Dev Blog – Patch Notes for May 12, 2015 / The Dark Cave

If there’s one thing I do a lot of, it’s make different builds of things. Vidar was first developed with the RPG Maker default assets, and I got a good chunk done just doing that. I sent it as my application to Boston FIG, and called it the Boston Build. Then I was invited to a Playcrafting NYC expo night (back then called “NYC Games Forum Playtest Night”), so I made a separate build called the NYC Build, which was a little minidemo of the game. Then I was invited to Boston FIG and realized the demo build wasn’t gonna cut it, plus I had new art, so I made a separate build but Boston was taken so I called it the Back to Boston Build, because apparently my versioning system was entirely based on cities.

The Back to Boston Build became the foundation for what would evolve over the course of the Playcrafting and Sheep’s Meow events, for TEDx, for MAGFest, and for various other indie applications. A ton of time was sunk into making that build awesome, and it was updated heavily between events. But of course, this meant a lot of the work that had been done in the Boston Build had been left behind. The stuff that basically wasn’t necessary to make the demo work – people dying every night, the end-of-day logic, the quest journal, saving and loading, etc. – was all in that old build. Eventually, the demo build became so heavily modified that I decided to use it as the base going forward, and import what I could from the Boston Build as appropriate. That work was done immediately following the Kickstarter.

And then, finally, with a chance to breathe, I set up a Git. And started numbering things. Like a normal fucking person. Everything was merged, we had the Kickstarter Demo build just existing and being awesome, bug-free and unlikely to be updated. And then we had what I was working on, the combined Kickstarter Demo + Boston Build, newly dubbed the Developer’s Build.

But old habits die hard, and, well, here we are. Another split has occurred. This time, though I’m equipped to handle it.

Last week, I sent Pre-Alpha 1.0.0 to several youtubers and a few twitch streamers. LizardEatsFlies streamed on twitch, and it’s available (briefly) at http://www.twitch.tv/lizardeatsflies/v/4734854. And more permanently, MCKerrnel started playing the beginning and posted it to youtube:

And then I got greedy, and I sent that build as my application to IndieCade, and to the MEGABOOTH for Pax Prime. And so those builds need to stay stable now, particularly during the judging process and as more streamers play the game. But I still need to develop, so we are once again at a branching point.

A Tale of Two Builds

There are two separate builds going forward, the Pre-Alpha (which is at version 1.0.0) and the Developer’s Build (which is at version 0.1.0). For now, only the Pre-Alpha will be available to the streamers and youtubers and press and judges it’s been sent to. High-tier Kickstarter backers, and select friends and family, have access to the Developer’s Build, which will progress with more things. So in today’s post, we’re going to talk about what’s going in both!

Pre-Alpha 1.0.1

Today, we patched the Pre-Alpha with a few minor fixes.

  • Ghosts will no longer gab when interacting with a grave, during the dialogue where the ghost is talking to you. So, for example, you won’t see weirdness like Adojran telling you about how he died, and at the same time, doing a random gab at the top of the screen. Thanks Thom Gray for the catch on this bug!
  • Grave markers, the amulet, the bottle of scotch, the bowl, and campfires all have indicator arrows like other interactable things in town. Thanks LizardEatsFlies for the suggestion!
  • New sprites are in the game for Adorjan and Vid, although the remaining ghosts are still placeholder art.

Unfortunately, you won’t see any of those changes unless you start a new game. So hit that new game button!

Development

In addition to those small bug fixes, we’ve officially broken ground on the Dark Cave. I tweeted a few pictures of it, so it’s kind of fun to see the progress of the first map:

Starting to replace default art.

Starting to replace default art.

Rough work done, pillars are still placeholder.

Rough work done, pillars are still placeholder.

Changing the color of higher ground so the player can see the height.

Changing the color of higher ground so the player can see the height.

In game; again, pillars still placeholder.

In game; again, pillars still placeholder.

90% of the maps in the Dark Cave are about 90% done, which is both exciting and mathematically complicated. We’re on target to finish the maps by the end of the month, and start pumping these suckers full of puzzles.

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