I Got Crabs (sorry)!

Apologies for the radio silence through August! Long story short: a series of obnoxious and painful mouth problems culminated in the removal of my wisdom teeth. I expected there to be a degree of recovery time, but it hit me harder than I anticipated. Anyway, good riddance!

I did manage to get a few things done through August along with a bunch more this month - so, onto the good stuff!

AVAST! Ship Travel!

  • The player can now board (and dock) ships and travel to areas otherwise inaccessible!
  • The ocean is now populated with Argeshii navy, mercenary ships, pirates, and other unsavory entities.
  • (On a technical note) Had to engineer a way to invert collision masks with land vs. water where appropriate, i.e., whether the player is on land or sea.

New Scenes and Encounters! New Art Assets, Baddies!

  • New ship and underwater scenes
  • New ship tilesets, underwater tilesets, and background artwork
  • Shark enemies (variety of species and appropriate abilities)
  • Crab enemies (crabs can also spawn with one giant pincer that they can use for defence - this pincer can be severed or destroyed by the player!)
  • Water physics, water breathing (some baddies can drown!), and "swimming"!
  • New water effects, like splashes, bubbles, wave type shaders, blood effects 

HAVIN' A SHELL OF A TIME (... sorry again)!

  • OMG GIANT CRAB MONSTER

So - a LOT done, but still tons to do content-wise. I'll keep you all posted as I continue to flesh this game out!

Thanks for reading!

-Matt


The Room(s)

Since the last update, I've been in mega content-grind. What I have been focusing on for the most part is rooms. Rooms and rooms and rooms and ROOMS! All the pieces that will make up randomly generated encounters and mini-stages (including dungeons and caves).

One of the challenges presented with these "sections" is that they all need to match up - ground levels and ceiling levels need to be on the same coordinates from screen to screen, so the player's character doesn't get "stuck" in a solid during a room transition. This is all handled during the stage randomization, right before the area is loaded. Rooms are tagged with a base coordinate, so that the algorithm knows which batch of rooms it can choose from... like a giant grab bag of rooms stamped with a number, all shuffled and mixed up, and then slotted into a randomly chosen sequence.

Another thorn in my side has sadly come from Game Maker: Studio's room creator/editor. Doing so many of these, I started to get really worn out - the user interface is a bit challenging to work within, especially quickly! BUT - I found an alternative in a piece of software called Tiled.

Tiled is freakin' awesome! It has (just about) everything I have been craving that's missing from GM:S's room editor - fill commands, randomizers, line tools, buttery smooth UI interactions - it's seriously good stuff. It has cut my room production time waaay down - I am able to crank out a room in a quarter of the time it was taking me in GM:S! This is especially handy since each room needs to be "skinned" several times over with location and biome specific tilesets. Highlands need to look like highlands, swamps need mud and vines, mountains need snow and tons of rocks - you get the idea.

 

If you're interested in checking out Tiled, you can grab it here: http://www.mapeditor.org/

There's also this brilliant little program created by someone named Pasty on the GM:S community forums that will convert your Tiled files to .gmx files (asset files used by GM:S) which can be enthusiastically enjoyed here: http://gmc.yoyogames.com/index.php?showtopic=583235

These two programs have made my life about a billion times easier - yay!!

I've also been cranking out all of the remaining environment art that still needs doing. Things like props, varied backgrounds, climbable bits, and so on.

Here are some composite test shots with some of the background and parallax scrolling assets:

One last thing for anyone interested in project organization and the like - My good friend Tim (of Boss101 and Donley Time Foundation) introduced me to Cloudforge and TortoiseSVN. You see, GM:S had recently kinda melted on me (MY FAULT!)- Savage WOULD NOT compile! The last week has been quite the nightmare, pulling my hair out trying to figure out what the heck was going on.

