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October Update

Discussion in 'Updates' started by Benji, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. Benji

    Benji Director Staff Artist Writer

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    Hey guys,

    Sorry for the slight delay, just some life stuff keeping me away. I also apologise for forgetting to post these on the blog, that was just me being forgetful.

    Player 2 joins the game
    The most important thing at the moment is keeping development moving. Crimson's not in a great place so, understandably, can't work as much. As I mentioned back in the post-Brexit July Update, it's likely he'll have to find a full-time job soon in order to keep paying the bills, which leaves very little, if any, time for Carnal Souls.

    However, there is some good news. Recently, on the Patreon, I introduced Vahn. He's a professional game developer with experience in triple-A titles, and was actually the person who introduced me to Crimson to begin with. Well, now that he has a little more free time, he's offered to work on Carnal Souls in what time he can spare. So, even in the worst case scenario we can still keep development moving forward.

    Here's Vahn's own introduction, pasted from a recent Patreon update:

    Hey there, everyone! Vahn here.

    So, wheeeeere to begin? I've been asked to say a little about myself, so I'll be brief: I'm a professional game developer, I've been making games since I was 13, and I've been working as a programmer in the AAA games industry for over two years now. I love seeing what cool and different ideas underground gamedev scenes come up with, so I've been following the development of Carnal Souls from the beginning.

    Now that that's out of the way, the state of the project:

    I've had a look at what's already been created for Carnal Souls and it's a pretty solid architecture I'm confident I can build on. I'm still in the process of getting a sense for what's still missing, but so far I'm getting the sense that it's not a huge amount, and it's just a matter of working smart. I can only work on the project in my spare time outside of work, and Benji and I agree that the ideal would be to have a full time developer working on the project; however, in the interim, I'm keeping things moving. My experience is with working directly with game designers and setting up tools to make it as easy for them to create content requiring as little programming support as possible, so I'll be bringing that to the table. That's where the working smart comes in: the more I can allow designers to do in parallel to programming, the faster tasks can get done!

    I tend to be a bit quiet, but you should spot me on the forums now and then, keeping an ear out for interesting ideas that might affect how we set up our features for further expansion into the future, maybe asking questions about those ideas. I'll be happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have; just start a Conversation with me on the forums and I'll respond as promptly as I'm able. Just remember not to get too long-winded; answering your messages cuts into dev time ;) You don't want that!

    Looking forward to programming some games!

    Since that was posted, Crimson and I have been getting Vahn acquainted with the code in more detail so that, once his new computer's all ready to go, he'll be in a position to begin work. If you have any questions for him or would like to just say hello, feel free to do so.

    Faster, smaller, better
    Crimson has been working as much as he can on optimising a lot of our current code, chiefly to make things easier for a second developer to work on it in tandem. Not only that, but it has cut a pretty huge chunk of code out, as well as making the game run much more smoothly. The new framework is now in place and working very nicely, and will make it much easier for Vahn to build on, as it makes the process of creating new GUI elements and other things relatively simple to plug into the code.

    Furthermore, I've been going back to take another look at our user interface. Having now learned a lot about how Unity's GUI system works, it's become clear that the current designs aren't really working to its strengths. Not only that, but the design itself could be better. Here's the mockup for the new battle design:

    [​IMG]

    Instead of using central elements that need to change position (such as the pop-ups, something which Unity doesn't like doing, especially when resolutions change), this is based on employing simpler Vertical Layout Groups in locked positions. Not only that, but it leaves a lot more room to get an eyeful of the character art (in this case provided by the masterful Booster).

    Being just the battle view, the main text box is more of a battle log than a readout of events. In the scene view (used for sex scenes, post-battle sex scenes, other scenes), I have something like this in mind:

    [​IMG]

    We think it's a much stronger design overall for scenes, and doesn't require anything other than the basic tools provided by Unity to make it work. The final design may be slightly different, but we're happy to aim for this.

    For the sake of not making this too much of a wall, here are further mockups I've been working on if you'd like to take a look:
    Timed Continue Button (planned to have its timer adjustable to taste)
    Collapsed Fight Submenu, Status Effects Tray
    Contextual Options, a planned feature for boss battles and other unique fights.
    Inventory Screen (consumables, potion image taken from Everquest Next and used only as demonstration)
    Inventory Screen (weapons, player attributes tab open and move previews)

    So far we're confident the new designs will be a lot easier to produce and maintain than the current ones. As always, your thoughts and feedback are welcome. Try not to pay too much attention to figures as a lot of them are just random examples.

    Maria Cauter
    Lastly, I drew up a quick concept for Maria Cauter - Detective Sergeant Ford's right hand mare. You can read about her in the Codex, but to summarise, she's a grouchy badass with a big sword and high standards.

    [​IMG]

    I fully intend her to be sexable in-game, perhaps fully romance-able later on. She's hard to impress and respects actions over words, and remains a loyal ally to Ford. I have ideas for a series of quests in which the player can join the Watch and assist Ford and his team in a number of important investigations, after which Maria may decide to leave the Watch in order to be with the player, depending on their actions.

    That about wraps it up for now. As always, thank you so much to those supporting us on Patreon. Things are tough right now but they'd be a lot tougher without that support.

    Until next time!
     
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  2. DevilBone

    DevilBone Active Member Member

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    It sucks that crimson needs to take a break but its cool that Vahn is able to help. Hope that things work out and Crimson can come back into the fold.
    Also, the UI changes look very solid and smooth. I have to agree that its better than before (do I want to know what buttfingers is though?)
     
