King of Shadows – Weekly Update #86

Hey people, we have come to the end of another week which means it is time for another update from me.

I got some more work done on the placeholder Shadow King sprite this week, starting to get in a bit more of his upper body.

ShadowKingProgress1.png

And now for the Pom Pom mod I’ve been teasing for the last couple of weeks. This week I gave her eyes an overhaul. Her irises/pupils are now 2D textures on the main eye plane rather than 3D models and made more in-line with how the other Koopaling’s eyes are handled. The eye material was also copied over from one of the Koopalings, so Pom Pom’s eyes look better than ever.

PomPomEyes.png

There are a couple of issues with the eyes, mainly the fact that they go a bit derpy in some of the animations, but overall they look far better than I was expecting considering this was my first test with their new style, and of course I do intend to fix this before moving into the other sections so they look the best they can be. I’m having a lot of fun with this mod and can’t wait to release it.

I’m going to end it off here for tonight, I hope you’ve enjoyed this update and look forward to seeing more in next week’s update. Thanks for following the development of King of Shadows and have a great week.

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King of Shadows – Weekly Update #85

Hey people, hope you’ve all enjoyed your week. It took a few days to recover from my cold but I’m now completely back in action. Now, let’s take a look at what I was able to achieve this week.

In the last update I said I’d make a start on the digital work on the placeholder sprite of the Shadow King, and I’m happy to say I feel I’ve made a pretty strong start on it.

ShadowKingProgress.png

As for the Pom Pom mod, given it’s been a while since I worked on her, a lot of the time I had to work on her this week went into in-game testing of her various elements to refresh my memory of what I had already done. From that I was able to determine what my next steps for her development should be. Now that I’ve looked at the mod with fresh eyes I’ve been able to spot some issues that I hadn’t detected in my previous test in April probably because I didn’t take as much time then to thoroughly examine everything given I was at a LAN and didn’t want to take too long testing.

That’s all the progress I have to share for this week, expect more progress on both the placeholder sprite for the Shadow King and the Pom Pom mod in the upcoming week’s update. Thanks for following the development of King of Shadows.

King of Shadows – Weekly Update #84

Hey people, hope you’ve enjoyed your week. I’m not feeling 100% at the moment since I’ve got a bit of a cold so I’ll try to get through this quickly.

The outlines and flat colours for the placeholder Rehoboam sprite are now complete. Shading and highlights will probably be done a bit later once I get some other things done.

Rehoboam_Flat.png

I plan to start on the digital work for the Shadow King’s placeholder sprite in the upcoming week, which hopefully shouldn’t take quite as long as this one did. I also plan to do some work on the Pom Pom mod which I unfortunately didn’t get onto this week.

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

King of Shadows – Weekly Update #83

Hey people, this update will be pretty short since it’s been a pretty big week for me and I didn’t end up getting a lot of work done on things.

For the placeholder Rehoboam sprite I was able to get his feet done and start on the shoulder plates (the paths are being laid down for it but haven’t been drawn into the image yet).

RehoboamProgress10.png

He’s now very close to being done, I plan to do the shoulder plates and upper part of the robe this week and then I might start doing digital work on the Shadow King.

I might also get back to work on the Pom Pom mod for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, since it has been a while since I worked on anything mod-related and it would be nice to let people in the Smash modding community know that I’m not dead haha.

And 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 #82

Hey people, hope you’ve all had an amazing week, I know I most certainly have. Got a few things to talk about so let’s get into the update.

I tried to get as much done on the placeholder Rehoboam sprite as I could between watching E3 presentations, the hype around them as well as other hobbies and responsibilities, and surprisingly made a bit more progress than I was expecting to, which is always a plus.

RehoboamProgress9.png

All that remains is the shoulder plates along with the whites of the robe draped over his shoulders, and his feet. I should at least have one of those two sections with outlines and flat colours in the upcoming week.

Now as many of you may have gathered from previous updates, I am a huge fan of the Super Smash Bros. series and have even played the Wii U version competitively (as well as making some mods for it). Well, the next title in the series – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – was finally shown off in Nintendo’s E3 presentation this week.
As someone who loves the Wii U version to death, this game looks like a massive improvement over it across the board. The game looks visually stunning, every character from the previous titles is returning with altered moves and the overall gameplay looks a bit faster and seems to have better reward for going on the offensive where Wii U relied a lot more on defensive and campy playstyles and trying to read your opponent’s options.

