Dev Diary 53 - Steps Of The Crow

Living through some extremely stressful legal stuff, I didn’t make anything highly important this tenday. Instead, I was calming myself by casually polishing and improving the clarity of battles and abilities: this is as always a very fun thing to do. Besides increased juiciness, now there are fewer awkward things like too fast and frequent abilities, unrhythmical delays between attacks, and so on. If only I knew how to fix these stupid ragdolls so that they won’t occasionally fly away to another continent… Yesterday, one of them hit right in the camera somehow (I didn’t even know it has collision on), sadly I wasn’t recording.

However, in addition to bugfixing and doing not-so-meaningful visual improvements, I came up with a couple of things that are quite a big deal in terms of improving the strategic view. First, I got rid of old movement prediction lines and replaced them with these animations I shown before. The lines weren’t visually finished, but even if they were, they caused insane visual overload anyway (a screenshot from a terrified player), when there are a lot of creatures. Second, strategic view now shows unified aggro ranges of enemies. It got a bit more convenient to quickly inspect the situation. Does the strategic view still look crypthic, though?


After a long break, I returned to procedural 3D modeling of triangular buildings - I planned to implement this specific style for a long time, immediately after I first saw these cute Swedish buildings. I photographed many of them because I wanted to know how is this architectural trick called and what’s the story behind them.


These are called Scandinavian crow-stepped gable. There are a lot of them in Netherlands, Denmark, and UK as well. It started as a simple and neat way to decorate buildings centuries ago. Here is my iteration on them!


Also, I want to try to make weapon fights a bit less important than abilities: I cut all creature damage in half, let’s see how it feels.

Tried my best to increase compile/iteration speed, as now recompiling/Live Reloading the code it takes up to 40 seconds if Unreal Engine headers are included - this often puts me out of the flow. Common techniques (more modules, tweaking PCHs, etc) didn’t make any difference, but I had a stupid idea that actually helped: split up cpp sources into multiple parts so that they are compiled separately. Not only it just works in C++, but you can also isolate certain heavy headers in different .cpp files, making each of them compile faster (and you would have to recompile less code every time). I imagine putting every function into a separate file and wrapping usages of heavy headers to get super fast two second reloads, but hell no.


I’ll name these posts as dev diaries from now on: I called them changelogs before because back in the day I was too busy for graphomania, and these blogs consisted only of actual changelogs. And the number 53 is random.

Here is the full changelog:

  • work in progress selection of architecture style and material in building menu
  • UI improvements
    • improved building hint menu
    • when you apply a spell, it hints if there will be a delay or long cast
    • in battle, icons of casted spells are now shown
  • added more JUICE to attacks (white blinking - it fits good and increases clarity)
  • added more JUICE to spellcasts
  • spirit is now represented by different shade of blue
  • prediction lines on ctrl/hover aren’t shown anymore, instead, there are only animations like when you right click
  • rerolling of understandings and blueprint
    • cost gradually rises from each reroll
  • enemy aggro zone (i.e. action range) in displayed in strategic view
  • improved some vfx and borders
  • new content
    • 3 new structures (Aeromancer School, Faculty of Dark Arts, Light Magic School)
    • 3 new book types, respecting to each school
    • 1 new fortifications visual style (added to existing 5 styles, more to come)
  • improved spellcasting AI
    • neutral creatures won’t distantly cast spells on you until you approach them
  • improved all tutorial texts and some tooltips
    • much less text now, removed some useless things like teaching how to fly camera with WASD
  • right clicking ground while no group is selected now selects closest group and sets movement
  • improved appearance of this blog
  • a lot of bugfixes
    • hovering structures in world now works good
  • upgraded bugs