Infidemia Development Update (16)

This update is a bit late, though I’ve been working on the game.

While my previous development process involved work only inside the game engine, I decided to change things up and write a story draft in a digital writing tool, which will be easier for me to read the entire script and storyboard without having to replay everything I have so far (I’ll still do playtesting in the game engine, but this should help get the necessary dialogue and script content added to the game).

As a disclaimer, this update’s mostly meant for last week.

Although this means I’ve technically “started over” again, it’s not like I’m deleting the entire game contents and rebuilding it; I have some resources (the map design has used the same base maps so far, but I’ve added edits over time) and there are things like sidequests that will mostly have the same gameplay content, which means I’ll do things like edit dialogue and (attempt to) balance how repetitive versus rewarding a sidequest is.

I’ve noticed that sometimes I start working on the game again and things are going well, then I forget about what happened in the story, and the game feels inconsistent. That’s one of the reasons why I decided a storyboard would be necessary.

Throughout development (which has mostly been a planning process), I’ve come up with a few ideas on how the story might work, what mechanics the player might see in plot and battles, and how decision-based gameplay influences the story (as well as how to account for this). A lot of the game’s dialogue has been written on-the-spot, then sometimes rewritten once or twice, though for now I’ll focus on the planning process of Infidemia.

The idea for the game started maybe about two years ago by now, and I started working on it about three months after that or two and a half months (actual engine work began three months after I got the idea for the game, meaning I didn’t start planning characters or map design until then).

I had a few planning documents I made for the game, some of them outlining specific mechanics in combat (each type of ability, how points are accumulated, etc.) though these were scattered and referencing them when I worked on the game was challenging.

I took notes in a lot of different places, though eventually tried to compile these into one collection to see what I could use when working on the game (this is after working on it with some of those ideas relevant in my head).

The largest issue I’ve had working on Infidemia would probably be managing the scope of the project; how large will the game be?

I’ve went from a project that involved 21 playable characters (partially planned, but only about 10 or so characters were fully planned), at least 1 game world with at least 4 areas as large as the main part of the game, and a battle system where characters can take up to 8 actions per turn…

…to a project that involves 7 main characters, the same game world with a focus on one area of the game world being playable (multiple parts of the game world are involved and mentioned in the story, but since the gameplay was designed for mostly one part of this game world, I’ve decided to limit the scope to that part), and a battle system that will likely reduce how many actions can be taken.

A lot of plans have changed during development, but by repeatedly changing my approach to the game early on, it’s been more like making prototypes of Infidemia than trying to make the entire game in one go. (Prototyping different styles of gameplay, experimenting with the combat system, and finding a way to tell the story so it flows together are the goals, though.)
Although the latest version of the game will probably feel more consistent compared to where I started, I don’t think that it’s an instant change from what it was before, and I’d prefer to see this as a result of gradually working on the game.

It’s also been a really buggy game, but I found out the bugs in the game were caused by unfinished eventing sequences and half-implemented battle commands, meaning that putting in some time to fix these issues has helped make the game more playable, and to figure out what features to fully implement, or just to test – addressing the scope of Infidemia.

I’ve been playing different games to get inspiration on how to arrange the story structure and how to make a battle system, with the goal of figuring out how to combine preexisting [gameplay] mechanics into something new, and finding a way to include interactive elements in the story.

For this update, I also want to note that most of the game’s music will likely end up being redone, as I’ve started to do that and noticed improvements with figuring out a different approach to the music. Working on Infidemia’s music in chronological order (based on the story), meaning from start to finish, but also based on when the music for story events plays, I’ve tried to add little melodies to some tracks that play in others, as a reference to themes that play throughout the game, and to link together music tracks. This has resulted in a slightly more consistent style, but that’s not what I’m going for with this project, so I’ll work on addressing that.

Most of the game’s planning process feels complete; it’s like I’m familiar with the game world as I’ve tried different ways to come up with details about it.

There were some things early on I planned, maybe discussed here (which would be unlikely), though I didn’t add these features. I’m considering experimenting more with gameplay and testing out features I didn’t finish making.

The goal of having “development updates” is for me to reference what I’ve worked on, but also to keep me on track.

I’m not sure how successful I’ve found it to be to write development updates about Infidemia (and only writing about it… …no screenshots of gameplay) though the purpose of this update is to describe what’s happening with Infidemia.

What’s next for Infidemia?

