Thursday, December 27, 2018

Clothing, color swapping, format.

In case you missed the first post

In the game, I plan on including different outfits. However, I need to decide how exactly I want to handle them.

Clothing will probably be entire outfits, as opposed to individual pieces, like this.

However, there are some things that might layer, such as bags or other misc items.

I'll use palette swapping so that certain outfits can have separate versions (leather, iron, dark, etc). Because the game will have equipment mechanics (and especially since there will be few outfits in the beginning), any variation helps.

Other thing to keep in mind is;

because the game is 2d, editing sprites is very time consuming. Especially if the game is going to be frequently updated, I can't have variations of every H animation for every piece of clothing.

My current plan is to have all long complex animations be nude, with clothing being removed through some means.

I've also thought about having 1-3 simple "common" player animations that would be re-used across enemies (groping, basic sex, etc). Each outfit would have these animations, and the outfit would be removed at the end of the animation. Then the enemy would switch to using their unique, more complex animation with the nude player.

I'll still have to animate all actions with outfits in mind, though, since editing 70 frame animations is not fun. (I know, because I did it in Noaika in some cases -__-)

As a way of mitigating re-animating every time I add a new outfit, I may also make it so some gameplay actions are also outfit specific. I'm not sure yet though. For example if the player could fish, the three options would be be,

1. Player can only fish in a fishing outfit. (detailed smooth animations)
2. Fishing uses re-purposed poses or animations. (Works with all outfits but can be repetitive)
3. Fishing only has like 2 frames. (works with every outfit, but can be time consuming the more actions and outfits you have over time, even with only 2 frames)

I'll probably end up using a little of all of those methods, depending on how important the action is.

There would probably also be outfit specific H-animations.

Also, still thinking about the tile style. I need to avoid using too many colors, so that it's practical to just add stuff on a whim without drawing tiles for a whole day.

Last thing to mention is palette swapping for choosing skin and hair colors.
I'm still not sure how I'll handle it.

I could make it so that the player has full control over it, or I could do something gameplay related. For example, if the game is a rogue-lite where you partially start over when you lose, I could make it so you take on the color scheme of whatever enemy you lost to (as if the protagonist and the monster had a kid.). Dunno yet.

Anyhow, that's all for now.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Starting a free ongoing game

Because none of my large projects will be finished for at least a few months (And because I don't like posting spoilery stuff), I've decided to start something that gets updated regularly to help fill the content gap as I work on larger projects. 

Basically, it will be a free game that starts out simple, and is slowly expanded upon. Every time I change or add content (hopefully something small every week), I'll update the version on this site, and it will be playable regardless of the state. (as opposed to long periods of time between huge updates)

I was going to switch my Patreon to a project like this given that game content is easier for me than high res animations. However with the sales of Eroico, I don't really have any financial concerns at the moment. So instead this will mostly just be something fun to people to mess with.

I'll be talking about the process as I go, what I'm doing, what I plan on doing, etc.

Style, protagonist

First thing on my list of things to do is come up with the idle pose for the protagonist, and the overall style.

Because I want the game to be easy to work with, it can't be too high res, but I also don't want it to be too small, given that I almost always regret using small resolutions later. In addition to the resolution, I also need to decide how many colors to use, given that certain shading styles can slow down the process, especially with tiles.

For now, I'm trying to stick to 3 shades per color.

My plan for this game is something I've spoken about in the past,

Basically I want to make something re-playable on a weekly basis, as opposed to something linear like you'd see in some enty projects that get updated monthly.The game will be an action platformer with some harvest moon type elements, and will probably become more rogue-like over time.

In initial versions, the game won't have many bells and whistles. The first goal is making the player animations, an enemy, and an H animation. That way, as the long term format is built up there's still new H on a frequent basis to make it worth playing.

It may be a few weeks before the first playable update, as I'll be moving very soon.
However I'll still be posting updates on graphics and the like as I make them.

Anyhow, that's all for now.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

XP-Pen VS XP-Pen

Input lag
Stylus Deadzone
Bad software options
Stylus buttons jerk the cursor.

Don't buy an XP-Pen.
Why the hell am I bothering with these.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Huion VS Wacom

Quick sort of review of the Huion H1060P

I've been using a Wacom Intuos large for around 8 years, and it's worked spectacularly the entire time. However, the one I have has three disadvantages.

1. It's huge, so drawing can lead to shoulder strain.
2. It takes up a lot of space on my desk, which causes me to have to stretch to reach my keyboard. (My keyboard rests past my tablet, in front of the monitor.)
3. It has large boarders around the active area, which leads to more wasted space.

New wacoms have fixed the boarder problem, however I figured I'd give the Huion I shot because of the price, $74.99 USD, compared to the wacom, which is $349 USD. Since it also has smaller boarders.

Getting past the fact that it feels weird to use a different tablet after 8 years, here's what I consider to be the most relevant factors.

1. When pressing down the stylus, the nib pushes in slightly depending on how hard you press. A small portion of this range is a deadzone, and the pen will not register as drawing until it's beyond this point.

This is not the end of the world when drawing with things like ClipStudio or PS, Sai, etc. Generally a light touch will be 0 opacity or 0 width when drawing anyway. However, for pixel art it ends up being more of a problem, since you are often doing single "clicks" to draw single pixels, and a touch that's too light will sometimes not go past the deadzone. This is also a factor when clicking buttons in menus, etc.

2. The stylus is still detected when it's a short distance from the tablet. However, if you hold a button and move the stylus around above the tablet (such as holding middle mouse to move the view), the range is slightly shorter than the Wacom, and I find that when I'm not paying attention, it will cut in and out of detecting the button press because the stylus is too far away.

