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November Wrap-Up

For November, we had a number of break-in items that postponed/caused a bit of rework in the schedule. Overall, I think the “spirit” of what I was trying to do was achieved, so I’m fairly happy with that. I think the break-in features really helped add a lot of functionality to RPG Architect, so hopefully that helps all of our users.

The first big-ticket item is that I built a custom timeline control to be used in the Animation and Action Sequence editors. This helps you get a better “visual” or “timing” representation of where everything is. The overall flow of the editor for each is different now, hopefully for the better. There are some nuances to Action Sequences, which have always been there, which cause it to be a little more unique in its visualization/approach. It’s worth noting that I was (going to) attempt to get Action Sequences to visualize in this update, but a number of other items crept into scope from user requests, so that didn’t get complete. The only thing I had “scheduled” for November were the editors, so that’s why this target was missed.

…I can see all of time…!

Due to user request, I broke in a number of items that were not planned or planned anytime soon. The end result is a bit more versatility!

Some straight-up Lovecraft-inspired madness here.
Some straight-up Lovecraft-inspired madness here.

First, entities and entity definitions now support more “flexibility” in their shape. They’ve been caught up to doodads, such that entities can now be more than just a billboard, as they were prior. They also accept rotations on them to do a bit more precision on their overall look/feel. In the future, I’d like to add some ability to “change” the rotation of an entity, such that you could have a door swing open/close. It’ll likely be fairly clunky at first (moving the entity and then changing the rotation), but hopefully it will eventually evolve to being able to push on a door and have it rotate at a hinge. This will require some “physics” updates, though, so it’s a bit further down the line.

Videos are now supported… and they can do almost the same things as Pictures can!

Video support was also added this month! You can now use any Theora encoded formats. A common ask is that users want to support other formats, but I am ultimately limited based on licensing. It’s not commonly known that each format also supports multiple codecs as well. Because of this, you’re caught in a kind of “format hell.” Theora is the best open source that I’ve found — and many other indie developers have found as such too. You can find more information about getting into Theora’s format on our wiki, including how to format (open source, cross platform) an existing video into the Theora container.

Some multi-cultural updates were added as well. Any decimal-formatted number now supports , and . for separation of whole and fractional numbers, based on your computer’s culture. Behind the scenes, everything is considered invariant (e.g. it uses a . as the separator internally), and input formulas will still require the invariant formatting. However, individual inputs for numbers should now be much more useful.

Lists now also support the same “gridding” technology that Template Lists support, which allows you to constrain the “size” of the item, rather than letting the engine determine how to arrange it. This will allow for you to create columns/rows now.

Great, more settings… As if RPG Architect wasn’t complicated enough!

In addition, I added a way to handle “Settings” for the editor that are normally hidden. The above is the first (of likely many) that supports changing the Layer Assist transparency in the map editor.

A (large) number of bugs have also been remedied. They are too numerous to count (and remember), but a few to mention involve cut/copy/paste functionality in battle programming/rewards, performance issues in the tileset editor, camera targets not “sticking” to an absolute value, drop-shadows on pixel fonts being pure white, some growing pains from updating commands (performance improved here), bad tile information breaking the render, projection crashes due to bad data, counter statistics in battle being invalid, and a ton more that I’ve not mentioned.

Next month is a highly anticipated month — support for actual 3D models. Folks have been wanting this for a while and it’ll be Christmas time… so why not? This will more-or-less conclude the roadmap I had planned thru the end of the year, minus a few pieces that were missed from full development and will need to be visited later. I’ll be adjusting/figuring out how to proceed for next year, especially as we shoot to get out of Early Access to 1.0. That probably deserves a post of its own, as well as a roadmap for what I have planned.

That’s it for November!

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!

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