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  3. NizzJipple

    NizzJipple Well-Known Member Member

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    Okay, first of all: thank you so much Vahn! Seriously, thank you. You didn't have to help out, but you did, and that's awesome.

    As far as the U.I changes? -They look miles better. Not much else to say regarding that.

    Oh thank goodness! Now I don't have to worry so much with my potato-laptop...

    Finally: Maria Cauter. Yep. Looks like a grouchy-badass, like you said. But I'm sure she's a real softie (when you get) on the inside.
     
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  4. VahnFox

    VahnFox New Member Member

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    Hey there, kids! Not much to add to that; Benji's been very thorough in this update.
    Looking forward to helping the project moving forward!
     
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  5. VahnFox

    VahnFox New Member Member

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    You're very welcome :) I'm just hoping I can make a difference with what time I can put in!
     
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  6. DevilBone

    DevilBone Active Member Member

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    Wait a minute, is it just me or do all the forum staff have fox avatars?

    (also probably should have said this in my first post but thanks a ton Vahn for working on Carnal Souls, cant say much more than Nizz already said but still thank you)
     
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  7. Godwin

    Godwin Active Member Member

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    Oh gawd, look at all that reading space. So much more room for words. A larger box is always appreciated. Everything else is looking pretty slick, too. Diggin' the design. However, one criticism: please make the boxes touch each other. All those tiny slivers of visible background space you've got going on are driving me crazy. When doing open space you go big or go home. Don't lock them up and then stop just before they touch. It looks... not good.

    Other than that, yo Vahn! Glad to hear you're willing to pick up the slack. Welcome aboard!

    They are the simply superior species. We should all follow in their footsteps. Bless the Devs, for They Know All.

    *excessively prostrates self*
     
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  8. NizzJipple

    NizzJipple Well-Known Member Member

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    Idea! Has anyone here played Monster Hunter? Doesn't matter, the later ones I've played have a interesting feature: Customize-able U.I panels.

    It's a good idea to make the best default display possible, however; it might benefit art assets, as well as the users in general, to give players the option of re-sizable and re-position-able boxes.

    upload_2016-10-5_23-34-26.jpeg

    I suggest this because:

    1. People are going to play on different sized screens: P.C, phone, the web-based browsers on consoles? And that option will probably(?) be appreciated for a fair chunk of peeps.

    2. Even with the improved U.I, the Feral Canen art is a bit cut-off. (I know the design itself isn't finalized, but I'm really diggin' it.) Also different art might be really cut-off

    Of course, this is probably NOT your greatest concern at the moment, just my two cents. Hell, it might not even be possibly with Unity. I ain't no game programmer.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
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  9. Farlun

    Farlun Well-Known Member Member

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    Ha, was about to point out that you don't post this on the main page.

    Well, again, nice to see you guys. As I wrote before, the moment Vahn wrote "gamedev", I knew he was the right person for the job ;) Any hint where or what you work on? Of course, I'll understand if you'll want to keep that private. The Foxpiracy and all. Best of luck to Crimson. Is he permanently out, or will he return once he has the time?

    The UI designs look damn slick. And I don't think it's a huge deal with the art, all you have to do is to move the assets around to fit, and doing it now is pointless if the design ain't 100% finalized.

    Maria Cauter is a damn hot mare, I can only hope she's into girls. I also wanted to write something about "hahaha tastes like cherries", but four Zweihanders? Man! o_O Imagine a creature that can use all of them at the same time...

    On a side note, I didn't really realize how complex mechanics-wise this game is supposed to be until I saw the UI mockups here, with tabs and tabs and tabs upon tabs. That's a lot of tabs.

    Lastly: Any ideas when there will be playable builds of the game? Will it happen this year? I think it would be very nice PR-wise to show a working game with scenes et cetera. Not to mention that often the biggest design changes happen once you have the prototype working and you can see what works and what doesn't.

    Offtopic: I am so damn sorry I can't sit on those forums more often and be more active (not to mention reading and commenting scene submissions and finishing my started own ones), but Real Life caught up with me and it may be some time until I'll have the time to just sit down in the evening with a beer and contribute.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
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  10. Crimson

    Crimson New Member Staff

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    It's my intent to stay involved until the game is done. Once I have a stable living situation and have found some steady income, I hope to be able to commit more time to the game again.
     
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  11. Farlun

    Farlun Well-Known Member Member

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    So great to hear that!

    The more the merrier (and of better quality, at least in certain cases).
     
  12. DevilBone

    DevilBone Active Member Member

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    Don't worry Crimson, no matter where you go and what job you have, if you listen hard enough you will be able to hear the soft, melodic chanting from all of us

    one of us
    one of us
    one of us
    one of us
    one of us
     
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  13. Ritzy

    Ritzy Member Member

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    One of Us One of Us One of Us
    One of Us One of Us One of Us
    One of Us One of Us One of Us
     
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  14. FlenderSolas

    FlenderSolas Active Member Member

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    One of Us One of Us One of Us One of Us
    One of Us One of Us One of Us One of Us
    One of Us One of Us One of Us One of Us
    GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE!
     
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  15. Godwin

    Godwin Active Member Member

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    >_>

    I'm just gonna... yeah.
     
  16. Farlun

    Farlun Well-Known Member Member

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    You're just gonna...

    ...be...

    one of us?

    *Seeks cover*
     
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  17. FlenderSolas

    FlenderSolas Active Member Member

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    Heh, but in all seriousness, I'm glad everyone is enjoying some jolly good co-operation!

    Yep.





    one of us~
     

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