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Current Projects: Americana Engine (Game Engine Development)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bubble Lady @ Troke Library

While working as a tutor for MathSmart, I knew from the intercoms that there was going to be a show at 6:30pm, but I didn't expect it to be so loud and so busy when I came out to look after my shift had ended.

It was quite a crowd there.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Americana Dawn: Shop GUI

The aforementioned shop from the previous post.

There was some progress in developing a shop GUI, but my team was not available at the moment, so I had to design one. Note the above screen is not final. But it has everything it needs to show right now: The buy/sell prices (note that not all vendors will sell at the same price and/or buy your stuff), shop names (person's name if it's a street vendor), item description, and your cash.

The same GUI might be used to purchase equipment using war funds to customize your team for large scale macrobattles, but that's to be approved.

The Buy/Sell Items switches between buying and selling items. The Shop Inventory and your inventory will eventually be merged into one box. I liked the left and right side comparison, but it leaves no room to put in the important 'Item Details' box (at least for equipment anyways). It might be a bit empty for things like crafting material, which are essentially two liners, but that will have to do for now.

If you sold something by accident, you can buyback your items from the store at the price you sold it, but it must be done before exiting the shop menu.

The Compare button, when you are buying items and have a piece of equipment selected, allows you to compare that with the weapons the party has equipped, displaying their weapon name, base damage, accuracy, cooldown, and the most prominent special attribute. If you are comparing accessories, your team's currently equipped accessories will be displayed instead.

Keep in mind the game will not suggest whether the accessory you are going to buy will benefit your team as there are many different ways you can build your character. For weapons, there will be a general indicator to tell you whether damage dealt/cooldown/accuracy is better or worse than what they're holding, but not for other attributes, which may or may not be important during a battle. Don't forget you can always switch weapons during a fight to take advantage of the enemy's status (and elemental) weaknesses.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Americana Dawn: Status Page

Don't tease Foster because he's carrying around a stuffed animal.

The Status page was somewhat of a direct opposition to Seltaire's thoughts of a rather minimalistic Status screen, containing a combination of stats, weapon mastery, and skills. (Art: finbeard with edits by bchantech)

Stats: Contains an overview of your various core stats, which each should be self-explanatory.

  • STR acts as a multiplier on a melee weapon's Base DMG.
  • DEF determines how much damage is resisted. It has diminishing returns, so you can never get to 100% damage resist.
  • ACC determines the chance to hit and crit, and critical damage for ranged weapons. It plays more of a factor for ranged weapons, where they rely on strong critical hits to deal most of the damage.
  • EVA determines chance to evade an attack. Less effective against ranged attacks.

The Long Goodbye had no less than 11 stats on the status page, in which four seemed important for battle purposes, and the rest I had to consult a GameFAQs guide about what they do, only to find out that no guides were published on the game.

So as a Dragoon - which is better on the field, Agility, Dexterity, or Mettle? Or just go for a STR build?

Weapon Lv: The bonuses varied throughout development.

The first draft was that higher levels reduced the cooldown (time to act again) by 1% per level, up to mastery 15. But KY wanted to give incentives for characters to use a variety of weapons as well as having each weapon being distinct in some way, so their mastery bonuses for each weapon were changed accordingly, and a core stat is increased for every weapon level. Weapons still have a flat damage increase or a crit rate + dmg increase per level. Since it takes a long time to level up at higher masteries, I wanted it to make sure that doing so was worth it instead of mastering another weapon and taking a stat increase instead, so the damage bonus now scales up relative to Weapon XP.

There's now a mastery labeled Endurance, increased by eating food items. I decided to have this bonus simply because there needed to be some way to raise HP, and I didn't want armor to be the only way, other than character-dependent skills. It also makes eating (more costly) food a viable option than simply buying cheap potions to heal.

Weapon XP is independent for each weapon and gained from successful hits and damage done instead of winning battles, although there may be other ways to gain mastery levels instead of fighting.

Other Tabs: Two other tabs not in this image are skills, which tell you what skills were learned (maybe assign an SP cost later to prevent characters from spamming overpowered abilities), and Misc stats.

Gear Names: My rule with creating mockups: When it comes to items, never use them as placeholders. If there's an item showcased in a screenshot, it must appear in the game somewhere. There's like a hundred or so different shops in the game and anything is possible, so there's plenty of room to be creative (and possibly make references at the same time).

A good example above is Jelly Amigurumi, a unique item which is bought at Green Tea Grass for 2500 SH (which is a reference to the Etsy store of the same name). It's supposed to be a decorative item for Foster's house, but you get a minor boost in stats just by holding it.