Slow Month, But Update…

skinship

Don’t worry, I’m still alive. I just haven’t had much chance to work on stuff specific to the game over this past month, things have just been very busy. On one hand though, I have added some new features to the engine which might of interest to people interested in the underlying technology of the game.

The most notable of the engine features I have now is an experimental live script reloading system, which to put it simply, allows me to edit the game logic while the game is already running. This should help significantly with prototyping and iteration, and I imagine will also be very useful for people who want to make mods. I’m quite proud of this feature and I’m hoping it will be available in the mainline version of the engine soon. I’ve also made significant progress on the occlusion buffer feature, which mainly requires me to write my own software rasterizer from scratch, though exclusively concerned with the depth buffer. With this in place, it should be possible for me to start including larger locations to explore. Smaller features including a new multipass material system which should replace the hacky method I’ve been using so far for handling character outlines, as well as new controls for customizing shadow casting options of game instances. Most other things are minor features and bug fixes.

That said, the big thing I wanted to show off, in line with my objective to introduce new gameplay mechanics is a new skinship minigame. I was hoping to show that off today, but unfortunately I’m still waiting on some extra sound and graphical effects to be made before. Also, I’m going to be away for the next four days and will be unable to really do any work on the game or engine at all, though I may still be able to answer questions. When I get back though, I intend to finish up the minigame and show it off.

See you then 🙂

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27 thoughts on “Slow Month, But Update…

  1. Hey! You’re doing a great job on the game and even if it’s going to take a long time I will be patient! One more thing don’t constantly work on the game take your time and yeah!

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    1. Thank you, don’t worry I try to take it easy when I can, it’s just that I’ve noticed that people, whether they admit it or not, do lose interest if there’s not a steady stream of new content being shown.

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      1. Hey now… people may start losing interest, but the people that truly are interested will stick around. Me for example, I would very much like to see the evolution of this project as I am very much interested on how this game turns out, as well as see it as a learning experience. I would like to adopt Godot engine to develop games as a hobby, and I find these kinds of projects very motivational. Keep up the good work, you have done a great job so far. There is no doubt that you will produce something amazing! 🙂

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        1. Same thing here, apart from the adopt Godot thing, i’m not a developer or something similar, but I still think the things you’re saying are interesting.

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          1. I would like to post to more often, but I often feel that a blogging platform is the not the best place to discuss every small thing I add since it seems to encourage long-form posts. Maybe I should try to be more active on a platform like Twitter, since right now I just use it as a glorified news feed, and I could use it to post the little things I’m working on just so people know I’m still alive and active.

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        2. Thank you, I do consider a sister objective aside from simply making the game being helping to make the Godot engine the best free and (true) open source engine available, and even though there hasn’t been much to show recently, the work I’ve been doing has resulted in me pushing a lot of new features and improvements which will be available to everyone using the engine very soon. As mentioned, I’m probably most proud of the live script reloading as that has been helping iteration significantly, and I’m putting together some new tools which will be avaliable as part of an upcoming mod kit. I’ve also managed to figure out the majority of the performance problems I’ve had which has been a bit of a motivational boost because it’s easy to feel burned out when the game is running terribly.

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    1. Should be a fairly relevant one at least. It’ll be playable in the test versions, but in the full game, this minigame is only going to be avaliable once you’ve progressed fairly far into the route of one of the girls.

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  2. Woo an update! Love to hear the game is progressing even if its a little bit (not that this is small, its quite impressive, hell i considered it impossible)
    so keep at it!
    And like Antonio said enjoy yourself! I hope you have a nice trip (wherever you are going), and we’ll be waiting here for that mini game.

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  3. Skinship minigame eh? Like in Fire Emblem? Huehue petting your waifus. It’s really a shame Live2D isn’t compatible with Godot.

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    1. Yes, in fact although I’ve always intended to implement such a feature, I’ve decided to prioritize it specifically to give the middle finger to all the moralist puritans who celebrated the fact that this feature was taken out of the international release of Fire Emblem. I’ve also seen this feature in Love Plus, but ironically I actually considered it one of the worst aspect of that game, not for what it was but for how it was mechanically implemented; it was repetitive, it went on for too long, it had all this nonsensical metagame GUI nonsense layered on top of it, ect. Although I’ve not played it, from the look of the footage I’ve seen, Fire Emblem’s implementation of the minigame seems to have solved the problems I had with the Love Plus version, so Galatea’s will be very similar.

