Little Things all the Way

I’ve put up another video. This time, covering some of the little things I’ve implemented, such as the money system.

I changed the colours this time around due to how certain light angles made things impossible to see due to blending in with the background. Everything was previously white, but now only the platforms are. This will make things easier to see until I get actual 3D art made.

With a win and loss condition in, as well as easy capability to add more attacks into the game itself, I’ve actually got several things out of the way. For the win and loss screens, I just need to add what exactly happens when one wins or loses, then making winning or losing happen becomes a cinch – as simple as changing a boolean value to “true”. That said, I would need some sort of method to calculate a score for the victory screen before making it send you to the level select screen, and the loss screen will basically be a victory screen for the enemies before sending you to the credits, so it’s not exactly much work to do.

But I think my attention should be focused on better AI and pathfinding. At present, everything is calculated by trying to get from point A to point B, but that tends to result in running into walls or making ridiculously wide turns that end up running right into the invisible walls. What I need to do is have thousands of waypoints on the ground and in the air (since, remember, levitation is a thing in this game – placing them in the air is a must), and have a path calculated, factoring in how high they can jump (if they even can) and whether or not they can fly. The problem is that having thousands of them, if done incorrectly, can cause massive lag, since you have objects checking for the positions of other objects twice per frame (times the amount of enemies and players) and calculating a path. The game as it is already freezes up for a split-second when there’s a need to respawn, since each respawn point needs to check for every enemy’s position in relation to itself and then pick the safest spot that’s close to where you died. Running a cross-reference to the thousands of positions that will need to be checked is something that must be handled with utmost care.

That said, the sheer amount of care something like that needs is exactly why I keep pushing it to “later”. Especially since it involves placing thousands of invisible waypoints around a scene and setting information about them (or automating the process, but I doubt that’s too good of an idea). On top of being difficult, it’s tedious. In fact, probably the most tedious thing I’ll need to do for this entire game. But it’s necessary.

Something else that’s been on my mind, though not as much, is target languages for localization of the game. Of course, the game needs to be finished with keyboard and mouse controls, for Windows, in English before I start things such as adding controller support, support for other operating systems, and other languages, but it’s still something that has to be thought about.

At present, my line of thinking is basically that English/Spanish/French covers all of North America and a significant part of the rest of the world, Japanese would make sense to grab that last big gaming market that isn’t covered, and German is worth considering because the PC market is actually larger than the console market over there. That makes 4-5 languages. Each one is an additional expense.

And, for the record, the artist has become unresponsive again. Ugh.

So many roadblocks that have come up amount to my lack of money. I can’t have visuals or sound made, aside from my unresponsive artist that won’t even tell me when he’s too busy to draw another piece of art (as is often the case – he takes a lot of courses at once, but this was summer break) and the musician on hiatus. I need a good prototype with placeholder stuff before I start seriously recruiting if I want to split the likely small profits, and I’d need funds up front if I want to get contractors to do stuff for me.

I lack the credit to get a loan, my mother keeps insisting that I not work despite my highly convenient (for once) schedule for the next year of study, and the money situation in the house is generally bad (I’ll explain some other time), though the situation will be eliminated the second this house is sold and we move.

That said, I think I have an idea that may give a small, very slight boost to the problems on the monetary front. Simply, YouTube.

I have monetization enabled on all of my videos, though my subscriber count is a mere 20 and my view count is just as pitifully low. But what if I were to put a bunch of content onto my YouTube channel and get a larger viewership with monetization turned on? Assuming they were to turn their adblockers off for me, I would be able to get more than $0 from the ads, and therefore I would make a small amount of money to put toward the game. Remember, every little bit counts.

The problem then becomes what sort of content to put up. And I mean aside from the development videos, because a lot of work needs to be done before I have enough to show for each video. I was considering a let’s play 100 HP (the lowest possible) run of MegaMan StarForce 3: Black Ace, but despite having done that on my DS in the past, I’d have to use an emulator if I were to put something like that up on YouTube in any non-terrible way, given how my shaky hands make alternatives less than pleasant ideas. I’d feel torn about it, I mean using an emulator to make money to make a game. That said, I did already pay Capcom for the game when I bought my copy at launch…

That said, looking at my Steam account for alternatives…

I zoomed the grid out so I wouldn’t need multiple screenshots to show what games I have for PC. (In order: Blacklight: Retribution, Brawl Busters, Breath of Death VII: The Beginning, Cthulhu Saves The World, The Devil on G-string, Fallout, Flyff Gold, Grief Syndrome, Minecraft, Mystical Chain, Nitronic Rush, Portal, Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale, RunMan: Race Around the World, Rusty Hearts, Spiral Knights, Super Crate Box, Super Monday Night Combat, Team Fortress 2, Wheel Country, Sunflower Girl, Who’s That Flying?!)

I suck too much as too many of these games to even consider putting videos up of my playing them. As for ones I’m decent at… I’ll give them some thought. Anything that’s mostly multiplayer is out of the question, though. As are visual novels and anything that doesn’t run properly on my computer.

That said, I also know my limits. Chances are I’ll need to cross-promote with other, similar blogs to pull in the numbers necessary for this approach to go anywhere. That wouldn’t be a problem… if this blog even had enough of a readership to make that look tempting to anyone worth doing that with. With so few people following this blog, I don’t actually think I’d be able to pull that off.

Well, that’s just me thinking aloud. Until next I post, everyone!