Welcome back to another episode of “what happened in the last month” for RPG Architect. Once again, there is a video summary of some of the things that were added.
The big ticket item of the month was “pathfinding,” and I believe I’ve (mostly) delivered. Pathfinding works in 2D and 3D so far, though it is still not completely perfect and has a few additional implementations that are needed. Those will likely come sometime in the new year or coming months, whenever free time opens up. The bigger question — what can pathfinding do? Right now, it is possible to have a character or entity follow a path in 3D terrain or 2D. Colliders that block movement, however, will prevent it from moving further, as they are not factored in.
Pathfinding was a first-time implementation for me in my hobby game development career over the past twenty (maybe even 25) years. A* was an interesting problem to solve and read about, but it also required the ability to do operations volumetrically, which was a big hurdle. I had to go back and optimize/rebuild some of RPG Architect’s geometry. In the process, I overhauled the physics engine (again — and this won’t be the last time). If you have interest in pathfinding, this was one of the most helpful guides I found: https://www.redblobgames.com/pathfinding/, though it doesn’t cover anything about volumetric pathfinding.
The physics got an update, as stated above — and rather than post-processing movement for tiles, we do that in the physics engine itself. This speeds up calls and prevents extra ray-tracing for movement, which is really nice. In addition, it opened up the possibility of having further custom colliders on tiles — which I’m hoping to add sometime in the new year (or maybe a little earlier) for 2D-style games.
Several more commands were added — specifically to adjust how the camera operates (2D or 3D mode), lighting (turn it on or off, change the color or the direction), and to control map layer visibility/masking (you can hide them visually now, although the 3D geometry/collision still exists).
In the process of all of this… a number of things were broken, which led to more and more bug fixes than anticipated. Many of the above features I was hoping to build a bit further than were done, but there were “fun” distractions along the way (e.g. commands requested, things broken for users, and so forth) that I wanted to get nailed down for everyone for the game jam.
Speaking of the game jam… It looks like we have 16 entries. I’m looking forward to seeing what we get as a result!
Next month I’ll be revisiting action sequences and animations to make them “better” in usability. This has been something brought up over and over again — they’re very confusing. To help with this, I’m going to include a timeline view and hopefully a preview of each (Animations already has a preview). I’ll likely work in some of the prior things that were missed in October and need a little bit more hardening. Inevitably there will be more things that get bumped forward (I try to respond to what the community asks for!), but the priority is on some of the usability items that have been neglected.
As a milestone — we have now shipped over 1,000 copies of RPG Architect! I’m very pleased with the direction the project is going and I’m hoping we will continue to build the velocity.
That’s it for October!
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!