Dev Blog 9: A Brief Update

Unfortunately I’ve spent a lot of the past month dealing with a family medical emergency, so development on the game has had to take a back seat. That’s why there hasn’t been a September update to the dev blog yet. I have gotten some things done that I’m pretty happy with, but there’s been a lot less work than in other previous months.

I’ve finally picked out some fonts. So far I’ve just been using the default Unity font, but now that I’ve got a user interface which is much closer to what I intend the final interface to look like, I needed to get a proper font in the combat UI so that I can make sure things are properly sized and readable. There’s no guarantee that I won’t decide to change the font later, but I think it’s more likely than not that the ones I’m using will be sticking around.

I’m using fonts downloaded from Google Fonts, which is a fantastic repository of fonts that can be used absolutely free in commercial or non-commercial projects.

Other than finding fonts and re-working the UI to look good with them, the other main thing I worked on in September was changing the grid size. Previously I’d only been testing on one set of map tiles that was loosely intended to represent a bar or pub. The grid size worked well for that, but the final game is going to have several kinds of environments, so it was important to make sure that I’m working with a grid size that’s flexible enough to be fun in different environments.

I had an idea that I thought would lead to some fun combat scenarios and different tactical challenges, which was that some of the bounties would be in areas with multiple rooms, rather than one large, open area. In particular, I thought it could be fun to have some combats staged in residential areas. So I tried out a layout that’s intended to look something like an apartment.

My first try with the original grid size made it clear that I needed more space:

Original, smaller grid

So I added a couple more spaces horizontally and vertically, then placed some “furniture” placeholders to give it a better sense of space.

Grid size increased

This looks a lot better, and it’s fun to play, too. The fact that there are chokepoints, which require you to spread the characters out, and provide more angles to attack from, creates some new challenges in combat. It’s a way of creating a lot more variety without having to actually change the rules in any way. And there are lots of possible layouts here, both in terms of different furniture arrangements, as well as the rooms themselves; for example, maybe sometimes there’s no dividing wall between the two front rooms, so you get one big room with a table in the middle to maneuver around, or something of that nature.

I also fixed sprite sorting. That’s not very exciting to write about, but now characters and scenery don’t overlap in weird ways.

That about covers the changes for September. So far in October I’ve made some more additions and improvements to the user interface, which I’ll write about next time. It turns out that a huge amount of a role-playing game is just UI! My primary tasks right now are all related to the trait system, which is one aspect of the game I’m pretty excited about. I’ve mentioned it a bit in the past, but next month I’ll go into more detail on what exactly the traits are and how they work.