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.

King of Shadows – Weekly Update #37

Hey people, noticed not long ago that the week was nearly over and I hadn’t done this week’s update yet. So without further delay, here it is.

Monday: Art
I continued to do some work on the mystery art piece I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. As with then, I’m not prepared to reveal what it is at this point in time, but rest assured that I am working on something.

Tuesday: 3D Modelling
I did some more work on Pom Pom, replacing the saw blade with the shuriken she throws in Super Mario 3D World and baking textures so that, in theory, her model will look as it should when the time comes for in-game testing.
PomPom_Progress.png

Wednesday-Thursday: Major Project
I did some more work on the character upgrade system and wanted to get a render of the Rehoboam model for the UI. Initially I was planning to only spend an hour for a rough render, but before I knew it I ended up spending most of the allocated time on the render because I had a lot of fun with it and did something a little extra with it. Anyway, here is the render.
Rehoboam_Low.png

Friday: Minor Project
I did some more work on the menus for Sadistic Shapes, unfortunately I don’t have a video this week but I should be able to get one next week.

Saturday-Sunday: Fun Items
I didn’t really get much done over the weekend since I’m encountering an issue with Sm4shExplorer (the program I use to compile my modpack) that causes it not to read the copy of the game files, I’ll be doing some investigation into this issue and see what I can turn up, hopefully it can be resolved soon so that I can get back to adding Super Smash Bros mods as soon as possible.

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 #36

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

Monday: Art
I had quite the nasty surprise when the project file of the piece I wanted to work on that day had become corrupted. I was able to steal an element from a screenshot I took of it, it was a pretty hacky method and the results weren’t perfect, but it was a part of the piece I really didn’t want to have to start over with.
Aside from the shoulder pads I took from the screenshot, I’m going to have to redo all of the digital side of the piece. It’s a bit frustrating, but I’ll be able to get it back to the point it was at before becoming corrupted.

Tuesday: 3D Modelling
This week I decided to work on a Super Smash Bros model edit, Pom Pom from Super Mario 3D World over Bowser Jr. A lot of the day was spent editing the Pom Pom model to match Bowser Jr’s skeleton and then rigging it so that the model could be posed. More on this further down.

Wednesday-Thursday: Major Project
I decided to try my hand at creating a levelling system for King of Shadows, where the player will gain experience by defeating enemies and more for extending attack chains. There’s still not much to show on it at this point since you’d pretty much just be looking at code. I really do hope to have progress that I can actually show on King of Shadows soon.

Friday: Minor Project
Unlike King of Shadows, I do actually have something to show on Sadistic Shapes. It isn’t a lot but still something I find pretty cool. Basically I was working on the Main Menu for Sadistic Shapes this week and as you’ll probably see in the video I had a lot of fun with it.

Saturday-Sunday: Fun Items
I’ve been doing more work on Pom Pom over the weekend and I’ve managed to get textures done for the most part. It’s currently at a point where I’m comfortable with creating a WIP page for it on Gamebanana, which is exactly what I have done so you can check it out here. It’s not complete but at this rate it should only take 3 weeks at most.

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 #35

Hey people, managed to get a bit more done this week so without further ado let’s get into the update.

Monday: Art
I made a banner for my friend’s YouTube channel which you can check out here.
Quite a bit of the picture is cut off on the channel, so I’ll post it below for you guys to look at.
20182329_1778941545464498_663276895_o

Tuesday: 3D Modelling
I made some more progress on the model I mentioned last week. Although the head isn’t entirely complete yet all that’s missing are some of the teeth on the bottom jaw, which you normally wouldn’t see when the character’s mouth is closed so I’ll share a progress screenshot of it this week.
basemesh_progress1.png

Wednesday-Thursday: Major Project
I’m happy to say that I was able to get a few hours of work done on King of Shadows on Wednesday, at which time I worked on the Parent Player and Parent Enemy classes. I should hopefully be able to start adding Rehoboam as a playable character again and the enemies back into the game very soon.
On Thursday a firmware update for the Wii U dropped that removed the exploit allowing people to load mods through the console’s browser (a method I’ve been using for a while now). Thankfully I got the warning in time and was able to successfully prevent my Wii U from updating, but just for good measure I decided to install another method of loading mods that wasn’t patched out in the update, but has to be installed in a firmware version below the current one (since installing it requires use of the browser exploit).
Because of this I wasn’t able to work on King of Shadows on Thursday, but I wanted to ensure that I could still work on mods for Super Smash Bros. so a few extra hours of work was a small price to pay in comparison to the weeks or months I could otherwise be waiting for another exploit to be released before I could use mods again.

