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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.

YANTH Dev Update

Posted by Donn Manalili (Creator)
41 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.

James Haarbauer, Sean O'Leary, and 39 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Dan
      Superbacker
      on

      Woo hoo 5 months till the next update.

    2. Missing avatar

      Tychoxi on

      You have to do better for your backers, you can't go silent for a year. I don't mind delays or complete failures (I didn't buy a product, I backed a project) but I do mind lack of communication! Hope development continues to progress and you keep more regular updates in the future.

    3. Alexander Travassos
      Superbacker
      on

      Glad you're doing alright! It all looks great! Good luck with the homestretch, and can't wait to see the finished result!

    4. Ailantan | Story addict on

      Glad that game is worked on, good luck!

    5. Duo on

      Keep up the good work! It is good to see progress. Eric Barone, creator of Stardew Valley, took him four years to create his awesome game, with encouragement from fans and his girlfriend.

      Here is something that will motivate you: https://www.youtube.com/watch…

    6. Ahmed on

      I'm glad to see this update! Especially since I paid good money extra for a romantic side quest lol.

      Seriously, this type of stuff happens. It's never fun reporting back to people who support you that things aren't going as perfectly as you hoped. However, it is important to do all the same. Transparency gets you more than silence. Do keep us up to date and don't be ashamed of your progress! I think most of your backers are aware of what happened and how you are pretty much a one-man team at this point.

      Keep up the awesome work and don't beat yourself up! Things will get better!

    7. Missing avatar

      Kaeroku on

      @Jenny Vuong: Mar 20**17**

    8. Missing avatar

      Veronica on

      I'm so glad to see this project is till around. Looking forward to it releasing.

    9. Missing avatar

      Jenny Vuong on

      Great to hear from you guys!

      Last update was in March. Yikes. Please don't worry about having "enough" progress to give us updates. Really, any update at all is appreciated. It can be something as small as, "Hey, just wanted to let you guys know we're still working on this game! Until the next update." I'm not worried about how long this game will be in development, but the lack of communication.

      Regardless, take care. Thanks for the update.

    10. Missing avatar

      NZ on

      Wow. I must admit I thought the project is dead. I am glad I was mistaken. All the best wishes to you!

    11. Missing avatar

      Kaeroku on

      Very hard to be positive about someone finally doing what they should have been doing all along. Here's hoping this is the beginning of a positive *pattern of behavior,* not simply a one-time nod to responsibility before a return to... whatever the last two years have been. Not good, anyway.

      I want to play this game, but it's important to note that the behavior demonstrated so far is not what people want to support. You have an opportunity to turn that around. Take it.

    12. Missing avatar

      Tychoxi on

      Wow, I thought this project was dead. I have no problems with delays, but I do with not keeping your backers updated. The Steam reviews are terrible due to the lack of communication too! I haven't played it, but those who did seem to have liked the first part of the game, hopefully once finished it will come together nicely.

    13. Missing avatar

      Bryan Hakey on

      Everyone who is upset at the length of the timeframe is 100% correct. 5 years is a long time and she obviously highly underestimated the work to develop a game.

      That being said, when most games run out of money they disaster. They go black and we never hear from them again. To her credit, she has not stopped. She continues development slowly by her self while working full time. Let’s not minimize that commitment either.

      Thank you for continuing. Our pledges and your hard work will not be in vane so long as you keep at it.

    14. Dan
      Superbacker
      on

      Thanks for the update. I am glad you are still working on it. Not worried on how long it will take to be completed since most games on Kickstater take way longer then originally planned and your lateness is still not that bad.

    15. Zynk on

      Gosh FIVE years have passed and its still in development... At least don't release it as incomplete.

    16. Darmin Hadzic on

      Thanks for the update! I appreciate the details!
      Considering the current progress, can we expect any broad timeframe, if not on the game, then on the next update?

    17. Cory Fitzgerald on

      @James Haarbauer you have right to loose hope. Years of silence and a chart that shows years more before this game is near finished puts an estimate let relese date a decade after the game was supposed to be put out. That is unacceptable. Anyone who has lost hope is fully within their rights to have done so

    18. Shannon on

      Thanks for the update 😉 I'm happy for the news and the game's progress but more importantly you need to take care of yourself and your loved ones 😊

    19. Missing avatar

      Tim Garris on

      Great to hear from you, and glad so much is happening with the project! Hope the developer's block has gone away and things are well with you.

    20. Missing avatar

      CedarMadness on

      Wow, back from the dead. I had basically given up on this one but I'm glad I was wrong.

    21. Missing avatar

      Zubair Ahmad on

      So yeah, this is taking a while. But, this game looks like it's going to be a lot bigger than I originally expected. And I didn't expect much, but now I am super happy that I backed this project. Granted when the game comes out I would want this or that to be changed, but what I want isn't always what the masses want. So even if I say something in the future, please be aware that regardless of what I say, this game looks like its going in an overall good direction. I also appreciate some of the transparency you guys have.

      As a backer, thank you all that have put there time to help make this game what it will be and thank you backers for giving this a chance.

    22. Rednal on

      Woo! You're right, it has been a bit - but I'm glad this project isn't dead and I'm looking forward to the final release. ^^

    23. Timothy Roller
      Superbacker
      on

      Woo! Looking good, I'm excited!

    24. James Haarbauer on

      Excited to see this moving again.
      I've been excited about this concept since the beginning, but I keep losing hope.