After gaining weight and laziness over the duration of our little break, it’s finally time to start getting back to work.

Vilya’s still trying to keep the spirit of christmas alive by making sprites for our winter area:

There’s christmas trees, snowmen, and lots and lots of snow, as you can see! Of course, no area is complete without hats, so it’s time we started making a few of those as well:

Another piece of development news, which will be very exciting to some, and not-so-exciting to others, is that we’re working on some translation tools! We’ve gotten quite a few offers to have fansub groups translate our game to various languages, and if there are fans out there who want to bring the game to their non-English speaking countrymen, why not let them?

Basically, it’s a set of tools that can be used by anyone to change dialogue (and other texts). You have access to everything you need, like coloring parts of the text, or adding conditional phrases (like having a character say different things depending on character gender, or how many is in your party). By saving it into the game’s language folder, you can then select it in game.

Our hopes are that the tools will be used to make better translations than we’d be able to get even if we hired someone to help us! In their final version, the goal is to have good support for collaboration, with options to merge different language files and keep the best translated lines.

Also, having an approach like this can let players choose between, say, a literal translation by one group and an idiomatic translation by another. Perhaps a fan with a great knack of dialogue writing will even release an improved English version!

What happened to the dungeon? Fear not, it hasn’t been forgotten! We’ll most likely get back to it in the coming week, after discussing how to proceed :)

Hello again and welcome to another weekly recap!

But wait, you say, it’s not Friday today… No, indeed, here in Sweden it’s currently Monday evening, and as we already mentioned over at Facebook and Google+ last week (sadly, we forgot about Twitter..), we are rescheduling our future updates to Mondays from now on.

The reason is simply that we have changed our workflow and made stricter schedules for each of us, listing the tasks we need to do each week. Since we all enjoy working on the game during the weekends we also thought Mondays would be a better time to show the progress. That way we can show the tasks we finished during our scheduled week, including the things we saved for the weekend!

Anyway, let’s forget about that now and focus on what’s important: the update!

This week, Vilya spent making another zone, the east outskirts of the city. There’s a mysterious pond, a river and a house you won’t reach just yet.. ;3

To make the environment look better, and to avoid people getting hidden behind trees too often, we decided to create bushes to scatter around the areas. These will replace most of the random trees standing in the middle of any area so you won’t get caught by a naughty enemy hiding behind them.

Fred has been really busy this week. So busy, that he managed to complete all the tasks for next week, this week! Wooho!
Walk animations for a bunch of different NPCs was one of the tasks this week, so here’s a few of them in action paired together with some updated portraits by Vilya!

Writing and reading dialogues in XML-format was becoming quite impractical, especially for the artists. When the implementation workload let up a bit, Teddy whipped up a simple tool that made the process much less painful! The tool is made in good old C#/Winforms.

Next week: Being dead and waiting for revival in a multiplayer game is no fun. We’ll look into ways of making death (or being dead) a bit less boring!