Sunday, December 2, 2012

Patient 9 Entry 2

Welcome back. Today's entry will outline the progress I've made since my last problems I've encountered, and the current to do list.

Huzzah! I've almost completed everything from last week's list:
  • SEMI CHECK – a moving actor
  • CHECK – loose environment interaction like a sign to talk too
  • CHECK – multiple levels that I can switch through
  • CHECK – text of some sort

I made most of my progress by building off (read: copy/paste) the RPG Town and Dialog example that came with Stencyl. Sadly I'm not at the point where I can develop a behavior like that by myself in a reasonable time frame. Unfortunately there's just one problem in doing this…

Turns out the people who made this example FAKED collision between the player and actor. What they did was place a layer on top of everything and put an invisible box with collision on top of their NPC's. So the whole time I wasn't colliding with the NPC's I was colliding with that box. Then you press the action button and bam – dialogue. The frustrating thing about this is it took me literally forever to figure out, and it might turn into a limitation since I “need” the enemies to collide with the player.

Since the last post I've been on the Stencyl forum posting questions. I received replies from only one person but my problem with the town example wasn't solved until earlier today when I realized that the collision was faked. In my opinion the Stencyl community is relatively young, and small, unlike the RPG Maker community where threads get solved at a much higher rate. The lesson is at the end of the day it's you and your group that'll fix the problem; external groups are helpful but you can't rely on them entirely.

Production took a hit, as I went to 2 Magic: the Gathering tournaments that ate up most of my time/energy during the weekend, I'll be writing about that in a bit (the rough is already done). Eventually I'll be able to go to tournaments and still have the focus/energy/disciple to get something game related done, but my current routine isn't top notch..

I spent Monday through Wednesday looking up tropes, wikis, reading the Asylum World of Darkness source book (wrecking my sleep schedule for no profit), and watching Session 9 to make sure I wasn't going to miss anything cliché or obvious. I think it's really important that I did this, as it increases the odds of me hitting every note I need so that the game feels like it's in a creepy mental institution. During the “research” I got a good deal of the story down, so I'm comfortable moving forward in production.

I'm looking to get the current list done before December 7th, if I really hustle I could even get a demo up which would sync up nicely with my attendance of Grand Prix Toronto.
  • get the player collision working
    • if that doesn't work I’ll have to remake the movement system
  • add a rough enemy behavior
  • add a rough inventory
  • find out how to track events/variables (will be used to make the story)
  • make a rough list of levels/environments

The game is coming along slowly but surely. I can't wait to get a demo up for people to play! I've got the groundwork for the story done, for now I'm not going to fret over its details since I always come up with more as I make the game. If you have any suggestions or questions feel free to post ‘em in the comments or contact me at

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