Chikara Chapter 2 Update 4

     Hello guys and maybe gals, I’m finally back with more news for Chikara Chapter 2. Things have been going pretty well and also slowly due to college, but I still find time here and there to work on the game. I just wish I had a laptop so I could work on the game even away from home, but that is what I’m hoping to buy during Black Friday. My classes are relatively easy so sometimes I just write down the script for the game, code, and ideas. Most of the time I end up drawing during class, as you can see here from my collage of drawings I’ve been doing for the last 2 months. Sadly a lot of the lines are lost due to how lightly I draw.
     For some reason I don’t ever draw at home, so I only feel like drawing at school due to boredom, just like last year in highschool. xD But man after taking a look back at the drawings I can see so many errors in my proportions and lines. QQ At the least I think I’m getting better at drawing at this angle, although I need to start drawing in the face, which is what I’m practicing right now.

     Besides drawing I’ve completed the majority of the code for the turn based combat in Chapter 2, but there is still some minor code I need to do. Most of the animations are done and implemented into the game already, there are just a few that I need to do to improve the fluency of the characters’ movements.

     I’ve also been focusing a lot on trying to create a good looking forest environment for the game, since I’ve made some pretty terrible looking forest like environments in the past (Supply & Demand, Sensou). So I went back and recreated a few textures, such as the grass, mushrooms, and rocks. I also created some new models like the fallen tree trunks and tree stumps. Here is how it looks like with just real time lighting, which is awesome because they made it available for Unity free.
Basic Scene
     First I baked the lightmaps for the scene using my current light source, but things turned out extremely dark.
Too Dark
     Again I tried to bake the scene, but this time around I used about 3 more lights in the scene. It definitely lighted up the scene but now everything was too bright.
Too Bright
     After a lot more tweaking I finally found a nice compromise between shadow and light and ended up with this scene. Unlike the other scenes I added some random particles to the scene in addition with a change in the lighting’s color to give a tint of yellow for the sun. Along with those changes I played around with the ambient light and added a minor amount of fog to the scene to give more depth.
Fog & Ambient
     At this point I began modifying the scene so that I could get rid of some really dark shadows that the light wasn’t able to reach and then removed the grass because I thought it looked terrible. After that I started studying shaders because I’ve always been interested in how they worked, especially since they can seriously change the look of a scene. For example this is how it looks like with the rim lighting shader.
Rim Lighting
     I thought it looked really funny so I ended up changing it back to the diffuse shaders and instead applied the rim lighting shader to characters like the dragon, Okina.
     And finally here is how the game looks right now. All those brave cubes that died while testing the combat system are gone now and in their place are the actual characters. ^.^ Of course the status bars aren’t going to look like that in the final product, they are just there for testing purposes.
Current State
     Well that is about it for now I still have a list of things to do before this chapter is finished and if you’re curious this is my to do list.

To Do List
Add sound
Create & add music
Finish animations (jump back, wolf turning)
Create & add interface
Work on special effects
Implement status effects in combat
Add Story
Create tutorial
Redo character portraits

     The current aim is to finish before thanksgiving break, but who knows what will happen. Anyways I need to get back to doing homework, so I’ll see you guys and gals later.

Chikara Chapter 2 Update 3

     For today’s update I can show off the enemies for this chapter. First are the basic enemies you are going to fight, the wolves. I’ll be using this model with modified textures to create variants of the enemies that have different abilities. The current plan is to have at least three different types of wolves.
     Next is the boss of the chapter, a werewolf. I was thinking of stopping with the first werewolf model, but instantly changed my mind in favor creating a more menacing boss. :] After adding more fur making him look more awesome I modified the texture a lot, fixed up the model some more, and changed his color scheme grays to strong values of black and white, making him more satisfying to look at (at least for me).
     I also have Yuu textured. I even inverted the texture to see how it looked and he looks fabulous and quite evil. xD Unlike the original model he has twin swords, instead of the bow on his back. I plan on making it so he can combine them to create a bow through the power of magic. Hopefully I’ve learned enough about animation to make it look right.
     Sorry for the late update, I’m just really tired from all the work, plus the real life events that I have to accomplish right now. I really want to finish the chapter this week, but so many events are going on right now for me. I really don’t want to rush this chapter either, but at least all the characters I’ve shown here are rigged and ready to be animated, so now all I need to do now is animate and code the rest of the game. I will probably have to cut back some things such as the character portraits that I really wanted to have this chapter, but they can always be on the next chapter. Now that should be all for today, so I’ll be back with more information next week. ^^

Chikara Chapter 2 Update 2

     For today I’m going to introduce a friendly npc, Okina, a nature dragon. Okina is Yuu’s mentor and helps him by teaching him magic. Originally I wanted a bear or something for his mentor, but switched to a dragon because it’s just plain cooler and for story reasons. First I drew some art for him because well I don’t usually draw dragons and I thought it would be fun.

Dragon Concept
     Man my coloring skills are bad. xD Well at least it helped me get an idea of how I wanted to texture him, which I did after modeling him.

