I’m excited to say that the random encounter system seems to be working nicely in my game now, and I’ll stop singing the praises of probability tables in the Advanced Random plugin (for now at least.) The system loads all of my tables at the start of the game using a dictionary that I can populate as I need to, saves any changes I make to the tables at runtime and allows the player to encounter divimals! And random items, but I need to work on that a little more.
Fun fact though, with the way I had it set up, when leaving the layout to go to battle and your player respawns on an encounter tile, they could end up in an endless loop of encounters – not ideal. So, to tidy that up, I implemented a timer to make sure that encounter conditions weren’t met when the player respawns. Once the timer finishes, the conditions are reset and the player can encounter divimals again. Huzzah! A little clunky perhaps, but it works.
And an encounter wouldn’t be complete without a little entrance to the battle scene. I’ve got a very basic example working (though I need to do a MASSIVE clean-up and reorganise of my code to sort it out) using the wonderful MoveTo behavior. Once an encounter is triggered, the game switches to the battle scene and both you and the divimals you encounter sweep onto the screen. Okay, that sounds much grander than it looks, but I’m allowed to embellish a little.
By working on the battle scene, I’ve discovered (or in one case re-discovered) two things. One, working on a Game Boy Advance sized viewport was quite difficult, so I’ve increased the size a bit to give me some more room to play with – I’m now on a DS sized viewport of 256x192. It’s not a huge increase but gives me a couple of extra rows and columns on the grid to work with. And means I can get away with slightly larger battle sprites. Which brings me to point two. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: pixel art is HARD.
But, I do now have the first of my divimals designed (mostly) and the first draft of its battle sprite done. Introducing Voomew, one of the ‘starters’ you’ll be able to choose from when you take on the Beginner’s Trial:
Voomew is a Mystic trait divimal, which first appeared to the ancient island tribes many centuries ago. It is said that the voodoo rituals performed by the tribal elders brought Voomew into being, and the creature is still associated with those practices even though most voodoo has been relegated to the history books. It’s a popular divimal, but very few keepers are able to encourage its ascension to its final form.
Having a battle sprite done meant I could start to design what the battle scene would look like, certainly in terms of sprite/hud sizes etc. If I were to go with a very Pokemon-esque design, it’d probably end up a bit like this:
Clearly without the back button, a text box that actually fits and a background image of my own making! But you get the idea.
Though obviously I want some kind of individuality, so it’s definitely going to get redesigned. Annoyingly it’s already a great layout for a battle system, so it might take me a few iterations to get something that looks and functions nicely. But hey, that’s the fun of game design!
So there you go, another little update from me. Before you go though, head over to the ConstructTeam twitter to vote on what the next game I play on stream should be!