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noiseredux
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Re: I am Overburdened [devlog]

by noiseredux Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:27 pm

When are we gonna see a physical release via Limited Run Games or one of those other small boutique publishers? :)
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Spidi777
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Re: I am Overburdened [devlog]

by Spidi777 Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:37 am

I suspect a game needs to be at least somewhat successful to be taken on for physical boxing/publishing :(
But if it ever reaches that point (would be awesome :)), you'll be among the first to receive a boxed version noiseredux :wink:
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Spidi777
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Re: I am Overburdened [devlog]

by Spidi777 Thu May 16, 2019 2:12 pm

Hi there!

Maybe I should start with some rambling about why I've been dormant for so long, but I want to jump right into the details of the latest I Am Overburdened update I've just released. I'm leaving the boring bits to the end ;) !

Update

Version 1.2.1. has a plethora of changes, but most of these are fixes, tunings and other tiny additions. All in all it is not THE huge content update I've been teasing, but it has a bunch of nice things I hope many will appreciate.

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The game has been localized to German ( Image ...) and Spanish ( Image ...). With this second set of official translations the game now supports 7 languages :O ! Hopefully this way even more players will be able to enjoy the wacky descriptions and dialogues :) I would love to add even more in the future, but I can't make promises yet as these take time and money. Will try my best.

Special thanks to the translators for their work:
Nico Weiß (canemus): German, Juan Buleo (PsychoKurt): Spanish

Mouse and UI

When I Am Overburdened launched it lacked proper mouse support. I patched-in this feature shortly after and I tried upgrading it ever since, but there are still a few ideas left worth pursuing.

Book graphics and controls

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The menu book graphics were improved with a simple trick and all the screens received separate "Back" and "Close" buttons. This way it is way easier to navigate them (some menu "stacks" were quite deep) + now it is possible to move around with only the left mouse button easily.

In-game UI

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There is a new book icon under the health-bar for opening the menus. Again this allows left mouse button only navigation during play.

Inn renovation

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The same way the user interface needed some changes to better support controlling the game with mouse only, the inn had to be updated a bit to accommodate. I added a journal next to the innkeeper which can be used to access the main menu.

Stash confusion

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Many players claimed that they did not notice the "Stash" in the inn and had no idea about collecting starting items. Mea culpa, this was a big design error on my end. Now when it has items in it there is a smoke effect triggered when entering the inn similar to the ones accompanying other unlocks and play variants. Hope this helps in discovering the unlocked starter items.

Bug-fixes and tweaks

Besides adding new languages a lot of localization fixes found their way into the game. Layouts of the menus were changed a little to make translated content better fit them. I also increased the item pickups notification time for longer fluff texts as translators suggested.

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A small balance change was applied too. The luck penalty on nightmare difficulty has been decreased to 3 from 5. It is not a heavy impact modification, but it does make nightmare an itsy-bitsy less luck based.

Path-finding

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I made a mistake in the underlying path-finding system which caused a rare but weird issue when controlling the player with the mouse. Fixed!

That is all for this update, but soon more will follow!

So what's up?

Sadly In the last six months I had to face a lot of difficulties (financial, personal and housing/moving related). Due to this I left the game hibernated and as a result its community dwindled :(

I really wish to do a 180 on this. I'm going to have free time for making updates in the upcoming months and I already re-organized my TODO list and plans. I'm also working on a somewhat "new" project pretty closely related to I Am Overburdened ;)

To sum it up, I really had neither time, nor money or energy to work on the game. Thankfully it looks like now I'm on track to complete updates I've been dying to deliver for months now :)

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.
Stay tuned!
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Spidi777
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Re: I am Overburdened [devlog]

by Spidi777 Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:39 pm

Hello everyone!

New I Am Overburdened update, new entry ;)
This time instead of launching new content or features I'm upgrading the graphics of the game a little.

Graphical facelift

As I hinted before on social media I've been working on multiple graphics related changes. This is the first update for I Am Overburdened focusing only on the visual aspect. If the response is good I may create another similar one :)
Let me know what you think!