I had been going about managing my backups very stupidly - creating a brand new project file every time I pumped out a new iteration, with titles like "Savage - the Shard of Gosen_a 7-27-2015". Somewhere, somehow, GM:S's streams got crossed and assets were overwritten or deleted. Trying to compile resulted in GM:S not being able to find things like sprites, backgrounds, rooms, or whatever, and causing it to crash when I would try to compile the game for testing.

I ultimately managed to fix things by digging around in a backup's asset directories, and overwriting my working directory's asset folders.

What TortoiseSVN and Cloudforge allow me to do, is have this sort of live project folder that keeps track of EVERY change I make every time I choose to update to the repository created on Cloudforge. If I need to, I can delete my entire project file locally, and grab a previous build from the repository, while also monitoring every single modification made to the project! BRILLIANT!

Things like this have slowed me down somewhat, but I am in a much better (and more stress-free) position to plow ahead.

There's still a lot to do, but the game is getting beefier and more exciting all the time - it's become a ton of fun to run around the worldmap and see what sorts of stages are generated when you run into a baddie or a dungeon!

Talk to you soon, and thanks for the support!

Podcast Fun Time and Sprite MAAAAgic

Last week was a bit brutal - I got smacked square in the face with a flu bug that took me out of commission for a good seven days or so. I'm pretty sure somewhere within that time frame I smacked it back in its stupid face since it isn't here anymore. So, um... victory!!(?) But, on a super positive note, last week I also got to hang out with the magnificently talented bunch at The Milkshake Boom and talk about three of my favorite things: barbarians, video games and movies (maybe probably in no particular order)!

In particular, we chat about Savage and the 1982 film, Conan: The Barbarian. You can check out the discussion here: http://www.themilkshakeboom.com/2015/04/02/episode-011-conan-the-barbarian-1982/

I just finished ALL the game art for one of the most complex bosses in the game, In'D'Ok - King of the Frost Giants, so I figured it might be a fun thing (maybe?) to share some of the mega-magical-behind-the-scenes-type stuff with you!

Here's the original sprite alongside his likeness, the Twitch Streamer known as Indie...

Here's the original sprite alongside his likeness, the Twitch Streamer known as Indie...

... and here's the cleaned up version. Here is also where I start to separate the sprite into pieces and give them their own layers (head, torso, left leg, right leg, etc.)...

... and here's the cleaned up version. Here is also where I start to separate the sprite into pieces and give them their own layers (head, torso, left leg, right leg, etc.)...

Not happy with the initial color scheme, I make a pass on color correcting the hair, and change the wraps and fur lining of the clothing. I also add additional pieces of armor and clothing, keeping each piece separate on its own layer. You can also see our naked little hero for size reference.

Not happy with the initial color scheme, I make a pass on color correcting the hair, and change the wraps and fur lining of the clothing. I also add additional pieces of armor and clothing, keeping each piece separate on its own layer. You can also see our naked little hero for size reference.

Having all the pieces of the "idle" sprite separated, I start his primary attack animation with some construction lines.

Having all the pieces of the "idle" sprite separated, I start his primary attack animation with some construction lines.

Editing and warping the pieces to fit the construction lines, I start to fill out the image, animating things like the torso and each leg individually (including the super sexy loincloth).

Editing and warping the pieces to fit the construction lines, I start to fill out the image, animating things like the torso and each leg individually (including the super sexy loincloth).

I keep animating all of the individual pieces and layers seperately, and we wind up with the non-armored version of his attack animation.

I keep animating all of the individual pieces and layers seperately, and we wind up with the non-armored version of his attack animation.

Finally, I do an alternate head sprite for when he's wearing his helmet and finish animating the other armor bits! ALL DONE!

Finally, I do an alternate head sprite for when he's wearing his helmet and finish animating the other armor bits! ALL DONE!

And that is (the short version, anyway) more or less how I go about constructing and animating an enemy sprite. This particular character is super complicated because of his size and moving details like his armor bits and such. 

