Monday, May 20, 2013

Going to the past: The next PTD2 Story Update and more!

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Welcome to the Sam and Dan Games Developer Blog! Coming back from chaos!

Sam and Dan Games: Fundraiser! Phase 3
Help us keep making games and earn awesome prizes like Shiny Rayquaza and Shiny Heatran!  
Our Goal: $50,000

What's New
It has been chaos, to say the least, these past couple of weeks. For the first time in my life I moved out of my parents house and into my own apartment. All of this in preparation for my wedding which is 2 short months from now! Chaos might have been a soft word. With all the moving also came computer problems. I had to take my development computer to be fixed and now my old computer is giving me trouble. I've never had this much trouble before! While I haven't been able to really sit down and work on anything my mind has not stopped thinking about what and who is making all of this possible. You guys and gals are the reason I'm able to push my life into the next stage and I'm able to wake up every day and think about making video games instead of coding something I have no interest in for somebody I don't even really know. Because of that I will give it my all as long as you guys will have me.

I did manage a few things, Cosmoids got a small update, some tweaks on the first level to make it a bit shorter and some massive changes to the tutorials so they are easier to understand and more to the point.

Speaking of Cosmoids...

Designing a game before coding it
The way I make Pokemon Tower Defense is that each week I think about what to work on next and early in the week I will make a plan, write the blog with my plan and then I try to accomplish my plan. In more detail this means I'm making it up as I go. Each week I think about where the story could go. While I have some very basic plans for the overall story, the lines of dialog and the different events that will happen are not planned out months in advance. At the most I will have an idea like having Mewthree win, and then slowly during the week I will think about how this will happen. Same with the battles, ptd1 transfers, new attacks. Having been doing this for a few years now I can see that there are benefits to this method. The main benefit is the speed that you can put things out. There are however some drawbacks to this style. I think an obvious example is the Avatars in PTD1. Your player doesn't have an avatar until later in the game. This is the result of not having time to add it initially but then eventually getting the time and figuring out how to add it in. Going back and adding it to all the previous levels would have been a big undertaking that would have stalled the game updates so I was never willing to do it. At the same thing I think it is odd to add new things as you go and having the old content not take advantage of these things.

So for Cosmoids I want to design the game in advance before I make it. What this means is that I will be coming up with the levels and moves in advance before I actually code them. Then I will see what everything looks like and be able to implements new things into the whole game instead of just adding them as I go. So far I have designed up to level 5. My goal for the game is for it to have about 40ish levels before I consider it complete.

Designing a level doesn't take a very long time but making it interesting, challenging, and fun can be quite a challenge. For Cosmoids we are following a similar formula that PTD1 has. You watch a story scene then you play the level and you watch another story scene. So the first thing you have to think about is where is your story at. What happened in the previous level, in the previous story scene and where do you want the story to go and how will it tie into the next Cosmoids you want to use on the next level. Then you think about what attacks should this new Cosmoid have and how is it different from the others. What kind of different role can it take. Finally using those new attacks you create an idea for how the level itself will play. What will be the challenge on the level. How will you test the player. Will it be a puzzle or the ability to dodge moves. Or will he have to have Cosmoids that have high defense. A lot of thought goes into making each level. So being able to focus on just the design lets you do it quick and it also lets you see the big picture quicker which can hopefully lead to the game feeling more unified.

Going to the past: The next PTD2 Story Update
It's going to be a good one! Mewthree has taken over the world with his massive clones, your friends, family and heroes are about to be captured. Celebi, the time traveling pokemon, shows up and offers you a chance to save the world but you must go to the past to change it! This update will have you going to the past. You will be able to visit the locations that you have already visited but 10 years into the past. In the world you aren't born yet and Silver is still alive! What can do you to stop the events in the future? Only time will tell.

The past will be a different place, while the maps themselves will look the same, you can expect more people to be around, and different house and buildings to be accessible.

You will be able to enter the poke mart and buy items. You will be able to enter the pokemon center and rest until night time, day time or early morning. Essentially giving you control over the time of day. There will be more trainer battles in the Routes.

