Archive for the ‘Birth of Shadows’ Category

Birth of Shadows - Greenlight

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

It’s been a while since I updated this blog. I have been busy working on a major update for Birth of Shadows. I released it on July 3rd, 2015. The version update focuses on new artwork for a lot of scenery and the terrain, using the design from Pursuit of Power 2. I also added the code for smoother path-finding, improved visual effects, and lots of other polish. You can find the full list of updates linked to the information page for Birth of Shadows.

After the update, I launched a Greenlight campaign to get Birth of Shadows on Steam. Please help spread the word. Every vote counts! :)

Birth of Shadows - Greenlight

Birth of Shadows (version

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

I released version for Birth of Shadows on June 19th, 2012. Here are the update items:

- A gold bar is now displayed over your character to indicate recovery time after using an ability
- Added a particle trail for all abilities that are cast
- Added a smoke effect when a player pet despawns
- Added a cloud effect when players die
- Added a new explosion effect for slimes when they die
- Modified visual effect for plague ability of players
- All AoE abilites now have a visual effect
- Bosses now use purple for visual effects to help differentiate from normal creatures
- Normal casting creatures do slightly more damage for primary ability instead having an AoE
- Player scrolling no longer goes in reverse when following players
- Changed “enraged level” to “rage level” to clarify difference
- Screenshots are now saved with unique file name
- Added more help information to campaign tutorial
- Made many improvements to rendering engine
- Initial game resolution fixed when desktop is minimum resolution

This release mainly involved improvements to visual effects and a few tweaks to the gameplay. I made a lot of changes to the rendering engine in order to make it more flexible and efficient. These improvements will be important for the next game, which I will announce during the first week of July.

Until next time… :)

Game trailer for Birth of Shadows

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

I just uploaded the game trailer for Birth of Shadows. Here it is!

I want to eventually create some more movies for the tutorial, campaign bosses, and multiplayer fights. Check back later to see them :)

Birth of Shadows (version

Monday, January 16th, 2012

I released version for Birth of Shadows on January 16th, 2012. Here are the update items:

- Improved character window (char model, text colors, etc.)
- Improved save game window (file list, board information, etc.)
- Added editor stats to spawn points window
- Moved delete file option to file list window (now a button)
- Moved new skirmish boards to user folder to fix permission issues
- Added prestige level notification to chat box for local player
- Added campaign board number to display for saved campaign games
- Made it easier to read message for full version features in demo

The update mainly improved GUI elements and added a new skirmish board called “Descent”. The new board is designed for 3 players. It doesn’t have too many trash mobs, so you can just move from one boss to another. There are a few strongholds too. I also lowered the price of the game to $9.95, so hopefully some more people will give it a try :)

Next, I am planning to make a video of the multiplayer game to give people an idea of what it’s like. After that, I will probably integrate some of the updates from BoS into my original RTS and the new prototype RTS that is in progress. As always, details to follow…

Happy New Year 2012!

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Happy New Year!

I have all of the code changes done for the next update. I am just finishing the new skirmish board before I make the release. I will then test everything before uploading the update. I expect to have the new release uploaded within the first week of this year. I will then work on a movie that shows some multiplayer action. At that point, I will begin to look at distribution options so I can get my game on some portals.

Check back soon to see the full details of the new update when it is ready :)

Birth of Shadows (version

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

I released version for Birth of Shadows on November 13th, 2011. Here are the update items:

- Added trail to projectiles for greater impact
- Added AoE effect for exploding slimes and player’s “plague” ability
- Added ENRAGED! text to enemies (with protection against spamming it)
- Added a splatter effect when enemies are slain
- Red spiral effect is now used for special AoE ability of skeletons
- Added shadows to most scenery and animations
- Some scenery is now flipped horizonally to break-up continuous blocks
- Added a new main menu
- Fixed minor stuttering when right-clicking continuously to move player
- Player is now correctly centered when auto-following while moving

I’m really happy with the way this update turned out. I think the new combat effects and shadows add a lot to the atmosphere of the game. My next update will focus on some GUI improvements and a new skirmish board. Details to follow!

Birth of Shadows (1.5.6.x update)

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

I had my vacation during September. But, I have been very busy since that time working on the next BoS update. Here is what I have done so far…

I put a lot of effort into improving the combat effects. The base projectile effect now shows a fading trail that increases in size, which gives the attacks more “pop”. The slimes no longer use a static effect for exploding. Instead, they shoot projectiles in all 8 directions. It is much more obvious now that damage is caused by the explosion. Likewise, I added an AoE effect to the plaque ability for players. I think it looks much more interesting, which should encourage players to use the plaque ability more often.

When enemies are killed, they leave a splat on the terrain where they died. I fade the splat over time. Right now it is set to 20 seconds, but I might increase that value before the update. I use red as the default color, but I use the slime color for their splat.

