows the player to see how the Kana’s sounds interact. The other big change seen in this GIF is that the Kana match effect has been changed. I think it’s a change for the better as it reads a lot better than the stars in between the Kana. It’s still not perfect from my perspective but its a lot better and it is more functional.

NewNewKanaEffect Aaaand lastly we have a revamped new Kana effect. It is is now an external shine rather than an internal shine so it reads a lot better. It took a few goes to get it right but I’m pretty happy how it turned out with this iteration.

And that pretty much covers what I got done this week. I’ll see you next week.