With much of the basic mechanics now working, I've been turning my attention to actually building the first level of the game. It seems the harder my day job stretches me, the more I rely on Game Guru in the evenings and weekends as a way to relax. That said, I only manage to squeeze in a couple of hours each night so progress is fairly slow. That and the fact I keep abandoning my opening level and starting again.
Another thing that is slowing me down is asset modification. Since the earliest days of the project, I've been using Lafette's Mystical Dark Age pack
as the basis for much of my level architecture. It's a wonderful little pack of medieval corridors, traps, and entities, but I have had to make some changes to various assets to make them work for my level.
First and foremost, I've lessened the green tint to the walls, and updated the walls and floors to be PBR-compliant. I also developed one or two custom texture variations of my own, which I need for some story beats.
Sometimes the modifications have been small aesthetic tweaks like removing the bars from this window (which has previous been seen in my cutscene test here
), and updating the textures on these columns.
Sometimes I've had to make changes for technical reasons. The original doorways in the Mystical Dark Age pack were great, but because the flaming torch script has its own collision detection, I was frequently getting stuck in doorways, despite my best efforts to tweak the values. My solution? Make the doorways a bit bigger.
The collision detection was also causing havoc with the original stairs entity. I had to pull it apart, add some additional steps so each step could be smaller, and I also used it as an opportunity to tidy up the textures on the sides and the coping stones.
In addition, I've made several other custom pieces like short walls, coping stones, a large archway, ceiling pieces, and some animated dungeon prison cell doors that fit in those enlarged doorways from earlier.
I'm currently working on a completely remodelled wooden door to fit those doorways too, having lots of fun texturing at the moment. I also want to make an additional shout-out to Lafette again for his new, completely free, Medieval Starter Kit
, which contains hundreds of walls, doors, pillars, traps, and entities, many of which I intend to use in Ignite. Go check out his amazing work!
A note on Game Guru Max
The recent announcement of Game Guru Max poses something of a quandary to me and this game. Ignite relies on lighting, and the current lightmapper is finicky and difficult to master (though I am getting better results recently). Game Guru Max will apparently have an entirely new lighting engine, which should really aid me in my quest to create atmosphere, not to mention potentially unlocking dynamic shadows, which would really help sell the flaming torch effect.
However, although backwards compatibility has been assured, there's really no guarantee it will 100% work, especially given that Ignite relies on a lot of custom scripting. I am confronted with two options; stop work on Ignite until at least September when GGM is released, or continue working on it and hope for the best. As you can probably tell from this post, I have chosen the latter, partly because I want to capitalise on still being creatively interested in this project, and partly because I am (I think quite rationally) sceptical of GGM and how good its new lighting system really will be. I certainly won't be pre-ordering until I see what it's capable of.
In the meantime then, I guess I'd better get back to texturing this door