Saturday, December 30, 2017

I'm on Twitter!

Still sick, but I've taken the time to make myself a twitter account! I'll be posting project updates and answering questions there, for those of you who prefer the platform.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Sick Break

Hey guys! Just wanted to let you know, I've been more sick than usual this week, and not really leaving my bed.

Updates will resume when I can walk around without falling over; but when they do, we have a new server with all the trimmings we need to download generated images!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Weapons system is in!

Small update, but we can now change weapons in the character creator! We have three types of bows, ten swung weapons, a bunch of polearms... or you can set the weapons to 'none' and see how the guy animates with bare hands.

The UI needs some graphics drawn and displayed, and I need to build out the render controller to support greatswords and dragonspears and other oversized weapons, but for now it's pretty neat.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Muscular base: hurt animation!


And we have a hurt animation, and pants to go with it! Which means our muscular base can walk around, swing a weapon, and get himself killed-- all while wearing pants. This is now a fully functional LPC base!

Download it on OpenGameArt.org.

It has, of course, been added to the Character Creator-- eight skin tones and twenty colors of pants to go with it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A new, better renderer class!

Boring code update maybe, but I spent the day rewriting and improving the renderer class-- it's less hard-coded, shorter, includes behind-layers, and it now organizes the sprites by their sorting order.

Capes and long hair behind the figure? Not a problem.

This means that as soon as we move servers in the next few days, the render buttons will match the in-game preview-- no matter what.

I just need to write a new class to make the loading screen shorter. I already know how I'll do it-- I just need to plug it in.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Muscular base: swing animation!






It was such a shame that the big, muscular guy couldn't fight. So I decided to give it a go.

I'm out of town for an early family Christmas, and I knocked this out in my unwinding time. I'm not sure if it entirely matches the original style, or if it's all that good. I've never animated anything this complex before... but it doesn't look off on my test runs, so I uploaded him to OpenGameArt, and you guys can comment if anything seems off about him in the creator.

In other news-- after a while of trying to make the current hosting work, I've come to my senses and decided to move the project somewhere configured to fit my needs. I also have a solution figured out to drastically cut down loading time. One or two good days are all I'll need to implement it, so expect word on this soon!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Pants for the pantsless!


It may not look like much, but this is the alternative muscular body by dalonedrau (officially titled the LPC Barbarian Sprite). The base was uploaded almost exactly five years ago, and while some accessories fit him, no body-area clothing options did.

And now, at long last, he has pants! In twenty colors! Rejoice!

Download the pants here! 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Body menu complete for half of my bases!

I've focused on female bodies and accessories so far in my program... well, mostly because 1) I'm female and I felt like it, and 2) a lot of my major characters from my books are female, and it's motivating to be able to make them more and more detailed and accurate as I progress.

Case in point, my nerdy sorceress, Emerdine. Isn't she adorable?






I may have spent at least ten minutes walking her around the screen, bouncing like a dork, once the cape and that hairstyle were in the system.

So I'm very pleased to say-- the body menu is finished! The buttons are done, the options are in all skin colors. The expressions work with the noses which work with the beards.

I've been requested to make some pants for the 'muscular' body type next, to make him usable, followed by male hair and body options next. I've also nearly finished the 'loading' scene, between the setup screen and the main creator.

Monday, December 11, 2017

I've created a Patreon!



To those of you who don't know, I've been chronically ill since Summer 2016, with symptoms severe enough to prevent me from being able to work.

This Patreon account will help support me and my work, making more games, paying for my tools, and helping me get through this sickness.

A big thank you to all my followers, patrons or not! Having a community following my progress is a great help.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Back layer support is in.



The OpenGameArt Community's come through!

Less than two days ago, I posted a forum art request for UI icons for eyes, noses, and ears. Small features that wouldn't be easily seen on my current preview images, and needed some special art. It was specific and unpaid, and I wasn't sure if I'd get any interest.

