Weekly Update - NPC Conversations, More Fishing Poles

Last week I resumed working on Antilia, adding in some new fishing poles and starting on the NPC conversation system.

Hi everyone, I'm back to work on Antilia! I expect development will continue to be slow through the end of the year, but I'm eager to get back to my regular schedule again in January. I've resumed the Patreon account, and I still plan to release and update video somewhere around the end of January.

NPC Conversation System

A few updates back I mentioned that I was designing a markup language for NPC conversation trees, and last week I spent some time implementing a foundation for that. I worked a bit on a "first pass" user interface for interacting with the character, and also have it so that when the interface comes up the camera focuses on the character you are interacting with.

NPC Conversations are just beginning to work, but still need more development.

There are still a number of features I plan to add to the system, probably spread over the new few months:

  • Text Styles - Having a system to render character dialog in different fonts, styles, and colors would give the characters a lot more personality.
  • Multiple Text "Pages" - You've seen this before in a number of games, where the game presents one line or "screen" of text at a time and waits until you press a button before proceeding to more dialog.
  • Playing Animations - Each page of text can play an animation on the character who is speaking.
  • Variables & Conditions - A system for setting variables, limiting response options based on conditions, and inserting variables into text. (Such as having the dialog include the player character's name or title.)
  • Lua Scripts & Quests - I'd like to be able to execute Lua scripts based on dialog selections, as well as add/remove items to a Quests list on the game menus.

And a few things I'm still thinking about...

  1. Can multiple players interact with a single NPC at the same time?
  2. Will and NPC stop what it's doing when a player interacts with them? If so, how long can a player keep an NPC off-task? Will it ever give up and go back to it's business? Will it just stand there and starve to death hoping the player makes a dialog selection soon?
  3. When the player makes a selection and their character responds, should we show the player character animated/speaking back or instantly jump-cut to the NPCs response?
  4. Do we still want a mini speech synth system? That's been on the brainstorming pad for a long time. This wouldn't produce audio that could be understood, but "speaking Taipii language" sounds generated based on text. (Note the old voice selection in character creation.)

New Fishing Poles

I also added these new fishing poles that I thought suited Antilia. I'm thinking about giving the different styles different statistical strengths and weaknesses and how that could tie to the skill grid (if at all).

There are now several bamboo rods that have similar (poor) characteristics as the Primitive Fishing Stick.

There are 2 mid-range designs each in a variety of colors.

There is a small selection of expensive decorative rods.

I'm calling this style a Seafarer's Pole, which can only be purchased from Seafarer merchants.

Testing Plans

Finally, I want to continue moving forward with the bug fixing and testing team. The latest build of Antilia features improved AMD GPU support which will hopefully fix some of the more major issues. I'd like to get that build published and tested in the next few weeks.

That's all for this week, thanks for reading!