      As for Live2D, even though I have no plan on using something like it right now, since I have got a functional VN engine implemented in Godot, I did explore how capable the current 2D sprite animation tools in Godot would be in recreating characters like the ones in Live2D, and while a lot of it is there, it’s still missing a few things, the most notable being weighted deformable 2D polygons. However, I have seen some discussion that this feature is planned for a near future version, so characters like that will probably be possible soon. As for actual Live2D support, the main problem is that it’s a proprietary format with a proprietary toolchain which hasn’t been documented or reverse-engineered as of yet. If it was, it could probably then be implemented similar to how I intend to add native MMD support, by converting the Live2D rigs and animation to a native format when loaded. This is something I would be interested in having as it might justify the interest I’m having in ripping out the VN engine and making it is own self-contained standalone project.

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  4. Really Saracen, I can’t express how much I admire you !
    You’re really a top-notch work on the game, and I’m also glad that you chose to use the godot engine. Seriously bro, using a free engine, getting involved (even if it’s not very much) with its development, leaving room for modding and stuff… You’re somehow the personification of what a perfect indie game dev should be 😉
    Just keep up the good work man, you rock !

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    1. Thank you, I’m really a software developer first and foremost, and a big part of my decisions are based on the belief that it very important to support the development of true open development tools since I consider game development no less deserving of a truly barrier-less entry than any kind of productivity software.

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  5. Any updates? In my dreams, I was expecting something on April XD You don´t need to wait for huge improvements to post news, any progression it´s appreciated to maintain the hype.
    Anyway, keep working, this project is huge and promising!!!

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    1. Yeah, sorry about that. The main reason I haven’t updated recently is mostly down to wanting to focus on taking the skeleton of the game and building the fundamental game loop I’ve been promising for a while. However, I think I initially went in a bit of a bad direction with it and ended up overcomplicating beyond not only what I would consider to be for the player, but even I was having trouble getting my head around how it was going to work. You were essentially going to be able to micromanage your character’s daily schedule down to the hour, and it was just going nowhere. As such, I’ve decided to scale it back a bit to be a bit closer to the likes of Love Plus with the day divided into four segments, though it will still have bit more denser simulation than that game. As such, things are starting to get more on track now, lessons are constantly being learned as it develops.

      I was also thrown for a bit of a loop in the hopes of including a feature a lot of people have asked for which is physics simulation for the characters. The problem was that the physics system in this engine (which was homegrown) had some limitations in it which prevented me from adding ragdoll-like physics nessecary for things like hair and clothing. It took me about a good week and a half to figure it all out and create the nessecary modifications to it in order to support such a feature, and if my prototypes are to be believed, it should finally be possible to add that which I think will improve the believability of the characters significantly, along with a set of new and improved animations I’ve been working on.

      There will be an update soon enough, but given a lot of people who had volunteered to help are currently busy with other commitments which has a placed a lot more burden on me specifically to work on more things, and it’s often quite difficult to balance working on the game with having a social media presence and polishing unfinished content into something temporarily presentable. To be honest, I haven’t even checked back on this blog for a while now. Rest assured though, the project is still being actively worked on, I’ve just recently decided to go a bit quieter until I have something I consider truly interesting to show people. If I’m honest, at this specific moment in time, I’d actually consider GitHub to be the best place to follow a lot of what I’m doing since I’ve actually just released some code and tools related to the game, including an early release of a database tool I’ve been developing for managing the data which will run the majority of the game’s simulation logic.

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  6. I’ve been following you for a long time now and I’m so impressed by your work!
    I would like to perhaps translate or voice act in your game one day when the time is right 🙂
    Keep at it!

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      1. Yep, I’m still alive and the game is still being worked on, I just haven’t been posting about it here much recently. I’ve actually been building the character creator and profile system recently, so I might have something to show soon.

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    1. Yeah, I’m still here. Just a lot of very stressful personal life stuff at the moment. I am still very committed to the project, but I am considering some changes to the way the project is organized in the future going forwards.

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    2. You´re not alone, for sure! I check the project every week looking for some news and reading the comments, but usually I don´t post myself. I´m really interested in the potential of this game. And I´m sure there are a lot of people in the same situation around here, willing to see more updates!

      Good luck, Saracen! You have pure gold in your hands!

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