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A new action platform RPG, inspired by all the people the heroes always ended up screwing over. Stupid heroes...
A new action platform RPG, inspired by all the people the heroes always ended up screwing over. Stupid heroes...
3,424 backers pledged $90,776 to help bring this project to life.

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YANTH Dev Update

39 likes


Hello ladies and gents! A much needed update after a period of silence. The plan was to make an update after significant progress, but when things are crawling along it never seems like enough to talk about. Coupled with some personal issues, a bout of developers block, and being back to full time at the office kind of exacerbated the situation. Anyway, where are we at with YANTH?

Chapter 5 is for all intents and purposes complete. I'm well into Chapter 6, the final chapter and arguably the most complicated one as everything you've done finally converges. All of the choices you've made up to then whether you knew about them or not will be felt in one way or another, and there are a few twists I need to think through to implement properly.

I've outlined the roadmap through Chapter 6 below. It's quite long, probably about twice as long as any of the other chapters before it, but not as long as FF15's chapter 13. I've replaced the specifics of each item with asterisks(**) to avoid spoiling the story or gameplay. Below the outline I wanted to explain the development process I go through for each type of item.

Cutscenes

Cutscenes are usually pretty straight forward, but they can get pretty complex depending on what's happening on screen. The map is built first of course. Usually it's a bunch of NPCs moving or talking, and it's just a balancing act between having them move, react, and talk. The dialogue boxes effectively stop everything after it from happening unless you bypass it through parallel processes or loops, or queue movement that runs during the dialogue box. Making the cutscene work is a matter of placement, camera movement, and repetition to make sure it flows properly or doesn't stall.

Play-Progress

This is basically when the player is free to loiter or continue progress of the game in an open area. The layout of the map is made, filled with bottlenecks, doodads and NPCs/events/interactive elements. Those elements are flagged as visible/interactible or invisible/uninteractible/erased depending on the progress of the game, or if specific switches/variables have been turned on/iterated. Once it's tested through, the map is polished with more doodads or lighting effects (unless the lighting effects are gameplay related, in which case it's done earlier).

Walkabout Phase

Essentially the same as play-progress but much more linear. There's usually no choices to make unless it affects something else further into the game. NPCs populate the area but mostly serve as flavoring. Think of FF7 after the first Mako Reactor is destroyed, and you're simply returning to the hideout.

Play-Progress/Puzzles

Somewhat of a catchall, this is similar to Play-Progress but has more interactive elements such as puzzles and monsters that act as barriers to progress. It's the most complex phase that becomes very iterative once the mechanics of the area have been coded in. Generally, I'll work on the mechanics of what needs to be used in a test map where I can control everything easily. From there I build more complexity into it until I essentially have exactly what I want working. Once it's proven to work properly without any random bugs, I copy the mechanics onto the map and test there. It's the same process with monsters or any special NPCs with coded behaviors.

Boss Battle

Pretty self explanatory I think. This is probably the one I have the most fun with developing, though there aren't enough opportunities considering you're not really the hero. The map is usually small to keep focus in a single area, and spacious enough for Petula to navigate. The boss is usually a single NPC or event and is either in an active or reactive state. When it's active, it moves in a predefined way depending on certain variables. When it's reactive, it'll do certain things based on what has just happened or what the player is currently doing, where they are, etc. Then there are states where they boss is vulnerable or invulnerable, either timed or reactive. Once the boss is defeated (or not) a cutscene happens, and progress is logged

In regards to streaming, I mostly only stream map making and artwork since everything else is kind of boring or spoilery. It's probably better I stream even the boring stuff to keep more people informed of progress.

I apologize for my extended absence! I know there's a ton of messages I have yet to reply to, I should be able to get to them tonight when I get back from work.

YANTH WBW Update #4

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Hello ladies and gents!

Since the last update I've pushed out a new build onto Steam for you all to try out. It's opened up the world map, the winged zephyr, and the magic academy. It's also enabled multiple new achievements, and allowed access to three of the main endings you can achieve early on. The complicated nature of the airship has led to quite a lot of debugging with the help of some of you guys and some early access players.

I've gotten into the rhythm of pushing out a new build after squishing multiple bugs. You can see some back and forth bug hunting if you visit the steam community forum for YANTH. Apart from that, I've been working on a lot of pixel art for the elven village Ein Toer, and fleshing out the main plotline for the area. There isn't too much to talk about at the moment, so I'll leave it at that and just upload a few pixel money shots here for you.

