Sunday, November 24, 2013

Testing Progress: Fixing companions and falling off the edge of the world.

After my recent reinstall, testing has resulted in a bunch of scripting and random undocumented engine issues. Nevertheless there has been some solid, albeit slow and frustrating progress on some more difficult problems.

Showstopper issues tackled this time included:
  • The player appearing off the edge of the map after traveling to a location via the world map. This came as a result of implementing an area list - which allows the player to easily switch between interior and exterior areas without a major load screen.  Unfortunately some identically named destination waypoints (which are used to set the player's location when entering an area), resulted in the game not knowing where to place the player.
  • Continuity issues in plots resulting in the player being unable to progress the story if they took certain actions.
  • Made companion dialogue work correctly in the toolset again - a reinstall had deleted a custom file that enables it to detect and make use of custom companions. Without this fix, companion interjections in dialogue are impossible... and I've got quite a number of them.
  • A major breakthrough with the player's party members - making sure that they have appropriate skills and specialisations when they join the party.  Since the game starts the player at a higher level, the party members need to have skills that suit their background. There were a bunch of different problems: not receiving correct skills/talent points, not receiving a specialisation or having skills assigned incorrectly (or not being able to assign them at all).  Party members that have half or a third of the hitpoints they should have aren't useful to the player!
This fight was nothing compared to the battle I had solving that last problem...

A few other select issues included:
  • Fixing some level design to improve the flow of play and improve overall appearance.
  • Changing / cutting some recorded dialogue to make the flow of conversation seem more natural.
  • Noted a bunch of areas that felt "empty" for future reference to fill with little bonuses for the exploring player. 
  • Solved an issue where ambient animations for a group of sleeping/injured people would kick in a few seconds after a player entered an area. This resulted in them standing up briefly after the player entered... then suddenly all falling over.  While this was quite amusing, it wasn't really the desired effect. 

So some big and small wins this time around. Hopefully this will continue for the coming week!

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