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Messages - Martijn dh

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Other Projects / Re: Horn of Balance
« on: November 30, 2023, 01:36:57 pm »
And here it finally is:
Demo 2.0 is out on the main Itch page:  XD
 https://hornofbalance.itch.io/horn-of-balance-pre-ks-demo  (see version 0 28 xxx)

*So what's new?*
- A compact intro area to play through before getting to the demo dungeon
- More world building and characters to meet
- Energetic new music from a new composer
    (Who I may also have redo the earlier dungeon music, so feedback on the new style is welcome!)
- More Murray!!
- A new item: the shovel
- More bugfixes and stability updates
- And of course all the incremental improvements added between demo 1.0 and 1.5

Hope you enjoy! And feel free to leave me your thoughts if you've had a chance to play it.

Oh, and as a little cliffhanger:
More progress has also been made on some locations outside of the demo area, but more on that in near future.  ;)


EDIT: Updated the download link/description

Graphics / Re: LTTP resolution BoTW Mockup
« on: November 30, 2023, 08:37:26 am »
Looks good! Well done.

Other Projects / Re: Horn of Balance
« on: November 27, 2023, 11:38:38 am »
I have a few points of good news:
- The last remaining pixelart for the new demo is now done and implemented
- One of the two remaining music tracks is now done. The other one is being worked on and should (fingers crossed) be done by the 30th.
- Private playtesting is ongoing and can switch to public playtesting next weekend IF the last track is done by then.
- I've finished the storyboard for the game's trailer. Note that it'll be a little while before I can show the finished version publicly (because I want to include more areas compared to the demo), but it will be my next main goal past the demo.

Progress report:
Code: [Select]
v0.27.114 (10 november 2023)
* Expanded mountain tileset with deep water border animated tiles
* Made more progress implementing mountain tileset across the game

v0.27.115 (11 november 2023)
* Finished implementing mountain tileset across the next demo's explorable space
* Tweaked overworld tiling + masking
* Implemented visuals for a series of new containers and pushable objects
* Expanded container respawn requirements
* Expanded code to allow pushing/pulling of objects directly above enemies or containers (= on floor above)

v0.27.116 (12 november 2023)
* Implemented new cave wall lights
* Added new visuals for cave doorways, exits and inner stairs

v0.27.117 (17 november 2023)
* Tweaked menu text to better explain what the smoke pallets do
* Added new visuals for cave stairs within rooms
* Tweaked speed on regular staircases

v0.27.118 (18 november 2023)
* Added new visuals for cave conditional and locked doors
* Made progress spriting the new waterfall tiles

v0.27.119 (19 november 2023)
* Switched over to the demo 2 playable area and dealt with the various bugs and checkboxes resulting from the first playtest sessions

v0.27.120 (20 november 2023)
* Added (hidden) shortcut to make Linden wave to the camera (=ctrl+5)
* Continued tweaking demo 2 based on player feedback
* Made demo dungeon enemies slightly stronger
* Decreased starting health
* Added ability to recomplete demo dungeon multiple times on the same savefile
* Tweaked visuals special pressure plates
* Added new visuals for on-off blocks

v0.27.121 (21 november 2023)
* Put together a very early mockup trailer
* Adjusted some dialogue to better fit the new demo
* Fixed error when turning enemies to stone

v0.27.122 (22 november 2023)
* Spend time reviewing the new music tracks
* Fixed issues when screen transitioning while diving
* Tweaked more NPC dialogue
* Added ability to hookshot towards big trees
* Trees have now become action objects
* Fixed visuals NPC scene in water dungeon
* Fixed issue with one of the “medallion” character actions
* Made the hammer feel more powerful

v0.27.123 (23 november 2023)
* Added more dungeon map boss icons – for fun. Only applies for later dungeons.
* Fixed dungeon map boss animation when on the floor below the boss
* Finished new visuals for waterfalls

v0.27.124 (24 november 2023)
* Implemented new visuals for waterfalls

v0.27.125 (25 november 2023)
* Added various new cave flavour objects
* Updated the Itch page in anticipation of the next demo

Other Projects / Re: Horn of Balance
« on: November 05, 2023, 10:02:35 pm »
Sick at the moment, so I'm skipping the description for the weekend.

