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"Initial Experience"

Posted: 27 August, 2021

Tuesday 24.08.2021

I started adding a couple of NPCs last week, so today I went back in and finished off their dialog and placement. Also made some changes to the timeline at the start of the game. Instead of everything being unlocked as soon as you come out of the first dungeon, I’m now locking time of day to the evening until the player bumps into the Crone, on their way out of the village. Tomorrow’s job is to knock up a little sequence to explain the day night system to the player…

I also want NPCs in the world to be aware of time of day. It’ll be a bit stupid to have someone mooching about at 3am, so I need them to disappear when the player’s not looking. So, I now poll the time periodically, and then remove the actor from the world when it’s past their bed time…

Except, it wasn’t easy to decide if the actor was being rendered or not. I couldn’t use the IsVisible flag, or WasRenderedRecently, because I’m manually making them invisible at certain times of the day... In the end I had to calculate if the actor was within the camera frustrum, and only hide them when their bounds were off screen.

Also tidied up the debug output. Some of it was getting a little spammy, and a bunch of formatting inconsistencies were making things hard to read. Also removed the time stamps, as I never use them.

Wednesday 25.08.2021

Surprisingly slow day. Started off trying to do a cut-scene -- to wrap up the initial experience -- using the level sequencer and had to give up. I can’t have two PlayerCharacters in the world, for er, reasons, which makes it damn tricky to do a level sequence that moves the player about.

I know how to solve it: make a “cutscene character”, without a controller, that I can play montages on, and hide real player-character’s off-screen. But… I can’t be arsed…

Instead, I’ve just done a hack and forced a conversation onto the player. I already have a way to latch onto the end of the conversation, so I’m using that to trigger some stuff in code to do what I want instead.

Between that, and writing some passable dialog (seems to take me hours), most of the day whizzed by…

Thursday 26.08.2021

Added placeholder text for all the quests I know about, and set then them up in code.

Created a “Journal Page” pickup item, and ceremony actor, so you can find pages in the world that get added to the journal as quests and, added that to the end of the cut-scene stuff I was doing yesterday.

Also fixed up some of the cheat mode stuff I use to jump over the initial experience. Should make testing a little easier…

Friday 27.08.2021

Not done an interior in ages, so picked an easy one. Started work on the library. I think it needs a rug. And maybe some more comedy posters.

And yeah, I'm an idiot, each of those books is an individual mesh that I placed manually. Don't be Gareth...