Another cool feature is that you can travel back to the future! Talking to celebi from your pokepad will allow you to travel back a few moments before Mewthree took over the region, allowing you to replay old battles or talk to people in the future after finding out more about them in the past.

There is a lot of content to be added to make this update possible and I hope you guys enjoy the things I have planned.

Weekly Progress

Cosmoids Progress
  • Design Level 8 (70%) - Honey Badger vs Bees
  • Design Level 9 (50%) - Electric City
  • Design Level 10 (50%) - Electric City 2
  • Design Level 11 (50%) - Electric City 3 Boss
PTD2 v1.45 Released!
  • Mystery Gift (100%)
    • Graphics (100%)
    • Stats (100%)
    • Attacks (100%)
      • Block (100%)
      • Stealth Rock (100%)
    • Abilities (100%)
      • Soundproof (100%)
    • Evolution Info (100%)
    • Add to Breeding Center (100%)
    • Add to Trading Center (100%)
  • Bug Fix - Can no longer use items that have zero quantity (100%)
  • Traveling to the past (100%) - Travel 10 years into the past to save the world! 
    • Past Route 30 (100%)
      • New NPC Graphics (100%)
      • House 1 (100%)
      • House 2 (100%)
      • Trainer Battles (100%)
    • Past Route 31 (100%)
      • Trainer Battle (100%)
    • Past Dark Cave (100%) - No Changes
    • Past Violet City (100%)
      • People Outside (100%)
      • Houses (100%)
        • Map Graphics (100%)
        • People Inside Houses (100%)
      • Sprout Tower (100%)
        • Trainer Battles (100%)
      • School (100%)
        • Map Graphics (100%)
        • Trainer Battles (100%)
      • Gym (100%)
        • Map Graphics (100%)
        • Gym Battle (100%)
      • PokeMart (100%)
        • Add new Items (100%)
      • PokeCenter (100%)
    • Past Route 32 (100%)
      • Trainer Battles (100%)
    • Past Ruins of Alph (100%)
      • Trainer Battle (100%)
PTD2 v1.44 Released!
  • Mystery Gift (100%) - Shiny Sandile!
  • Traveling to the past (100%) - Travel 10 years into the past to save the world! 
    • New Pokemon (100%) 
      • Graphics (100%) 
      • Stats (100%) 
      • Attacks (100%) 
        • Embargo (100%)
        • Horn Drill (100%)
      • Evolutions (100%)
      • Add to Trading Center (100%) 
      • Add to Breeding Center (100%)
    • New Story Scenes and Battles (100%)
      • Talking to Celebi (100%)
      • Past New Bark Town (100%)
        • Town (100%)
        • Lab (100%)
        • Gold's House (100%)
        • Silver's House (100%) - Still locked!
        • Crystal's House (100%)
        • Special Spot (100%)
      • Past Route 29 (100%)
        • Trainer Battle (100%)
      • Past Route 46 (100%)
        • Trainer Battle (100%)
      • Past Cherrygrove City (100%)
        • Trainer Battle (100%)
        • Houses (100%)
          • Map Graphic (100%)
        • Flower Trade (100%)
        • Pokemon Center (100%)
          • Map Graphic (100%)
          • Allow you to change time (100%)
          • Nurse Joy Graphic (100%)
        • PokeMart (100%)
          • Map Graphic (100%)
          • Add new items (100%)
          • Allow you to buy items (100%)
          • Item Security (100%)
          • Save Money on the Server (100%)
    • New NPC Characters Graphics (100%)
  • Fixed a bug that would not reset a map's music if you exited Story Mode (100%)
  • The story maps will now show the name of the location that you are in (100%)
  • Trainer Adoptions will now show if the pokemon is hacked in the Adoption Page (100%)
  • Added a Trainer Adoptions link to the Adoption page (100%) - You can easily find the pokemon trainers are putting up for adoption on that page.

Thanks for sticking with us! That's all I have for you this week. As always let me know what you think!