Progress report:
Code: [Select]
v0.27.112 (3 november 2023)
* Added and implemented extra tiles to the mountain tileset for the sides of angled hills
* Made more progress implementing the mountain tileset further in the entire overworld
* Fixed depth issue shadows large trees
* Reworked overworld starting room a bit more
* Expanded base room transition sequences for easier usage
* Tweaked rose archway slightly
* Fixed doorway when entering later mansion out of order
* Implemented a few more overworld tiles

v0.27.113 (4 november 2023)
* Implemented north and south mine entrances
* Implemented new cave entrances
* Implemented new mountain tileset into one of the later dungeons
* Expanded mountain tileset with additional tiles
* Fixed depth issue when exiting a later dungeon
* Made more progress implementing the new overworld mountain tileset across the full game

Other Projects / Re: Horn of Balance
« on: October 29, 2023, 08:45:46 pm »
And here's you regularly weekend progress update:

- The big thing for this weekend has been the results from the latest pixelart commission. I'm still in the progress of implementing all the new objects and tiles, but expect to see more new content soon.
- Aside from that, I've started the progress of further tweaking and implementing the mountains from last time. As you can see in the screenshot I've switched over to a darker pallet in order to make other objects stand out more. I'm still in the progress of trying it out in the different daytimes and worlds, but I'm pretty happy with the results so far. It also nicely allows for transitions into the darker top soil, that I was already using in other areas. So that's another challenge dealt with like this. (Although I might still use the earlier colorpallet in one of the other locations eventually)

Oh, and finally:
I've been looking over my development schedule again. The mountain tiles really held things up, but now that they are done:
I'm expecting demo 2.0 to be completed and released early to mid december! XD
So look forward to that!

A few health related issues have come up recently (and I will be missing a week of work in november), but that's been factored in already.

Progress report:
Code: [Select]
v0.27.109 (27 oktober 2023)
* Tweaked mountain tileset and started implementing in full overworld
* Started pixelart commission review process

v0.27.110 (28 oktober 2023)
* Reviewed, tweaked and started implementation latest pixelart package

v0.27.111 (29 oktober 2023)
* Completed review new pixelart package
* Implemented several new overworld and cave tiles
* Fixed error regarding returning to holes hidden underneath tall grass
* Tweaked overworld tiling
* Made it tiles underneath cut grass undiggable
* Implemented various new overgrown garden archways
* Implemented new visuals bomb pickups
* Recalculated business case slightly

Other Projects / Re: Horn of Balance
« on: October 22, 2023, 10:20:39 pm »
Good news!
I've finally got a fully completed first version of the new mountain tileset implemented into (parts of) the game. It's still a work in progress, as I feel the colors and contrast could use another pass, but the hardest part is now truly behind us. Making sure all those individual tiles link together in all possible directions was quite the challenge, let me tell you. It's been the most complex development aspect BY FAR so far. So it's hard to understate how releaved I am about this! Progress speed might be really picking up again once this one is done.

Progress report:
Code: [Select]
v0.27.108 (18-22 oktober 2023)
* Made a lot more progress working on the new mountain tileset

Other Projects / Re: Horn of Balance
« on: October 15, 2023, 08:19:38 pm »
Ah, yes. Mountain tileset. My nemesis. We meet again. :-\

So things are actually moving along quite well. The cave and overworld tilesets are progressing nicely and a big pixelart commission had already been put out to get them to a nearly completed state.  There is some light at the end of the tunnel regarding work on demo 2.0 now.  XD  Past that point it'll just be some straggler sprites, commissioning music tracks and finishing the mountain+water tilesets, before opening up for playtesting.

Which does mean there was no postponing it any further: I'm taking another crack at completing the mountain tiles. The good news is that clear progress is being made. As you can see many more corners and variations are being taken into account now, so things are looking good so far. The colors and shading are still a work in progress. Especially the shading is something I'll be doing a lot of experimenting on next weekend.

Also, more good news:
I've released demo 1.5 over in Itch, which fixes the issue with the up button on controllers, as well as all known issues regarding the gamepad rebinding page.

