King of Shadows – Weekly Update #47

Hey people, it’s that time of week once again. A friendly reminder that there’s only 5 weeks to go and it’ll be the 1 year anniversary from the day I started working on the project.

Monday: Art
I decided to do some work on a piece that I intend to reveal on the anniversary of the project, so I’m going to be keeping it under wraps for now.

Tuesday: 3D Modelling
I did some work on improving the rigging on the Pom Pom skin for Bowser Jr. in Super Smash Bros. There isn’t really anything to show yet that will be much different from what I’ve shown before though.

Wednesday-Thursday: Major Project
Continued typing up the script for the Prologue chapter of the King of Shadows Visual Novel. It should hopefully be done next week.

Friday: Minor Project
Did some work on Sadistic Shapes, this week working on the UI Design. I’m hoping to implement it next week.

Saturday-Sunday: Fun Items
Throughout the week I’ve been working on my modpack in my spare time, and managed to add skins to the rest of the characters. I started to add other things but encountered some errors. I spent a lot of the weekend trying to pinpoint the issue and think I have arrived at a solution, although I haven’t really had the time to confirm it yet. Hopefully what I’m doing will fix the problem.

Well that’s all for this week. See you all in next week’s update and thanks for following the development of King of Shadows.

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King of Shadows – Weekly Update #46

Hey people, it’s that time of week again. Some big stuff happened this week so let’s get into it.

Monday: Art
The Crystal Girl art trade piece is complete. I probably won’t take on any more art trade pieces for a while since there is another piece I’ve been meaning to get to that I haven’t had the time for.
Here is the final piece:

Tuesday: 3D Modelling
Did some work on the detail sculpt for the creature model. Should be ready to bake the normal maps soon.

Wednesday-Sunday: Visual Novel
This is probably going to be a once-off thing, but on Wednesday I realised that while I’d been working on assets for the Visual Novels I hadn’t been doing much of the writing side of things on the project, so I decided to change that. Before I knew it I found myself wanting to do more and more and I’m happy to announce that by Saturday I’d done pretty much all of the writing for the Prologue chapter. I’ve been making some improvements on segments today and I’m going to be writing up the script to get some feedback for some final improvements.

I’ll be trying to get some more stuff done on the Pom Pom Super Smash Bros. mod and Sadistic Shapes next week, since they’ve been put on the back burner for the past few weeks now.

Well that’s all for this week. See you all in next week’s update and thanks for following the development of King of Shadows.

King of Shadows – Weekly Update #45

Hey people, there isn’t anything to report on my own progress on my projects this week since – as I mentioned last week – my main priority was getting mods into my personal modpack for the LAN, and as such I’ll be mainly talking about them in this update. However there is a special announcement relating to King of Shadows, but I’ll get to it a bit later.

On Monday it came as a bit of a shock to me that I had unwittingly deleted my only copy of my modpack’s workspace folder, which basically contained all of the uncompiled mods I had added up to that point.

I was supposed to have a backup of the folder, but what I believe must have happened is that – after finishing testing a mod separately I may have accidentally *cut* and pasted the backup folder into the main folder of the mod compiling program (Sm4shExplorer) rather than *copying* and pasting it like I usually do, and when I wanted to test another mod separately (likely Pom Pom) I deleted that folder thinking I still had the backup.

It was a pretty silly mistake that ended up costing a lot of time since I essentially had to restart the modpack from scratch. This time around I decided to take a more methodical approach in hopes the process would be more efficient: adding skins to the characters based on their alphabetical order in Sm4shExplorer. Another measure I took was to limit the costume count to 16 slots maximum (Bowser being the only exception with 18 slots, you can chalk it up to personal bias since he’s my main haha). It definitely was a far more efficient process and I managed to get through a good half of the cast by the time Friday night rolled around when the Super Smash Bros. competition was scheduled to start.

I said last week that it was planned to be a Doubles bracket but it turned out that the official bracket was made a Singles tournament. Doubles did run although it was an unofficial competition. Due to there only being four teams interested, it ended up being a round-robin format. Me and my team mate both played Little Mac and ended up winning all of our matches (even though we accidentally took each other out a couple of times), it was a lot of fun and we ended up winning a block of chocolate each.

About 10 minutes after the Doubles competition was over the Singles bracket started. I got into grand finals with the same opponent as last time but this time our positions were reversed: I sent him to loser’s bracket in winner’s semi finals so he had to win two sets while I only had to win one set. He managed to throw me off a bit in the first set by switching his character in the middle of it when I had gotten used to playing against his Captain Falcon. He ended up winning the first set with Ness, but in the second set I began to adjust to the different play style and got some good edge guards. After a hard fight, the final set was 3-1 in my favour and I ended up winning a limited edition Gold Mario Amiibo figure. All in all it was a fun competition and I was super stoked to be taking the figure home as my prize.