  • Development plans right now have changed to a different style, although to build upon preexisting content for the game.
  • Looking back on the game early on and seeing what planned features that I didn’t use might be interesting to test.
  • Balancing the battle system.
  • Putting together some ideas for the game and testing how these will impact development.
  • Experimenting with how the music should work (now that a few prototypes have been made).

Thanks for showing interest in Infidemia,

-ZoruaAl

Infidemia Development Update (15)

This week’s updates focused on getting the game to run on more platforms. I won’t specify which platforms these are, though, here’s a list of updates to the game that have come as a result of deploying and running Infidemia on two more platforms:

  • Fixed a bug where I mixed up the previous and current versions of a player sprite; this caused the game to freeze being unable to load an unused sprite (in an effort to organize the game’s used and unused contents, this happened). The temporary fix for Infidemia to run on platforms facing this glitch (along with running it in the main editor) was to add the unused sprite, but the fix for the latest version of the game (which will be tested on those platforms again) was to temporarily add an unused spritesheet back to the game.
  • Found out that I’ll have to optimize Infidemia for more platforms – some devices will not recognize keyboard or controller input. Additionally, I’ll have to account for touchscreen devices when redesigning the UI.
  • As part of this optimization, eventing some areas to run more efficiently (like the core time system) will be important to reduce lag. This also applies to scripts. I haven’t started on this yet, but I will work on this.
  • The debug room can load a battle scene with more options.
  • Other modifications to player input (on things like a controller/keyboard/mouse or touchscreen) may be necessary.
  • Noticed that the Heart Gauge icon matches the emoji for a heart on which platform Infidemia is running on (regardless of running on mobile devices or not).
  • The dialogue typing/speaking sound effect has the potential to add a lot of lag.

I didn’t plan on working on the core game as much, though I think there were some edits I ended up doing anyway, to the main game, like for bugfixing and performance improvements. Although it took a while to build the game and get it to load (and for it to be playable), I think this has been interesting. A lot of this probably doesn’t impact the player right now, but I hope that the potential of more platforms to play the game on will make it easier for more people to play the game (if people are interested).

There are still some more tests with this kind of stuff that I’d like to get done, though for now, that’s all for this week’s development update.

-ZoruaAl

Infidemia Development Update (14)

This week, I’ve had a goal of taking a break from working on Infidemia, but, I ended up working on the game more than I thought.

The recent updates have been about improving the game’s database and skill list, though the previous version of it had many unused skills, so after using that to get an idea on how to make the battle system and to start developing ideas on mechanics, I’m working on a revised skills list that has some new features, like an organized layout and leveled-up versions of skills.

New features:

  • Fixed an issue where level 1 magic attacks would deal 0 damage (this came up during development this week)
  • Every (usable) element now has a level 1 magic attack associated with it
  • Every level 2 magic attack has been implemented (although balance updates will be necessary)
  • Testing a new sub-mechanic based on another already present in the game
  • Started working on skills lists for classes (testing, not working…)
  • Balancing stats (sort of)
  • Trying to remember where the story left off
  • Improving the settings menu

Maybe I made it sound like there’s more work done than there really was?

The core focus here is on making it easier for me to work on the game and edit actions and stuff like that.

Anyway, thanks for reading this development update, there’s not really that much that’s changed in the game.

-ZoruaAl

Infidemia Development Updates (12 + 13)

Sorry for the late post(s).

Last week’s updates: (technically 2 weeks ago)

  • Not much is new, but…
  • Continuing to work on music, map design, testing a few features
  • Still prototyping the battle user interface, adding animations and testing how to program that
  • Got the game to run on another platform
  • Probably addressed these updates last week
  • These are probably updates from 2 weeks ago…

This week’s updates: (technically last week)

  • Again, not much is new, but…
  • Will test on more platforms (hopefully!)
  • Trying to fix this website.
  • A big change to the battle system (at least, how progression systems work, on terms of leveling up and that kind of thing)

Why the Late Updates?

The answer I would give to asking about why updates have been late recently is that I have been busy with other things I’m doing and working on posts isn’t something that I prioritize too much. However, I still have a goal to give weekly updates, even if I can’t get to it on-time.

Fixing the Website:

  • General updates
  • I might change the design or layout, I started messing around with this a bit

Thanks for reading these posts.

Infidemia Development Update (11)

Sorry this one was a bit late…

…This week’s development update will still be written this week, though this is an update meant for last week.

