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    Nathaniel3W
  Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:04 am
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Update 31 January 2019: Now available on Steam Early Access

Update 29 November 2018: New screenshots showing off new areas, including the Japanese-themed Yamatai region.

Update 29 October 2018: New snow areas

Update 30 August 2018: New trailer is up! Nine months since my last trailer. Figured it was time for an update.

Update 31 May 2018: Glowing weapons, procedural fire, dynamic lighting, new enemies

Update 28 January 2018: I haven't been keeping up here very well, have I? Lots of screenshots from the start of the official campaign.

Update 31 May 2017: Alpha test campaign gameplay footage with new town, new music, new combat map, new equipment, new enemies, and tying together all the previous pieces.

Update 30 April 2017: Crafting, livelier combat, dialog popups, and a naked fairy.

Update 31 March 2017: New character portraits, random loot, level-up cards, graphical improvements.

Update 25 February 2017: World map with enemy armies, plus combat and discussion of where we go from here.

Update 31 January 2017: Video of world map, rest and food systems, new vendor for bulk items.

Update 28 December 2016: New video showing menu sounds, equipment stats on mouseover, and shopkeepers.

Update 25 November 2016: New video showing manual squad placement and automatic equipment optimization.

Update 29 October 2016: Random character generator has a very large number of possible combinations ready. New video showing off combat, starring a new, diverse, and randomly generated cast.

Update 28 September 2016: Kickstarter was successful. New video showing more complex sprite layering. And a video showing off original music composed by Kevin Won and recorded by AIR Studios.

Update 20 January 2016: .gifs of character class menu, equipment menu, level-up menu. Getting pretty close to engine completion.

Update 27 December 2015: Squad menu approaching completion. Made some animated .gifs.

Update 14 November 2015: Slimes and goblins added. Trying out underground levels and lighting. Time to get moving on a demo.

Update 8 November 2015: Going with new blocky pixel environments to match the characters.

Update 14 October 2015: New video runs much better than previous videos, shows off ranged attacks, new classes, new equipment.

Update 29 July 2015: Animated gif showing new combat engine, combat explained on 30 July in response to Sated.

Update 15 March 2015: Making new portraits and sprites. See below.

Update 31 January 2015: New video showing combat and AI pathfinding, plus mages who fireball enemy squads and a cleric who will heal up your wounded characters.
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Update 17 January 2015: New video showing sprites in action, plus click-to-move, A* pathfinding, and formation movements! Any comments or critiques are welcome.
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Hi everyone. Thanks for your help so far. Here's a little teaser screenshot on Himeko Sutori, my upcoming tactical JRPG, where you will lead armies of over 100 unique named units, plus get access to everything you'll need to create your own campaigns, including 2D and 3D assets, drag-and-drop visual scripting nodes, plus ready-to-use items, character classes, skills, and empty templates for you to make your own:
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I switched to half-Kaizer, using a bunch of poses from Alisa Christopher. I know the colors are dull. I'll work more on artistic issues after I work out some more technical issues. I'm hoping to get the pathfinding and combat systems working over the next couple of weeks and I'll put another video up to show what it looks like in action.

Also, I got started on painting my own hi-def replacements for GCH's VXA Face assets. I taught myself Photoshop over the course of a month's free time and made these. I don't plan on using them, but they'll serve as decent placeholders for now.
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I'll be using something more like this for my final portrait templates:
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And for those of you who missed my earlier videos, please take a look:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XwXbfDFOwE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLYQ1fTwmos

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Last edited by Nathaniel3W on Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:54 am, edited 23 times in total.

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    Nathaniel3W
  Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:38 am
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Bump. New video. Any comments, suggestions, critiques, or questions are welcome.

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    Nathaniel3W
  Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:04 pm
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Bump. New video showing combat and AI pathfinding (link in top entry). Also, mages who fireball whole enemy squads and a cleric who will heal your wounded characters.
Content Hidden


I'd like to launch a Kickstarter soon to fund full-time development for at least a couple of months. Any ideas on must-dos and must-haves before I should launch? Thanks for any input.

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Last edited by Nathaniel3W on Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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    Nathaniel3W
  Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:21 am
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Working on all new sprites and portraits. Going for a little more color and variety than what you've seen above. As always, any comments or questions are welcome.
Image
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    ZenVirZan
  Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:51 am
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With the portraits, you have the hair and eyes of an anime character, and then the face of a western cartoon character. I personally find it kinda jarring.
Perhaps its the nose, I'm not sure. The longer you look at them, the more it goes away. Just the first glance is a little strange.

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    Nathaniel3W
  Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:14 am
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Thanks for the feedback ZenVirZan. I'm definitely no connoisseur of anime. Does this look a little more fitting?

Image

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    Nathaniel3W
  Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:50 am
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Preview of the new combat engine!

Image

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    ZenVirZan
  Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:48 am
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Sorry, I missed the update on this thread earlier.
Yeah, the nose change really smoothed it out. I think it looks much better now. :thumb:

I just noticed that the hair is up kinda high though.
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    Nathaniel3W
  Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:04 am
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Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I've pretty much abandoned that design. That was an early programmer-art attempt at putting unique portraits in the game. Now I'm going with ...
Image
...which was made by a professional artist and I think you've already seen and commented on it elsewhere.

