TaleSpire Dev Log 154

(Knock-down all the things! Well, actually, completely unrelated)

Summary of my week.

I decided on Monday that I was going to write about a topic this week, and that topic would be the Game Master(GM) Blocks. Hoping that I would be able to show placing blocks inside the GM Overlay[1].

Although I'm very close to that point, the week was mostly me going through my code retrospectively trying to "finalize" some older code which was working well at the time, and some half implementations which was left a bit too open for the sake of pushing forward. So placing GM Blocks went from writing a placement tool code to revisiting how atmosphere settings are stored to finalizing the implementation of the new Unity Input System[2] to fixing up the Radial menu input and snappiness to and finally to how the UI works with the GM Overlay. Felt a lot like untangling cables.

So I didn't get to the point where I could show proper blocks in action this week, but I did get other parts of the game feeling a lot better.

What are the Game Master Blocks anyway?
Game Master Blocks are blocks containing functionality that can be placed on the board but is only visible to the Game Master via the GM Overlay. 

One example of this is the Atmosphere Block, which I talked about briefly in update 152 [1]. They can store preset of lighting conditions as well as music and ambient sounds. Making it easy to apply these when and where needed.

Something we haven't talked about fully is Markers (bookmarks). These have a dual purpose. One of the functionalities were shown in this tweet back in 2019: 

These will enable the GM to set up markers in the world to easily move between floors. That way the GM can make decisions about what a floor should be, by placing down a helper. These can also be named at which point they will function as a "bookmark". Being able to quickly move between important areas on the board as well as bringing it to your player's attention.

Then there is the text block (work in progress). These can hold text, basically. for holding notes for yourself or for other GMs. Descriptions, etc. 

Finally (for now) there is the Cinematic block. This is a block that can hold camera shots for the cinematic mode. We've been talking about making the shots you grab during Cinematic mode be temporary for that session unless you store them in blocks on the board. That way you can either plan ahead for your scenes or you can freestyle it, similar to how it currently works in the Early Access.

The idea is that these blocks should be stackable (might change) so that you can have a marker that also contains text and an atmosphere and so on. We'll see how that works out via testing and if we can find a visual representation of this totem. 

Hopefully, I can show off these functionalities soon enough.

We've also been working on getting the Steam Store Page up and running, hoping that will happen next week.

[1] A visual overlay that will reveal things only the Game Master is supposed to see. Did show this in update 152: (https://bouncyrock.com/news/articles/devlog-152-some-visual-progress-but-also-something-rather-somber-a-delay) which likely got a bit overshadowed by the delay announcement.

[2] Input system has been good so far: https://blogs.unity3d.com/2019/10/14/introducing-the-new-input-system/

Boomsauce.  Great read.  Thanks team =)