Archives for posts with tag: gamedesign

Before we get into the meat of this week’s update I just have some big news about Kana Quest. Officially Kana Quest is going to be heading to PAX Aus this year! If you are planning on coming come say hi and give the game a go! I would love to hear your feedback! And if you have any friends going tell them to check Kana Quest out! Anyway with that done, onto the week’s work!

So this week I’ve been working on implementing the second world into Kana Quest. I’ve known for a while that I want to transition between worlds by clicking and dragging the screen. And for the background art to join up seamlessly. So what’s the process of doing this involved?

world2MoreCurrent Step one was making the background art for world two. This was the easy part. All I really needed to watch out for here was to make sure that all the layers are repeatable so I can make the world as long or short as needed.

 

The next step was ensuring that the two worlds can transition into each other. This step will be easier in the future thanks to more planning in the world two art but no such planning was done for the first world’s art. As such the seam is a little abrupt. But its not an immediate shift so its better than nothing.

World1to2

MovingToWorld2

Part three was bringing the assets into unity and getting the camera to move when the player clicked and dragged. One small bug occurred with this though. I made my camera a physics object. Turns out any child object of a physics object loses its ability to know if the player is clicking on it. This caused some of my menus to stop working.

 

World2WithParallax.gif

Once we had the camera moving we had to get the background parallaxing with the camera. This means that the foreground art will move more than the background art to create the illusion of depth. This turned out to be troublesome as I kept being able to make my world two art not line up with the first world art. Thus forcing me to find a way to ensure that the art would always come back to the right position. This took half a day. It was not fun.

So here we have the last part of getting this whole thing working. The transition. This gave me the most trouble out of everything and is what I spent most of this week working on. The reason is for the first world I had used a static overlay that would fade in OVER everything in the scene. This overlay would work fine as long as the overlay was the exact same as the background. But once you add a variable camera position you no longer can guarantee this. So things had to change. So now, what is happening is I have a script that finds all the visible parts of the background, and prevents them from being destroyed when a new scene is loaded, then it moves those objects into the same relative position as they were in the previous scene. This is important as the camera’s position changes scene to scene so if this didn’t happen the art would be misaligned, or not in shot at all. Then would take all other objects in the scene and fade them out. Once the new scene is loaded it would get all the new non-background objects in the scene set the transparency to full and fade the new objects in. The result is what you can see below.

FirstWolrd2Level

 

And that was the process involved in adding the second world to the game. All subsequent worlds will be easier as I won’t have to worry about making the last three steps all over again. It will be set up for me already! Anyway I hope you all enjoyed learning about my process.

Till next week.

So this week had one task. One job that had to be done. It was long, it was boring, it was tedious. It was implementing Katakana into Kana Quest.

Why is implementing Katakana such a chore I hear some of you wonder. Well simply because implementing each Katakana has a bunch of steps that are not at all interesting and when you times those steps by 46 (the number of kana) things get very boring very quickly.

So the pipeline is as follows.

  1. Create the sprites. (We talked about this last week as I was most of the way through making the Katakana Sprites at that point.)
  2. Set the image setting for each sprite.
    1. This isn’t too bad what I have to do is tell unity how it should process each sprite. How big the image is (pixels per unit), its filter type (point filter as bi-linear and tri-linear make pixel art look awful) and if its a single or multiple sprite image. Now all of the above I can do all in one go by selecting all the files at once, but below I have to do one by one, because Unity wont allow me to do this in batch. Finally I have to set the sprite size for multiple sprite Kana. So for each Katakana I had to go into the sprite editor and tell it to divide my sprite sheet how I wanted it divided.
  3. For each kana make an animation using the unity animation system.
    1. For the stone tiles this is easy. They are just one frame so its just a matter of dragging and dropping the image into a new animation. For the normal tiles this takes a while longer because I have to copy the animations seen on the Hiragana Tiles. But the big annoying part of this step is that I have a LOT of animations on the one object now. So much so that they don’t all fit on screen so adding a new animation took about three seconds of scrolling down the animation list before I could get to the “make new animation” button.
  4. Add those animations to the animator of the tile object, and then set up the logic of when to play those animations.
    1. So putting the animations into the animator is easy. Select all the files you want and drag them onto the animation screen. Setting up the logic has to be done one by one and is really tedious. Right click from where you want the tile to transition from and to (from all to each individual animation in this case). Then click the arrow that comes up and create the parameters controlling the animation. In this case, what is the tile’s hiragana number? Is Katakana enabled? And is this a stone tile or a normal tile. Rinse and repeat 92 times.
  5. The last step is to add a control for turning Katakana off and on. This was the last and easiest step. Now if the player presses ctrl+shift+k in game katakana will be toggled on and off.

And that’s the process. Since you got through all the technical stuff your reward is some gifs! Enjoy!KatakanaDemo

SoneKatakana

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!