Progress report:
Code: [Select]
v0.27.105 (13 oktober 2023)
* Tweaked shallow water object to make it quicker to implement

v0.27.106 (14 oktober 2023)
* Added extra color variants for (shallow) water
* Created and implemented more new cave tiles
* Added more visuals for floor switches
* Added ground shadows to all big trees

v0.27.107 (15 oktober 2023)
* Made progress on new mountain tiles

Other Projects / Re: Horn of Balance
« on: October 08, 2023, 07:35:45 pm »
Progress report:
Code: [Select]
v0.27.101 (3 oktober 2023)
* Tweaked a few cave border tiles
* Added extra variants breakable floor
* Fixed things again after a new Gamemaker bug continuously deleting several specific sprites and one of the tilesets

v0.27.102 (6 oktober 2023)
* Finished preparing next art commission package

v0.27.103 (7 oktober 2023)
* Fixed issues with the dpad up button some people were reporting (=was finally able to reproduce it)
* Fixed issue with not being able rebind controller buttons
* Fixed visual oversight on controller rebinding screen
* Fixed a small typo in the demo
* Fixed visuals of one demo dungeon door not being consistent
* Made small keys stand out slightly more against the backgrounds

v0.27.104 (8 oktober 2023)
* Experimented with new fonts and settled on slightly different visuals
* Made a small amount of progress on the overworld mountain tileset

Other Projects / Re: Horn of Balance
« on: October 01, 2023, 08:40:39 pm »
I've just released the next demo update (= 1.4) over on Itch.io. ;)
Link: https://hornofbalance.itch.io/horn-of-balance-pre-ks-demo/devlog/614590/06-demo-14-released
Hope you enjoy it.

Release highlights:
* Better shield:
    - You can now move while shielding
    - Shields don't just block projectiles, but also guard against (most) enemies
* Extra starting equipment:
    - The stone sprite - Whatever will it do, I wonder
    - The fire sprite - Linden is about to get all fired up
* Added a few extra shortcuts to cut down on backtracking
* Tweaked a few puzzles and rooms to better guide new players
* Made the sub-boss slightly harder
* Made it visually more obvious when you collect small keys
* Fixed the collisions between your sword's smear effect and banners

Progress report:
Code: [Select]
v0.27.96 (25 september 2023)
* Completed and implemented cave wall/floor tiles
* Tweaked outside NPC texts slightly
* Experimented with new flower visuals

v0.27.97 (26 september 2023)
* Finished adding new flower visuals and animations
* Implemented a few more new overworld tiles
* Slightly tweaked overworld bridges style
* Replaced a few more cave tiles

v0.27.98 (27 september 2023)
* Implemented new visuals overworld tall grass
* Added more variant overworld bushes
* Fixed a few issues with digging near tall grass and water
* Fixed issue with collecting some dug up items instantly
* Replaced a few more cave tiles
* Finished cave visuals from breakable floors

v0.27.99 (28 september 2023)
* Experimented with sequences to work towards my own take on the medallion effects

v0.27.100 (29 september 2023)
* Added extra colorswapped cave tileset

Other Projects / Re: Horn of Balance
« on: September 27, 2023, 06:22:23 am »
I'm aiming for PC, Switch and Switch 2.
The switch releases will be dependant on a successful Kickstarter campaign though.

XBox and Playstation are much harder to publish on as a solodev (from what I've seen during my earlier research) so there are no concrete plans as of yet.

Other Projects / Re: Horn of Balance
« on: September 24, 2023, 08:13:30 pm »
Here's a little sneak peak of the progress made over the weekend regarding caves.
Kohari actually made the original tiles; I'm only just tweaking the colors and detailing while I began trying them out in some of the existing rooms. The coloring is a little darker than I had originally intended, but then again: they are intended for underground areas so the contrast with the overworld might be to it's benefit.

Also, now that SAGE 2023 has concluded, a very brief look back:
The streamers favoured action games for the most part. That was expected for an event originally all about Sonic gameplay, so any and all attention was welcome. Overall I´m pretty happy with how the event turned out though: The streamers that did play the game provided valuable new insights. I made a few more connections. And most importantly, we've jumped from 52 to 66 Kickstarter followers XD

All in all it's been a good week with some nice progress.