IMG_2659.JPG

Now, as for the announcement I mentioned earlier: in April I commissioned an original song to be used in an opening title sequence for King of Shadows, and in presentational/promotional material for things relating to the project, such as gameplay videos, pitches for funding campaigns, etc. I am happy to announce that the song – titled “Illumination” – was completed this week, and when I heard the final product I was left speechless.

The composer (Emiel Schumacher) and songwriter/singer (Cathy Eppinga) were really great to work with, and the money I paid for their service was definitely well-spent, even if it left a fairly sizeable dent in my bank account. The work that went into the song is incredible and I’m very happy with the results of their efforts. You can check some of Cathy’s stuff out on her ArtStation and her YouTube Channel. Emiel doesn’t currently have a website with samples of his work, but the band he’s in (3 Point Landing) is working on their first single. If you’d like to check them out, their website has links to their social media pages.

With that said, it’ll be back to work for me this upcoming week, and I’ll be giving my best efforts to ensure that everything gets done. It has been a learning experience the whole way through this year, and I hope to learn more and more about making these things.

Well, that’s all I have to say for this week. See you all in next week’s update and thanks for following the development of King of Shadows.

King of Shadows – Weekly Update #44

Hey people, it’s update time and you know what that means, it’s time for me to ramble about various happenings regarding my projects. But before I do, I want to take a moment to direct your attention to the week count. When it hits #52 it means it’s been a year since I began giving updates on my first major project that I’ve actually been able to achieve significant progress on: King of Shadows. We are now about 8 weeks – just over 2 months – away from that point, and I hope to have something good ready by then, so look forward to it. Well, with that out of the way, let’s get into the update.

Monday: Art
More progress on the shading of the Crystal Girl art trade piece. Over the weeks this thing has come a long way and I’ll hopefully have it done within the next 3.

CrystalGirl_Progress.png

Tuesday: 3D Modelling
Did UVs and laid down the flat colours for the textures on the creature model, next up is the detail sculpt and then texture baking. After that, I’ll be rigging the model.

FlatColours.png

Wednesday-Thursday: Minor Project (Temporary)
Gonna be completely honest here, on Wednesday I started working on getting the functionality in for the player to kill enemies in Sadistic Shapes, but on Thursday the motivation to work on it just wasn’t there for some reason. Rather than wasting the day away forcing myself to work on something I wasn’t really feeling up to, I decided to draw a couple of poses to use as Rehoboam’s placeholder spites for the King of Shadows Visual Novel project. I’ll do one or two more poses then take them into Gimp to do a little bit of cleanup and colouring, then import them into the visual novel for testing.

IMG_2617.JPG

Friday: Major Project (Temporary)
As I said last week, I decided to do some work on the King of Shadows hack and slash game. This week I decided to redo some of the placeholder player attack animations to make them feel a bit more responsive. Once I do a few more I’ll import them for testing.

Saturday-Sunday: Fun Items
Over the weekend I haven’t really done anything in the way of working on my projects. No particular reason why, just haven’t felt like doing much.

Well, this upcoming week there’s going to be a LAN starting Thursday. I want to have my Smash Bros modpack ready for the competition, so I may not get much else done during the week. The Smash competition will be a doubles bracket this time around so I’ll be teaming up with one of my mates there. I’ll be sure to let you all know the results of the competition in the next update regardless of whether we win or lose.
Anyways, that’s all I have to say for this week, see you all in next week’s update and thanks for following the development of King of Shadows.

King of Shadows – Weekly Update #43

Have no fear, the update is here, and I’m feeling much better this week. The symptoms of my sickness gradually faded throughout the week and I was completely back to normal on Friday.

Monday: Art
I did some work on the shading of the Crystal Girl Art Trade piece, still a fair amount to go before it’s done but it’s a start.

CrystalGirl_Progress.png

Tuesday: 3D Modelling
I managed to complete the base mesh for the creature model I’ve been working on, the next step is UV mapping and texturing. I may do some minor proportional adjustments in the process where necessary.

BodyLP.png

Wednesday-Thursday: Minor Project (Temporary)
I started working to try to implement the Sadistic Shapes enemy variants but – while the theory of how they work is easy enough, the code itself is a bit more difficult for me to figure out than I’d anticipated. It could be that I’m just approaching it incorrectly, but either way I intend to find out how to make it work the way I want.

