Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Code Monkey!

Hey there, :D

Just some news from the Episode 1.1 technical refinement release.

First of all, I've finished migrating and fixing the current game scripts following the new scripting API.
Thanks a lot to authenticate and SuiteCake for providing code cleanups and feed-back along the way. \O/

authenticate also fixed the minimap rendering with intel drivers and I owe him a beer for that.

I've also streamlined a bit the map code to follow the standard coordinate system used by the rest of the engine, in preparation for future different zoom ratio support. ;)

I'll be at reorganizing the game data now that I have enough of it to be sure of how I do it. ;)
And then, I'll have a go at porting the HoA features from the map editor so that starting to work on the new 1.1 content will be much easier.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Hey there, :D

It's been quite some time, right?

Reidy (from Evolonline) even told me this blog needed some news so here we go :D

Then, you'll ask me, what happened since September?
Well, first of all, a lot of things on Valyria Tear of course:

OpenGL 2.0 and SDL 2.0!

Mainly, and also thanks to some hard work from authenticate, Valyria Tear has finished its transition to SDL2, as he fixed text rendering when using the newest SDL_ttf version, and I added the screen resolution auto-detection with a fallback to hard coded ones when it failed, and VSync/Swap tearing support thanks to SDL2 functionalities.

authenticate also fully made the work to make Valyria Tear use the OpenGL 2.0 norm and added support to use shaders to first emulate fixed pipeline support, but this will later permit to add cool effects! :D

1.1 version on going:

As for other changes, development on the 1.1 version has fully started. This version will focus on refactoring as you have seen and add support to a new skill system permitting you to select where you want to put your strength when your characters level up. Work will also be done on rebalancing the game and add different difficulty levels, and a brand-new autosave system, permitting to make the game experience much more enjoyable. :)

What's new?

I first added support to trigger a dialogue in any game mode and added a tutorial dialogue in Flora's shop. I also started working on a offline manual that will serve as a template for the ingame one. (Still need some work but I'm not that far.).
The text scrolling is also now configurable and I made it muck quicker per default to avoid Confirm key bashing when playing.

I also upgraded the audio code so that the map music doesn't restart from the beginning when leaving a battle and keeps playing in battles when it is the same than the map.

Last but not least, work is now being done to simplify the scripting API, streamline it a bit and make it less error-prone for the scripter.

In term of internalization, thanks to alexanderkjall and eugeneloza, the game has also been translated into Swedish and Ukrainian. :)

Moonrise also made Ubuntu packages for Valyria Tear.

And this is not everything...

OpenDungeons has reached the 0.4.9 milestone after a year of work! It now has multiplayer support a new GUI and a rock-solid core gameplay. Go grab it and get in touch with the team if you need info! :D

Hero of Allacrost development has taken off again, and work on art and on the map editor is now being done as witnessed on their forums. :)

I wish you all a nice year's ending. See you in 2015!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Episode I Release!!

Heya, :D

Well, where to begin... I must say I have wished for this instant to happen since years now, and I'm very proud to say that the full Episode I of Valyria Tear is now released.

There has been quite some blood poured in it, and not only mine, far from that. ;)

So what has been accomplished you've been bothering us with it more or less every month since two years now?

Valyria Tear is a 2D J-RPG with an emphasize on the story and the music. See this as a love letter to the 2D RPGs people used to play in the 90s, when the developers didn't have all the graphical effects they wanted to, and focused more on the mood and the depths of the storyline and the music melodies to make their game appealing. Those were great times.

Valyria Tear is a fork from Hero of Allacrost - with a now half-rewritten and improved engine - as this open-source project was more or less the codebase I was dreaming of, was open-source, and was, sad to say, more or less abandoned by his leader, Roots.
I thank him and all his team for starting the effort though, and I hope that maybe one day someone will come back and have a go at telling us the Allacrost story. Some says I've killed Hero of Allacrost by forking it, some says I've saved it. Time will tell but the code lives on and people can play the game.

I would also take a line or two to thank everyone involved consciously or unconsciously in this project. To the people that helped me, implemented features, reviewed my sometimes stupid code tainted with coffee, suffered my comments, or simply played the game and reported bugs.

Even if many features are still in the making, Valyria Tear offers a complete game experience, with fully working maps, menus and battles and all the things you can expect from a classic:
- ~50 maps done.
- 18 32x32 Tilesets used (on the 25 prepared for what's next.)
- 2 and half playable characters. ;)
- 19 different encounterable enemies.
- A dozen NPCs, skills, spells, and different items.
- Status effects can be applied on characters and foes.
- Full joystick support.
- The game is fully translated in 6 languages, and more are incoming.
- Three UI themes.
- Main and secondary quests, hidden treasures and traps. ;)
- All in all, something like 7-10 hours of gameplay.
- ~140'000 lines of c++ code and lua script.
- And a lot more things I've forgotten...