With this game, Nintendo is really listening to its fans since they’ve made a lot of nice changes that were requested and representatives were apparently taking notes of player feedback and criticism during the showcase which will hopefully be used to make it even better than what it already is.
Throughout the presentation my heart felt like it was going to explode out of my chest at multiple points due to how hyped I was, I’m super excited to see how this goes and ready to kick some buttocks with some more Bowser play.

Well, that’s all I have to talk about 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 #81

Hey people, making some really good progress on things this week so let’s not keep you waiting any longer.

I’ve got a lot of work done on the placeholder Rehoboam sprite. I’ve laid down more base colours so there’ll be less work to do later, and completed most of his lower body. I’ve also give him his left forearm and hand resting on his hip and adjusted the positioning a bit from the sketch since it would have made the upper arm appear to be unnaturally long. Here’s how it’s looking currently.

RehoboamProgress8.png

He should be done pretty soon, but this week I may not do as much work on it since I plan to watch E3, particularly excited to see Nintendo’s presentation on Wednesday and finally get some information on the upcoming Super Smash Bros. game on the Nintendo Switch. I’ll definitely do my best to get in as much work as I can though.

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 #80

Hey people, it’s been a good week for me. NieR is now complete and I’m back in action for King of Shadows work.

I’ll get into more about NieR in a bit, but first I’ll share what progress I made on King of Shadows. I was able to get a fair amount of work done on the placeholder Rehoboam sprite this week and have got most of the torso done as well as the fur linings on his kingly robe.

RehoboamProgress5.png

Since I was away from the computer for the weekend I also decided to get to work on some more character sketches to turn into placeholder sprites when I’m done with Rehoboam. Realising that I didn’t really have a solid reference image for the Shadow King I decided to start with him since he has one of the more important roles. I drew him in a crossed arms pose like one of the old placeholder sprites I did for him a while back.

IMG_2962.JPG

I’ve also started on a couple of others, but they’re not ready to be shown yet.

That’s the update for the week, now I’ll be getting into my review of NieR. Overall I really enjoyed the game, and here I’ll pick three things I liked and three things I think could be improved, starting with the things I liked.

Firstly, the story is amazing. The protagonist is Nier, a father trying to save his daughter who suffers from a disease, known as the Black Scrawl, which has been killing humanity over the past thousand years or so. He partners up with a talking book named Grimoire Weiss, which grants the player access to his powerful magical abilities. Along the way he must fight mysterious enemies known as Shades – which have also been hunting humans – and is able to take on various optional quests to gain money, weapons and skills. On the surface, it seems to be your run-of-the-mill RPG, but the back of the game’s cover describes it perfectly; “Nothing is as it seems.” That’s the kind of thing I hope to do with King of Shadows, which is also meant to seem pretty straightforward on the surface. The game also has different endings, the events leading up to the first of which have small hints at what’s really going on before the big reveal close to the end, but still mostly tells only one side of the story. Only when you get into the second playthrough do you begin to see the reasons behind the actions of your enemies, some of their thought processes and what they are saying.

Secondly, the soundtrack. NieR: Automata’s soundtrack was amazing, and its predecessor didn’t disappoint in this category either. Both NieR and NieR: Automata’s music is hands-down some of my favourite in any video game, and what makes it even better is that they fit their respective scenes and areas well. It’d be amazing to have pieces of a similar style and level of quality in something related to King of Shadows, even if music like that is a fair margin above my shoestring budget for the game currently haha.

Thirdly, the characters. I love the designs of the various characters in the game and – more importantly – how they interact with both the world and each other. I got attached to one in particular, one of Nier’s companions named Emil (who also appears in NieR: Automata). Even some of the characters in the sidequests felt somewhat fleshed out despite not being told their life story, they changed with the events of the story which made them feel a bit more alive.