I don’t think there’s much I’ve been doing with Infidemia lately besides planning out the battle system’s GUI (There is a working battle system, but I would prefer to customize the user interface) and rewriting attack descriptions to be more… informative.

On terms of gameplay, there aren’t many updates, though I do have something I’ve been working on this week that I may be able to announce tomorrow (since this post is for last week’s updates).

Oh, actually, there was kind of a big update to the game. The progression system in the game is planned out (though it is subject to change, and how it works isn’t finalized yet). Because there are different approaches to “grinding” that you can take in Infidemia, I’ve been trying to work on every aspect, but, it would be better for me to focus on getting one thing working at a time.

So, the new progression system isn’t finalized at all, but it’s specifically for how the player manages four stats – hopefully this will offer some customization, while also being a reward for getting through the filler content.

I’d like to plan out every redesigned user interface at once, though apparently it’s only possible to do one thing at a time, so I’ll be working on the battle system’s user interface for a while. (Since I meant to post this last week, this is still something I’m working on this week too).

Some other additions to make later: (As of this current week, none of these 3 things have been completed, alike the same in last week)

  • Clock
  • Action Menus
  • Easier-to-access features (Custom Menus)

Yeah, there aren’t too many things that I was working on last week… …since this update is all about what I was going to post but ended up not doing because of some issues with website certificates.

For this website’s own updates, I asked about the certificates being updated though will wait to see when things can be fixed.

Another focus of development has been working on the music (also known as noise, because the tracks I’ve been working on sound terrible) yet, noise) for Infidemia, though it’s not going very well because I’m unhappy with how it’s turning out. For future games, I will likely not do any of the sound design, because this is something that I should not work on. For Infidemia, my plan changed from working on the battle theme to remaking the old version of the battle theme to see if it is possible to fix it. If it’s not possible, I’ll find another track I made from a while ago to remake into the battle theme or just start over on that.

I’ve also been planning how many playable characters there should be, and whether beating the game with any or all party members should be possible. Currently, there are 6 fully-playable characters, with the original goal of 7 characters, that means I’ll add them once the story gets to the point where the 7th character is introduced, though for now there are other characters who can join the party besides the 7 protagonists.

Balancing battles has been a big focus and playtesting the game still feels boring, though now I kind of know what I want to do with the game’s combat system, which is a new update, to know what to do.

Overall, don’t expect to hear anything useful about this game. I will not show any screenshots of gameplay, the battle GUI, or planned menus yet, as I do not intend on releasing a demo.

I have also changed some plans and do not intend on releasing the game, however, as stated last time, I’ll still write updates about it.

Until the next update,

-ZoruaAl

Infidemia Development Update (10)

Sorry this update was posted a bit later than usual.

Some new changes:

  • Every playable protagonist has a casual outfit now (these outfits are likely subject to change as development progresses).
  • New potential track to use as the battle theme
  • Map design – one area way later in the game that I planned out early on now has a temporary placeholder – one area early on in the game that ended up being added later is now… in the game
  • Soundtrack – this has not been going well. Every track sounds too similar and feels too repetitive. I’ll listen to more genres of music and learn about different styles, but, for now, I’m not using my custom soundtrack. The game’s title theme has now been changed… 5 times since the initial version? The game’s main battle theme (not counting the 2 other areas with a different battle theme) has changed at least three times… …new themes that play during the game are being worked on but are facing the same issues. There’s probably enough content to have different “main themes” (theme of conflict, theme of peace, etc.) that play in a combined “final track”, but, I don’t think it’s good. I started the soundtrack in the late second half of 2019 and have been revising it since, but the goal for now is to get the core music (battle theme, boss themes, major area themes, a few plot themes, etc.) ready and then fix it later.
  • Story – planned out a protagonist’s story who didn’t have much content before. Characters still need more depth, but this is a turning point (for the other characters to follow a similar development of getting more depth added to them). Filler content in the introduction has been added. Plot elements I considered adding but didn’t add are now being added (somewhat) – the story’s changed a lot since I initially planned how the game would work, but, for the most part, it still feels like “Infidemia” to some extent.
  • Gameplay Balance – keeping the intro on the easy side, or what I consider to be “easy”. Boss fights are meant to be hard, but there are also frequent challenging encounters… …since the player’s healed after every battle, the focus of the challenge is on individual battles.
  • Mechanics – I added way too many unused things at the start of development, so I’m building the battle system without the extra stuff, but for the most part, battles feel the same… …The total number of elemental attributes will likely decrease (but the core elements will stay, meaning that all battle abilities should be fine…) though the modifications to the core battle system have been beneficial. (There’s a bug where the player can make any actions while being knocked out, as long as another party member has HP… I’ll fix this)
  • Instruction Booklet – I don’t know if I mentioned this. There’s a side project for the game I’m doing that involves making a visual + text based instruction guide. This is also to help me check if the battle system becomes too hard to explain.
  • Random Stuff – Adding this later, but I’ll write it down for now (remember to add it later, but focus on the core first). This includes things like references to mention or goofy item description ideas.
  • Changes to Core Gameplay – This will definitely change how the game is played… …how the player progresses in the game has been changed, but it’s meant to work with the other aspects of gameplay.

