Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Demonstarting Demo Steam Next Fest

Brilliant Advertising That Gets Straight To The Point

Steam Next Fest is a thing where desperate indie devs big and small plead with Joe Public to notice their upcoming game and add it to their Wishlist. It runs for a whole week from Monday the 13th of June and Monsters Loot Swag will be there, with a playable demo - that I am still hammering the bugs out of ...

At some point during this Steam Next Fest, I will be streaming on the Monsters Loot Swag Steam Store Page (if I can get it to work - even Valve say it's awkard as hell in their documentation) to demonstrate the game and I dare say ramble incoherently about things ... probably 8pm BST on Tuesday 14th, and again for a late night comfy playthrough at 11pm BST on Thursday 16th.

 The playable demo has the first level available in Single Player, or Online Multiplayer (or LAN for those strange folks who have physical friends in the real world) and now features THREE player Co-Op (4 in the full game) and the new character "Bikaver".

Melee Based Wine Drinking

 Bikaver is a close-range, melee based character. She likes long walks in the rolling hills, eating grey cattle salami, drinking red wine and dealing out blunt force trauma.

Bikaver has a trio of hand-to-hand standard attacks, features high mobility, with high strength for knocking monsters out of the way. Her special attack is a low damage but wide area attack which stuns all enemies, whilst her evasion is the fearsome - and instantanious - Huzzar Charge, propelling herself through multiple ranks of monsters, both stunning and damaging all in her path.

 She also got a character profile redesign because I didn't like the first one.

 Monsters Loot Swag even runs on Valve's new handheld console Steam Deck ... apparently, I mean I don't actually have one.

And here is the first glimpse of Multiplayer Co-Op mode in action - with low audio because I forgot to turn the volume up for recording ... and then I forgot to turn off the video after we both got killed so half of it is a character screen whilst I was chatting on discord.

Plz wishlist Monsters Loot Swag on Steam!

Saturday, 30 April 2022

The Steam Upload And What Was I Thinking When I Wrote This Steam Stats System

 Monsters Loot Swag is on Steam and available for wishlisting here.

So, after a few months of testing off Steam, I have uploaded a build to a Steam depot ... and then immediately started to fix everything that didn't work ...

Who's Best Girl? You're Best Girl! If you don't get ganked ...

 Primary here was the minor issue that to finalize the build I had encoded the script files - and that my own script reading function only dealt with unencoded script files ... this could have been forseen but because it has been so long since I shipped a game to Steam *** 26th August 2014 *** I had forgotten about this sort of thing ... What I hadn't forgotten about was my system for storing Steam Stats.

This May Have Explained My Overly Convoluted System ...

Overly convoluted seems a little weak ... even reading through my own code comments it is best described as baffling. I clearly wanted a system which saved as much as possible on server calls but this was truly was absolute gibberish even if, most terrifyingly of all, it worked. All the same, it still had to be rewritten to make the whole thing readable again.

How Much!??!?!

Something else which I had overlooked was size - and in particular the minor issue that I had completely forgotten to trim my master files for things like artwork and audio. After some careful pruning the required HD space dropped to around a single gigabyte.

Steam Cloud save system is also fully up and running, and the Swag unlocks recorder fully functioning and integrated with User Interface so that the player can look through what Swags and Power-Ups that they have unlocked at a more leisurely pace, outside of the frenetic nature of the game.

As ever, there has been mountains more of work, but I can never seem to remember it all when it comes to the month blog write.

Monsters Loot Swag has been accepted for Steam NextFest, the forthcoming showcase of indie games on Steam, which runs from the 13th-20th of June, so look out the freely available demo coming at the end of May. So that's the next major job.

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Players Can Interface With The Interface Part Deux

 March comes to an end ... with me starting a blog in the same manner as February, whinging about the weather ...

I had hoped to bravely remove the winter duvet but I got snowed and hailed on earlier and the wind is coming directly from the Artic. The winter duvet is staying in place.

Behold Stats!

What Does What

Other things which can be construed as mildly irritating is the amount of time I have spent making the Game User Interface, actually useable to the game user ...

As ever, whatever part of indiedev appears somewhat straight forwards suddenly become incredibly convoluted and the gamepad useable menu system has been just this. This included making a brand new input system for button selection that uses both vertical and horizontal selection, including uneven rows and columns.

Blast Monsters

 The statistics were not such a problem as setting out the tutorial in a way that the player could easily digest. Highlighting individual HUD elements seemed the best way of doing this and giving a brief explanation of what the player was seeing in game with any key/button related actions to that element, based on the player's currently selected input type. Now there are some stock engine ways of doing this but instead I wrote my own so all button selection goes through a custom input script.

Win Loot

 This useful and problematic in it's own manner, especially with the input system losing focus if you tabbed out or opened the console, but did give immediate response for sudden changes of input. I wrote my own custom key/input remapping system.


Get Swag!

So after a monumental kerfufle, the userable user interface is finally useable by people who are not me and do not know what everything does or means.

Next up is actually getting a build uploaded to Steam.