Friday: Major Project (Temporary)
Did some testing using the Shadow King’s placeholder sprites for the King of Shadows Visual Novel project, and the results are very satisfactory. I plan to sketch up a few placeholder sprites for Rehoboam next. However, next week I plan to do some work on the hack and slash game since it’s been a few weeks now and little progress has been made on it since the last time I gave an update on it.

Saturday-Sunday: Fun Items
I imported the Pom Pom model into Super Smash Bros. in my spare time during the week and did some testing on it. While there are a number of improvements needed to be made to the mod good news is that I know where it needs work, and the fact that it doesn’t crash the game is also very good.

Well that’s all for this week, see you all in next week’s update and thanks for following the development of King of Shadows.

King of Shadows – Weekly Update #42

Hey people, it is that time of week once again. Just to preface this update: unfortunately I ran into some problems this week in the form of sickness, which left me lacking in the energy and focus to work effectively, so I wasn’t able to make as much progress on things from Tuesday onwards as I had hoped. Even now the effects are still lingering, but it’s a lot better now than it was during the week. With that said, let’s get into what I was able to achieve this week.

Monday: Art
I managed to complete the clean outlines and even got the flat colours done for the piece. Up next will be the shading and highlights which I should hopefully be able to get through fairly quickly thanks to the limited colour palette and relative simplicity of the piece.

CrystalGirl_Progress.png

Tuesday: 3D Modelling
I had quite a bit of difficulty doing the retopology for the hand of the creature I’ve been working on for the past weeks, more specifically in finding an appropriate place to start with it. It isn’t complete yet but now that I’ve got a good sense of what I need to do with it I should have it done this week.

Wednesday-Thursday: Minor Project (Temporary)
I managed to implement the player shooting in the Sadistic Shapes remake this week. Like with the original the player will be able to freely move in any direction but will only be able to shoot forward.

SS_Shooting.png

Friday: Major Project (Temporary)
I coloured the other two poses for the Shadow King I’d sketched last week for use as placeholder sprites in the King of Shadows Visual Novel project.

ShadowKing_PH_Sprites.png

Saturday-Sunday: Fun Items
I’ve mostly been taking it easy this weekend due to having been sick for most of the week, I finished the remaining UV mapping and retexturing on Pom Pom so she’s ready for conversion and import into Super Smash Bros. for in-game testing.

PomPom_Progress.png

Well, that’s all for this week. Hopefully I’ll be completely back to normal within the next few days so I can get more done. See you all in next week’s update and thanks for following the development of King of Shadows.

King of Shadows – Weekly Update #41

Hey people, it’s that time of week again, but before I get into the update I’d like to wish all Australian dads a very happy Father’s Day.

Monday: Art
Got some more work done on the Art Trade piece, I’ve nearly completed the clean outlines and should hopefully be starting on flat colours this week once I do the outlines for the arms.

CrystalGirl_Progress.png

Tuesday: 3D Modelling
Worked on the arms for the creature I’ve been modelling for the past couple of weeks. I’m still working on sculpting the claws before I do some retopology work on them, and then I’ll move onto the legs.

Wednesday-Thursday: Minor Project (Temporary)
Made a start on the gameplay for Sadistic Shapes, currently the player can only move around the scene but I intend to implement shooting this week and possibly the first of the enemy variants: Squeeper, which moves and shoots straight down the screen.

Friday: Major Project (Temporary)
I made some sketches of the Shadow King to serve as placeholder sprites for the Visual Novel. Currently only one of the poses is coloured but I should get through the rest of them fairly quickly.

ShadowKing_Placeholder.png

Saturday-Sunday: Fun Items
I’ve been adding some more mods to my personal Smash Bros. mod pack. There’s still a lot of characters I haven’t added any skins for yet, and I have some stage, UI and music I want to add to the pack so I might put a little bit more time into it, while also staying on track with the other projects I put time into each week.

Well, that’s all I have to share for this week. See you all in next week’s update and thanks for following the development of King of Shadows.

King of Shadows – Weekly Update #40

Time for the update already? How quickly the week goes by. Well, without further ado, let’s get into it.

Monday: Art
I scanned the sketch of the Art Trade piece and begun the process of creating the clean outlines with the Paths tool in Gimp. There isn’t much to show so far but I should hopefully have better progress to show next week.

Tuesday: 3D Modelling
I did some more work on the 3D model I showed last week, this week getting done the retopology work for the torso and connecting it to the head. This week I intend to start on the arms and legs.

