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Alchementalog #3: Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder


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So this is just a quick little devlog going over the absence of visible updates for Alchementalist recently (since I’ve been getting a few PM’s over it).

A few weeks ago there was an injury in my family and I became a bit of a pack mule, carting people back and forth to appointments and stuff. Nothing serious, but just a lot of driving people around (and since I live in a pretty small country town, it meant relatively long drives). It just tired me out a lot and made it harder to do extended periods of coding, slowing progress a bit. That driving period is mostly over now.

Besides that, I’d been building a few systems that work behind the scenes (the A Song of Stats and Boosts devlog goes into a little more detail about a few of these systems) in Alchementalist. On top of those systems outlined in that devlog, I was also working on a little sprite stacking system to help with animations and stuff when it comes to sprite stacking. All of these things were a lot of work for very little visible progress. In fact, in some cases it’s reversed some previously made progress as I rebuild previously existing things in the game to function with the new systems correctly. While this rebuilding phase isn’t completely finished, I’m definitely on the tail end of it and I should be getting to the point where I’m caught back up to where I was soon.

Finally, I’ve been thinking about the lighting system I want for Alchementalist a lot over the last few weeks. It’s definitely going to involve shaders (most lighting systems do). However, I am not a shader guy. The extent of my shader knowledge has been a few outline shaders, flashing damage indicator shaders, very simple things like that. The lighting system will be a lot more complex than anything I’ve done before, so I’ve been spending a good chunk of time coming to terms with the stuff I’ll need to know in order to build the lighting system.

In fact, during the recent downtime on Alchementalist, I entered a game jam that revolved around the theme of “Neon” specifically to give myself a test project with a limited time frame to get more comfortable working with shaders. The project is called Neon Run and you can download and play it here for free. It’s even got a nice little online leader-board so you can see how you rank compared to the other players.

I had to do a lot of shader work getting the neon glow effect thingy working and I’m pretty happy with how much I learnt in the short time that I worked on it (I think the in-editor time that I spent on the game is around 5 days). I might even do a few personal blog posts talking about specifically how I got the glow effect working and how the online leaderboard works if people are interested.

Anyway, those are most of the reasons why I’ve been absent from posting about Alchementalist recently. As I said, everything has sort of settled back to normal now and I’m able to start pushing ahead properly with development. If you’re excited about crafting spells and dungeong crawling in the fantastical world of Ember, don’t worry as “rumours of it’s death were greatly exaggerated.”

By RefresherTowel

I'm a solo indie game developer, based in Innisfail, Australia.

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