This December, the big focus was to get 3D model support in with glTF… and it got knocked out of the park. RPG Architect now supports 3D models (with up to 96 bones) and animations in .glb and .gltf formats. This support is pushed into doodads, entities, characters, battlers… pretty much anywhere that you were using sprites before, you can leverage 3D models.

The other big item that got taken care of was a revamp of the save system, which had previously been causing problems. The entire system has been overhauled extensively — and the save files will be much smaller as well. This should add some desired stability to the process. There will likely be further updates to what is shown in the “preview” in the future, based on user requests.

Outside of that, it has been another big stability month. There have been tons of bug fixes and other things that have been found, thanks to the influx of new users from our Fall and Winter sales. The 2D project is very close to being ready, but isn’t quite there. I’ve put in about twelve hours into the game so far, fixing little details, fixing bugs in the engine, and providing comments to our amazing content volunteers.

Turbo Mode – ACTIVATE!
3x the Game Speed; 2x the Battle Speed (effectively 6x faster in Battles)

I’ve added several new commands. The engine now supports the ability to change resolution via a Change Graphics command. There is also now a Change Game Speed command that will scale/multiply the update interval frequency. I’ve used both extensively to test different things out in the 2D sample. There’s also a way to speed up battles alone (inspired by the nice QoL features provided in Bravely Default 2 — but I’m sure also other games as well) — Change Battle Speed. Note that the Battle Speed will also be multiplied by the Game Speed, so you may get a double-whammy when testing.

We also got a few more tracks from Bit by Bit Sound added this month to our 8-Bit music distribution. Big shout out to Bert for everything he has been doing this past year (and before). The tutorials we have (have you seen them?) are absolutely splendid.

There have been so many updates to really count. I have roughly 60 commits into my source control — each with more than one feature or bug fixed. It has been an absolute blast. RPG Architect would not be here, if it weren’t for our users and amazing volunteers who have been stepping up and helping every which way. I feel incredibly blessed and fortunate.

I’d like to make a note that our update schedule for next year will likely be different. I’ve outlined this on Steam, but due to some career changes, my ability to test the changes I make will be slowed down. So, instead of making updates, testing them, and deploying them the same day, it’s likely that I’ll be making updates, making further updates, and then testing/deploying them on a future day. What this translates to is that what is perceived to be happening will be a little slower than what is actually happening. The overall cadence of the project will be the absolute same, but updates will likely be a few times a week, rather than nearly ever day of the week.

The goal is still to get to 1.0 sometime in the third quarter of 2024. I’m not married to a definitive date — all that it means in my mind is that the software is “stable enough” for a few RPG workflows and that I will be increasing the price (tentatively $60-70 USD) as we leave Early Access. I sometimes debate just leaving Early Access, since people return the software without recognition that it is in Early Access, so it doesn’t really make a difference. That said, I’d like to keep the early supporters “rewarded” for their early contribution and believing in the project.

With that said, 1.0 will be a milestone, but it’s not the end. Honestly, it’s just the beginning. After 1.0, there a myriad of big ticket items that have already been asked for (Strategy/Tactical Battle Systems, 2D Shadows, Post-Processing Effects), and more that will be asked as the community grows. Remember, RPG Architect is going to be supported and developed for (ideally) a decade. Due to how it is written, the engine can be ported (mostly?) very easily to other low-level engines — most of RPG Architect is abstracted away. This was my strategy for console support and will likely be the strategy to be highly adaptive.

Thank you, early adopters from Steam (and those from Patreon before) for a wonderful 2023. I’m looking forward to continue working on RPG Architect in 2024… and 2025… and 2026… and so on.

That’s it for December!

As always:

Thank you so much for your support so far. I’m looking forward to building this community further and giving you the engine you may not have known you always wanted!