Some updates this week took longer to add than others, but everything’s subject to change. I’ll be focusing on the core gameplay/story content for now, as I think I have some ideas on what to do next.

Thanks for reading this,

-ZoruaAl

Infidemia Development Update (9)

This update is a bit late due to difficulties with some issues in development, particularly trying to debug a game freeze that happened if the player faced the first boss’ map event in a specific direction.

What’s new?

Summarized edition:

  • Bugfixing and a little bit of work on the next part of the game

Detailed edition:

  • Tutorial is now playable
  • Game doesn’t freeze upon finishing the first boss fight
  • Unintentional shortcut removed (bug with moving the player to the wrong area after exiting one area), additionally stopped the event before this shortcut from endlessly repeating
  • Started modifying the UI a bit more
  • Added an “Afternoon” time to the game, will be adding a “Midnight” time as well.
  • Fixed a glitch where the player would constantly be reminded that it was afternoon, thus being unable to progress in the day.
  • The core time system has been adjusted to account for a full day rather than half a day (I changed how I’m counting some things which should make it easier to add time-based events)
  • The day of the week will also be counted, but is not currently implemented. If this becomes too challenging to implement I may remove it
  • There’s no UI for a clock yet but I’m strongly considering it
  • Added one new mini-dungeon
  • Adjusting the game’s soundtrack
  • The next optional dungeon in the game is being worked on, recently started the first room
  • Balance changes
  • Fixed some buggy events that happen after the first in-game day of gameplay
  • Dialogue for a boss talking about a boss fight that wasn’t implemented yet has been temporarily removed
  • Fixed an issue where the player would be in a conversation with all playable characters at that point despite not having all those characters with them
  • A (hidden) treasure chest visible without having to find it has now been made harder to find
  • The player can now walk in chairs; this means certain events won’t “freeze” player movement anymore.

There’s not really that much work that’s been done on Infidemia yet, though this is only the 9th development update so far.

I’ve been “considering” a lot of things for this project and all what I can confirm for now is that it’s less buggy and that the core story content will be available. As I’m trying to focus more on gameplay, I decided that it’s better to keep going with the game and stop restarting development because eventually the boring introduction will be over and the parts of the story I find slightly interesting will be worked on.

However, there is not enough content for a demo, and, even if a demo is made, I would have to make sure that I carefully review what I have so far and that it’s possible to play the demo without any prior context (relying on everything the game tells you). Please do not expect a demo, screenshots, or any other form of gameplay to be made available. Additionally, the script will have to be reviewed much more before I decide if this game is worth making a demo for. On terms of release date, cost, etc., it is best to assume that Infidemia will indefinitely have a delayed release and I have no plans whatsoever to publish the game.

Since I’m still working on the game, I decided I should probably post an update every week about what’s happening with it, even though I’m not going to do anything with the game.

Until the next update,

-ZoruaAl

Infidemia Development Update (8)

I’ve been working on some sprites for the game, specifically enemies that you can encounter in battles.

So far, a few basic (non-boss character / smaller sprite) enemies have a prototype, and one boss character is getting a full sprite (still being worked on) though will also require an animated spritesheet (which I will start off with a prototype for).

I have a few new themes that might play during the game, but I haven’t decided how these will work yet. Most of the music for the game has been worked on in reverse chronological order (end of the game –> beginning of the game) but I have a sample track for the tutorial room and a placeholder battle theme.

On terms of gameplay, the simulation-focused gameplay will mostly be about what you can do at the in-game school, while there will be opportunities to study, or visit dungeons outside of the in-game academics.

