Quietly working on the game’s UI and menus, there’s been a lot of polish and redesigns done in the game’s HUD and the actual menu system. Of course, as I’ve noted before, this is the most boring part of game development to work on, and most gamers aren’t going to be excited about looking at menus, but there’s just something “legit” about seeing a working and breathing UI that not only displays useful info, but is part of the player as well. Before the graphics were static (with the obvious exception of the hit point and aura focus meters), but now when characters are hit, their normally enthusiastic expression shows pain, with another subtle but fun animation to go along with it. The “Item Wheel” as I like to call it has been made a bit more interesting, and has sound effect cues to go along with switching the active item. And finally the active skill has a proper display, borrowing from both the Tales of games and Secret of Mana in how the player can change skills.
Thanks to my friend Carlo Casella, one of my most major gameplay dilemmas has been solved. The technomancy rune “Life” which Arashi has had in every single screenshot shown for this game is supposed to be able to have 4 spells, but how do I allow the player to just equip the rune while still having fast access to all 4 abilities it grants? He actually came up with the perfect solution with how my game is set up, and I can’t thank him enough. Originally I was envisioning a “charge” system for casting higher tier spells, but it just didn’t seem fair to make the player charge the Focus meter and THEN have to charge to cast the spell. Now, simply pressing the D-pad button in the direction of an already active rune (or other multi-purpose item) will cycle through all of its abilities.
Today I am programming and designing graphics for status ailments, a long-time standby of RPGs that I have been putting to the side for this game. I believe that status effects are more powerful in real-time/action RPGs, because turn-based RPGs are rarely balanced for these to be useful or even have any effect. Other than possibly adding glows to Arashi (and her party members), this should be the last bit of UI I need to program for the in-game portion of Shadowdawn Genesis.
In the meantime, I am working on something special artwork-wise, but I’m not going to rush it. Normally I take no more than 2 days to complete something but I want this to be a major promotional piece, so every line and shadow is going to be clean and the colors will be just right. I expect to have it done next weekend, but we’ll see how motivated I can get after settling on Arashi’s look, as she’s obviously the most important element of the drawing.
I have finally submitted the game to IndieDB, so feel free to visit the official listing for Shadowdawn Genesis. It’s more than a bit exciting to be listed with so many great upcoming games.