Friday: Minor Project
I decided to make a logo for Sadistic Shapes, it draws some inspiration from the original but with a few changes.
LogoStill_Blackground.png
This logo is by no means final, so it is still subject to change in the future. At this point though it functions well as a good working logo for the game.

Saturday-Sunday: Fun Items
I was at a Smash Bros. Tournament for most of Saturday (in which I was able to win a few of my matches) so I’ve only had time outside of that to add some skins to my mod pack. All seems to be going well with it so far, I’ll hopefully have more of my own mods to add to it soon.

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 #34

Hey people, a lot of my time this week was spent getting my Super Smash Bros mod pack ready for a competition on Friday but I did do some work on other things so let’s get into the update.

Monday: Art
I started working on a very special piece that I’m not ready to reveal anything for yet, all I’ll say at this point is that it is something related to King of Shadows.

Tuesday: Modelling
I made a start on a model I’m doing for someone else who’s making a game, I managed to finish the base sculpt for the head and started retopology. I might hold off showing progress until at least the head mesh is complete.

Wednesday-Thursday: Major Project
I did some more work on the Parent Player and Parent Enemy Classes for King of Shadows, although not a lot of progress was made since most of the time on these days went towards getting the mod pack ready.

Friday: Minor Project
Nothing was done on this Friday since I was at a LAN, and the competition for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U was on that night so again most of the day went towards preparing the mod pack for that.
I managed to take first place in the competition with a very intense grand final in which it was neck-and-neck the whole way. I had been sent to the loser’s bracket by my opponent Doozy in the Semi-finals for the winner’s bracket so I had to win 2 best-of-5 sets in the grand final where Doozy only had to win one, and in both sets we got to game 5 and it often turned into a situation where one good hit from either player would end a game. Doozy is a strong opponent, the games were great and I wish I had thought to save the replays (I hadn’t considered it until typing this update, at the time my only focus was what to do in the next game).

Saturday-Sunday: Fun Items
Since I was up until 5 am Saturday morning at the LAN and only got about 4 hours of sleep, Saturday and Sunday thus far have mostly been spent recovering. I’ve added some mods to my mod pack today (since it’s still far from completed) but that’s about all.

Anyway, that’s it 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 #33

Hey people. To be honest I didn’t do much in the way of game development this week, rather I spent a lot of my time on sketching since as I’ve said before I want to open art commissions soon and need to have a couple more examples of my current work standard before I feel that I’ll be ready to do so.

Also, as some may know, I have a few projects running at the moment and balancing time between them is necessary to ensure that I don’t neglect any of them for too long and forget about them. At this point I have a rough idea of how I could break up my week, it is something I will have to trial though.

My current plan is this:

  • Monday: I work on art, this will also be reserved for when I take up commissions.
  • Tuesday: I work on modelling. This can be for my games, Super Smash Bros. mods or if I decide to do model commissions.
  • Wednesday-Thursday: I work on a major game project, like King of Shadows.
  • Friday: I work on a small game, like Sadistic Shapes.
  • Saturday-Sunday: I work on stuff I do for fun, like Super Smash Bros modding.

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 #32

Hey people, didn’t make a huge lot of progress overall this week but I did manage to get a few things going so let’s get into it.

As you may remember, I announced last week that I’ve opted to rebuild King of Shadows from the ground up on account of how tedious adding and altering functionality that affected each enemy class was, and how difficult coding interaction events between the player and enemy classes was made. The proposed solution to this problem was to have a Parent class for the enemies and make each enemy variant Child classes that inherit common functionality from the Parent class. I also mentioned that I would be creating a Parent class for all of the playable characters which – as with the enemies – would be Child classes inheriting common functionality from the Parent class, this will make adding more playable characters a much more efficient process since I won’t have to go back and copy specific bits of code that affects all characters either player or enemy.

I have begun working on the Parent classes for both the playable characters and the enemies, and while I didn’t do much on it this week, it is one step towards making King of Shadows a better game overall and I can’t wait to show you all what to expect from the final product in the coming weeks.

Last week I also revealed that a remake of Sadistic Shapes was in the works, and I must say I’m super excited to be finally able to test my limits in expanding on the simple yet intense gameplay the original game offered, and of course to bring the best part: the over-the-top gore, into 3D. This week I was able to finish up the enemy Pentagonecrazy, and decided to bring the enemies that are completed on the modelling side of things into UE4 for material setup. Here is how they look in-engine.