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    Sated
  Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:53 am
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Nathaniel3W wrote:
Preview of the new combat engine!

Image

So each of those moves is a turn?

You have small parties going around on tiles and then engaging each other in normal turn-based fights?

Or what?

It's hard to tell what is going on without any UI.


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    Nathaniel3W
  Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:13 pm
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Hi Sated. Sorry, I guess this needed more of an introduction. I've been posting on this game for so long in so many places, sometimes I forget that I'm the only one who actually knows what the game is all about. If you click on the "spoiler" buttons in my top post here, you'll get a lot more background on what I've been up to.

Himeko Sutori is a tactical JRPG that gives you an army of over 100 unique named characters. You control your army at the squad level. Your characters take their individual actions--such as attacking, healing, or casting a spell--based on their class. As they level up, they can learn additional reactions such as a counterattack, healing, buff, or debuff. If you make your squad hold position, it gives your squad a defensive bonus, and they can use their actions off-turn. A reaction can be used any time the appropriate trigger occurs, but each reaction can also be used only once per turn.

The combat is now much more tactical and a lot closer to where I want the finished product to be. In my previous videos, your characters just traded blows with the enemy, making a squad perfectly able to fight off multiple enemy squads, so long as you have the HP to survive it. Now, with each character getting only one action use per turn, your squads will be nothing but sitting targets if they get attacked a second, third, or fourth time during the enemy's turn.

During combat you won't see much more UI. There's a button for switching from melee to ranged mode, and there's an end turn button. There are menus galore, but you won't see most of those during combat.

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    Sated
  Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:47 am
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Okay, that makes more sense. It sounds kinda like the Gambit system from Final Fantasy XII but applied to a tactical RPG.


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    Nathaniel3W
  Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:18 pm
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Sated wrote:
Okay, that makes more sense. It sounds kinda like the Gambit system from Final Fantasy XII but applied to a tactical RPG.


Yes! Very much like the Gambit system. That was one of the games I was thinking about when trying to come up with games that had characters act intelligently during combat.

In other news, I still haven't thanked Princess Amy for putting Himeko Sutori on the front page. Thanks very much for the added visibility Amy!

The latest developments for me are first, a Kickstarter reminder emailing list to remind you when I launch the Kickstarter.

Next, I'm working on ranged attacks:
Image
That's going to add a whole new dimension to the combat.

And I have a bunch of other little improvements and necessary gameplay elements: Squad creation, more sprites, characters who don't just march in place by default, and characters who will now take a knee when below 25% HP. Details in my latest blog post.

Thanks for all of your insights and help over the last several months, everyone. I really appreciate it.

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    Nathaniel3W
  Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:55 pm
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New video showing ranged attacks, some new classes, new weapons, new animations, and a bunch of bugs I need to fix.



The rogue automatically targets the weakest enemy. The ranger can launch ranged attacks. Ranged attacks let you damage the enemy without risk of melee counterattack, but ranged units and casters take 1.5x damage in melee combat. Next up I'll be introducing the barbarian, who targets the strongest enemy, but does extra damage. With different combinations of units, you can make specialized squads or well rounded squads.

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    coyotecraft
  Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:16 pm
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It's looking really good. That collision thing makes me wonder how you're going to handle terrain and vegetation. Like height bonuses for range attacks or improved defenses in a wooded tile.

Or maybe have tiles that are only accessible to squads with a certain number of units.


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    arev
  Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:08 pm
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I really love how all these characters turn on their way. Gives an impression as if they've been rehersing it a few times, but it's so fluid I don't really mind. One question though - isn't managing that number of units in a turn-based combat... I don't know... overwhelming?

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    Amy
  Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:58 pm
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This is going to be great. That video is as said so fluid and full of animation.


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    Nathaniel3W
  Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:11 pm
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Thanks for the input everyone.

Quote:
That collision thing makes me wonder how you're going to handle terrain and vegetation. Like height bonuses for range attacks or improved defenses in a wooded tile.

Or maybe have tiles that are only accessible to squads with a certain number of units.


I've thought about it, and I might put those features in later. I could do status effects, damage, healing, bonuses, penalties, but it's a little low on my to-do list. Also sometime I'd like to make mounts, including flying mounts, and also flying units. That would be a pretty big addition that I'm not ready to dive into just yet.

The height difference in tiles was something I tried out early on, but I'm not currently using. UDK does something really annoying with the grids that will make it really hard to do. I talked about it over here: https://forums.epicgames.com/threads/98 ... -landscape

Image

Basically UDK's Landscape object doesn't do well with decals. Decals are what I use to draw the grid, movement path, etc. And for some reason the engine renders decals that are drawn behind the landscape, on objects hidden under the landscape, and in all sorts of weird places. If I can figure out how to fix that, then I might keep going with more interesting, height-variable battle maps.

Quote:
isn't managing that number of units in a turn-based combat... I don't know... overwhelming?