Progress report:
Code: [Select]
v0.27.92 (21 september 2023)
* Updated all hero frames for extra shader option
* Experimented with fencing tiles and animated grass/flowers

v0.27.93 (22 september 2023)
* Experimented with new cave wall/floor visuals

v0.27.94 (23 september 2023)
* Experimented further with new cave wall/floor visuals
* Made a start with the new cave tileset
* Started replacing the first few cave tiles
* Implemented a few more replacement overworld tiles
* Experimented with house indoor/floor wall tiles

v0.27.95 (24 september 2023)
* Fixed issue of conflicting NPC's appearing together
* Added grass animations
* Experimented with new flower visuals
* Made progress tweaking the new cave wall/floor tiles

Other Projects / Re: Horn of Balance
« on: September 17, 2023, 08:43:53 pm »
Progress report:
Code: [Select]
v0.27.89 (15 september 2023)
* Tweaked and implemented a few more overworld tiles
* Made a start replacing the world signposts with a new type of object for more functionality

v0.27.90 (16 september 2023)
* Finished replacing signpost tiles with new (destructable) objects
* Finally found a way around some invalid gamemaker coding warnings
* Added small extra scene for demo 2.0
* Added extra frame to one of the villains
* Implemented another few overworld tiles

v0.27.91 (17 september 2023)
* Implemented another few overworld tiles
* Added / updated more NPC dialogue for demo 2.0
* Added small extra scene for demo 2.0

Other Projects / Re: Horn of Balance
« on: September 10, 2023, 08:09:16 pm »
Progress report:
Code: [Select]
v0.27.83 (1 september 2023)
* Improved visuals dug ground
* Finished implementing new desert boss sprites
* Implemented new NPC visuals
* Implemented new visuals for stone piles (and updated properties to be more appropriate)
* Implemented a few more new overworld tiles
* Did some experimentation with tall grass terrain sprites

v0.27.84 (2 september 2023)
* Implemented various new (visuals for) containers
* Tweaked shack sprite shadows
* Now able to hookshot onto cut trees stumps

v0.27.85 (3 september 2023)
* Implemented new doorway visuals into the demo dungeon
* Edited and implemented a few more overworld tiles

v0.27.86 (8 september 2023)
* Fixed typo in the intro sequence
* Made demo dungeon central room pushable statue slightly more obvious
* Added shield strafing
* Added a few extra shortcuts to the demo dungeon to lessen the amount of backtracking
* Made demo subboss fight slightly harder
* Switched around a few demo dungeon objects to better signal safe routes

v0.27.87 (9 september 2023)
* Tweaked character animation when using the shield
* Fixed collissions between sword smear effects and banners
* Made it more obvious when you pick up small keys
* Introducing hitswitches earlier in the demo dungeon
* Made demo dungeon entrance puzzle slightly more obvious
* Experimented with collisions between the shield and enemies

v0.27.88 (10 september 2023)
* The shield will now block (some!) enemies
* Added a few special properties to the better shield
* Fixed sound effect when blocking with the metal shield
* Expanded the roster of enemy defense stats for all enemies
* Tweaked character visuals after using the earth/fire elementals
* Changed up starting equipment nests

Other Projects / Re: Horn of Balance
« on: August 27, 2023, 08:16:59 pm »
No home improvement this weekend. It's back to regular development again.  XD (The most important home stuff is done so the rest is postponed till next month)

Anyway, it's been a pretty fruitful weekend, with the focus on the latest batch of new art assets that came in. Includes some excellent new visuals for the desert boss. Can't show it off yet because I'm saving it for the trailer. I really loved the earlier sprites, but sadly those were a designed around an alltp enemy, so they had to go. The concept is still the same though and a lot of care was put into preserving the theme across the dungeon. If you look carefully you will see the lifecycle progression between the small and larger sandworms. In the length, number of teeth and in the tail which develops further and further. I like adding in stuff like that, because it adds just that little bit of extra believability to the world.

Oh, and while we were at it: we also added even more teeth to the boss. Oh yes! >:D Bosses can never have enough teeth!

