Sunday, January 5, 2014

Bugs squashing continues...

Yes, it's been more than a couple of weeks since my last update, so my apologies for the silence. Again, I'm aiming to have regular updates, but I'm trying to make sure that I don't just put content like "found 5 bugs, fixed spelling mistakes" or the like.

As for details of the progress I've been making, there are a few fairly significant things that I've managed.

I've finished processing all the voice cuts for one of the party companions. I've previously described that this can be a fairly time consuming process, and this represents a considerable chunk of time, as that's over 300 lines of dialogue for this character. To give you an impression of how much dialogue that actually is, here's a list of the number of lines of personal dialogue for characters in Mass Effect 2.

Now, the numbers there don't actually represent ALL the possible lines of dialogue for ME2 characters, but given that The Shattered War is a one-man development effort, you can see that there's a LOT of content for players to experience.

Taraz is a dwarf with plenty to say.

Secondly, I've worked on creating several sets of items that the player can find - customised sets with their own backstory and codex entries, and the items offer significant bonuses to the player should they explore enough and solve the puzzles required to find them.  There is a major set each for the warrior, rogue and mage, so no matter your character or party composition, they will be useful.

This has also meant that I've finished up a couple of the puzzles I mentioned in a previous post that will allow the player to get their hands on some of these items, and done a bunch of bugtesting to make they work without a hitch. That took a little finesse, as they were initially unsolvable due to some errors I'd made.

Aside from those two major things, I've been doing quite a bit of playtesting on the major plot quests of the game, which are all looking fairly solid at this point. This also included a number of cosmetic changes just to add more flavour to the experience - added ambient NPCs and behaviours that are shown in response to the player's actions so that they can see some of the effects that their choices are having. For example, if a player rescues a group of people, these people will then return to the town they are from, going about their business and other people in that town may comment on their rescue. 

Small things like this aren't critical to the plot, but they do reinforce the work I've put into place to make sure that the game will react to the decisions that players make. Seeing effects and consequences is one of the major goals of my design for The Shattered War, so I'm confident that touches like this will make it a memorable experience.

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