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I also managed to make some solid progress on the boss of the original: Monstar. At the moment it only lacks textures and animations, both of which should be done before next week is over.

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 #31

Hey people, got a pretty big announcement to make. I had some suspicions of this before, but after trying to work on the lock-on system this week it’s becoming more and more apparent that there were a few things I did early on in making the functionality for this game that makes adding and changing functionality that applies to multiple characters a pretty inefficient process overall, and also makes interaction between characters more complicated to code.

The main cause of the issues is that every enemy variant is their own independent character class, so if I want to add functionality that applies to multiple enemies (for example, health) then I have to go into each individual enemy and add the health system to each one. And then there’s the problem with the lock-on system where I have to cast a section of the script to the target character class that I want the player to be able to lock the camera onto, I could go in and say “if this enemy exists, then cast to that enemy blueprint” for each class, but again, it’s a very inefficient process. This issue will also extend to any other playable characters I decide to implement, since the current one is its own independent character class and all of them will share some of their functionality in common with each other.

So that’s the issue, but do I have a solution? The answer to that question is yes, and this will seem a bit drastic but bear with me. I intend to rebuild the project from the ground up, this time making the functionality a bit better overall. The biggest planned change is to have a Parent player class and Parent enemy class that contain all of the common functionality the characters will inherit from. So instead of the functionality looking like this

IMG_2517

It will instead look something more like this

IMG_2518

It will be a pretty big setback, but I really believe it will help out in the long run.

On another note, remember that Sadistic Shapes game I posted a few months ago? Well I’m happy to announce that a 3D remake of the game is in the works behind the scenes. As a matter of fact, I’ve already been working on remaking the three basic enemy variants that appeared in the original game. The Pentagonecrazy isn’t complete yet, but the Squeeper and Triangry are pretty much game-ready, and only need a couple of animations to be complete.

SadisticShapes_Enemies_WIP.png

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 #30

Hey people, made some pretty good progress this week so I’ll get straight into it.

I started on the hair this week in terms of optimising the Rehoboam model. It’s not yet complete since I’ve only spent a couple of hours on it thus far but I’ve made enough progress that you should get a good idea of what to expect for the rest of the hair.

RehoboamHair_Comparison

I’ve also somewhat fixed one of the issues I was having with the animations for the aerial attacks, however to make everything flow smoothly I’ll have to do some tweaking to the animations and placement of event triggers. But this might be something I’ll focus on more when I have the proper model and animations working in-game, for two reasons:

  1. There’s still a fair amount of functionality I haven’t been able to implement yet, it’s better to work on getting new features in now and leave most of the polish for later, which leads into my second point.
  2. It would be a waste of time to focus on changing the animations and changing placement of event triggers now when a better model and different animations (since the final animations will have to account for the robes) are going to be put into the game. The current model and animations have a different boneset to the final versions because of extra elements on the proper model, like the kneepads and hair.

That being said, I’ll try to get some work done on the targeting system this week so that the player will finally be able to lock the camera onto more than just the Shadow King.

Just a small thing, but my Dark Bowser mod for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U has gotten nearly 350 downloads as of my posting this, very happy to see all of the support it’s getting.

Well, that’s about it 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 #29

Hey people, I’m pleased to announce that I am returning to working on King of Shadows so let’s get down to this week’s update.

I decided to start optimising the proper Rehoboam model so that I can soon use it in the game, however the progress is minimal so far and not yet worth showing.

However, I did manage to complete the art trade pieces I was working on last week, and that’s something I can show you all.

at__with_hotmlik_by_thewalshinator-dbbr390

at__with_maddysu_by_thewalshinator-dbbz219

While they did take a bit longer to complete than I was hoping, I’m very much satisfied with the results, and the artists they were done for were happy with them as well.

I also managed to release my Dark Bowser mod this week on Gamebanana. You can check it out by following this link:

http://gamebanana.com/skins/155282

There are some improvements I want to make to the mod in the future to make the mod feel more official, as well as extra recolours to give players more options to choose from, but these are low priority for the time being as there are a few other mods I want to create.

I have already begun working on the next mod, this will be a two-skin pack for Bowser Jr: Boom Boom and Pom Pom.

sm3dl_-_pom_pom_and_boom_boom_artwork

Image of Boom Boom (right) and Pom Pom (left) from Super Mario 3D Land

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