Relearning Blender

I’m messing around with the latest Blender (2.6) after sticking with 2.49 for as long as I could. It will take a while before I feel proficient with the new interface.

Most of my previous work carries over. Some of my old baked normals are inverted but that’s not a big deal. I haven’t tested particles yet but that art (spells effects) is very old now and I’d like to do it better anyway.


Life events have claimed most of my free time and Flare has been pretty stagnant for a couple months. Time to start turning down other side projects and get back into focus.

Here are the major tasks that need attention.

  • Replace MessageEngine with GNU gettext
  • Add mod folders and ordered asset loading
  • [Tiled] Allow (x,y) display offsets per tile set

Nothing flashing nor fun to work on. I’m sure that’s a big part of why I’m in a rut. So what might be fun instead?

Fun Stuff

I have a very primitive action RPG done, but there are some things that deserve improvement. Here are some long-term plans. Some of these might be worth fixing before the first game.

  • The inventory menu deserves a better layout. The engine ought to allow creators to define new equipment slots.
  • Allow new equipment slots to display as a layer on the hero (e.g. for boots, gloves, helmet). Once this gets more complex it’ll probably require having an equipment layer z-order per direction, if not per piece of equipment.
  • I don’t like the current Power unlocking system. It just isn’t very fun: some levels you unlock useless powers, other levels you don’t get any new powers. I should throw this out and implement a more traditional system to unlock powers (e.g. one unlock per level, or unlocked via magic books)
  • Melee combat feels boring. The animation needs improvement, and probably there should be multiple melee swing motions. The engine should allow multiple variations for each animation, not just melee.
  • I want some creatures to move very differently. I ought to implement e.g. a flying creature, then figure out how to refactor creature behavior.
  • The current implementation of armor isn’t very satisfying. I should probably have the Defense stat unlock armor and shields at each rank. Armors can be leather, chain, plate mail, full plate; shields can be buckler, small shield, large shield, great shield.
  • I think the hard connection between base stats (phys, mag, off, def) and specific items should be broken. Remove those item icons from the Character menu, they’re misleading at best.
  • It was a nice idea to make Power trees based on the combination of base stats (e.g. Physical Offense), but it’s awkward in practice. The idea could easily be lost in translation. Instead I’d want to make arbitrary power trees by “build”. E.g. a Warrior tree, a Ranger tree, and a Mage tree. Once the trees are no longer tied to the core powers, it should be easy to add random trees with new powers.
  • This is completely personal preference, but I’d like to have more non-magical items and far fewer magical items. I want magical items to be special and feel unique.
  • The better I get with isometric art, the more I feel that I’m terrible at it. I think it’s time to step up my techniques and push for higher quality.

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