Sunday, August 26, 2012

SFPC - Summer 2012 Update

It's been far too long since I've written up any updates for SFPC, so here's a double update to try and make up for that!  I may have stayed quiet this summer, but that doesn't mean I wasn't busy!  Originally I didn't think I would have an internship this summer so the plan became "Work on SFPC Full Time", but an offer finally came through in early June to work as a Programming Intern at Schell Games.  I spent a couple months there this summer working with some wonderful people making some very cool stuff that I unfortunately can't talk about, such is life in the land of NDAs and unannounced projects.  While I had less time to spend on SFPC because of the internship, I did end up learning a lot of new stuff and making several new friends in that time, so I'm pretty happy with how my summer went.  I got back into my old groove of working an hour or two a day on SFPC before work each weekday so that I'd still get some stuff done, just not as much as I was planning on.

The first part of the update is in regards to SFPC itself:


I spent a little over 2 solid weeks working on implementing A* pathfinding in the engine so that enemies can move in combat.  There's no AI yet to control how they choose what target to move to or have them inch up when there are no targets in range or anything like that, but this is an important first step.

The second part of the update is the unveiling of a new companion project which will be developed alongside SFPC:


SHEd is my GUI based editor for SFPC.  Built with C# and .NET 4.0, SHEd will eventually be the main content creation and editing application used for building games with the SFPC engine.  For now it supports editing characters, items, and battle animations, but I plan on expanding it to support map editing and scripting as well.

That's it for now, feel free to email me any questions or comments you may have about SFPC and SHEd! 

13 comments:

  1. Glad that you back to work on the SFPC, Ken. SHEd looks amazing and easy to use. And I fully support the idea of the expanding it for the map editing and dialogue scripting (if I understand this right). I don't saying that the existing ways to make them were too hard, no. They were easy, but I think that the more functions editor will have, the better it will become.

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  2. This is just wonderful, Ken, and I think you'll be taken aback by the response you get from the Shining Force/game making community. With this editor in place comes the possibility of many fan-created games, and given the simplicity of SF compared to, say, Neverwinter Nights (which also had a custom campaign engine), the user-created works will be much more prolific.

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  3. Just a thought. Since theres no ai yet and you will be able to make maps armies etc......what do you think of the editor allowing an option to control enemies as well? i could see some great competitive gameplay coming from that similar to the control enemies cheat in the game via hot seat matches.

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    1. A multiplayer versus mode is already on my wish list. To do that properly I'd want to add network play, though, and that is another big task in itself.

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  4. For those who live close local play wouldn't be bad. To make it balanced both sides would need to be able to level up, shop, and gain gold.

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  5. Hi Ken! Is there any updates on the SFPC and SHEd?

    And some questions:

    1. Since we will be able to create separate animations for the character's actions in the SHEd, will the creation for the item use/level up frame be possible (SF III-inspired)? Same goes to the final attack on the last boss (like the SF I Max's last blow on the Dark Dragon) and, of course, for the spellcasting frames ('cause I don't wanna to see a character casting any spell with the attack animation - it looks stupid for me).

    2. On your YT channel I've seen you were saying that the creation of the entire new spells will be impossible. So what spells we will be able to use then? Will it be the SF I-II spell list? I think that it will be more than enough.

    3. Will there be a SF II-type ranged attack animations for the archers, knights etc.?

    4. And the last question is - will we be able to create an entirely new animation for the spells or you gonna stick to the SF I-II spell animations only?

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    1. School has kept me super busy, so time to work on SFPC has been next to nil, unfortunately.

      1: Customizing normal expected animations like casting spells, using items, or level up celebrations is reasonable and I'll likely be supporting that. Special final blow animations are more special case kind of things and would be a long ways off.

      2: Magic is going to require me to build an effects editor to do it properly. I might be able to support some mix and match spells if I do it right, like maybe a fire spell that stuns or something, but short term I'll likely just support the traditional core spells and maybe let you tweak damage values and MP costs.

      3: Ideally, yes, but that also might fall under effects editor work to do fully, so it'll probably just be like melee animations for the short term.

      4: As addressed above, I'll need to make an effects editor for this. Simple blaze spells might be able to get away with just the current animation editor, but spawning multiple fireballs falling from the sky and giving them paths to follow and screen flashes is getting more complex and will probably need a more robust system.

      I've been thinking about trying to find the time to get back to SFPC lately, but I'm still quite busy. Hopefully soon, though!

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  6. Thanks for the reply! It's good to know that you're not going to abandon the project even if you don't have much time. I too hope that you'll be able to find a some time to work on it, since I'm very interested in this project.

    Glad that you like the idea of having more animations per character. In addition to that I wanna ask, will it be possible to add a jingle or short music track that plays when character gains a level?

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  7. Sorry if I'm asking too much questions, Ken, but this is only because I'm quite interested in the SFPC project. So, the last thing I want to know is what do you think about the adding a possibility to do a SF III-inspired second character promotion (Lvl 20 post-promoted)?

    And one more thing - will there be a demo version of the SHEd to try out or you want to release it only when all of it's functions is fully implemented?

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    1. I haven't worked out how to handle promotions yet, but I would like to implement branching promotions as with promotion items in SF2, and second promotions shouldn't be that much more work I would think. As for SHEd, the engine doesn't read the files it outputs yet, so there's not much point of a demo.

      I'd like to try working SFPC back into my schedule, but that definitely won't happen until April at the soonest.

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  8. Will you be able to Make New Charters like Custom Character models and weapons and so forth? because i was thinking of remaking Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict.

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    1. Yes, custom character sprites, weapons, and stats are all in the plan.

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