Time to export his sprites and drop them into the game!

The rest of the game is coming along great and I am in full boss mode - only a few more remain after this one is completed!

Thanks for reading!

-Matt

Huge World (and content) Update

Last week saw the one year mark since the Kickstarter was funded - ONE YEAR and it only feels like I've been at this for a handful of months since then - not TWELVE! Looking back on the progress I've made with the game over the past year it's hard to believe that this is the same project I started with. The improvements made to the core systems and the overall presentation adjustments make it almost feel like a sequel. The past two months have been especially juicy with the updates. You can also (kinda/partially) blame the radio silence through January on this guy:

Ok - waxing nostalgic/excuse-y sympathy vote minutiae mode OFF - time for a GIF-o-rama featuring some new bosses, biome and environment art, dungeon art, finalized overworld map, and (my favorite) corpse platforms!

Canyons_1_small.gif

Savage is also rocking swamps, frigid mountains, Gosen highlands, the Red Steppe, coastal areas and the Black Fen (oOooh, mysterious!)! The seasonal system is now working as well, with region specific overlays and particle systems being drawn appropriate to the current season (i.e. red/orange leaves for Fall, naked trees and snow for Winter), giving a pretty insane amount of variety in the types of map encounters when combined with the day/night cycle.

The game's world map is also complete! The textures are now in the game and working! Zone specific props still need to be added, as well as the actual map locations.

So, to sum up:

  • Completed world map
  • Seasonal system (including season specific art and particles)
  • Two new bosses
  • New biomes and environment types
  • New dungeons (fortresses, palaces and cave types)
  • Better enemy AI and pathfinding
  • Spike corpse platforms!!
  • MORE parallax layers!

The game's systems are mostly working and complete, outside of some UI work and general (and necessary) polish. Environment art and assets are also about 90% finished (yay!). At this point, it's mostly a content crunch - there is still a lot of work to be done, in the form of level design, enemy art, more bosses, more weapons, armor and shields, and story elements.

I'm getting closer to completion and things are looking fantastic. Thank you all so much for the support and encouragement over this past year!

-Matt

New Tilesets, Areas and Such!

I hope everyone's having an excellent holiday season so far! My gift to you: .GIFs!

New dungeon and stone tilesets! (With some older parallax background art - I'll get to updating those)

New dungeon and stone tilesets! (With some older parallax background art - I'll get to updating those)

Raptor Throwing!

Raptor Throwing!

New snowy/rocky/mountainous tilesets and area art!

New snowy/rocky/mountainous tilesets and area art!

Horrific creatures from an alternate plane of existence!

Horrific creatures from an alternate plane of existence!

... And here's a snazzy production screencap (and random guitar sprite - because distracted)!

... And here's a snazzy production screencap (and random guitar sprite - because distracted)!

In addition to new tilesets, areas, environment art, new enemies, and additional combat mechanics (picking up and tossing baddies is a blast!), I'm still working through the backbone of the game's levels and stages (or, the critical path). Once that's finished, I'll be working on some of the optional objectives and hidden areas that will be included in the game, in addition to polish and bug testing.

Great progress is being made; there are features and content that are starting to really shine, which is incredibly exciting. There is still much to do though, and I'll keep updating all of you as I slug it out in the trenches! 

A very merry happy holiday season to everyone, and thank you all so much for the support this year! Here's to a very barbaric 2015!

XOXO, Matt

New Stuff! IndieDB Top 100!

The game certainly has changed over the past 6 months - it feels like an entirely new experience. I have added SO MUCH new content to this thing that I'll go easy on the bullet point-y stuff and let these images do most of the talking:

 

 

Some of what's NEW in the game since the last update:

  • New areas and tilesets!
  • New enemies (wild boars, revamped battlecat, flesh eating crows, raptors, a HOST of Argeshii soldiers and warriors, with procedurally generated gear and behavior)!
  • NPCs!
  • New armor sets!
  • A lot more I can't remember!
  • Blood and gore (yay)!

