This month's Vlog is, unsurprisingly, a quick swizz at the quests and timeline work from the last couple of weeks. It's already been pointed out to me that this one's probably "too technical" because I've waffled on about bit-masks, but a couple of people found it useful on the Twitch stream so now you all have to suffer. :D
Anyway, on with the diary!
More timeline bits-and-bobs, specifically, the start of the questline that gets the player into Henge End's main Dungeon. (The one that I was working on last month...)
This is a tight little chain of quests, from four different NPCs, all within Henge End... It seems a little over-wrought as it stands, but I'm going to leave the chain as-is until all the cut-scenes and stuff are in place. The initial experience is rattling along atm, but there's still a lot of stuff missing, most of which will have some sort of player interaction.
The NPCs I'm using for this chain all exist, so today I'm extending stuff, not building it from scratch. That should be quicker, but I noticed that quest givers still force you to leave their trigger-area before you can get back into a conversation with them, and sometimes, the Quest speech bubble was being replaced with a normal conversation one. Up to now I'd only done work to make the Crone re-entrant, and I'd not really done that perfectly, so I decided to set the rules and make everything consistent:
Quest Givers should always be re-entrant, and their speech bubble will remain as the Quest Icon until the player has satisfied the requirements of the quest. After that, the NPC can switch to a Quest Completion icon, or a normal conversation one, depending. (Some quests will complete automatically). That should be easier to understand and the journal always backs it up.
Satisfying this for all the existing NPCS highlighted another little code pattern that was being repeated everywhere, so I bounced that down to the NPC base class and deleted a lot of repeated code... Yus. :)
My aims for the week are now:
Once that's done, the initial experience takes the player from starting a New Game, all the way to completing the first dungeon, which I reckon's enough.
Smooth sailing today. Derek's giving the Rod out, albeit with a little bit of placeholder text, and the quest to fish for the dungeon key is in place. I was going to do something fancy, like a little bubble effect that moved around the pond, but the player's only had the rod for about a minute at this point, so it seems a little harsh to force them to hit a moving target. Instead, it works like normal fishing, except there's a 30% chance of getting the key. If they've not got the key by the 3rd attempt, they'll definitely get it at that point. I love that repeat three times reinforcement stuff :)
The key's a placeholder atm, so I'll need to make that. It should be a Strawberry, really, which would fit the history of Hedge End.
I've completed the initial experience! Where completed means "did enough to move on for a while because I'm bored of this now".
It's been a code-heavy month, which is unusal for me, but you can start a new game and get all the way through to the end of the first dungeon while following a quest chain. It definitely needs a couple of distractions because the final section is waaaay too compact, but I'll work that out later. It'll feel different when there are more people to talk to and a few bad guys to kill along the way... Plus a few of the interiors will be open.
The rest of the day (and evening) was spent recording and editing this month's Vlog, which you can watch up top!
I've gone a bit nerdy on this one to see what the You Tube stats are like. Last month's vlog was the most watched one I've made, but it had very recognisable gameplay bits in. I also added proper thumbnails to the vids, made the titles a bit more SEO friendly AND posted them to Reddit, so a lot of levers got pulled at once. I have a feeling this one won't get as much traction, but we'll see.
Freelance work. And an hour or so posting to all the socials... Gotta love the shameless self promotion! :/