Post 200 already. I’m a little impressed as I seriously thought I would get bored of this a long time ago. My rambling notwithstanding, I’m really quite keen on the progress that I’ve made and continue to make on this project, the herculean task of learning to crawl by running a marathon. The whole thing growing and changing in the last 2 years and now we have 200 posts to show us how we got there. Some of them useful, some silly, some sad, most of them show the how of it and hopefully provide some insight into the slightly warped mind of this indie developer. I’ve tried, even when I shouldn’t, to be as brutally honest about the project and what I go through as possible, sometimes writing stuff that I may regret but keep anyway. Sharing it into the void of the internet providing some kind of carthasis and keeping this diary square. Moving on, to the 300th and the 1000th post, the projects may change, the ideas may evolve but I’ll still be here, fighting the good fight and bringing the news from the front.

Ah, that was nice. I sometimes have to fight the urge to get philosophical and sometimes I lose that fight. It’s the 200th post so I’ll give myself a pass this time. In actual game development news, I was knocked out by some kind of hideous flu for most of the last week and all weekend. Let me rephrase that, my immune system was destroyed by some kind of alien virus and me along with it. Generally, I can shrug off the most hard hitting of horrors, my white blood cells superpowered like Bruce Banner and making with the Smash. This time, not so much. So I lost a weekend.
Like I said previously the first half of the cliffs level is all mapped out again and in the database so I can play it. Now I’ve run it a few dozen times and polished out some of the jagged parts that don’t work just so. So now it’s better than it was. The plan was to move on and get the whole thing into the system, but I’m reconsidering now. I have a good feeling about the level and I’m reasonably sure that it will be great, but I don’t want to do even more work I may throw out. So I’m thinking that I’ll go ahead and finish out the scripting on the first half as a proof of concept. It’ll also provide good practice for the second half, which is more complex from a scripting perspective.
On a basic level, the scripting in the game falls into a few categories.
1) If you’re touching this moving thing at a certain time, pain!
2) If you touch an invisible block, change the dimensions of blah.
3) When a timer gets to a certain place, change the dimensions of the thingie.
These basic pieces run all the traps, modifiable environs and other stuff like the scenes and dialog. The first half of the cliffs has 2 and 3 down and will provide a good place to test the concepts and see if there’s anything in the next part that may require a redesign.

– Checkpoints are so getting redesigned. I die a lot and it’s my own bloody game. Granted it’s mostly because I rush to test stuff and get wasted by the stuff in the way, but really, that’s a problem. So like I said before, yeah, that’s going in. Soon.

– I did manage to work out a table with all of the different enemy attacks in the entire game. There are fewer than I thought there would be, but that’s good news. You see, from a balance perspective, they need to have a curve to them. So guards are stupid and have only the most basic of single swings and from there I need to gradually increase the amount of attacks and the difficulty of the patterns up until the last boss, which has 6 different strings. The enemies in the middle and the bosses, have different amounts. The first boss, The Captain (who’s in the demo=>) only has 2 attack strings. Later common enemies have more, but he’s what a Designer would call a Gate – something that has to be passed through skill or rote to proceed. So beat him and you can handle the Skeletons in the next Stage. The bosses mostly work like that from a design standpoint. So it’s good to have it on paper and soon, in the computer.

– On other news, I found another contest to enter. It has a deadline of 10-1. Which is possible, as I had planned on having the game (or at least the assets) all done by them, but that does squish everything a little bit. But I think we can do it. If The Thief’s Tale is feature complete and playable at 10-1 then it’ll be polished like a gem by 11-1 for IGF. So exciting.

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