In addition to all that, I'm FINALLY at a code complete stage in the project - I am now fully entrenched in creating the critical path of the game and churning out the extra content needed to create a complete gaming experience.

I'll be releasing a final handful of alphas/demos in the coming weeks and months, so STAY TUNED!

It's that time of the year again to vote on your favorite Indie games at IndieDB! Help SAVAGE get into the top 100 by voting here: http://www.indiedb.com/games/savage-the-shard-of-gosen

Thanks for visiting, and have a great one!

xoxo, Matt

Took Me Long Enough

I look at the date on the last post I made on here and I die just a little tiny bit inside. Whoops. All I can say is "sorry it took me so long!"

So much has happened since I last posted here, I may as well just hit the giant theoretical reset button and just talk a bit about what's going on RIGHT NOW - or, at the very least, summarize:

  • The Kickstarter for SAVAGE: The Shard of Gosen was a resounding success, woohoo!
  • SAVAGE: The Shard of Gosen (from now on referred to as "the game") hit Steam Greenlight, and is now holding strong in the top 30s!
  • The game went to the GDC 2014 under the wing of YoYo Games, showcasing the game on a Playstation 4, which was a little bit of a dream come true.
  • I've been live-streaming development on my Twitch channel HERE.
  • Other stuff I can't remember

So, yeah, lots of awesome stuff surrounding the game; just about everything EXCEPT the game having a home - a rock solid online location that it can hang out and just be itself, thanks to my rampant neglect... until NOW! 

I prettied up the main page, and I've redesigned some bits and pieces on the Savage page proper. My goal is to cultivate a much more active homepage and devlog, so expect some fun things happening here in the near future.

There is also this:

I was in desperate need for some shiny promotional material, and doing a "for realsies" bit of boxart was something I had been dreading for a long time. I finally rolled up my sleeves, looked at lots and lots of Frazetta paintings, and got my hands dirty. I hope you like the result!

On another new note: SAVAGE: The Shard of Gosen public alpha 4.5 has been released, so if you fancy a bit of bite-sized adventure, by all means, have a go! 

Details for the new build

Anyhow - that's the long and short of what's been going on. Again, many apologies for the lack of updates! But no longer! It's about time the Barbarian Horde had a comfy place to call home (again).

-Matt

Alpha 4.5 Released!

Finally - shields are working and in-game! Here's a handy list of all the new stuff you can expect to find in the latest build:

  • Added more gamepad functionality (bit of rumble anyone?) and expanded controls (see README)
  • Shields!
  • Two handed weapon types and new two handed sword
  • Backhanded slashing weapon types and new backhand weapon
  • New player states and animations
  • New armor overlay animations
  • You can now see your equipped armor on the map screen
  • Certain enemies will only appear at night
  • New enemies: Skeleton warriors!
Go ahead and click the shiny image to get the new build!

Go ahead and click the shiny image to get the new build!

Blocking and shield parry!

Blocking and shield parry!

Skellies!

Skellies!

Halloween Updates and Goodies Bag!

SavageHalloween.png

Just a short (and... spooky??) update for Halloween: 

I've got a Steam community page up here: 

http://steamcommunity.com/groups/savage-the-shard-of-gosen

And a Steam Greenlight page up ova here! 

 

I also threw together some goodies for you (or anyone who's interested) to consume! The "bag" includes: Wallpapers, NES retro controller overlays, and a few songs from the soundtrack from the Alpha version. (no) candy. (zero) razorblades. Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!

Take your Halloween goodies bag (and my thanks) here: 

Halloween Goodies Bag

More Screenshots

Hi guys! Figured I'd post a few more screenshots here, since I've kind of been going asset crazy lately (which is a good thing - saves me from going completely insane, chopping up my hard drive into little bits, pouring them into a bowl with milk on top and devouring the soggy bits - all from spending too much time staring at walls and walls of Inventory and UI code), which - should... *ahem* should, lead to more regular devlog video posts. 

