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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Week #021: Insert Clever Title Here

As I mentioned last week, things have been slow lately, to an outside viewer. There's a lot of fixing, refining, polishing and catching up going on involving the characters, and interface design is truthfully, not all that involved or interesting.

This week, I'm going to talk a bit about one of my own ideas I've been pushing to put in the game. What was once no more than a splash of presentation just recently evolved into something with purpose, and with our time being devoted to the interface lately, you'll likely be seeing some early bits of it in the coming weeks, even if the ultimate goal might still be months off.

Hero Figurines

The original idea for figurines actually came to me in a dream when HTD was still very early in development. Belonging to a Jumanji-style game board, the tiny figures represented your heroes as they progressed through their skill trees, represented by the paths on the board. Expecting the heroes to be held responsible for the well-being of this piece of equipment during their dangerous travels was eventually deemed illogical, and the idea was canned.

Months later, we began looking at the game's pre-battle interfaces, and when I was tasked with laying out the hero management screen, the idea made a comeback. I started with a simple goal: that these supposed figurines would be less stressful for the engine to load in a timely manner than full-blown previews of your heroes would be. The hand-carved wooden figures would be unique to your hero's race, gender, and class to assist in quickly identifying your heroes, and clicking on them once would bring up a dynamic preview elsewhere on the screen, along with options to configure their equipment and skills. Dragging the figures to another area would allow you to arrange a party before entering battle.

The current placeholders that you'll be seeing soon in-game
along with some very early development of the final figurine graphics.

I initially planned that these figurines would also be painted to match the color of your native element, but we ultimately decided that this could be confusing or misleading.

Jump ahead to just a few weeks later, and only a week ago, when the new design dawned on me: What if players could find or purchase paints for a very small fee, and paint these figurines themselves to add extra, cosmetic-only effects to their heroes? Imagine flashy auras, a little extra flare for their abilities, titles and more!

It should be stressed that this idea is of course still very early in development, and none of these exact bonuses have been decided on, and probably won't be for months to come. These examples should be considered nothing more than just that; examples.

Regardless, it's an idea that I'm very excited about and I wanted to take the chance to talk about, being one of the first ideas that I came up with on my own to contribute to HTD. I hope everyone is looking forward to it as much as I am!

In the case of the next week being another slow one, I wanted to open the gates for another question and answer session. Let 'em rip in comments and I'll answer them next week or sooner.


  1. Ummm... Am I first? Yay! These little figurines seem pretty cool. I always like more ways to customize things.

  2. Gforce! I am honored.

  3. Just remembered now its not monday night... LOL

    About the figurines they look cool ;) (if they are wooden and fix images they can be even more "woodeny" lol) like:

    And that gave me more ideas, but since I lack the part that normal people call sanity LOL well what ever I'll toss it anyway.

    Out of flash is probably out of question, but give a good SnD team thinking on a game engine like (damn it can't get the name cause I already instaled so it doesn't miss it but search botball Adventure on facebook and you'll see what I mean) looks like simple 3d runing on flash (and obviously 3d can still be cartoonish *Gon points to dragon ball games, and such*). What about it?

    Not cool enough? Not enough potential? Then!!! Now that you have fully developed 3d models in the game... 3d figurines to SELL!!! I mean first they could be just standard even wooden/wooden looking, but then, you could take it to a higher lvl (MONEY!!! =P)

    "I know I always take stuff to an higher lvl, but that's how awesome is made!" Gon


    ps: Kev, please guide Sam and Dan to this post ;)

    1. I definitely want them to look like hand-carved wooden figurines that one of your heroes might be whittling in his free time between adventures.

      I know you can import some 3D imagery into Flash with ease, but I don't necessarily have that knowledge (let alone the modeling knowledge). I don't see us using that kind of tech in HTD.

      Actual figurines and other merchandise would certainly be awesome, but I wouldn't count on it happening any time soon. :P

      I agree, being ambitious is definitely how you accomplish the awesome.

    2. LOL for the "necessarily" XD fair enough ;)

      Just thought it all in a full win thing that would lead to pretty easy make the actual figurines. Think it will be a lot harder and will look way more different if you go from flat 2d flash to a 3d miniature. ;)

      Well the suggestions are made (for now! XD) =P

    3. If it were that easy Blizzard wouldn't charge an arm and a leg and your first and second born child for them.

    4. True (damn prices are insane, I wanted a mini of my main char but...) but what I meant was easy (with the 3d "export" for 3d figures) in comparison with flat to 3d models ;)

  4. First off I like that even though I haven't even really commented much in the past few weeks that I am still tied for first. :)

    Second, I like these hero figurines. In the customization, I hope that there will be different types of wood as well as different color paints for them. For me, instead of a figurine colored in solid colors by the end, I would like the wood texture still shown through.

    Lastly, when shall we expect to see more ranged weapons in design? Not until the actual game is released or before?

    1. I was wondering where you got to!

      I had not considered using other materials other than wood, but I like it! I'll make a note of it for later.

      Sheesh, I don't think that stuff is even on my plate yet. I'm sure ranged will be soon after I finish up this interface stuff, though.

    2. 1sts are 1sts (even if we can't be here, can't tiem travel or the day changes and you keep time traveling to the wrong time and can't be asked doing it again XD) Do a 1st next week so that I do on the week after lol

    3. Yeah, between the stress of being a Chemistry major and just not having anything productive to say since Gon covers most of it(:P) I just haven't been able to comment as frequently.

      I was at first thinking that these inks used to color the figurines would cause the figurine to look more acrylic than natural and that is cool and all, but definitely have the option of keeping the wood texture.

      No worries. No rush. I just can't wait to see bows, but greatness is patient. :)

    4. Gon, Sly, I will beat you next time!

  5. A couple of questions: are you working on the boss or refining the boss, or are you going to do that after your done with everything else? Because that boss sticky note has been up for quite awhile with anything filled out. Oh, and may I suggest for every 3-6 sticky notes, you put them in a new "Sticky note" page on your blog? Another question is are you going to be working on the graphics of ANPO or is that a sam and dan thing?

    1. The boss was put on hold since we just won't be seeing him for a while yet. The introductory stage has three sections planned, and he won't make an appearance until the last. While the first section is in place, there clearly aren't any goals or anything yet, so we're working on that first.

      Ah, ANPO. That really isn't much more than a pipe dream at the moment. I was wanting to do the character design but have new artists do the actual game graphics, but it's hard to tell how that will pan out this early.

  6. Hey, Kevin I have ideas about some really sick swords. Maybe a Zanbato or Bankai(from Bleach)(Look them up, I (Don't Think) They have any English versions) Huh, a parenthesis inside a parenthesis. Parenthesisception.

  7. It's Monday... at least I think it is. I would be more sure of that if I had gotten a Sunday update to remind me. :P

    1. I kind of absolutely forgot about it until something like 1 this morning. It'll be coming tonight, as soon as I figure out what to post. Like I've been saying the last few weeks, interface design isn't the most interesting thing to post about.

      Better late than never though, right?