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Project Update – September 19th, 2019

Here’s some boring words about what’s been going on with Shining Online since the last worklog entry (April 2018). I’m going to stick in a bunch of screenshots today to try and make it less wordy.

But don’t worry, there’s plenty of technical words (and screens) right at the end!

Roaming NPC’s

This is something the original Shining Online never had, but I really wanted them in the game.

The first attempt was not a total success.

Very fast NPC
Click to watch a very fast grandma

After adding some pauses and timing tweaks, the finished result looks like this:

Reasonable grandma
Click to watch a much more reasonable grandma

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

Custom text boxes

Text boxes can have custom frames, backgrounds and fonts. They can also be positioned anywhere on the screen.

Not very exciting, but at least we know what’s in the tent.

Battle ranges

Towns aren’t the only thing that have had some attention.

Battle ranges are present and take land types into effect

Battle ranges are a key part of Shining-style battles, and now they’re in Shining Online. They take land types and movement types into account, so flying entities will ignore trees, whereas centaurs will be slowed down by them.

Finding items and gold

What kind of RPG would this be if you can’t raid people’s homes for their hard-earned cash?

Click to watch Cody raid someone’s barrels

Items work in a similar way, and are automatically passed to the next free character. If there’s no space, it will be left in the container until some room is available.

There’s a fair amount of behind-the-scenes work going on in that screenshot, most of it handled via script:

  1. The text for “Cody looking in the barrel” looks like this in the configuration file “%CHARACTER% looked in the %CONTAINER%”. The tokens are replaced by fetching data from the team (the team leader’s name) and the entity being searched (the barrel).
  2. Gold is added to the player’s gold reserves
  3. Flags are set in the session to make sure searching the same place doesn’t give rewards twice.
  4. There’s some other bits going on, like pausing player input, displaying a text box and playing a jingle (which you can’t hear in the gif, but it’s there).

Items are slightly more complicated; the game has to check there is at least one character with an open inventory slot, and then has to either pass it to them or display a “There is no room” message.

Here’s how the barrel in the screenshot is configured:

All entities in Shining Online are made up of components. Entities are created using a simple template system, which sets out which components are required and what their field values are. The base_money_container template looks like this:

It listens for an inspectevent, and then disables input, runs the gold:findscript using properties from the entity and then re-enables the entity when done.

The %self% variable is always set to the entity’s identifier. So for the money container in the example, it will be the string “vagabond_gold_container_1”. Flag names can be overridden by setting a flag_name property on the entity, but that’s optional.

And finally, here’s what the gold:find function looks like:

For comparison, this is what the item:find function looks like:

It’s a little more complicated, but it’s all built and configured in a similar way to the gold container.

That’s all (for now)

I’d like to get item management finished in the next few months so I can move on to the battle system. Pathfinding and movement ranges are all working, so with some AI and proper turn management there will be an actual game soon!

Ballad of Thuriana

Jeremy Doolin got in touch with me about his new project, “Ballad of Thuriana”. It’s a Shining-style project that has been under development for about a year now, and if all goes to plan it will be released either fall 2020 or fall 2021 (depending on content creation times).

The game features all new graphics from the artist behind the Time Fantasy collection, and an original soundtrack composed by Ferret Entertainment.

Even more exciting, it is planned for release on Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux and possibly Nintendo Switch.

More info about the project:

The graphics will be very different (see screenshots).  Menus will not be the four-way style, but more traditional.  There will be some gameplay changes, but nothing drastic.  For example, I use the same stats, 100 XP per level system, same turn-based battles.  But I have more damage types, a secondary weapon/equipment, a slot just for a ring and one for an accessory, more item slots and other differences

The game will also feature Shining Force 2 style exploration:

And I will have Exploration! In fact, that’s all I’ve been working on for months. It will be much more like Shining Force 2, with a world map, some random encounter battles, exploration, secrets, some side quests and more. I’ve nearing completion of the Exploration mode and will build the Battle system over Summer.

As you can see it’s an ambitious and exciting project!

You can follow the project’s status on Instagram (@doolindigital) and Twitter (@DoolinDigital). A website for the project will also be released in a few weeks.

Shining Force Unity

Shining Force Unity is a new project built using Unity. From the topic on Reddit:

Hi everyone, I’m currently working on a project called Shining Force Unity, a remake of shining force (1 and 2) in the unity engine. The project is still in the early stages of development but the goal is to create a full game editor for people to create their own levels, dialog and sprites, all of which can be saved outside of the game and shared with friends. I’m also adding a few quality of life fixes but all changes can be turned off if you want the classic experience.

/u/Shining_Force_Unity

It’s still in the early stages, but the map maker looks promising.

Source: Shining Force Unity – Personal Project

Legacies of Veridocia – Demo 2.5 released

The Legacies of Veridocia team have released a new demo of their stellar Shining-style RPG.

Below is a list of changes from the official release notes:

  • Adjusted Battle 2
  • Changed the UI to make magic selection clearer
  • Changed the Move area to be nicer to look at
  • New scene and location after Battle 2
  • Access to the World Map
  • New location and Battle 3

The demo contains towns to explore and battles to fight, all tied together with some very Shining-style cutscenes.

I highly recommend giving it a go if you haven’t had already. There’s an incredible amount polish, especially for a demo, and everything has a nice feel to it. The music and artwork are fantastic, and the battle animations in particular are really well done.

Download Legacies of Veridocia 2.5

Go try it out!


Source: Demo 2.5 Release

Legacies of Veridocia – Demo #2 Footage

The Legacies of Veridocia team have released a video of demo #2 in action. It’s well worth watching if you haven’t played the demo, and it shows off a lot of gameplay and the excellent graphics and animation.

Be sure to download the demo from the Legacies of Veridocia homepage (available for Windows, Mac and Linux). It’s extremely polished and is a lot of fun play.

Visit the demo download page

Demo #3 is under active development, although there’s currently no scheduled release date.


Source: Legacies of Veridocia – Demo #2 Footage

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