A while back, (two months) I mentioned I was starting a new project. The one before it kind of withered and died like every other project I try to do. The explanation is kind of a long one, so here it is in a nutshell: I have trouble working on projects when I get disinterested in them. I get disinterested in a project when it grows monotonous.
For the full details, click here to visit a previous post I made about that. (It's not a short post.)
I've been trying out the as-needed game development method, and it seems to actually work. I've been a bit tired, lately, for game development, so there were one or two weeks where I did no work on it at all, but I've cranked out some more work, today. I still get tired of working on it, but at least I'm not getting tired of the project, so far. Getting tired of working on it isn't a big deal, it's no longer wanting to work on the project that ends up killing the project off.
So where is it? It's not finished, and not even ready for a demo. It took me this long, with breaks to work on my novel's cover included, to just get the menu system working, and set up the building blocks for a fully functional inventory system. So far, you can pick up items, view them in the inventory screen, bring up an information window on items you have, and pause the game.
Yes, there is a difference between bringing up the item stats screen, bringing up the inventory screen, and just flat pausing the game. All three of those 'pause' the game, but the third is an 'ultimate pause'. This is why I encourage game devs to watch Lets Play channels. One of the biggest complaints I often see is "I hate it that pausing the game doesn't also pause the music. What if I need to answer the phone? I have to turn my computer volume down. Highly annoying."
That's what the ultimate pause will be for. Even if the inventory screen is open, if you hit the 'pause' button, it will put the game in an 'ultimate pause' state, silencing the music completely, blacking out the window, and protecting your monitor from screen burn-in. Ego isn't the only reason I call myself the best game developer on the planet...
I'm currently stuck on what amounts to an esthetic choice. A little coding bug is causing problems with something that could very easily just be scrapped. But I've decided to just move on and leave it broken for now. I've found out that if I give something time, I can find a solution to it, even if it means going about it a different way.
There's still not a whole lot to see. I could show off the inventory screen with an item in one of the item slots, or all the slots filled with one item, but that's not much to look at. "Oh boy, dat inventory screen! Sign me up!" Though, I have seen some indie devs show off inconsequential things like that, before. But I'm not like that. What would be the point?
"Here is the inventory screen. If you'll note this box here, that represents your first inventory space. When you pick up an item, it will be displayed here, indicating that you've picked it up and stored it. If you note the box beside it, this indicates your second inventory space. As you can see, it's empty." Gee thanks, genius. We know what an inventory screen looks like. We didn't start gaming 5 seconds ago.
There are graphics, but all I have is a single, non-animated character sprite, some GUI elements, and some debug elements and placeholder graphics. None of these things are really worth showing you. And I've already showed the character sprites off previously. In the event that you missed those, here's an admittedly terrifying demo of the lighting engine:
And a still-frame version of the main character cast in better light to make it easier to see what he looks like:
I'm hoping to have actual in-game screenshots in a few months. Just getting through the basic aspects of the engine have been priority one, so far, as I want to have a playable demo available.
I've managed to get through enough of the basic engine that an early alpha demo will be possible soon, so if you're patient, you'll actually have something playable this time around, instead of just my usual screenshots. A picture is worth a thousand words, but there's only so much you can get out of little more than an image of a game.