... And as of right now, I've got eye and nose icons, and probably ears to come very soon. So, a huge thank you to the wonderful artists at OpenGameArt.org, particularly BenCreating and Spring, who've taken their time to contribute to this project.


Front view (option 1)
Side view (option 2)

Varied Layer Orders!

Here's a quandary:

Scarves go on the neck slot. Bow ties go on the neck slot. ... But bow-ties go over vests and under overcoats, and scarves are on top of everything. Shoes are under pants, but long boots go over tight pants, but not loose pants or skirts. But the shoes and long boots go in the 'feet' slot, and pants and skirts go in the 'legs' slot.

Well, not a problem any longer! I've gone into the code, gutted a lot of redundancy along the way, and implemented a system where the program moves the layers' order to the sort_order defined in the XML. So I can define all pants and skirts to sorting order #24, except for tight pants, which go on #18.

The end result is leaner, more dynamic code-- which can be easily edited to include 'behind' layers (giving support for capes, cloaks, and long-long hair, and prevents clipping with weapons)-- and scarves, long boots, and other things are in their proper places.

(Also-- capes and cloaks soon! Yes!)

Monday, December 4, 2017

New Hair Palettes -- Final!

New colors in practice!

That should be all major natural colors. Certainly enough to start with.



Reconsidering Hair Color

It's the end of the weekend, which means we might get some help from our friendly server admin. In the meantime, I've been working hard on QA-ing the female base's hair assets. This morning I finished! Only three of thirty-one hair styles need further work.

The original palettes for these assets started with one color, then picked darker and darker shades of the same color. I've revisited the red hair color, and redefined a new palette for it. I'll be doing this to the other colors next.

Original scale on bottom
I might be biased, but I think the new colors really looks like a deep natural redhead without going too obviously into purple. My current 'natural' hair color options are black, gray, white, platinum, blonde, orange, chestnut, brown, and red, so I'll give the next eight similar treatment and show you how it went.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Bad cPanel! No cookie!

File upload is disabled on my server's Apache?!?!?! Whyyyyyy?

 So, boys and girls, here's today's lesson. If your WebServiceRequest method stops working on making a POST or PUT call with a file, check the damn server's network logs. It started returning 404 errors the moment I stopped sending test strings and tried uploaded my image.

Husband knows the server's admin, so he's trying to get SSH access by tonight. Then he's promised to write me a sweet little Express script that'll take care of everything. Stupid Apache.


 
Anyway.

Here's the to-do list I wrote about a week ago. Here's what it looks like now.
  • Setup:
    • Missing fonts (Ariel bold)
    • Fuzzy text? There must be a way to fix that.
    • Body menu goes off the bottom of the screen. (Temp fix)
  • Import Data: 
    • Add 'loading' graphic while XML is parsed.
    • Change how the required animations are checked to take less memory. 
  • Render:
    • Fix new render save path for WebGL! (System crash!)
    • Add timestamp to the single doll render so they have unique filenames.
    • Rendering on the web app makes a pixelated preview-dummy. (Cancelled)
  • General: 
    • Look for ways to slim / refactor the code!
    • Write PHP script that zips up the renders and prompts the user to download them!
    • Strip out unneeded 3rd party asset DLLs 
What's left, aside from saving images to the server?

The 'loading' graphic between the setup screen and the  was added just fine, but the loading sequence freezes up the system while the XML is processed, which means it never shows up. Now, there's a few ways to fix that, but I think the best way to do this would be to make the setup its own scene and just have a nice animated 'loading' scene between the two.

This will also be a good idea because the 'Choose a body' overflow fix was a quick hack that won't last as we increase the body options. I'm adding a skeleton, orcs, lizard folk once the humans are taken care of. I've also never been satisfied with the current setup UI, and a redesign will be a good change.

Refactoring will be a good step to take, but I'm going to hold off on it until everything else is working. There's a few things I'd like to change up to make a leaner, more flexible, automated process.