Now for three things that I’d improve about the game. First of all, here’s something which really annoyed me; there’s two major arcs in the game, Part 1 and Part 2. Part 2 is replayable in getting the other endings after getting Ending A, but Part 1 can only be played once, and there are sidequests which can only be completed in Part 1. I missed ONE sidequest in Part 1, and the game doesn’t give the player any indication about said sidequest’s existence, so I couldn’t get 100% quest completion but was stuck at 98%, and the only way to get it at this point is to start the entire playthrough from scratch (I won’t do this though, I’ve kept you all waiting for actual progress on King of Shadows for a few weeks now). NieR: Automata resolves this problem by giving the player access to Chapter Select, which allows the player to play from any part of the story after getting three of its main endings, so I’d implement a similar feature here.

Secondly, item-gathering sidequests. Not gonna lie, some of these sidequests were very tedious to complete, especially ones that involved gathering 10 (or more) of [insert rare item here]. And when I say “rare”, I mean “only 1 in 20+ enemies killed would drop it” rare. It’s fine if it happens in general gameplay, but when multiple of rare items like this are required for a sidequest it can make it feel pointlessly dragged out. To resolve this I’d have the game check if a specific side quest is active, and if it detects that the sidequest is active the drop rate for the required items to complete it would increase. The rare item wouldn’t have to drop 100% of the time, but bumping it from, for example, 5% (1 in 20) to 20% (1 in 5) would go a long way towards making the sidequest feel a bit less tedious.

Thirdly, the magic. There were only two magic attacks I used in the whole game because they felt the most useful against pretty much every enemy and boss. Some of the other magic attacks I tried I felt were really lacking in utility. How I’d resolve this is to give some of the attacks different effects and give the player situations where they are more effective.

With that done, I might call it a night here since it’s been a long day for me and I’m starting to get tired. Thanks for following the development of King of Shadows and I’ll see you all in next week’s update with hopefully even more progress on the Visual Novel to show.

King of Shadows – Weekly Update #79

Hey people, been a pretty good week for me this week with NieR very close to being complete.

You may recall that I said I had about 70-80% of the quests complete. Well I completed all of the side quests I was able to complete, which brings me to a total of 98% quest completion (unfortunately missed one sidequest that I can’t get without starting over), and I got to the ending, then found out there were more endings.

I’ve gotten 3 of the endings, and if I remember correctly there’s only 1 to go which should only take about 1-2 days to get. After that, I’ll devote the next few weeks to working hard on getting things done for the King of Shadows Visual Novel, including placeholder sprites for some of the other characters as well as finishing Rehoboam’s.

Anyway that’s all I have to say for this week, I’ll probably talk more about my overall experience with NieR in the next update and will hopefully have some solid progress to show on Rehoboam’s placeholder sprite. With that said, see you all in the next update and thanks for following the development of King of Shadows.

King of Shadows – Weekly Update #78

Hey people, hope you’ve all enjoyed your week. It’s going to be a pretty quick update this week so let’s get into it.

The placeholder Rehoboam sprite is slowly beginning to take shape, added a few more outlines and laid down flat colours in some areas I’d already outlined to give a bit more life to him and tease a bit of how the final piece will look.

RehoboamProgress2

I plan to do some more work on him next week, although most of my time will be going to playing NieR, which I think is almost complete since last I checked I had about 70-80% quest completion.

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 #77

Hey people, the time of week you all know and love has come once more. Before I start just want to wish all the mothers out there a very happy Mother’s Day and hope you all enjoyed your special day. With that said, let’s get into the update.

Like I said in the last update, I would only start playing NieR when I got some rigging for the creature model was done, and I did deliver on this. While it’s probably not the greatest job, I put hours into getting it to an acceptable level. Depending on how the posing looks with the final materials and textures I may touch it up a bit more if there’s any glaring issues since it’s hard to pick up on any of them at this point.

Since I’ve played NieR for a few hours now, I decided to give my early impressions of the game. The gameplay, mainly the combat, does feel a little weird coming from NieR: Automata and the targeting system for special attacks sometimes doesn’t quite work the way I want it to, but the story so far is intriguing to me and the soundtrack is as brilliant as its sequel’s. Overall I’m really excited to get further into this to see how the story pans out.

Next week I’ll do some more work on the placeholder Rehoboam character sprite, and more than likely be playing more NieR haha.

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.