Archive for November, 2017

Shadowhand Dev Diary #28: Final Graphics and Steam Trading Cards

Monday, November 13th, 2017

Click here to wishlist Shadowhand on Steam!

It feels like ages since the last blog post but we’ve got loads done since then including plugging in all the remaining final art. Also we will be announcing a launch date at the end of the week!

Final story item graphics

We plugged in the final art for the story-related items that you find in crates. Sometimes these are purely plot-related (like the map above), and other times they are cool things that you get to use.

Final locks and keys graphics

We also plugged in the final art for various fancy lock and key cards. Some of the cards are quite large (like the gravestone above) and they cover up a lot of ordinary sized cards until you unlock them.

Added levels for chapter 8,9,10

Helen has designed enough levels for the rest of the game (22 chapters in total) and we added some more of them into the game. We carefully choose them depending on what we think looks best for the chapter background and theme, and then edit them for difficulty as well as adding any special locks/keys or story items that are required in that chapter.

Finalised enemy loot

Jake also finalised all the loot drops for the remaining enemies (see screenshot above). Players are going to get some pretty cool loot that’s for sure!

Steam trading cards

We also designed 8 Steam trading cards (see image at top of post), 5 wallpapers, 6 badges, and 5 emoticons! It’s a surprising amount of work, but we are pleased with the results and have submitted them to Valve for approval.

More test runs and balancing

Jake spent a long time updating the automated test run code and running test runs on character stats and active/passive abilities in order to balance them appropriately. Now that has been done we can add in the remaining levels and perform test runs on them and tweak them to be an appropriate difficulty for the abilities and stats that the player will have by that point in the game.

The great list of misc

As per usual there’s a huge list of smaller tasks that have been completed. We are getting very close now folks!

– Plugged in final surrender flag graphics.
– Plugged in final status icons.
– Plugged in final rat and throwing knife particles.
– Added soldier dialog to hand 8 of “Highway Robbery”
– Finalised which hands have duels on for chapters 8,9,10
– Added new pre/post duel dialogs for chapter 9 “Fleetwood’s Armoury”
– Checked/Edited story and dialog text for chapters 6,7,8,9,10
– Made sure all story item dialogs trigger on the correct levels.
– Added ability to have mirrored large lock cards (for the hedge cards in chapter 20)
– A bit more save-related code.
– Forced players to replay a hand if they fail to find a goal item unless they are in normal mode in which case they are allowed to skip ahead.
– Player’s weapons are now hidden and restored in the Gaol chapter.
– Added item drops for remaining story goal items.
– Finalised story-based item drops.
– Finalised shop-based item drops.
– Made sure player has the vicious dagger on the correct Gaol hands.
– Filled out enemy properties in code as per design spreadsheet.
– Limited random crate contents to consumable items introduced up to the current chapter.
– Created fixed IDs for item drops and locked down the save file format.
– Make sure replays of a chapter still generate enemy gold loot.
– Ran some tests on group B weapons to compare/balance them against each other.
– Balanced Chapter 6 duels and chapter goals and enemy stars and economy.
– Fixed timing of 1 star animation and post duel dialog.
– Fixed scaling down of crate item picked up before duel mode refresh.
– Made sure log file didn’t output hand gold earned when you retry, abort or restart a hand.
– Tested Chapter 6 again with Family Jewels passive powerup to see how it affects key stats.
– Made a list of all passive powerups and their likely effects on key stats.
– Made Test Run work with Hangman’s Noose properly so it now reduces suit locks.
– Tested passive abilities on easy and hard levels.
– Made Test Run take prosperity stat into account.
– Made Test Run take lucky cards into account.
– Balanced character stats via test run on easy and hard levels.
– Fixing Rabbit Foot exploit with equip button
– Coded active abilities in test runs.
– Tested active abilties on easy and hard levels.
– Generated a list of key active/passive abilities I should be by using by the time I start each chapter.
– Added player AI support for using wildcards so I can better model duel outcomes.
– Tested duels with and without wildcards to compare.
– Added luck stat to player AI in duels for testing.
– Tested duels with key player stats and passive abilities.
– Removed unused particles from particles folder.
– Created a new large blank card for particle effects on large locks.
– Output cards per turn on non-duel test run as it’s a useful value.
– Reviewed list of stackable effects and tested some of them to make sure they are not OPed.
– Fixed bug where if last thing picked up on a hand was a wasted key it doesn’t do a layout refresh.
– Fixed bug with dark cards in AI duel test runs.

Back soon, with a launch date announcement!