3. The Stylus feels rather cheap, and I find the shape to be inferior to the Wacom. It's somewhat slippery and plastic feeling, and my hand tends to drift farther down the pen since it tapers. Wacom's stylus flares out at the end, which prevents your hand from going past a certain point. It also has a rubbery texture which makes it easier to grip. The Huion makes more of an audible clicking sound when you touch the stylus to the surface, whereas the Wacom does not.

It's possible that you could use a normal pencil/pen grip to fix some of these problems.

My Conclusion

- If money is not a concern, buy a Wacom Intuos pro medium.
- If money is a concern and you will only do pixel art, a Wacom intuos pro small or a non pro version may be best.
-If you can't afford an intuos medium, and will mostly be drawing, then the Huion will do the job.
While the stylus feels cheap, the tablet itself does not.
- The extra $275 could buy you a monitor, a keyboard, a graphics card, or any number of other upgrades that may benefit you more than an intuos pro.
-The tablet buttons, the fact that the stylus needs to be charged and lacks and eraser are not relevant to me at all, however they may be to you.

Some of the Huion's disadvantages are also things you could get used to, or may not even notice if it's your first tablet .

Anyhow, after this I'll be taking a look at Wacom's current tablet line. It's possible that a none pro might be the sweetspot for my uses. I'll use the Huion for a while longer, but it will probably stick around as a spare.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Steam results, news.


Well, it's safe to say that Eroico has done pretty well on Steam.

I can't say how much it's made so far, however I can say that just in the first half month it made more than it did on DLsite in it's lifetime. That is, financially it was similar to releasing a new game. In the future I'll be releasing any games I make on Steam.

As for Kurovadis, I plan on releasing it on Steam and other platforms. However I'll probably pay someone to finish the CGs and make all the marketing stuff to avoid turning it into a time sink. Unlike Eroico, Kurovadis would not be an overhaul, and would not have many changes, outside of a lower price.


That said, because I won't have to worry about money for a while, I plan on shutting down the Patreon.

The long-form animations were fun in the beginning, however the need to one-up the quality and do something that made each animation "worth it" sort of caused me to drag my feet after a while. Part of the problem is that if I didn't find an initial pose or concept I was happy with, it was difficult to commit to animating. It also delayed game development pretty often as I'd sit down to do a Patreon animation, but just wouldn't have the drive.

I'll be finishing the Hex Maniac animation (Yes, I still haven't gotten around to finishing that one). Because there won't be any more animations after that, I won't be charging Patrons for it, given that the current vote won't be used.

What's next/mods

I'll be moving out very soon. Hopefully living by myself will make me a bit more productive.

Other than that, my main goal is to just spend 100% of my time working on one of the in-progress games, finish it, and then get back to Noaika. Technically I could go back to Noaika now, but because I'm going to be porting Noaika to GM2, and because the game I'm working on now is meant to establish a bit of a cohesive framework, I want to finish it first so that I can integrate them all into Noaika.

Here and there I've also worked on things like this:

The above image is an editor that I'm making that will allow me to load an animation, load sound effects, and place the sounds on a timeline at different pitches/volume. I can also control frame timing, loop points, and a couple other things. Then at the end, I can export it as a .txt file used by the game to control everything. This cuts down on the time it takes to do sounds like the ones seen in Eroico, which required me to do everything in FL studio, export each sound, and then manually write down frame times.

This also got me thinking about the potential of mods, since editors could double as mod creation tools. It's something I'll have to consider more, however, since I don't "need" an editor for everything. I don't want to create a situation where I make a tool that's limited compared to pure GML, but that I feel compelled to use to avoid incompatibility with user mods, etc.


A while back, I briefly messed around in Unity for a day or two.

Unexpectedly, everything feels weirdly easy. Thing is; in GM, once you understand position, movement and basic variable stuff, you can kinda do anything. Likewise in Unity it feels like once you know some basic C#, position, and rotation, everything else falls into place quickly.

It's both reassuring and depressing, because on one hand I feel like I could do anything, and a lot of what I know about 2d mechanics carries over to some degree. On the other hand, it's depressing because it's so easy that it makes me wonder how the hell people make so many bad 3d games with Unity. I guess a lot of people go in trying to avoid programming as much as possible, and just rely on the asset store.

Either way, it's reassuring to for me to know that an H Zelda or Darksouls is not only possible, but honestly not that out of the question. (I'd start now, if I didn't have so much shit to do -__-)

That said, for 2d games, I don't think I'd ever use Unity instead of GM. While Unity is easier than I thought for 3d, it still has aspects that make it slower to work with for traditional simple 2d games (which is what all of my games are).

Boring health stuff

One of the things that was causing my a lot of delay has be sorted out "enough" that it doesn't actively affect me any more. However lately my shoulder has been giving me a lot of trouble, so I'm probably going to have to start focusing on exercising my arms more. I wanna make stuff forever, rather than having it cut short in 10 years.

I've purchased a smaller tablet, in the hopes that the smaller range of shoulder movement will be better. Until now, I've been using an Intuos large, which probably contributed to the shoulder problems. I went with a medium Huion, figuring it was worth a shot, so I'll probably do a review of sorts later.

If anybody has any suggestions that might help with shoulder pain, I'd be happy to hear it. I'll also be trying some eye tracking software, and now also use a mouse with my left hand to try and minimize the time using my shoulder, for example.

Anyhow, that's all for now.