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The gritty turn-based RPG The Iron Oath will have a playable build at the Otronicon Expo in Orlando on January 12, 2018, and the November Kickstarter update tells us all about the things that had to be done to make that happen. The recent additions to the upcoming game include clearer sprites, new and improved animations, the ability to speed those animations up, and a plethora of other assorted improvements and fixes. You can read about them below, or check out the update itself for some sample gifs and videos:
Hello backers! Over the last month we’ve settled into a nice development groove. I(Nik) have mostly been focusing on character sprites while Chris has been tackling various tasks and he’ll tell you about it later in this update. We’re currently working towards a demo build that will be playable at the Otronicon Expo in Orlando on January 12th.
My most recent task has been finalizing the design and animations of the first 4 classes. Each class has undergone some minor visual changes such as the Pyrolancer’s head and the Valkyrie’s weapon. I didn’t change too much overall and mostly just wanted to clean things up a bit by improving the lighting/shading and getting rid of stray pixels. Here’s a before and after of each design.
One thing that was mentioned frequently during the campaign was the “asthmatic” look of the idle animations when characters weren’t in combat. I decided to get rid of the breathing animations entirely(as I wasn’t a huge fan of it myself) and rework the idles to be a lot less distracting(mostly limited to some cloth/hair sway). I may revisit the breathing animations later on and see if I can make it look more natural and less like they’re constantly gasping for air, but for now I don’t want to spend too much time fiddling with it.
The next animation that I completely redid was each characters “ready state” animation. The previous animation was basically the same as each character’s idle with some bobbing added in, which some voiced their dislike over. While I haven’t completely gotten rid of the bobbing motions, I’ve given each class a unique ready stance that makes the bobbing look more natural. Here’s a look at both the idle and ready animations, including the transition back and forth.
The newest addition to the game is a run animation for each class. We’re not entirely sure at this point whether or not we should use it during the exploration phase(either replacing the walk, or having it alongside as a toggle), but it became apparent to us that it was needed for combat. As one backer pointed out, it looked a little odd having your characters casually walk up to the enemies prior to attacking them. The run animation adds a sense of urgency to your heroes, and as a bonus speeds up the movement phase which is always a plus.
Speaking of speed, we have also added the ability to increase the speed of combat by holding spacebar, with the multiplier being customizable in the options menu. This was another feature that many were vocal about, and we understand that not everyone wants to sit through a lengthy turn phase.[...]
I’m just about done with the first 4 classes and am currently finishing up some new ability animations. Afterwards I’ll be moving on to some enemy animations and dungeon design. At some point I’ll have to craft some more UI graphics to go along with the work that Chris has been doing, but for now he’s making do with programmer art ;) I’m also in the midst of finishing up our Kickstarter Postmortem and am planning to publish that this coming Thursday, so keep an eye on our Twitter/Facebook if that’s something you’re interested in seeing!
Hey, Chris here. I have been tackling a lot of small tasks since the Kickstarter, focusing on polishing things that got left to the wayside in the wake of getting the Kickstarter up and running. Much of that dealing with the flow of combat and bugs. The biggest task I delved into was the start of implementing the logic that governs how the world plays out as time advances forward. I prototyped how the different Houses in game will have children, choose heirs, vie for the throne, manage their resources, etc. There is still much work left to do on that front but it is coming along nicely.
As Nik mentioned, the focus now is getting a build ready (primarily combat focused) for Otronicon in January. Otronicon isn't really a purely gaming focused event but it's a local show I wanted to participate in along with the rest of the indie game scene in Orlando, FL. We have a couple phases of builds we're working towards with each one getting us closer to our beta build that will be sent to backers late next year.
Some other tasks I worked on included:
- implementing keys for locked doors/chests
- updated internal tools for creating dynamic events and dialogue
- updated character abilities to be more inline with their designs
- tweaking general pace of combat (an ongoing process)
- worked on equipping gear and looting from chests
- added consumable items (e.g. health potions)
- implemented stores to purchase items from various vendors
- skinned/implemented some pre-mission UI screens
- various bug fixing