King of Shadows – Weekly Update #74

Hey people, it’s been an interesting week and a decent amount of progress has been made so let’s get into it.

I made adjustments to the pose of the Rehoboam sketch to hopefully make it feel a little more natural than what it was previously and I think I’m pretty much done with the pencil work, may touch a couple of things up if necessary while going over it with the fine liner but overall I’m pretty happy with it as a placeholder graphic. I hope to have it completed in the upcoming week.

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I also returned to the Aryn Team piece, this week starting on the clean outlines for Umiko. Here are the results so far.

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Still obviously a very heavy WIP but it’s progress that the piece has been sorely lacking since November. I’ll try to get some more of it done in the upcoming week.

I was able to get some work done on the rigging for the creature model, and I think it’s getting pretty close to completion. Should hopefully have it done within the next couple of weeks so that I can move onto materials and texturing.Rigging_Progress_2.png

Well, that’s everything 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.

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King of Shadows – Weekly Update #73

Hey people, hope you all had a good week this week and are ready for this update because here it comes.

I’ve attempted this a couple of times before without actually completing it, but I am working on a sketch of King Rehoboam to use for a placeholder character sprite in the prototype Visual Novel.

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There’s a couple more things I want to fix in the sketch before I commit with the ink (primarily the leg positioning to make the pose feel a little more natural) which I should hopefully be able to get to in the upcoming week.

Sorry for the short update this week, I had intended to work on the creature model but ended up working on something else that I’m not ready to reveal yet. I’ll definitely try to make some more progress on the creature model soon though.

Anyway, 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 #72

Hey people, been a pretty busy week for me so I haven’t gotten a lot of work done since two family members had birthdays (one of which was today) and I was at a LAN on Friday and most of Saturday.

However, I did get some work done on Pom Pom. The initial way I did the neck didn’t work (didn’t really show up during the animations for some reason) but after a bit of playing around with it I managed to get it working.

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It still needs a bit of adjustment, mainly widening it to better fit the neck hole in the shell but other than that it’s a massive improvement from the whole headless horseman act in animations like the one shown above (before I added the neck there would just be a gap between the head and the neck hole in the shell).¬†After that I’ll do some more work on making materials and textures look more polished (mainly on Pom Pom herself, the Clown Car is fine).

When all that is done all it’ll need is some UI elements and a voice mod and it’ll be ready for release.

Next week will be a bit less busy so I’ll try to get some more work done on things for the King of Shadows Visual Novel and maybe work on the rig for the creature model.

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 #70

Hey people, it’s that time of week again and yes, I have finished playing NieR: Automata. I thought I’d try something a bit different in this update but before I do, just going to share my progress on the creature model which I did do some work on.

As you may remember from last week’s update I mentioned that I discovered I’d lost the work I had done on the rigging a few weeks ago when I got the malfunction with my old portable hard drive. I spent some time this week redoing some of the rigging and decided to get a screenshot to show you how it’s going so far.

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It’s still pretty heavy WIP (some issues can only be seen from other angles) but it’s a pretty good start. I’ll definitely be polishing up the materials and textures once the rigging is done since they’re still mainly the flat colours.

Now that’s done, I wanted to give some of my thoughts on NieR: Automata since I’ve essentially been taking a break from my projects to spend the last three weeks playing it. I’ll be aiming to keep it as spoiler-free as possible. Fair warning that this section might get lengthy haha.

Starting off with what I liked about the game; the customisation. Basically your upgrade system allows you to have three sets of buffs that you can customise to suit your play style and switch out depending on the situation (e.g. you could have one set to make you a glass cannon in combat, one set to boost your movement speed to help you get to locations faster, another set to increase experience points gained and recover health automatically, etc.). Even if I rarely switched from one set, giving players options such as these as well as the weapon sets can lead to diverse combinations and gives them that extra sense of “hey, this is my character”.

Another aspect I liked a lot was how often the gameplay would change. The game has platforming sections, shoot-em-up sections, and hack-and-slash combat sections (just to name a few off the top of my head). It also rewards exploration as well as mastery of the mechanics featured in some of these sections with chests containing G (the in-game currency), resources to upgrade, buffs, and even weapons.

The story is also very interesting, I love a good mystery and NieR: Automata does not disappoint on this aspect. Some of the plot twists really got me good, I was not expecting some of them. I can’t go into too much detail without spoiling anything and I’m not sure I’d explain it well in any case haha.

Now that I’m done gushing, let’s get into the things that I thought could be improved upon since every game does have its flaws. One nitpick I have is in the dodge mechanic, which is extremely powerful and negates some of the challenge in more difficult sections. It can cancel every animation including strong attacks so there’s not as much commitment, however given that the game is single player this aspect can be forgiven to an extent. One way this could be fixed is having it only come out before or after an attack, but not in the middle of one, especially if it were to allow player vs player sections.

