I just wrote some insane mathy code for doing complicated warmup, firing, and cooldown animations for enemies. We needed the ability to force an arbitrary frame based on when the enemy was supposed to be firing. Jules drew a ton of madly detailed little animation frames for a particular enemy, so I felt that I had to do it justice with a decent animation system.
Keeping track of which frame is supposed to be happening on which tick of the enemy’s clock is really hard. If my calculations turned out to be off by one tick, dozens of values could change. I ended up creating an OmniOutliner document with row numbering turned on. Then I typed in the animation frames I knew we needed, in the order we needed them. Then, as I dragged the frame numbers around to make sure everything flowed properly, the row numbering updated automatically to let me know which ticks they corresponded to. Then, I just translated the results into code. Awesome!
We have a new title screen, replacing the one we’ve had for years now. I really liked the old handwritten logo, the one you see at the top of this blog, but maybe we can still use that somewhere.
We’ve made so much progress with the little details that have been on our list forever: preventing characters’ mouths from moving when they say “…” (which is often), making characters fade in and out instead of arriving and departing abruptly, making boss parts deteriorate and smoke when you destroy them, and so on.
We’re making great progress recently. For the longest time, we’ve been worried about music. Suddenly, we have three musicians. Will Sayre, my neighbour in Seattle, Ivan, my brother and Steeve/Vegeroth, a long time friend living in Canada. It seems the same for so many things, you spend years trying to solve the issue of how to approach the music, and as soon as you forget about it, three musicians appear at the right place and time. Awesome.
Bigmans sprite, dead. We’re steadily crossing off the items in our to-do list at a great rate now. It’s comforting to know that almost all of these things are things we only need to do once before they’re gone from the list forever. I’m excited to be heading into the post-demo era of the game.. where all we have to do is create content, which is my favourite part of the project.
In particular, right now I want to thank fet, who has done a lot of work over the last few weeks. I’ve done a lot too, but it’s probably because I’ve had little else to do. Fet’s as busy as always and has done an amazing amount of excellent work. Good on you, mans!
Jules and I got much done yesterday. I brought several old systems back up to date and did some various fiddling and fixing here and there. He created the much updated in-game version of Ana, our oldest character. She has a brand new, cuter hairstyle, and a casual outfit. The scene she’s standing in is our cafe, which is actually based pretty closely on Top Pot Doughnuts here in Seattle.
Besides this, we have both been passing the script for the demo back and forth, adding on to it and editing each other’s writing. We’re using Writeboards on our Backpack account to do this, and it’s working out way better than trying to send weirdly-formatted text files back and forth.
Apparently there is another cute visual novel being developed in Seattle. It’s called Heart’s Content, and I stumbled across their developers’ diary when their post about The Science of Moe Drawing fell into my Technorati feed about Ar Tonelico.
Who are these guys? Is this town big enough for two such projects? I have subscribed to their blog and I will keep an eye on them for us all. That is all.