It’s Wednesday so it’s time for another blog post! The past couple of posts that I’ve made were more general design stuff so I thought it’d be good to talk a bit more specific coding stuff for a bit. For the most part I haven’t been up to anything big with coding for HC lately, fixing some bugs here and there but my time has typically been being drawn to some other parts of my life or to other parts of the game. So all that I’ve really got are plans that have been on the back-burner for awhile that I’d be interested in getting feedback on.
The first change that I’m planning on making when I can is going to be a slight change to the furniture system. People have talked about how it’s difficult to tell where the various ‘rooms’ are when putting down furniture. That said, the visual interface gives me limitations in this regard, I can’t draw a grid over the map and have a face of every character who cares about a room (and to what extent) on top of each grid, nor can I exactly easily place them in a ‘room’ only during the course of the furniture system without creating a ton of confusion and bugs. The solution that I came up with was to change it so that the red/green squares that show up will either be what you already see in the game or have a number 1-5 on them depending on if they’re in area 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 of that map (so far no one map has more than five ‘areas’ to it). While this won’t exactly give you all a full sense of ‘who’ cares about this room, it would help more clearly define ‘what’ room you’re looking at at any given time and in turn you could maybe figure out who cares about a room through some thinking or just by putting down furniture and see who cares. It’s not quite what people were asking for, but given the tools at my disposal I think that it’ll give at least a major aspect of what people are asking for.
Something that’s a bit more farther off will be expanding the encyclopedia. Currently it’s only set to show you the stats of equipment, including hidden stats, because a big complaint people had was that they needed to use the wiki or ask someone who was digging through the code what any given piece of equipment did before they could use it and I managed to figure out a way to format it all to fit on one screen (though if we did put in items that had too many ‘extra’ effects it wouldn’t fit on the page running into the same issue again, so this process has a side-effect of limiting what we can do with the equipment). However, the encyclopedia has always been meant to do more than just that. A big thing that we want to add is putting in monster data, the idea that I have is program it into the game so that once you encounter any given monster it’ll add it to the encyclopedia (which will mean that if you’re having trouble with a boss, after a gameover or reload, you can open up your encyclopedia since the Misc_Data file is separate from your save file) though I’m still not fully sure how we’re going to get all the formatting for the things that we want… After talking it out with NoMoshing we also don’t want to just show players the full stats of the enemies so there’s also some busy work that needs to be done in order to give the players an ‘idea’ as to what the monster is strong against or weak against without just handing the Hero a walkthrough to his own world. There were a few other things that we had talked about potentially adding to the encyclopedia, but at this stage I’m not as confident promising that they’re going to stay on the docket so I’ll just leave it at that since we DO want to give players feedback on enemies for sure (largely it’s an issue of how to display it as I’ve already gotten around the issue of showing the enemy battler in the encyclopedia).
Finally, the only thing that crosses my mind right now that’s planned for sure are more achievements. While a lot of achievements are held back either because of limited time for writing or just ideas not coming to us, one achievement that NoMoshing’s wanted me to implement more or less since I redid the achievement system is the ‘Taste the Rainbow’ achieve which you will get if you use each element in one battle (scrolls will count). It’s not incredibly complex on the face of it, but in order to get it working I’ll have to setup 10 switches for each element that gets set to ‘off’ at the start of every battle, then every time you go to use a ‘skill’ (attacks and guarding are skills even if the game displays them differently) the game evaluates if it has one of those elements and if so it turns on the relevant switch, then after battle it looks to see if all 10 are on and if so it awards you the achievement. While setting up 10 switches isn’t that hard for me as I can create my own and am not limited by what NoMoshing has to work with, the idea of interfering with the skill process for those elements and all raises a few concerns, namely in the potential bug department (as well as a few questions about if say Bronwyn’s acid bulb counts for the achievement, or if you have Felix attack with a necronomicon does it count as a necrotic skill/spell). More universally though, I would like to sit down at some point and add in a ‘tracker’ for achievements. Like when you haven’t unlocked an achievement but have a hint for one available it’ll show you your progress towards unlocking it, though that one is going to be a bit more involved since the achievement system doesn’t actually record the ‘goal’ of any given achievement, but rather just has a check for if this variable or switch or whatever meets this condition and if it does give an achievement.
That’s really all that I’ve got planned for now though. A lot of the major coding projects that either NoMoshing or myself wanted have already been added into the game… Granted it seems that the autosave feature has stopped working so that’s going to be getting my full attention at some point before the public 0.36 release, but yeah. If any of you have any questions, comments, or feedback of other nature feel free to share!