June had a significant change in plans, but a lot was accomplished. The biggest update was the migration to Avalonia 11, which included a revamped Map Editor with significant performance improvements. Let’s get started.
In order to add some of the functionality to the battle system that was warranted required updating to Avalonia 11, which “fixed” a number of things that I had previously created patches for. The upgrade from 10 to 11 was significant — with over 280 code files changing (beyond syntactical changes, a number of callbacks and behaviors needed to be updated). While in the process of this, the map editor was not behaving as quickly as I’d like, due to the removal of Avalonia 10’s deferred rendering. The rendering for the map editor now occurs within the actual game engine, which supports hardware acceleration. How much so? About 2-3 times faster — see for yourself.
The old map editor appears on the left, while the new appears on the right. Note that the right is still a “beta” build.
In addition the map editor is no longer locked to the constraints of the map’s width and height. Controls were somewhat updated to be more “standard” for what is seen in other engines and editors. A feature was added to also show the map’s boundaries in the same manner that the border is shown in other screens (e.g. Animation, Battle Backdrop, etc).
The RPG Architect Importer got an update too! It (also) runs on Avalonia 11 now, but also supports importing character sets from RPG Maker 2000/2003 into the RPG Architect format. Nothing super significant here, but it should hopefully streamline behavior for a number of folks.
A number of performance enhancements (primarily for speed) were made to various places in the engine. The core engine itself has moved beyond using some of the patterns that slowed it down. The RPG components that are extrapolated on top has had a number of performance enhancements as well, but it’s not quite there — this will be an ongoing endeavor for a while.
Another update — bulk importing of Doodads.
Users of other engines may have noticed that RPG Architect abandons using tiles for visual details in the form of Doodads. However, that doesn’t mean that other engines didn’t use those tiles previously… So, there is now a way to import multiple doodads from a sheet. In the above example, I’m using a character battler, but the assumption would be that each “doodad” would be roughly the same size as a tile, and/or divided up.
The Doodad Sheet Import will look at the sheet provided, allow you to specify the number of frames you want (if you have animated doodads or not) and then uniformly parse it from left to right, top to bottom, to bulk-import doodads. In the case of 2D projects, most users can opt to still use tiles (remember, RPG Architect is about letting you run things your way), but for 3D projects, this will save a LOT of time.
As can be seen above, 10 doodads were imported from the sheet based on the details provided.
In addition, sprites can now take offsets (translations) to render appropriately in 2D or 3D. This will let you adjust the sprite’s rendering, relative to the hit box. This will be a major detail to work with what’s coming next.
The map editor also got one more improvement a day before this gets published — it increase the editor speed on OSX by roughly 60-80 times, and approximately 1-2.5 times on Windows. Linux shows similar improvements.
Next month, I’ll be working on the necessary details to start projections, which will include many of the things I’ve mentioned in my prior updates. Annotations should finally make it thru, as well as offsets for image display (which will help with offsetting an image when swiping a sword, etc). This means that we’ll be able to start working on an adventure battle demo… In fact, maybe we already have…? As a heads up, I’ll also be stepping away for about a week for a minor vacation — so no panic — I’m alive and well, just recharging.
That’s it for June!
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!