Here’s a collection of screenshots and GIFs of new features I’ve been working on.

I’ve done some work on pets/companions, including adding a ranged companion (below). It’s now also possible for a second player to control companions - local multiplayer! Like in Sonic 2, if there is no player 2, or player 2 leaves the controller untouched for a while, companions revert to their ordinary AI behavior.

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Dialogue boxes show the portrait of the NPC you’re talking to (for main story characters anyway).

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I’ve begun implementing the new storyline, which starts with the player giving a tutorial to a certain NPC…

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Many of the story events from beta8 have been removed to make space for the new canon. But some may come back as optional side-quests in future.

The new story makes use of a special new item that lets important NPCs contact you wherever you are in the world - a telephone!

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You can also use the telephone to unlock secrets by entering numbers directly.

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I’ve made some massive improvements to the inventory. The inventory in beta8 kind of grew organically as I added new things to the game. It didn’t really have a coherent design and it was painful to use. So I threw it out and went back to the drawing board. The new design is much more flexible, and vastly and easier to use.

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I’ve fixed several performance issues since beta8. One was related to my use of Java2D for rendering graphics. I found that the framerate would drop low when maximizing the window or going fullscreen. The issue was with how it scaled the virtual screen up to cover the window – Java2D is supposed to use OpenGL under the hood in this situation, however in practice it seemed to be software-rendering it!

(Along with a few other Java-specific issues, this has left a bad taste in my mouth, and in future I won’t be using Java2D or Java for anything.)

To fix the issue, I replaced the Java2D scaling operation with direct OpenGL calls and instantly got much better performance from the game. As an added benefit I became able to add nice shader effects, and spent an evening making a CRT simulation shader for nostalgic goodness. :)

lenna-crt

This shader applies a barrel distortion, darker corners, a brighter center, and scanlines.

Fairly recently I completed two full playthroughs to catch as many bugs as I could - a kind of private bug-bounty. I found a bunch of minor defects and polish issues I want to fix before releasing beta9, but despite that, it was fun.

Most recently, I completed some graphics for the introductory cutscene shown when you start the game. It tells the story of Lenna’s world.

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Anyway, that’s all for now. As always, my trello board is public if you want to see what I'm working on.



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Published

10 June 2016

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