I've also reworked a bit the story beginning based on feed-back to make the game more enjoyable, for instance by making the Orlinn's hide'n'seek quest optional when talking to Kalya once he is hidden.

This is nice and all but what's next?

The Episode II will focus on the second part of the story of course, but also:
- Adding a better skill system based on equipment and on Experience points, if all goes well, to give the player more strategical choices.
- Improving and refactoring all the bits that needed it.
- Introduced new playable characters and a new map mode. ;)
- Add more visuals in battles most notably when using skills, attacks and spells.
- A migration to SDL2 in order to offer better resolution support, and other improvements.

A parallel effort has also been started with Akien and Nemesis to rework the game balancing and make it more interesting at the beginning. If we don't have too much trouble, we'll release that part as soon as it is ready so you can enjoy it.

I hope you'll enjoy the game as much as I've enjoyed making it.

'till next time!! :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Episode I Release Candidate I Release

Hi there,

After almost one year of development, I'm proud to say the full Episode I Release Candidate I is now done. :D

Go grab it in the downloads!

This release is only a first candidate though. Would the testing and the translations go fine, the actual release should happen within August.

Thus, if you find any bugs or game glitches, feel free to report them in the bug tracker or on the forums.

Some translation is missing? Feel free to report it on the forums as well or better: help us translate Valyria Tear on Transifex!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Final Dungeon unlocked!

Hi there :)

A long time has flown away since the last piece of news but this time I didn't come here to tell about another delay.

You've read it right, the Episode I final dungeon is now unlocked on github.

I must say this has been quite a struggle to reach that point for me, and there is still a lot of things to polish in there, especially in term of missing sounds and music changes to fit the action mood.

The Episode I is also missing its very last conclusion map! But even if the episode 1 true ending is all I've been fighting for since last year when it comes to Valyria Tear, there is no point in keeping the last part locked anymore.

Hence, if you're brave enough to compile the beast and unleash your testing powers on it, feel free to dive in! :D

Feel also free to report bugs, comments and so on on the bug tracker or on the forums.

I sincerely hope you'll enjoy that part as much as I enjoyed making it.

Best regards, and stay tuned for the complete Episode Release which is officially "coming soon"* now. ;)

* within the limits of the available dev.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Four maps left...

Hi there, :)

The title tells almost everything.

At the time of writing, I'm currently four maps away from the Episode I's end.

Phew... almost there! Still there is a lot to do left, mostly in term of scripting... ;)
I won't spoil more and I can't wait to unlock the beast so you can enjoy the brand new dungeon.

As unrelated news, a few days ago, I fell on a case study on Video Game localization featuring Valyria Tear (!):

Woohoo, I don't know what the author(s) think(s) about my localization efforts but it is still cool to see the game noted as a reference somewhere. So, I'm officially thanking them(?) in doing that. :)

I've also noticed a few people complaining about the lack of translation completeness in the newest PtitSeb's unofficial release of Valyria Tear. Be no more sad, as the translation team has done a great work in filling the holes, and the game should be as playable as before in this area. PtitSeb will have to redo his release, though.

See you next time, for the Episode I RC1 release!!

Stay tuned! ;)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

2nd floor

Hi everyone, :)

Here is what happened last month in Valyria Tear :

- The main effort is currently being made on adding the final part of this Episode I. The dungeon 1st floor is completely scripted, polished, ..., and 2nd floor is done by a quarter.
You shouldn't open this ...
This puts the dungeon part to be done at, roughly speaking, 60%

Monsters have been balanced also, even if still missing certain special attacks ;), and a lot of tweaking has been done to make it more lively.
New items have also been added to bring more variety, especially now that status effects are more fully supported.

Among other items, the 'Escape Smoke' will please the ones who wanted to flee from battles, for instance. ;)

- Translations
dimproject made a Russian translation update. :) And I've almost covered the french part about the latest additions.

- Development

Among a lot of misc bugfixes, and at very first, game options support has been added in the pause menu. I thank bmorel and SuiteCake for giving me the little nudge of motivation to make this happen. :)

This now means you will be able to change the language, the sound levels, and the video resolution, for instance, without quitting your current game. :)

This has still one limitation though, as the language change in dialogues will happen only after moving from the current map to another. The other texts should be translated right away, though.

bmorel also added support to change the text scrolling speed. (only manageable in the settings file, atm).

He also fixed warnings seen when compiling using clang and a bug in the procedural minimap creation code.

SuiteCake also helped by fixing some input mismanagement when using a joypad. This fixes certain lacks of updates when navigating in the menu mode.

The map stamina bar value will now be carried from one map to another. This means you no longer will start fresh about this when moving from one map to another, so beware about it. ;)

I also fixed for good the glitch sometimes seen on Bronann animation when winning (making him idle while he should run.)

Now that the very first trade offers have been added in game, this permitted me to check more thoroughly the trade conditions code and fix it.

Support to trigger an event when encountering an enemy has also been added. ;)

Stay tuned!