I’ve also planned to experiment a bit more with story elements, though since playthroughs can be impacted by your decisions, you might find out more about the story by doing certain things or talking to certain characters at certain times. …You could technically get all of the story regardless of how you play the game, but, events would turn out differently… There isn’t supposed to be a right or wrong way to make choices in the game, though characters will still comment on choices (especially in Coffee Time, the conversation-simulator minigame that is required to increase friendship levels between protagonists).

Anyway, until the next development update,

-ZoruaAl

Infidemia Development Update (7)

This week’s update to the game has focused on changing the core gameplay, so there’s less focus on the story right now. As a disclaimer, I haven’t shared or built a playable version of the game, so this is mostly the list of things going on behind the scenes during development.

What does this mean for Infidemia?

–> Core story aspects will mostly be the same. Some events, like the tutorial, will be modified, in order to account for new features.

–> Unused gameplay features will be properly removed from the demo. Cleaning up the game files has been a goal with this week’s update, though this also means backing up unused events and removing them from gameplay if those won’t be used.

–> The time system has stayed the same, though now there are actions that allow you to “spend time”, using up the in-game time. Having the player wait 25 minutes for the next day didn’t work well in playtesting, so now it’s possible to go through an entire day, while doing things.

–> Added new shortcuts, optional to use in battle, but can still select actions using less inputs than menu navigation. This includes a pop-up menu that has selectable actions for keyboard, mouse, and controller input.

–> Fixed some dialogue stuff.

–>Planning to add the victory music back to the game, though now it will play regardless of how you finish a battle.

–> The gameplay progression system works differently now; this is to help address too much filler dialogue from taking up gameplay (depending on how this works, I might change it)

–> Fixed some bugs (trying to load a track that wasn’t included in the game to add it to the music player)

That’s all for this week’s development update. Adjusting the core gameplay will probably be the focus until the game has been playtested enough to ensure everything’s working, though nothing here should be guaranteed to be in the final game, either. Any of this is subject to change. Thanks for checking out this update.

-ZoruaAl

Infidemia Development Update (6)

Today I have some more news about Infidemia, though, there are some things that should be mentioned first, as this was probably unclear earlier.


As you might know, this is the Capsule Dragons website, where I try to focus on blogging about the games I’m working on.


I used to post some Scratch games I worked on here as well, though check back on the “About” page and go see my Scratch profile if you’re interested in that. The reason I don’t talk about that often here is because I don’t want to associate an external website (this one) with my account anymore and I can be contacted directly about anything Scratch-related there, and it’s easier for me to work on Scratch-related stuff there.

So, Capsule Dragons will mostly cover Infidemia now.

However, unlike the games I made called “Capsule Dragons” (series), Infidemia may not be suitable for all age audiences, and I’m still working on figuring out a content rating.

For now, please know that the dialogue in Infidemia may contain implied actions of violent or romantic things, (subject to change though) and that it may not be suitable to a kid-friendly audience, so if you’re a kid, I’d suggest playing a different game or reading about a different game instead. Most of my Scratch projects should be appropriate to all ages, though some of the content on this website has been more serious before, which is why I stopped linking it to my Scratch account (you can find that information on the About page of Capsule Dragons) so please take this into consideration.

Additionally, these development updates are not meant to be advertising Infidemia (it isn’t available yet, either) and are instead written as informative things of what I’ve been doing so far.

What have I been working on in the game?

–> Story: First few days should be mostly playable, though for this update, added another day that I didn’t playtest yet though it’s kind of functional. Doing story things (sorry, won’t give specifics on the plot details. Some things have changed, though).

–> Gameplay: The battle system is still a bit tricky (not very user-friendly) though I am trying to make it easier to use. Additionally, balance changes are required. (not much playtesting this week – only playtesting story battles and debugging stuff)

–> Mechanics: New concepts introduced in the story, trying to limit the feature scope (in both story and gameplay). I’ll likely stop the mechanics with what I have currently been able to do without delaying development too much. One battle mechanic (the “Wager” system) still needs to be fixed, though in general, battles are functional.

–> Revisions: Ended up writing the intro of a completed story dialogue sequence, then decided to redo it. I’ll keep revisions for later, once I have enough playable content, though I would really like to keep things functional, even if that means there’s a lot to fix right now.

–> Music and Drawings: Not much to write here. Experimenting with some random stuff in a complete side project that’s unrelated to Infidemia, so I can practice arrangement techniques (not sure what the official term is) without focusing on working on this game first.

That’s it for this update.

Thanks for reading,

-ZoruaAl