Progress report:
Code: [Select]
v0.27.80 (25 augustus 2023)
* Worked with spriter on new artwork
* Implemented several new overworld tiles

v0.27.81 (26 augustus 2023)
* Worked with spriter on new artwork
* Made progress slightly adjusting desert boss code for new visuals

v0.27.82 (27 augustus 2023)
* Worked with spriter on new artwork
* Made progress implementing new desert boss sprites
* Added several extra NPC frames

Other Projects / Re: Horn of Balance
« on: August 20, 2023, 06:57:50 pm »
This weekends progress:
- Patched 2nd floor outside window frames
- Painted bedroom ceiling
- Work a little bit on the game

I'll be back with proper game development progress next weekend, hopefully.

Progress log:
Code: [Select]
v0.27.78 (12-13 augustus 2023)
* Put out a new spritework commission package
* Prepared SAGE 2023 booth (with demo 1.3)
* Spend nearly a day doing the rounds on the internet to update the all information about this game

v0.27.79 (18-20 augustus 2023)
* Tweaked and implemented tiles elevated ground
* Tweaked and implemented tiles for background grass
* Tweaked and implemented tiles for animated idle water (deep & shallow)
* Enlarged tile commission package a little

Other Projects / Re: Horn of Balance
« on: August 13, 2023, 03:51:34 pm »
For this weekend I took the time to write about the overall state of development.

First up: the starting post has been updated. Also, demo 1.3 has recently been released over on Itch.
Demo link: https://hornofbalance.itch.io/horn-of-balance-pre-ks-demo/devlog/571291/05-demo-13-release
This is a smaller incremental update to fix a bug, add a new feature, and overall show tangible continued progress.
There might be another small demo 1.4 update with more features coming before reaching 2.0. (Here´s looking at you bombs and/or shield strafing). But we'll have to see how things go.

On that note: In the past I have stated to expect a Kickstarter later this year. My personal goals were far more specific: to complete demo 2.0 by SAGE2023 (=end of august). And then to do a Kickstarter event during the month of November, after two full months of advertising. Getting 2.0 out before SAGE is not happening by a long shot. (I'll be attending with just version 1.3). I have also become doubtful about these Kickstarter timeline due to the reasons listed below. So I want to clearly communicate that the Kickstarter event will likely be postponed until early next year. Development is still going strong, and never say never, but I want to be upfront about this! Call me crazy, but if I promise something it weighs heavily on me if I cannot deliver. There are also benefits to this story btw (for you all anyway).

My three reasons to reschedule are as follows (in order of impact):
  • Personal circumstances. I'll stay a bit vague here because sharing too much on the internet is unwise, but the last 1/1.5 month has been rough. Things related to my daytime job have changed significantly. Parts of my house are apparent in need of some costly repairs. And struggling with the creation of the mountain tileset, given the self-imposed deadlines, has been kinda draining. Stacking these factors has been putting me in a bad headspace, leading to delays, leading to a bad headspace, leading to delays, and so on. Nobody benefits from that, so simply pushing harder is a bad plan.
  • I do not want to rush things. Even given the point above, deadlines can always easily be reached: just ignore quality... and that simply is not me. I'd rather spend more time to it something to be fully proud of. Consequences be damned.
  • Doing a Kickstarter in November, December, January is not great given the holidays and other costly things people have going on (including other high profile releases they might prefer).
  • There are also more and more rumours that Nintendo's new console is coming soon. Some suggest a 2024 release even. That last one I take that with a heavy dose of salt, but the rest aligns with my own expectations. Developing Horn of Balance fully takes years, so I need to look years ahead. Adding a Nintendo console port to the Kickstarter event (directly or via stretchgoals) is preferred, so waiting for more information has benefits. (It's scary to promise a port without console/cost/access details).

So, what about the upsides?
Well. I'm upping the development budget for this demo, to also cover the extra development time till early next year. So postponing the Kickstarter will have no effect on the actually completion date of the full game. Additionally, the later Kickstarter will give me more room to breath and to work on the connected demo 2.0. This allows me to take a step back and add more things in a way that benefits the long term development (rather than just the immediate demo). An example: Instead of strictly adding in the grass tiles needed for demo 2.0, I've taken the opportunity to also redo the digging system to have similar sprites and that fit within the same set-up. As a result you can now dig in way more places than before, the game is easier to develop long-term and I have more opportunities to hide secrets. (Uuhm, wait. Forget about that last one. There are no secrets related to the shovel planned for the final game. This blogpost is over..... Pff. That was a close one. Nearly spoiled my killer gameplay feature to beat all the competition)

Other Projects / Re: Horn of Balance
« on: August 05, 2023, 08:26:21 am »
Here's a surprise update. On a Saturday no less, for a change.