When enemies enrage, I show a shadowed “ENRAGED!” text over the top of the enemy. This helps make it easier to time abilities without needing to look at the enrage display area to the lower-left of the screen. In addition, it makes it more obvious as to why a fear effect might be broken, such as by a rage cast from a nearby minotaur that causes enrage. I don’t show the enraged text if the effect is still active. I only show during transitions in order to prevent spamming the text, which would happen a lot during multiplayer games.

Finally, I am using the red spiral effect for the special (secondary) attack of all skeleton enemies. All creatures now have a specific effect icon for their special abilities.

I’m currently working on improvements for other game artwork. In particular, I am adding shadows to most of the in-game art. I have finished my first pass for the scenery and NPC artwork. I think it looks really good! My next attempt is to add shadows to the animated entities, starting with the main Shadow Knight model. The biggest challenge is to make it look right for the attack animation, which means I have to center the shadow. I was able to make the walking shadows look nice so far, but the attack shadow glitches. So, I have some work to do with that one. Adding shadows to 46 animations is a bit painful…

After that is done, I will probably add a more impressive looking main menu. I want to make a good first impression to new players. Then, I will add another new skirmish board and make some final tweaks. At that point, I will make a test release, eventually uploading the final version. The update will be ready before Thanksgiving at the latest.

The next planned update will focus on some GUI improvements. In particular, I want to make a nice character window as well as a new GUI for saving games. I would like to add a new GUI for displaying editor stats too, such as current number of interactive items out of max number possible.

But, first I will finish this update :)

Birth of Shadows (version

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

I released the new version for Birth of Shadows. Here are the update items. I will explain some of them in the my next blog post. I will also provide some insight into the next update, which will be focusing on improved display effects (especially during combat).

Released on: August 24th, 2011

Changes since previous release:
- The game resolution should now try for desktop if within 2048×2048 (else next highest).
- The player tracking will now try to keep in “sweet spot” of screen depending on direction you are moving and scales to resolution.
- All game windows can now be resized and the dimensions will be saved along with the other game settings.
- Added configurable hotkeys for all abilities. Hit “hotkeys” button from setup menu. Available hoteys are numbers, letters, and spacebar.
- Game will try to lock to last processor on system to run more smoothly.
- Chat is now MMO-style (enter to gain input, enter to send message, where input focus is then lost).
- Backspace key can now be held down to delete characters quickly.
- Game will automatically select input box if player did not enter character name or fiancee name (for campaign).
- Added a new player attribute called deadly strike chance. This is chance to do additional damage to enemies below your tier (versus enemy). The amount of damage is multiplied by tier difference.
- Removed speed bonus from player character due to prestige increase.
- Increased player speed by 10 percent.
- Experience requirements are slightly lower so it is easier to gain levels.
- Game will notify when quest completed after all required items found.
- Increased respawn time of creatures from 5 to 8 minutes.
- Fixed some campaign content (wrong creatures).
- Removed a bunch of enemies from first board and made the final stronghold easier.
- Added mobs to stronghold of “The Crypt” that was missing them and gave reward to boost pet. Made some other tweaks to board.
- Added help info for prestige and gems.
- Tweaked text of some game menus.
- Used latest version of NSIS installer.
- Fixed bug with loading game settings (missing binary flag).
- Fixed minor autosave bug during init.

Game updates for August 2011

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

I don’t know how 2 years have passed since my last update. I got my new RTS up to a playable state about a year ago. I’ve got a test board with the monster models from my RPG and they are fighting each other. It looks pretty cool. I have most of the basic RTS components from my first RTS in it. I even have the network game pretty close to being playable.

However, I just got too busy and I had to put it on hold. I would have had to go through the code and refresh my memory about what I was focusing on at the time I took a break. So, instead of spending all that time, I decided to work on updates to my RPG and original RTS. My main focus is on my RPG since that has the best quality of the two games. I try to integrate common improvements to my RTS (and future RTS) whenever possible.

My next blog updates will list all of the improvements made in the new versions. I will also discuss the next game updates, including some exciting changes… such as an overhaul of my effects. I will finally add a true particle effects system and focus on adding fun effects during battles.

I am committed to working on my games for the rest of 2011. I hope to continue next year too as long as I have the time. Check back to keep updated on my progress. In the meantime, please give Birth of Shadows a try to see some of the new improvements! :)

Pursuit of Power - Update

Monday, March 17th, 2008

I updated Pursuit of Power to version  Most of the improvements were taken from Birth of Shadows.  In addition, I now allow unlimited time for one skirmish board of the demo.  The skirmish board can be played alone or over the Internet too.

I also released the new skirmish board for Birth of Shadows.  I was only able to do some limited testing for it.  The board is designed for three players (or two players at easy difficulty).

Please let me know if you encounter any problems with the RTS update or the new RPG skirmish board.