Better Late Than Never (March Recap)

I spent March doing quite a few things in the wrong order, which is just what happens sometimes when you’re a solo dev. I started by writing a game design document for Dealers of K’Torn, half of which STILL hasn’t made it to paper. I know, I know you’re supposed to finish that before you do anything else, but I like leaving parts of it floating freely through the aether for a time, so they have more freedom to evolve. (Not that they can’t evolve once on paper. They can, and do, just usually not quite as freely.)

After that, I just sorta started slamming systems together, one after the other, basically in gameplay order. Not very strategic, but it kinda worked, for a while. In just over a month I’ve managed to get all of these implemented:

Splash Screen and Title Screen – easy-to-implement systems I already had designed.

Game Saves – I had a save system, but it wasn’t good, so I put together another one (based on Databox). It is good.

Character Selection – Well, it’s actually a VERY reusable selection script that’s already being used in several places.

Dice Shader – One shader to rule them all. I’m pretty proud of this one. I got this really nice dice asset from the Unity asset store, but the materials setup is a bit convoluted for my liking, so I used Amplify to build a really powerful shader that can be used for ALLLLL the dice. A single material can be used regardless of dice sides, so an entire matching dice set can all share the same material. It also uses Unity’s instancing so it runs super fast, even with tons of dice, and has some other neat features like the ability to highlight roll result numbers/faces when dice finish rolling.

Game Board/Hex Grid + Movement – I put together a rough draft of the game board and implemented the hex grid + movement of this terrain grid asset.

Plus I put in various placeholder art assets to keep myself inspired and tested out some different ideas for rolling dice through terrain, which, as you can see, is super satisfying.

Without a finished game document, things eventually started to really slog along and I realized it was because I was doing everything out of order. So I’ve snapped out that and am now working on getting all these aether-evolved ideas down on paper so I can actually put together a solid plan of attack for this thing and oh, I don’t know, implement some actual game mechanics…

That should also mean I actually get some information up over at Dealers of K’Torn sometime soon, so be on the lookout for that.

And that, my friend, is the story of Stonewood Games, March 2021.

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