We're actually on time for this Weekly Update, as promised. Only because this was written on Sunday - most of it, anyway. Anyhow, the contents for today is about the Demo (as the title suggests).
Since it hasn't been clarified, Story Universe will only work on a Windows PC - 7 and up. It might/should operate on XP, since we tested it on that platform a long time ago, but we're unsure how it might work now.
2019 Demo Progress: Graphics and Sound
A lot work went in to finishing incomplete graphics and missing sounds. For example, item cards included in the Tutorials had their images completed (look here for a brief example on the process of that) abilities/moves polished to completion. The sounds for starting, fleeing, completing and failing Tutorial lessons were also filled in for extra player feedback. Now the Tutorials are finished and awaiting newbies (they're quite fun and brief, as they should be).
Small graphical bugs, such as missing textures, were also corrected. This was simply due to XML syntax errors. To be fair, there was only one error with this, so it's hardly worth mentioning. More pressing matters were missing pictures for pop-up explanations. Now, instead of staring at a white, textureless quad, it's replaced with an informative picture to aid text. It looks much better in game than what I could describe in text!
There was a bit of Audio polish done this week as well. Two songs were finished (one being a redo), sound effects for accompanying visuals, and voices added to characters. Of course the biggest Audio change was Cutscenes. For the Cutscenes, there was an approximate total of 500 audio lines. It took about 6 hours to record and 1 hour and a half to edit them. Obviously it was very tiresome, but the results were hilarious and good.
2019 Demo Progress: Gameplay
The gameplay aspects of the Demo were more or less completed last week. Dark and Light spirits were added, Boss Battles were polished, regular enemies were tweaked to be less annoying and monotonous (including EXP gained), and a conclusion to the Demo.
The Dark and Light Spirits were a feature introduced in our Kickstarter. We developed the tech for it prematurely. So we decided that, despite the campaign failing, it would still be a cool feature to keep. The basic idea is this:
A Dark spirit will appear and attempt to impede your progress. You must complete a key combination mini-game to defeat them:
A Light spirit is someone that wants to aid Xiaxen on his quest. Encounter them and pick an item from a list of theirs to help you. These items come from your global collection:
After doing some full playthroughs, we quickly realized that some of the bosses were extremely difficult - needlessly so. Instead of annoying the player with tedium, we thought of a few strategies that are possible to employ to defeat them. Full disclosure though, one of the fights really only has one way to beat them. It's done in a sense to teach the player though, so it's fine.
Overall, after playing the Demo, we concluded that it lasts from 2.5-3.0 hours. That includes 100%'ing it. Not too shabby for a demo, I think. Usually they last about 20-30 minutes for Indie games (hopefully this isn't a turn-off for some players, but we're expecting RPG players so it's probably not a concern).
2019 Demo Progress: Results & Completion
After the progress we did in this week, we are very close to finishing the Demo Build of Story Universe. This will a big relief for us so we can get back to focusing on finishing the game, which has slowed downed due to it. I'm not saying that in a negative connotation, since this demo will most likely be used for Steam, and Kickstarter (if we actually decide to redo that nightmare).
A couple more miscellaneous achievements last week was slimming down the demo size and cleaning out ancient files. The size of the build went from 17.8 GB to ~3.0 GB. Pretty impressive if you ask me, but keep in mind that this demo includes an incredibly small portion of the game. We have tons of major progress on other Time Periods already that we removed. That would account for the huge difference in size.
Hopefully by the next time you're reading the upcoming Weekly Update, you'll be able to play the game. We're uncertain how to handle feedback, comments, or suggestions right now... but we'll concoct something later. Our personal goal for the number of people to play the demo is 10. That may seem like a small number, but if they tell their friends to check it out, and then their friends do the same... well, I'm certain you get the logical flow.
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Have a great day.