I've been reluctant to make any new videos detailing the dev process with Savage, since, well, the stuff I've been working on hasn't really been all that visually engaging/interesting. Like, who wants a video of five minutes of me going, "Hey you guyzz!! I changed some buttons! LOOK." 

Anyways, pictures! 

screenshot110.png
screenshot109.png
screenshot108.png

More fun/cool/weird/WTF announcements concerning my personal favorite pixellated barbarian to com. As always, thanks for having a peek.

xoxo, Matt

P.S. Lord help me, I couldn't control myself:

IMG_6309.jpg

Screenshot Saturday

So I'd been taking a break from coding and I started to flesh out some other area art - one tileset in particular I had started like, three years ago. Over the last couple days I've been touching it up and creating more assets/tiles to go along with it and this is what I've come up with so far: 

screenshot100.png

Now with full on in yo' face Parallax Scrolling! (capital P, S).  

Other than that, I've been trying to tidy things up and get closer to a fun, demo build that I can have people sit down with and put some play time into. 

More updates on the way! 

-Matt

New Stuff, Old Stuff

Took me long enough. Anyway, yeah, it's right over here:  

http://www.planettobor.com/savage/2013/9/3/state-of-the-project-update

 

screenshot131.png
screenshot136Tabs.png
screenshot115.png

That is pretty much what has been taking up a good 16 hours of my day - nose deep in UI/Inventory systems code and coming SO CLOSE to a working state! Er... the Inventory system, that is, not the game itself, unfortunately. I do want to be finished, or pretty darn near at the end of this year, but we will see what happens. 

There has been a lot of traffic here lately, and I just wanted to extend a big 'THANK YOU' (big = caps)  and a sincere 'welcome!' to any new visitors (and returning) and let all a' ya know what exactly is going on here.

What is going on here? I ask myself that daily - and although I never really seem to arrive at any self-satisfying conclusion, mayhaps (<== spell check doesn't like this, >:]  ) I can provide you with one! ... Maybe.  

I have been pouring most of my time into the aforementioned Savage - a game I've been developing off and on (more like tearing down and destroying, building back up, repeat) for the last 3 years. As a result, I haven't been putting any time into my Comic over the past month/two months... but it is definitely something I want to get back to. And will get back to, on occasion. The comic started as an experiment with the daily-gag formula, mostly to see whether I had the chops/liked the format enough to do something like that long-term. A couple years later, I'm still not entirely sure, ha!! But I do dig a few of the characters, so I'm sure some other iteration of it will rear its ugly head eventually - however dissimilar to the original it might be. 

So there you have it! A very vague-ish, murky report on my goings on here with a series of magic 8 ball 'perhaps'es and 'too soon to tell's.  One thing I know for sure: I like making comics. I like working on video games. Expect more of both.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you didn' hurt yourself too badly during your visit. Band-aids (or, adhesive strips) at the door.

Love,  Matt

 

State of the Project - Update

Well, I certainly update this devlog a lot less than I'd like - mostly because I want to make sure that what I post here is worth mentioning. I don't want to update the thing when I do something silly, like: "Hey guys - I added tiny pictures to go in the inventory screen for the items!! K, bye!", or something... Actually, that IS one of the updates I've made, but I've been working on a number of other things, as well. 

The Day/Night system is coming along pretty well - I've been doing some heavy experimenting with surfaces and color blending. Here are the phases of the day, with some place-holder backdrops 'n such: 

Late Night

Late Night

Dawn

Dawn

Early Morning

Early Morning

Mid-day

Mid-day

Sunset

Sunset

And speaking of toying around with light/color blending, here are a couple of other experimental shots of what I'm doing for some cave lighting and some CRT monitor filters, respectively: 

Spewky

Spewky

Made with new-tech to look old and crappy!

