We've all been poking away at the game rather incessantly over the past few months, so let me show you some of the stuff we've been up to...
Gameplay and Mechanics
This is an ongoing effort where, whenever I play the game, I make little tweaks here and there, and then sometimes revert them a couple days later, but the point is to experiment and improve.
The foundation the game has largely been finished for a while now. You can walk around, interact with objects, talk to people, get into fights, and level up your characters. Some of the elements more dependent on specific mechanics are still waiting to be finished though. For example...at the moment, most of the abilities use similar animations, but once it's been 99% finalized what all of the abilities actually are, we'll need to customize each of them in order to give them a distinct look and feel. This has always been a challenge, as you really need to be sure of your mechanics before implementing the gameplay associated with them, but when it comes to abilities especially, there is a lot of room for creativity, and little confirmation of what is "correct", so it's really a gut decision when to draw the line. So far I haven't...yet.
I'm sure everyone can think of tons of cool mechanics to add to an RPG, but at this point it's really about finishing what's already there. And it feels like we're close.
In order to streamline some of the testing, I added a Coliseum mode that is...pretty much what it sounds like. You fight enemies and unlock new players and classes along the way. This provides a bit more focused (and sometimes fun) way to test the game without having to play through the entire narrative (which is very much still a work in progress).
My plan was to let people install the game and play around with it, but I kind of ran out of time finishing it, so that never really ended up happening. If you're really interested in checking it out shoot me a message and we'll see what happens...
64-bit App on iOS 11
As of iOS 11, only 64-bit apps can be installed. As a result, a lot of older ones, that haven't been updated, won't run on your iPhone/iPad anymore. Since the Emergent Fates code base is several years old, getting it to compile as a 64-bit app is a super pain, which requires unearthing sacred tomes containing documentation on updating ancient library code, and then a lot of praying for it to compile. Fortunately cocos2d v2 for iPhone, the animation framework I'm using, had one last release providing 64-bit support, which saved a bit of time. Overall this ended up going a lot better than I expected, but these kinds of unexpected hurdles, that have no clear end, can be kind of terrifying. There's probably a halloween joke here somewhere.
Assets to the Maxets
Christina has continued working on heading up the effort to colour all the assets and prepare them for release. This can end up being a lot of work, since most player animations have up to 8 frames, and there are quite a few animations, but it's been really exciting seeing this part of the game come together!
As all of the absolutely necessary assets are completed, there are lots of additional ones we'll hopefully get to that will add even more life to the game.
I'm really excited to announce the addition of Taylor Bai-Woo (aka fromsmiling) who will be working on finishing, and further improving, the UI/UX in Emergent Fates! Taylor has way more experience than me making games, including the upcoming and cool looking Bravery Network, so her help we'll be awesome all around.
Anyone whose chatted with me lately (or read the last update) knows I've been reading a bunch of books on writing stories and characters and dialog. So that's where most of my focus will be coming up. The goal is for the narrative to be one of the best parts of the game, not just something that ties the mechanics together, but it's really hard, so...I'm trying.
I'll also have a lot more time to work on the game now due to [redacted], so hopefully this will all be coming together sooner than later!
If you have any questions or curiosities about the game leave a comment and I'll try to address them in the next post.
Thanks for your support! It really helps.