This is a quick development status update regarding my upcoming role-playing game, Arcanoria Chronicles: Chapter 1 – Early Adventures of Elora Smyth.
First, I’d like to say that I’m sorry that things are taking a little longer than planned. I had originally hoped to make the first release as a “Game In A Month”, however, as I (and many others before me) have discovered, RPGs are ALWAYS more work than they seem. I’m working hard towards our initial release, and expect to make it happen “soon”. Realistically, that means by the end of October for an Alpha release. I think! I’ve got our part-time intern Thomas Frick coming in today to assist with story writing. Specifically, he’ll be working on pre- and post-combat dialogues for our first few monster encounters. Should be fun, I hope!
Besides the ongoing dialogue refinements (remember, this is a heavily story-based game), I’ve been working on making all the various user interface (UI) elements interactive. Up until now everything has been static placeholder artwork for the various in-game screens like the player Inventory panel, Character Stats sheet, etc. Over the last few days I’ve been hooking those panels up to actual dynamic statistics, so when some dialogue or other game event causes a change to the player, it’s updated automatically when they look at their Character Stats.
Speaking of UI, I want to mention that I’ve been getting a better feel for the “new” Unity UI, and am really liking it in many ways. I’m never going back to NGUI (which is what I’d previously used in pretty much every Unity project I’d ever done). Unity UI seems much more stable and reliable, and seems to actually do what I expect (without lots of trial and error) more often than NGUI ever did. In particular, I’m really enjoying the Unity UI’s new auto-layout components, like Horizontal Layout Group, Layout Element, etc.. These allow you to designate groups of UI elements and have them position themselves dynamically in your UI panel, with exactly the right amount of spacing, margins, etc. This saves so much time over doing manual placement of every single element, and also allows your panels to scale according to the device it’s displaying on. Brilliant!
Here is a quick screenshot of the Inventory UI panel, work-in-progress: