Fantasy Sphere RPG Devlog 7

Debug Draw, Combat Loop, Planning The Future

Since the last devlog there were 13 commits between 2019/04/09 and 2020/04/04, totaling 102 commits. I have worked 81 hours during this period, bringing the total to 291 hours.

Wow. Devlog for a year of work. Yes. So what happened? Mostly I was busy with other unrelated gamedev stuff. But it is cool stuff, that I will probably implement in this RPG too. I practically didn’t touch the RPG since June 2019 until March 2020.

Debug Draw

After improving the navmeshes last time, I added some debug drawing, so that I can see what’s going on. I’ve went with super Tiny pixelart font. In hindsight, I will have to change this up for something more readable. We don’t need the debug stuff to be pixel perfect.


Combat Loop

Then, excited, I started thinking about combat. Many decisions were made, many are still open for testing and future design. For now, the goal is to have turn-based combat that happens in the same environment as the rest of the game. No battle screens, nor side-by-side battles. This might prove to be a bit challenging in a 2d game, but should be doable.

I added templates to the source Tiled map, so that I could easily describe enemies on the source map. Then I’ve had to adjust my map format for the new entity combat data. Afterwards I did a bit of code design and implemented the logic for a basic combat loop. Without any real AI for now (or rather move-randomly-debug-AI), but I plan on using my behavior tree implementation for this too.


The Future

I was excited about finally adding combat, but I took some time to go over my plans and realized there’s a lot of things I need to do before combat is needed. I looked back at my notes and planned what should the first release look like. I’m not going to talk about it now, but it will be a kind of tech demo. In either case, it won’t be needing combat, but it will need a bunch of other little things.

It was also about time to start doing some basic marketing. So I’ve looked into that, did some updates on my blog, wrote more devlogs and started a newsletter (which you can sign up for here if you yet didn’t). I’ve used EmailOctopus for the mailing list support, because they have nice free limits. I also like that they use Amazon Simple Email Service with my own account, which will keep the cost much lower if when the list grows to hundreds of thousands of subscribers (it sits at a neat 13 at the moment).

For my blog I’m using static site generator Hugo, and I write the posts in markdown. I’ve leveraged that and created a very simple mjml theme to convert the markdown source into HTML emails that I send out in the newsletter.

That was the last thing I did last year. Then last month, finally, I’ve started dedicating some time to my soon-to-be-titled RPG. First step was catching up with devlogs, which is now done. As I’m writing this, there’s nothing further developed yet. I did spend some time on converting the devlogs markdown source into format I can paste into various forums (like bbcode). Turns out parsing markdown is far-from trivial, but using haxe-markdown got me where I wanted to be (although not without issues).

Next I should continue down the marketing path. I need to build a website, spam enlighten more portals with my devlogs, make a discord server, figure out some logo. Then there’s a bit of code maintenance to be done. Well, alright, a lot of code maintenance. But after that, it will be back to the fun things.