One, because I have some other non-dev related plans for this weekend. And two, because I simply could not wait any longer to show of this awesome new artwork that I got in.
Yeah... both of those definitely apply in equal measure...  XD I swear...

Anyway, what do you all think? Does it represent the game well?

Beyond the new artwork a little bit more progress has also been made on the overworld/mountain tiles, but I'll save that for a future update.

EDIT: Can't seem to attach the image. That's rare. Maybe it's too big or something?
You can also see it here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hornofbalance/horn-of-balance?ref=discovery

Progress report:
Code: [Select]
v0.27.74 (1-2 augustus 2023)
* Expanded names in the credits
* Made a more progress on the mountain tileset (and realised I missed several exception cases)
* Made progress on grass border tiles
* Switched DW background colors

v0.27.75 (3 augustus 2023)
* Created extra grass edge tiles for more flexibility
* Completely retiled all grass borders across the worlds

Other Projects / Re: Horn of Balance
« on: July 30, 2023, 07:57:51 pm »
I'll be taking another few days off from work soon, to finally get that mountain tileset done. It's soo close now. Just a few more tile. XD

Also, I've been working with a few artists this past week. As a result, all the sound effects needed for demo 2 are now in!

And: I've found a talented individual who is currently working on capsule art for the game. Not pixelart, but pretty high dev digital art. While I personally love pixelart (and all the work Kohari does for the project), going with a more "realistic" artstyle for capsule art is apparently preferred over on Steam. At the very least it'll show others that I'm willing to put a little more money behind the project. Honestly, I can't wait to show of the results.

Progress log:
Code: [Select]
v0.27.72 (25-28 juli 2023)
* Worked with poster and sound artists
* Implemented various new sounds
* Finished final sprites details for the 3 new enemies
* Made progress spriting new mountain tiles

v0.27.73 (29-30 juli 2023)
* Tweaked and placed various NPC's along the outside path to the demo dungeon
* Adjusted various NPC's dialogue for demo purposes
* Altered some enemy placements

Other Projects / Re: Horn of Balance
« on: July 23, 2023, 09:42:33 pm »
Another week, another bit of project progress.

Progress report:
Code: [Select]
v0.27.66 (17 juli 2023)
* Worked with spriter on boss sprites

v0.27.67 (18 juli 2023)
* Worked with sound editor (and implemented a few new sound effects)

v0.27.68 (19 juli 2023)
* Implemented new dungeon entrance tiles

v0.27.69 (20-21 juli 2023)
* Implemented two more sound effects
* Tweaked details behind spiked ball soundvolume
* Slightly tweaked overworld tilework
* Fixed sprite allignment issue when using atk/def “sprites” while interrupting the idle animations
* Fixed spiked ball animation (and spawning) not stopping during some specific pause states and situations
* Updated overworld masking for new spritework
* Implemented new shrubbery tiles

v0.27.70 (22 juli 2023)
* Added extra frames for summon character
* Added animation and additional frames for mud golem enemy

v0.27.71 (23 juli 2023)
* Implemented new visuals for 2 enemies in the desert dungeon (= not in the demo's; might be included in the trailer)
* Fixed color issue with desert dungeon crates
* Added extra enemy type: Mud golem

Other Projects / Re: Horn of Balance
« on: July 16, 2023, 08:30:34 pm »
Twitter is broken again today (can't see those I'm following like normal again) so I'll post the image here as well.

Kohari has been making awesome pixelart the last several days. Check out this upcoming enemy for example. (And part of your home, as a little bonus). This'll be the first enemy you encounter while you play around with your childhood friends. So it won't hurt you too much. Or will it? >:D

What should this earth golem? Any suggestions?

Progress report:
Code: [Select]
v0.27.64 (14-15 juli 2023)
* Commissioned Kickstarter capsule art
* Worked with spriter on more world/cave tiles
* Implemented new house tiles
* Implemented several new door sprites variants

v0.27.65 (16 juli 2023)
* Worked with spriter on more new sprites and tiles

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