Made with new-tech to look old and crappy!

Everything pictured is still in a pretty rough draft-y state, but I figured I'd share some screenies of my progress so far. I've gotta say, playing with aesthetics is exactly what I needed after having my nose buried in the UI and inventory system code for so long. Still there, but I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

It's (Savage) shaping up to be exactly the beast I wanted it to be from the project's inception. At one point, not long ago, I thought "Maybe I should scale everything back... go for a more true blue action/platformer with stage to stage progression", so I worked on that for a bit... And then proceeded to toss that idea right in the garbage. That definitely resulted in a huge time-til-release hit, but the experiment was worth it. I guess I just have to do everything the hard way :)

Thanks for taking a look, and I hope to have more progress to report on sooner rather than later; provided I don't decide to scrap everything and do another complete redesign - ha!! 

-Matt

Savage Gamejolt Page

If you're feeling saucy, Savage has a shiny new Gamejolt page up at 

http://gamejolt.com/, a pretty amazing platform for games.

Seems like a super fun way to keep a devlog, and an even more super-er fun way to put playable builds of your game up on there. Speaking of, I hope to have a test drive version up soon... So, keep checking back, and eventually there will be a plate of barbarian shaped cookies placed out on the table for you to consume... with milk... mixed with the blood of your slain enemies.

xoxo, Matt

How To Get Those Sexy Back Muscles

Erp - Over a month since my last update on this project, eh? Heh, whoops... Who's counting, anyway.

Since this page hasn't gotten any love for quite some time, I figured some screenshots and a bulleted list of achievements (however small) were in order.

  • Fixed a few platforming bugs
  • Tidied up a lot of animations
  • Created code to handle many different weapons and weapon types
  • Created code to draw different animations based on weapon type
  • Started work on a melee combat system
  • Added weapons!!
  • Right and Left animations (our hero now has a dominant side instead of just mirroring the sprite)

As if there wasn't enough work to do, I decided to go ahead and draw different animations for when the player character is doing something with his (or her) dominant hand to the left or the right.

  

So, now the little barbarian jerk has almost twice as many sprites!

-Matt

 

Concepts and Barbaric Bugs

Not too many NEW newness to report on Savage today besides some gameplay tweaking and minor (but annoying) bug squashing, so I thought I would share some concept sketches from mah little pad:

Excuse the crudeness of the drawings and if they come off a bit... savage (Haha Heehee ho... *ahem*).

Anyhoo, cruel and unusual punishment aside, next up on the to do list is to inject some fight into our enemies for our barbarian to squish, get some serious AI in there, some combat (XP, stats, the like), and maybe some items... Ooh! And don't forget run-on sentences!

-Matt

Back On Track

Ok - first off, I'd like to say that I will endevour to update this dev journal for Savage much more frequently and on schedule (which I'll get to later - probably every Friday). That will keep me going on this project and force me to produce a playable demo very soon. Cautious optimism is my bestest friend.

Anyhoo, on to the updates! (in bulleted form for now, with some screenies)

  • Completely scrapped and redesigned the engine with more efficient code and to make everything more feature friendly
  • Fine tuned and added new animations (new attacks of all kinds and states, lifting, carrying, pulling, pushing, skidding)
  • Added a humble lighting engine where a "fire" object illuminates and casts shadows
  • Created a player naming system
  • New text system with dialogue trees
  • Started on a melee impact system
  • Widescreen format
  • Ramps, stairs, ledges
  • Created and added some menu and dialogue box sounds

      

 

So, there we have it - ugly untiled graphics and all. More to come soon!

Savage Update

I thought I'd post some screens for Savage and let the interwebs get a look at this thing I've been monkeying around with. I'm still pounding the kinks out of the engine and might have a little demo version of the game ready to be fondled, caressed and wholly abused by those so compelled in the coming months.

      

   

 

     

 

 

What is best in life?