It would be--if the player actually had to manage the characters individually. As you can see the combat plays out pretty quickly. The only commands are move, attack, ranged attack, and hold position, and those orders are given at the squad level. Below squad level, all of the characters act automatically.

The knight and ranger attack the closest enemy (but the ranger can also attack from a distance). The rogue attacks the weakest enemy. The cleric heals the ally with lowest % hp. The mage fireballs everyone (in melee or ranged combat). And later I'm going to add the barbarian who will attack the strongest enemy (and deal extra damage).

Eventually I'm also going to add in reactions, which will let your characters do things in reaction to events. For example, one ability might be "if ally takes damage, heal ally" or another might be "if enemy attacks me, attack enemy." Your characters will learn those reaction abilities as they level up, and then use those abilities automatically in combat.

Quote:
That video is as said so fluid and full of animation.


Yeah, so I had been using the wrong program before. I was using Camtasia for screen recording, which is a very powerful and professional video editing package. It works great if you have a monstrous video developing workstation (but it has trouble when you have a full-screen DirectX program running for some reason). If you just want to record your game, then Fraps is by far the best program to use. It's small, uses little processor overhead, it'll eat up huge swaths of hard drive if you record for too long (over 1GB per minute of video), but it's great for recording trailer-length videos and it costs only $37, compared to $300 for Camtasia.

Thanks again everyone for taking a look. I'll keep coming back as the game progresses and I'll ask for your input. I'll probably also stop here first when I'm looking for testers. :grin:

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    Nathaniel3W
  Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:54 pm
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I needed to pick a new logo for Steam Greenlight and elsewhere. I had been using a really old screenshot with a legion of clones in the army. But as I've been adding more screenshots showing off more content and better lighting techniques, I decided it was also time to change the logo:

Image

I know what it looks like... I want this game logo to evoke a certain classic game. I just hope I'm not overdoing it. But just in case, I've been playing around with some other options.

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    coyotecraft
  Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:56 pm
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Turn the girl or the title on its side would be more practical for a banner. Shortening her and putting her off center could make a sword shape. You could try placing the Japanese over the english letters, it shouldn't hurt it's readability.


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    Nathaniel3W
  Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:57 pm
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Thanks for the input. You know, I actually hadn't thought about banner ads. That's something I should probably start working on...

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    Skyler
  Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:15 pm
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Incredible. This reminds me of that game that just came out for PS4 last winter/spring. I can't think of the name atm and cbf googling it. I do know that it's brutal difficulty and its very well-animated like this appears to be. Do you yourself get to organize the squads with each individual character out of the roster? Or is it automatically done for the player?

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    Nathaniel3W
  Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:43 pm
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Hey Skyler, sorry for not replying on this sooner. I'm usually better about tending my posts. I'm glad you like what you see so far. Let me know if you remember that game you were thinking of.

As for your questions, in the final game (and in the demo coming out early 2016, I hope) you WILL be able to form your own squads. That's going to be an important part of the strategy: Do you put all of your archers together for maximum ranged damage, or do you mix them in with knights to make more fungible squads that are less specialized? It's up to you. For now though, I haven't finished the squad-formation stuff, and I'm faking it by having the computer make squads for me.

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    Nathaniel3W
  Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:46 pm
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Also, new screenshots! I'm working on tying the look of the game together. Lots of people have mentioned that the difference between the 2D and 3D assets is pretty jarring, so I'm trying to make them more similar. Here you see the backgrounds have a palette much closer to the characters in terms of contrast and saturation. Also, I think the cubified terrain works better with the 2D characters.

Image

Image

Image

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    Nathaniel3W
  Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:33 pm
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Added slimes and goblins. Working on more variation in lighting and terrain height. The top screenshot has roughly the lighting settings I'll be going with for underground levels. Art assets have been good for screenshots the last couple of months, but now it's time for me to buckle down on the big coding jobs I've been putting off. I think I have the bare minimum of assets I need to get moving on that demo to promote the upcoming Kickstarter.

Image

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Image

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    Nathaniel3W
  Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:52 pm
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Image
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The game is coming along, slowly but surely. Details of progress, plus some of the tips I've learned about making .gifs: http://himekosutori.com/?p=472

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    Nathaniel3W
  Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:24 pm
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Changing character class and equipment:
Image

Level-up system, recorded from Flash, not in-game:
Image

Details: http://himekosutori.com/?p=484

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    JoePie
  Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:34 pm
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This is so cool! As a fan of FFT just Can't imagine I never spotted this gem! :cry:


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    Nathaniel3W
  Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:32 pm
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JoePie wrote:
This is so cool! As a fan of FFT just Can't imagine I never spotted this gem! :cry:


Never fear JoePie, you haven't missed anything critical yet. The important stuff is coming up very, very soon. And by that I mean tomorrow.



That's the trailer we'll be showing when our campaign launches tomorrow. I'll come back and post the address of the campaign after we've launched.

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    ZenVirZan
  Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:41 pm
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Oh wow, that trailer looks fantastic! It's come so far!
I'm looking forward to checking out the Kickstarter.

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