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Dev Blog #14: Some Dialogue and More Refactoring

This past development sprint was our most productive sprint this year! Woohoo! Of course it was the only sprint this year, as the year just started. Now we just need to keep our momentum going.


UI Assets


In our previous dev blog, we mentioned that we had some UI assets in the works, and now they're finished! We worked with Kimbolt to create a great user experience for our demo of Lost Haven, complete with sleek visuals.


The assets are still patiently waiting to be implemented into the game, but we'll share screenshots the moment we get them in place.


Always Be Refactoring


Our fans who know a little bit about programming will understand -- code always needs maintenance. Even a code base that is still being built up. One of our developers has been hard at work polishing up our code, making everything nice and tidy so we can easily implement saving and loading. If you've been following our dev blogs, you'll know we've been working on this particular refactor for a while but we are just about done!


We're always learning, and taking that newly-acquired knowledge to improve our core code. Making improvements as we go means we don't end up with a big messy ball of outdated code that can overwhelm us.


Dialogue System


Speaking of newly-acquired knowledge, another piece we worked on during this sprint was researching how to handle random conversations for our town characters. An important part of Lost Haven is having the town feel like it's populated with people, not cardboard cutouts of characters that repeat the same piece of small-talk every time you speak with them.


So, we took inspiration from games we enjoy, as well as noodling on some thoughts of our own, and nailed down a plan to implement random conversations in a way that works well with the Dialogue System we are using, and selects conversations that are relevant to what is happening in the town and not too repetitive.


Character Model Adjustments


This is technically just more refactoring, but more on the visual side. Our character models look fantastic (thanks again, Emma!), but their underlying structures varied just slightly. When Unity imports an .fbx, or other 3D model file, it creates a hierarchy of Game Objects based on the individual meshes in the file. We weren't thinking about this when they were initially created, so the different characters had slightly different hierarchies.


We just went in and adjusted the files so all the characters load in with one object each for the body, hair, and clothing. Easy fix, and makes it much simpler to swap out clothing and hairstyles for our characters.


What's Next?


During our next sprint, our main focus is to make some serious progress on the environment art. It's been a long time coming, and it's one of the last major art pieces we need to really round out our game world.


We also want to finally button up that HUGE refactor and get back to polishing up the features of our demo.

© Savatronix, LLC 2016

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