Another thing is one of the item shops, where its location and the items it sells upon being loaded (and whether it appears at all) is random. Given that items from one of the possible selections is required in obtaining a side quest and getting one of the many endings in the game, it isn’t a good idea from a game design perspective to have an item shop’s selection be determined randomly. I and some others got particularly unlucky with it, personally it took me over two hours to finally get it once I knew about it. In my opinion, item selection in an item shop is something that should either be the same all the time or tied to progression (i.e. the item selection can start off small and more items become available as you get further into the game).

Aside from those, the game is brilliant and I’ve ordered the original NieR on PS3 since Automata was the sequel to that game and I’ve heard some good things about it. It might not arrive for a few weeks yet and I probably won’t get into it straight away but regardless I’ll be definitely getting back into working on my projects before then.

For next week I’ll try to do some more work on the creature model and maybe some work on the Pom Pom over Bowser Jr. mod for Super Smash Bros.

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 (I’ll do some more work on it soon, I swear, haha).

King of Shadows – Weekly Update #69

Hey people, it’s that time of week once again so let’s get into the update.

I haven’t been up to all that much this week, mainly continuing to play NieR: Automata since I want to complete it as soon as possible.

I was going to do some work on the creature model on Friday but it turns out that the project file was corrupted, probably from the hard drive failure a few weeks ago. Fortunately I had an incremental save that wasn’t corrupted but I lost the work I had done on the rigging which – if I’m being honest – did do a bit of a blow to my motivation. Hopefully now that I’ve got the new portable hard drive I mentioned in last week’s update, there won’t be any more of these setbacks.

On a lighter note, I realised that I haven’t been doing much drawing lately so I decided to do a bit over this weekend. I came up with this concept for a “Hammer Boss” (or boss Hammer Bro) for the Super Mario series.

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Just a fun little sketch to pay homage to the video game series I grew up with (and actually sparked my interest in game development). Not sure if I’ll actually complete this but it was pretty cool to design.

Given that there’s supposed to be 3 routes in NieR: Automata and I’ve completed 2 of them over the span of these 2 weeks, it will most likely be completed in the upcoming week, after which I can devote more of my attention towards my projects. I’ll make that my main objective for the week but of course not neglect my projects completely.

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

King of Shadows – Weekly Update #68

Hey everyone, once again it’s time for an update and what a week it has been.

I got NieR: Automata this week (which I’ve been wanting to get for a while) and it is a blast to play. I love the gameplay (movement and combat mechanics in particular) and the story is pretty interesting so far.

I also got a new 2 Terabyte portable hard drive so I hopefully won’t be getting any malfunctions for at least a couple of years.

I managed to add all I could think of to add to the Prologue script for King of Shadows. I’ll probably be looking for places to get feedback this week and make adjustments where necessary once I’ve gathered enough.

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 #67

Hey people, it’s that time of week again. It’s been a pretty big day celebrating my brother’s birthday for tomorrow and I’ve been a bit tired so I’ll try to keep this short.

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been working on my Pom Pom mod for Bowser Jr. in Super Smash Bros. and was able to test it in-game this week. Here are some screenshots of the results so far:

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It still has a couple of small rigging issues (mainly in the shoulder and neck area) that hopefully shouldn’t take too long to fix, the only thing is that I can’t preview the animations while rigging so I have to go through converting the modified parts to the proper formats before I can preview any of the changes.

I plan to finish up with the second draft of the script for the Prologue Chapter of the Visual Novel this week, since I want to get feedback on it as soon as possible without the obvious flaws being there that’d take attention away from more subtle issues (at least, issues subtle enough to slip past me undetected haha).

Anyway that’s everything 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 #66

Hey people, the week has come and gone and it is now time for the update.

Unfortunately my portable hard drive malfunctioned this week and a lot of the week was spent trying to recover as much as possible. I did manage to recover most of the stuff on it and only had to redownload a few games and software.

I spent half of Thursday and most of Friday working on the rig for my Pom Pom over Bowser Jr mod for Super Smash Bros. and I think it’s mostly fixed. I hope to test it in game next week and make necessary adjustments from there. If it goes well I’ll be sure to get some screenshots.

I also did a bit of work on the script for the Prologue Chapter of the visual novel, should be ready to look for feedback within the next week or two.

Since my portable hard drive malfunctions have been pretty common since late last year, I plan to get a new one soon since I’ve had my current one for about 4-5 years now and use it pretty much all the time so I think it’s just getting old.

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

King of Shadows – Weekly Update #65

Hey people, a bit of a short update this week since I didn’t get too much done so let’s get into it.

I did a bit of practice on the anatomy art course exercises, not as much as I’d have liked though so I’ll try to do more next week.

I also did some work on the rig for the creature model, the head and jaw is mostly done with only small adjustments needed here and there.

I was planning to work on Pom Pom on Friday but unfortunately ended up with less time than I thought I’d have to work on her rig since I went up to the beach for the weekend with family and friends, so I’ll make her my main priority for the upcoming week.

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.