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  Weighty Bat 09:56 PM -- Thu August 27, 2020  

Progress on Lost In The Woods remains pretty nice actually, but I have stepped aside this week to try to shore up some Blender skills. I tried modeling some characters, which I think I have pretty well figured out, but then dove into rigging and animating which is a real pain (especially to make them work properly inside Unreal). I started with the creature I could think of that would produce the simplest possible animation rig (well, not a snake, but close): A Shroom/Mushie!

Just two feet and a couple bones for tilting. Also, I eyedropped the colors straight from a screenshot of Dr. Lunatic. The rigging I was able to do without doing any weight painting because it was so simple. So I moved on to something that I thought would be a little trickier, but instead feels like it may have been my final exam in rigging: a bat.

This chubby fellow, of which I am quite proud and happy to see the Hamumuism of it all, took several days to reach this point. I thought he'd be easy - just two wings and a spine to animate, but that's not how it turned out. Modeling was pretty easy, building the skeleton was no big deal, but weight painting, oh boy. I got to watch several youtube videos to guide me through all the tricks and techniques of masking parts off and adjusting the pose mid-paint. Otherwise I wouldn't have ever been able to paint his whole tongue (which IS fully animatable, thank you). He can open and shut his mouth, put his tongue in and out, fly, tilt his ears, wiggle his toes (sort of), anything you'd want a fat bat to do. The only thing he can't do is what the original Scary Bats did - bug his eyes out. At least not in a way that would work out well.

So anyway, I am really liking this bat and now I am sharing him with you! He does not belong in any particular game at this time, but he sure does make me think.
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  Still Pretty Lost 09:58 PM -- Thu August 6, 2020  

Lost In The Woods slowly inches along!


(Work in progress, all art will change)

Many features are fully implemented, but plenty of rough edges remain among them. It's interesting the changes I have to make to make implementing this as a PC game more reasonable. A simple example: in the board game, if an enemy has 2 equally good paths to reach the players, the players decide which way it goes. In the PC version, this is just random instead - I could spend a long time implementing the choice and it would make the game a little easier/fairer, but also more annoying to play. It's resulted in a fair number of changes to the actual game design, for the better.

One of the clunkier rules in my prototype was that when you draw a new tile while exploring, you have to see if it fits (rivers can't dead-end into land), and if you can't make it fit, then your character 'got lost' and you don't get to move. This would've been a pain to implement in the PC version, and so after a lot of thought, I took a move out of Carcassone's playbook and had the river get placed out randomly when the game first begins (as you see in the picture). River tiles are the only ones that can ever be unplaceable, so this completely solves the issue and removes an awkward exception to the otherwise simple movement rules. I'm definitely porting that over to the board game too. Having the river out when the game starts improves some other elements as well.

One of these days I'd like to make a video showing what the prototype looks like and actually go into how the game plays a little bit, but for now this is what you get! Oh, and I suppose I can mention those big old cubes... the screenshot is showing a battle in action: Krista is trying to murder a badger (which she will handily do, since the blue dice are hers, and the black dice are the badger's).
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