TorsoLP.png

Wednesday-Thursday: [Temporarily] Minor Project
This week I modelled the player character for Sadistic Shapes which I’m currently naming “Sfear”. All that’s left for it is rigging and animation.

Sfear.png

Friday: [Temporarily] Major Project
I made some more progress on the prototype for the King of Shadows visual novel, I plan to make a video on its progress very soon. The presentation is somewhat of a struggle since I don’t have many resources readily available to use in it, but I can do the written side of the project fairly easily (provided I don’t get writer’s block of course).

Saturday-Sunday: Fun Items
Did some work on Pom Pom this weekend, most of her UVs have been fixed and I expect to have her ready for conversion and testing very soon. As of writing this just her hair and beads remain which shouldn’t take long to do at all. After testing it will be a simple matter of adjusting materials, textures and rigging based on how she appears in-game.

Well, that’s all for this week. See you all in next week’s update and thanks for following the development of King of Shadows.

King of Shadows – Weekly Update #39

Hey people, got some good stuff going this week so let’s get into it.

Monday: Art
Did some more work on the art trade piece, this week I managed to complete the sketch. This upcoming week I’ll be starting the digital side of the piece.

IMG_2554.JPG

Tuesday: 3D Modelling
Worked on the model I showed a few weeks ago, this week I made the base sculpt for the torso. This upcoming week I’ll do some retopology on the torso.

TorsoSculpt.png

Wednesday-Thursday: Major Project
To get some more work done on Sadistic Shapes, I’ve decided to temporarily swap the time frame for working on major projects with minor projects so more time is devoted to it.
This week I got around to texturing and rigging the Monstar boss model and finally getting in the functionality to adjust the game screen resolution in the main menu.

Monstar_Render.png

Friday: Minor Project
Since the major project and minor project work times have been switched, I started prototyping the King of Shadows visual novel on Friday using a program dedicated to visual novel creation known as TyranoBuilder. I’ll probably alternate between this and the hack and slash game for the time being.

Saturday-Sunday: Fun Items
This weekend I didn’t do much in the way of work, mostly just adding mods to my mod pack.

Well that’s all I have for this week, see you all in next week’s update and thanks for following the development of King of Shadows.

King of Shadows – Weekly Update #38

Hey people, it’s that time of week again and I’ve got a pretty big announcement this week, so sit down, get comfortable and get ready for what I have to share.

Monday: Art
I started working on an Art Trade piece I’d been assigned late last week, so far I have sketched the head and am still trying to figure out the proportions and the pose. I will continue to work on it for the next few weeks until it is done.

Tuesday: 3D Modelling
I did some more work on Pom Pom, currently I’m onto doing the UV mapping for her hands, which not gonna lie is pretty tedious since I made some slight errors with a couple of them that I only noticed when I got to certain areas and I had to remap them. Since the model is fairly high-poly it means more vertices to line up with each other, and it really does all add up. I’ll be working on the magician model this upcoming Tuesday and do some more on Pom Pom next week.

Wednesday-Thursday: Major Project
Okay, time for the big announcement…
Basically I’ve been doing a bit of thinking over the last couple of weeks or so about King of Shadows and how big of a project it really is. As I was envisioning it, the story is huge, which is why I was originally thinking of possibly going with an episodic structure for it so that I could release chunks of it as they were made, but as it stands I don’t have the budget nor the team to do it.
At least, not with the hack and slash game.
The solution I’ve come up with? Instead of making it one massive project, split it into two smaller projects. For the main story I plan to make it a series of visual novels, and for the hack and slash game I’m currently thinking of going with an arcade-style approach where you select a character and play through a short campaign.
By making the main story in visual novel format I’ll be able to develop it a lot faster since there’ll be little coding involved, and by making the hack and slash game light on story content I can focus more exclusively on the gameplay. I plan to focus on getting Sadistic Shapes done for the next couple of weeks while I work out some of the details for these ideas. I made a quick mockup of what it could look like

KoS_VN_Mockup.png

Note: everything in the picture is placeholder and may not accurately reflect the final product.

Friday: Minor Project
I did some more work on the Main Menu, this week setting up a basic Options Menu to test showing and hiding UI elements.

Note: there will be more options in the future aside from changing the screen resolution, such as adjusting the Music and Sound Effects volume.

Saturday-Sunday: Fun Items
This weekend I’ve been working on adding more recolours for my Dark Bowser mod (which by the way has over 900 downloads so far). I’ll probably be working on more next weekend. Also, Sm4shExplorer is working for me again so I can compile and test mods now, which means I am able to work on my modpack.

That’s all for this week, see you all in next week’s update and thanks for following the development of King of Shadows.