The past month has been extremely busy with updates to make the battle system closer and closer to the finishing line. During this, lots of other little systems (actually using poses, adding a flash to a target, etc) were finally built out and are working. You’ll see it in the battle system! In addition, I made some major updates to how the embedded engine transmits data back to the editor — and we have a 10x speed increase. Let’s delve into it!
The battle system has been a big priority, and as such, I’ve been working non-stop to get something tangible built… and, well, I’ve made a lot of progress. I’ve started adding support for things like Action Sequences, Poses, Action Results, and Annotations. You can see all of that work in the video below.
In the example, you can see animations (which fixed a few bugs with particle effects in 2D mode) executing on selection. You can have a special one for a skill/item — or you can leverage the default one. RPG Architect is about removing limits — so do what you want! There’s a different action sequence for the hero and enemy as well. Enemies advance only slightly and show a little animation before “attacking.” Heroes advance nearly all the way forward, and on a slightly parabolic trajectory. You could customize either however you like. Skills and items also allow you to adjust their action sequences (and targeting animations), so customize as much as you like.
Above, you’ll also see that damage shows up. It isn’t actually applied yet, but I’m getting there, slowly but surely. Results are calculated and assigned — and can be setup to visualize (or not) with skills/items, controlled via animation or action sequence elements. There’s a lot of room here to do some really cool things. I fully expect that someone will eventually leverage these far better than I have in the example, and that we’ll get some amazing suggestions for additional sequence elements. I can’t wait to see characters jump off screen, teleport, do flips, shake the screen, and all sorts of other cool things.
Poses are also a new (but old) thing. They’ve been around for quite some time, but haven’t been leveraged at all… until now. Poses allow you specify offsets in a standard way (e.g. by frame, not pixels), such that you could make a standard sheet with all kinds of emoting/acting for a character, and then use it with the simple command “Set Pose.” You can see this in the screenshot above where I edited the Hiroshi sprite to have googly-eyes. It’s also visible in the battle sequence above, since the character moves his hand, gets ready, and moves about.
Speed increase inside the editor (in the embedded engine) has been a very important thing that I had been trying to “fix” for a while. I wanted a break from the battle system work one day and played with an alternative approach I had been wanting to do… and it was wildly successful. You’re not going to get insane frame rates inside the editor, but it’s very smooth on most machines — easily 60 FPS. On my machine (RTX 3080, 175W, but intentionally crippled to 120W at any given time), I see anywhere from 900-1300 FPS in game, and in the editor, I see 200-300 FPS. Prior, I was getting (if I was lucky) around 20 FPS, especially in the animation editor. The animation editor was intentionally scaled down to a 320×240 internal frame and then streaming as fast as it could at ~20-30 FPS. It’s easily seeing the 200+ FPS at full resolution (whatever you specified for your game’s configuration), as described above.
Eventually, this will lead to showing the map engine itself inside the editor, so you’ll get a true preview of what the map you’re working on looks like at any given time. This is going to be much further down the road, though, mind you.
Patreon had a few comings and goings — but we’ve increased to 14 supporters this month, with an overall positive momentum. Several people are getting to the three-month mark and will be getting a Steam Early Access key for free when we get there.
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!