     It turned out pretty badly. I didn’t like the single color scheme very much, so I ended up re-texturing him into what he is now.

Dragon Stand
     With the addition of yellow to the color scheme it looks much better along with the additional tiling of the the seamless scales texture I made. After that I went and rigged him, even though he will just sit there the whole chapter, but it was an interesting experience since I don’t often rig four legged creatures in general. Now here is Okina relaxing in the forest.

Text Level
     For this image I basically randomly scattered around all the textures and objects I made for the environment. I do have a texture for the tree’s bark but I got really distracted by trying to make a variety of tree types. I ended up with six different variants that I liked, but I’m still not completely sure which trees I’m going to use. I might just end up experimenting some more until I get some more interesting looking trees. I rendered the above image in blender so I’m not sure how it’ll look in Unity, but with proper light mapping it will probably look better.

     Well that is pretty much it for today. I said I would show the colored character portraits today, but was sadly dragged way off track. I’m still hoping I finish the chapter this week, so I’ll be back with a finished chapter or another update. Goodbye and thanks for reading. ^^

Chikara Chapter 2 Update 1

      Wow, its been three weeks since I last updated… Well I should probably explain what I was doing during those three weeks. For the first week I basically just took a break and played with my friends. One of them bought a Left 4 Dead 2 four pack during the steam summer sale, so we had some good times. On the second week I started creating some environmental assets for the forest location in Chapter 2, but the week was focused mostly on coding the game, so there wasn’t really anything worth showing. For the third week I started a new visual novel and got quite distracted. Something similar happened before I started Chapter 1 when I began playing the visual novel Rewrite, which was absolutely amazing, but it grabbed my attention for about 2 weeks and took me away from starting Chikara.

     I refocused myself and withheld my urge to play the visual novel to draw some nice lineart for Aiya, and the new character Yuu. Hopefully these will help me get one step closer to creating a visual novel like conversation system. The lineart I’m showing here is one fourth of its actual size because the original size would most likely look really bad compressed in this post.

I also modeled and rigged the new character, Yuu.
Yuu Blender
     Well that’s about it for now, next update I should be able to show the environment and the colored lineart, even though I’m not sure how well I’ll be coloring them since my art skills are pretty limited, but I’ll do my best. ^^ The current plan is to complete Chapter 2 in the next two weeks, and hopefully I can accomplish that. :]

Chikara Chapter 1 Finished

     After some extremely helpful feedback from my good friends who beta tested the game for me I’m happy to present the first chapter of Chikara. My awesome friends have helped me improve the game so much and I’m way happier with the game then before I let them test it, so thank you very much guys. ^^ Now here are the the links to the game so that you can try it out for yourselves and some more screenshots of the game. :]
     After a little break I’ll begin working on Chapter 2. So far I’ve made a simple game design document for it, so that I can be more efficient in my workflow and complete it in two to three weeks. Well that’s it for today, so I’ll be back next week with more information on Chapter 2.

Chikara Chapter 1 Update 4

     Today I’d like to make a small update to inform you that the the chapter is pretty much done. :] But before I post it I’m going to send it to some friends to test it out to make sure there aren’t any huge bugs out there. Speaking of bugs here is a beautiful infinite loop I accidentally created during my 3 days of coding.
I broke it
     For the first time I also implemented sound effects and man do they make a difference, once I added a single sound effect it felt so awkward listening to silence so I just had to keep adding more. I picked up some pretty nice sounds that I can use freely from and they fit pretty nicely into the game. Although the same can’t be said for the music which I tried making my self. xD It can be pretty repetitive and I’m sorry if it gives any of you a headache. I’ll officially release the game to the public on Saturday, so I’ll see you guys there.

Chikara Chapter 1 Update 3

     Hello and welcome to the third weekly update for Chikara. This week was quite fun I was able to learn and increase my understanding of how texturing works, although I did fail in making a proper texture atlas because I didn’t plan out how many textures I needed beforehand. Most of the texturing work is done along with some decent animations. The animations look quite funny, which shows that I still have a lot to learn in the animation department. xD I finally started putting all the pieces together in unity and I’m pretty satisfied with the look so far. :] Chikara
     Now I can finally get back to doing what I do best, at least compared to my other skills, scripting! I plan on finishing the chapter this week so it won’t be too long until you guys can play it. And here is one more random image that I though was funny, I really didn’t expect messing with the materials would lead to this… Aiya
     Before I leave I think I should talk more about this, so here I go. First off these chapters are going to be relatively short because I’m going work on each chapter for at max one month. Unlike my past games I’m going to spend a lot more time on the graphical, storytelling, and the sound department, which were either nonexistent or very basic in my past projects. The chapters are going to be released separately from each other so you can play whatever chapter you want first, because the chapters will contain different game types. I’m not too worried about spoilers because I don’t think my story is that great, but I will aim for a fun story. Well that’s enough for today so I’ll be back with a finished chapter next post.