In regards to the DRM free version, that will still be released along with the finished version of the game. Will update again in a bit!

 

First time working on spiral stairs, had a lot of fun experimenting with the perspective and layout. 

This one was a bit of a challenge, I couldn't figure out how to get the perspective right without some time away from the computer. Just needed a little bit of common sense and light arithmetic :3 
EDIT: Second vid doesn't want to display properly, you can watch it on facebook here:
https://www.facebook.com/youarenotthehero/videos/1890175451201097/

YANTH WPW Update #3

25 likes
Hello ladies and gents!
So for the past few weeks I've been working on polishing the magic academy, fixing holes, animating large gears, and implementing some features I'll talk about later in the post. I've also been brainstorming on how to go about the elven city and the final chapter at Enox. I've managed to populate the facebook page with a consistent stream of... streaming game dev if you haven't checked that out lately. I tend to only show art/animation, eventing, and scene creation/playtesting since dialogue and thinking aren't very fun to watch. You can always find them here:
https://www.facebook.com/youarenotthehero/

I wanted to elaborate on something I decided to implement a while ago. Usually in RPGs, when you die you get a big fat "game over" screen with an option to start over or load. Well, it's basically true for every game, but why stop there? This is an entertainment medium, so unlike the real world where when you die (according to some) you're gone for good, in this world we can keep going and see what happens. I personally loved the multiple endings in those "choose your own adventure" books, and I think a lot of RPGs have touched on this well by having multiple endings at the end of the game.

In our case, whenever Petula dies you'll be able to read about what happens afterwards, whether that's about the heroes, the people in her immediate vicinity, or her corpse. Aside from that, there are multiple paths throughout the game that will lead to an 'ending ending'. These are the type that will lead to a real credits roll, an overview of what happens to most of the characters, and how your choice(s) leading up to that have affected the world. These aren't restricted to the end of the game, but from the very beginning onwards. Yes, you'll be able to make choices that 'finish' the game within the first 10 minutes.
I'd like to share one of the snippets you may happen to read if you're not shrewd enough to escape the ghosts in chapter two:
"And so, Petula died of fright by the malevolent spirits on a moving train, setting a new world record for high speed 'freight' death. Her lifeless body hung limply off the edge of the train for an hour before being caught by a large protruding root, knocking her down into a large pool of water. Her body fed the algae which grew into a beautiful overgrowth, expanding into a nearby cave where a young Kobold couple conceived the future king upon her grassy remains. This is not the ending you were meant to see."
I also wanted to share some new achievements that'll be showing up on the Steam version.
Completed Chapter 1 (all the way through 6)
Don't Bother Me, I'm Sleeping
Good Things...
Couch Potato
Petula Like Big Boom
Death Collector
I Am The All Seeing
You Can Call Me Mr Ponzi
Master Ladysmith
Master Alchemist
Master Armorer
Crafting Perfectionist
I Don't Care, I'm Rich
Some people have asked about other builds of the game, particularly for Linux. Truthfully speaking, I haven't looked further into porting the game lately as I've been focusing on the game in general. Many updates ago I settled on using a wine skin to port the game for release, and possibly getting a native port after release. Focusing time and money on a native port isn't all that important at the moment as there are no special features that require a native build; The game isn't graphically intensive and there is no internet connectivity.
Anyway, I'm aiming for the next build to release this coming presidents day weekend. I just need to playtest a bit more to get through to the end of chapter 4. I've found a renewed vigor working on the project as much as I am again, and I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Looking forward to it!

 

YANTH WPW Update #2

33 likes

Hello ladies and gents!
Welcome to 2017!
I'm over a (few) week(s) late for this update, I do apologize. I really wanted to finish up this build and push it through to Steam early access, but I kept finding things to fix, particularly for the Winged Zephyr in regards to player transfers, making sure the player doesn't get stranded if you land at this dock and the Zephyr decides to screw with you. The inside of the ship isn't any easier, what with it being a constant presence once you acquire it. Making sure all the NPCs are in the right area at any given point in the game, and making sure all the events in the ship don't mess with each other gets pretty arduous.
Over the past several days I've been rigorously playtesting while fixing/patching things as I go along. Most recently it's been all about a rather complicated event that happens on the Zephyr that could lead to an unfavorable ending. I don't feel comfortable pushing the build as it is out to early access quite yet.

