Devlog #2 – Onward and Upward

When you have a busy schedule time sure can get away from you… I would like to have more frequent updates going forward, but we’ll see where the wind takes me. My main focus right now is definitely on development, but I also want to communicate my progress so it’s going to take a little fine tuning to get the right balance. I was recently able to visit the Smithsonian natural history museum in Washington D.C. and it was pretty inspiring to see some high quality examples of the gemstones featured in the game. Cool stuff.

Over the last month I’ve gotten quite a bit of work done that I am really happy with. My last post was a pretty lengthy discussion of the design of my inventory system, and I have continued working on the overall implementation and user experience for ThruTheTrees. The basic functionality is there, but what’s left are several object interactions that need to be in place for crafting items. Here’s a .gif of crafting alloys at a forge for an example:

I still need to implement the anvil for crafting weapons, tools, and armor, and other various crafting stations for things like alchemy and cooking. It can be a slow burn working on some of these things due to the exact nature of working with the inventory, so I like to take breaks in between some of that stuff to work on other features or miscellaneous ideas. One idea that I knew I wanted to add was the ability to burn down tall grass. It’s something that I remember reading that the developers wanted to add in an interview behind the design of A Link to the Past, but were not able to due to time constraints. I always thought about how cool it would have been to be able to use the candle to burn a whole screen worth of grass. And so this happened:

It looks great, and it feels great to use in-game. I’m very pleased with how the effect turned out, and I can see ways to make good use out of it. There are a few items like this that have a strong influence in ThruTheTrees that just feel right for an arpg of this style, like the classic boomerang. I want to pay homage to the games I love, but also do it my way. There’s still so much work to do to make this the game that I envision, and honestly the entire thing is not even close to being mapped out to completion yet. I will be sharing much more eventually about the direction of the story, quests, gameplay, etc. when the time is right.

Other things that I’ve made progress with recently include the farming system. Crops are fully implemented and can be grown from seed to harvest. I’ve also been able to design a really great pushblock system for dungeon puzzles that I may do a whole writeup on. Pushblocks were something that I had started creating in the original build of ThruTheTrees before I decided to start over, and in that version there were some pretty serious flaws that I was not sure how to handle. Being able to start fresh with the rebuild, I was able to work through the issues I had before and now have a pretty robust pushblock object. It’s looking very promising.

Until next time, have a safe and happy holiday.

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