Thursday the 13th. One real day of work left.
Last night I finished the programming. The bugs that I know about are worked out and the whole thing is pretty smooth. I like it. I also installed the new animations for The Thief. Now he runs and stands there and draws his sword. He does these things in 2 directions too, since he is actually a flat render of a 3D model. So he has about 50 percent of the animations he needs and I just got a new batch for a few of the rest of them. I do have a worry though, I do not know what the status is on the rest of the animations for everything else, like, at all. *stresses*
I did have a “Dammit” moment yesterday. The first frames I got from the animator came through with transparent backgrounds that resolved themselves into the flat black that I need for masking. The new set didn’t do that, and I considered calling the Character Artist to whine. Then I remembered a management thing : “Always be an asset” and “Don’t make people that work with you think you are a retard a-hole that can’t do anything for themselves.” Then I went in and made a Script in Paint Shop Pro to take a frame, add a layer, make that layer black, put that layer in the back, flatten the image and save it. In mere minutes I had the color that I needed and got the animations started and didn’t have to call somebody at 10:00 PM.
-Got a continue system going. Now if you die it puts you back at the beginning of the Chapter and gives you 3 more lives. So with persistence you can get through the whole game.
-Sent an email to the IGF Chairman about my music. Originally I was having somebody make all original music for the game, but they dropped out and I never got around to finding another. “Bad Producer! No Cookie!” So instead I trolled (like in fishing, not like in D&D) VGMusic.com and found appropriate music for the levels from both obscure titles and less obscure (what? FF Tactics has some good music). They’re just placeholders for the most part, as the final release will have all original music, but I worry that the music is A) Not owned by me and worse B) Isn’t Student created. I hope it’s okay as long as I use it as a Free Use thing (like 8Bit Theatre uses FF1 sprites and doesn’t catch a bad case of being sued). But I do not want to get disqualified over something like that so I emailed and asked.
-Stayed up late working and waiting for more animations. Finally crashed at 2:30 AM. Animations arrived at 6:00 AM.
-Yesterday when I ran the game through, I realized that I really like the chapter titles. Just wanted to share.
-I got the installer system to work. The installer lovingly packs the giant Thief file into a single setup file that can be moved around and whatnot. Then it installs. I mean, last night through the haze and the sleeplessness I had an honest to goodness Rockstar moment when I saw a windows installer say “Star Frog Games Installation Wizard” and “We are now installing The Thief’s Tale, please wait as this may take a few minutes.” You know, it’s like I made it. It may be stupid and it may be naive, but it means something to me to see that for something that I did. Others may say, “It’s just an installer, so what?” but they are missing the point. The point is it is my installer installing my Game. Then, it appears in the Program Files menu like a real game. It’s right there, next to The Spore Creature Creator and Age of Empires 3 and the joy on that is glorious. Maybe it’s just the lack of sleep, but I hope not because this feels good.
-Sorry if this and/or the last few posts ramble and make no sense. Let’s see how well you can keep a coherent thought with 4 hours of sleep a night for 4 days.