Since the last update, I've spent about half the time finishing the crafting system and the other half polishing/making playable the following locations for the next build. This includes the Zephyr, Hearth village 2, and Streggone Academia (magic academy). You can play past that point, explore other areas on the world map, but I wouldn't save anywhere if you plan to carry over that save to the finished game. There were some particularly nasty bugs in the shop-running system I had some difficulty squashing, but I got em eventually.

The next build will also include the first optional ending. These endings will show a glimpse into how the world will turn out if you decide to do something else other than progress through the main storyline. They will contribute to a "find all the endings" achievement. There should be another optional ending in the aforementioned areas, but I haven't finished it and I'll put it in the next build instead. I'll try to have it up and running by next weekend. (In case you didn't know, my weekends are actually Sunday and Monday).

I've also mocked up a progress graph to keep track of everything so far. I've specifically left things out that I myself don't do, since my contractors/teammates are so much better than I am at getting things done when I ask them to. It's a rough outline, and I'm sure I've missed some things, but I'll add them in as new categories as they come up. I'll put this up on the website or somewhere easy to find and update it as I go along. It's not exactly a timeline that shows when everything will be finished, but it'll help get a general estimate as I start to update it.

I'll do another quick update as soon as I push the next build up.

YANTH WBW Update #1

35 likes

Happy Holidays ladies and gents! This begins the series of weekly/bi-weekly (WBW) updates for YANTH development. I wanted to make this update before the 25th, but my family celebrates on Christmas Eve instead so things got a bit busy quickly. Hopefully you're all out (or in) having a good time!

The last update generated a lot of heated conversation between you guys, which is completely understandable after what basically amounts to a year-long hiatus. Rather than respond to each post, I think it's better to address it by continuing development and posting more updates, which is really the only thing that matters at this point. I am addressing concerns to those of you who have messaged me personally, please check your messages.

I've primarily been working on bringing the Winged Zephyr to life since the last update by populating it with people, some backers, and special functions. Now's a good a time as any to introduce the various sections you'll be visiting in the Zephyr. The screenshots have been taken of a build where the walkable tiles are visible under the graphics, so please disregard them.

The Deck
This is the top level of the ship, one of two areas open to the environment. Although there's little function to be seen here, a lot tends to happen, and you may want to visit it from time to time during your journeys.

Engine Room
This is the aft most section of the ship where the engine resides. A large window acts as a viewport in the rear where the player can grow select plants.

Bridge
The second area open to the elements, the bridge connects the engine room to the cargo bay.

Cargo Bay / CompartmentsThe lowest level of the ship, this is where the cargo is held, and where one can enter the ship from the ground. The crew quarters and the captains quarters are held at the fore section of this level. Certain unsavory characters dwell on this level.

Helm, Shops, Suites
This is the middle level of the ship where the pilot resides at the helm. In the middle and rear of this section you'll find shops for the various passengers that fly on the ship. To port and starboard, a series of doors lead to vacant or occupied rooms for passengers. Near the rear you'll also find Petula's shop, and an as-of-yet unfinished blacksmith quarters where Petula can also craft things to sell or barter.

There are a few smaller nooks and crannies you can find around the ship that can carry you from one section to another quickler. I had some trouble at the beginning about how I would approach running a shop in the game. Considering you would be traveling the world, it would have been limiting to have her return to a single location to open up shop or clumsy and convoluted to have her open a shop at each town. This is how the roaming shop came to fruition. The Zephyr will be her home in the mid to late stages of the game, so it was only natural to have her base of operations there as well.

It allows for a bit more complexity when it comes to selling things. With a limited amount of space, you should think about what you want to sell at each town you're currently at to maximize your profits. It's probably not a good idea to sell weapons and armors at the dwarven city, but in a town ready to revolt against its oppressors? Sounds good.

The Zephyr is the next location to be explored after the events of the current build available on Steam. Initially I wanted to wait on releasing it until more of the world is fleshed out because it becomes more open world, but that kind of defeats the purpose of being in early access if I wait to finish things. I hope to have the next public build up by the next update for you guys to break.