Devlog: September 2019

This month saw a lot of updates to the visuals of the game and it feels great! Every time a level or item goes from a simple blockout to an actual asset it seems like the game makes a big leap forward, getting closer to a finished title!

Fashion Store

The fashion store got a make-over, both internal and external, with updates to the graphics as well as functionality being brought in line with the other store.

Fashion store exterior

Items are now shown on displays, which you interact with to purchase.

New fashion store interior

Design Tool

More polish was applied to the furniture designer, improving the feel and look of the move, rotate and resize tool. I also added keyboard shortcuts to make editing a lot more like other 3D graphics applications as well as bringing camera controls onto the right mouse button to stop some frustrating behaviours happening.

I updated the gameplay flow for creating or editing objects, simplifying things down and making it a lot more understandable. I also removed automatic naming and application of styles on objects; this is such a subjective thing it felt strange that the game decided what was considered “cute” or “rustic”

The UI is now more in line with the rest of the game too

New rotate tool and parts panel

Painting tool

The painting tool also got a mini update, bringing the UI in line with the rest of the game and also adding keyboard shortcuts. Along with this the T-Shirt preview was updated to look nicer, and wall and floor patterns can now be previewed in-level too.

Updated painter UI

Bug Reporting and Updates

Moving closer to getting a build of the game into early testers’ hands I decided to fix up the bug and feedback reporting process. I set up an interface in game that can be opened at any time that allows players to report bugs. This bug report is then uploaded, along with a log file and screenshot to a database site I use and collected with the other bugs. This makes it easier for bugs to be reported, and there’s no additional step for me to collect and review players’ reports as it’s all in one handy place!

Bug reporting tool in action

The game also now checks online if it’s the latest version and shows a message in the main menu telling the player to update if they’re running an older version.

Villagers

I finished off the graphics for the first set of villagers that will be in the first release of the game, there were a lot more than I was expecting in the end, and I can’t wait for you to discover them!

Villagers also got some personality improvements this month; conversations between villagers is more natural, with each character taking it in turns to talk. Villagers can also now react too, laughing, crying, getting angry and so on; these reactions can also be triggered in dialogue with the player too!

Villagers take it in turns to talk

I set up a system for letting the player trigger emotes; at present this is limited to waving but can be expanded later. Waving at villagers is a good way of saying hello and puts them in a happy mood too!

Other stuff

Prior to demoing the game at a small developer meet up I realised that the forest areas were running extremely poorly, with a very low frame rate on my laptop. I therefore rewrote and optimized the foliage shader, as well as took other steps to make the foliage in the game less performance intensive.

And last but not least, just for fun, I added an equippable balloon to the game!

And that’s it for this month! Hope you all had a lovely September and I’ll update you again soon with October’s happenings!

Thanks for reading!

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Hokko Life is a one-man project, funded through savings and contributions from fans. If you’ve enjoyed this post, please consider becoming a Patreon to help support development. Thankyou!

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