Auto-Tiling

The biggest graphical improvement is the auto-tiling feature of the dungeon levels. In short, it is a technique to (dynamically) change tiles based on their neighbors to achieve a much less "blocky" look and to add depth to the scenes.

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To me, the difference is night and day. It does make the grid structure of the levels less readable (functionally may be a bit of a downgrade), but it makes the dungeons feel much more claustrophobic so all in all, I feel like it is a big win :)

Some technical details:

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The most flexible and well-established method is the "blob" or 8-way auto-tiling where you create special tile graphics with the required corners for all the relevant neighbor combinations (47 exist, the first part of the image). Each neighbor is represented by a bit (power of 2 value, the second part of the image) and by combining the flags of the ~important matching neighbors you get a unique value identifying the required tile.

Even though I coded a system like this long ago I decided to go with a different technique because of the amount of graphical work required...

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So I switched to the "sub-tile" approach. It is super simple to implement and requires much less sprite work while still achieving a similar result. The idea here is to split tiles which require special corner graphics and check the relevant neighbors for each corner. To cover each situation 4 variants are required so 16 sub-tiles. Based on the horizontal, vertical and diagonal neighbors of a given corner the appropriate sub-tile graphic can be selected and voila. Auto-tiling.

Crystal clear

The looks of the last episode in the game received some valid criticism. My original goal was to make the "Crystalline Cavern" a bit confusing. Almost like a place full of mirrors. I think I went a little overboard and visual clarity suffered a lot.

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I've redrawn parts of the tile-set, recolored the rest and a new walking effect was introduced to preserve the reflecting and mirror-like feeling.

Rain

The ambient sounds in the inn just weren't doing it justice. I added some splash effects outside of the building to set a more convincing mood.

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Bugs & Performance

The fixes and optimizations are graphics related too. The biggest enhancement is the introduction of multiple (rendering) layers within the effect system and overall improved effect handling performance.

Effect layers

This problem probably did not bother many players, but some environment effects looked funny before the introduction of multi-layer spell effects.
Fixed!

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Mouse control sprites

There was a tiny sprite state related bug which could only occur when controlling the game with the mouse. Not anymore.

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Spell performance

Although the game could always run on a "toaster" hitches and frame-spikes during spell heavy moments weren't uncommon. This is now a thing of the past.

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Next stop?

Work continues on I Am Overburdened. The planned content expansion pack is shaping up nicely. So far, I deliberately kept concrete info about it to the minimum since I'm still really bad at estimating the work left and I would like it to be a surprising and bigger release. This means the upcoming few updates will be similar to this and the last one (just a bunch of tiny changes), but I'm going to start teasing the new features in the following weeks ;)

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.
Take care!
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Rydon
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Re: I am Overburdened [devlog]

by Rydon Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:49 pm

Hey Spidii thanks for the update. I wanted to ask, do you see a correlation with the time you are putting in on updates/"dlc" to more people buying the game? Is it worth it to continue on the game from a monetary perspective or are you wanting to get the game to a certain "threshold" before you call it done?
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Spidi777
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Re: I am Overburdened [devlog]

by Spidi777 Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:09 am

Hi Rydon!

Continuing to make and release updates do seem to increase my weekly sales and the interest towards the game a little, but the project is still at a loss overall.
I have future plans with I Am Overburdened. I'm working towards releasing it on multiple platforms which is more of a "for profit" endeavor though. So I'm making these updates primarily for the existing (and hopefully future) players and for creative reasons (game becomes even better with each iteration).

Let me know if you are interested in knowing more.
Cheers!
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Spidi777
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Re: I am Overburdened [devlog]

by Spidi777 Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:06 pm

Hi there!

So it came to pass, that only a tiny update gets completed within two weeks while working on another way bigger project :D
Hopefully, the user interface enhancements in I Am Overburdened version 1.2.3. will be appreciated still.

The book of monsters

The biggest (albeit functionally neglectable) change is the new "Book of Monsters" layout. Now the unlocked monsters can be explored using a scrollable grid just like in the case of the "Tome of Artifacts". It looks much less crammed + this was a necessary change for the future ;)

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Yep, this also means new monsters will join the party with the upcoming bigger content update (currently it looks like 4 to be more exact) and for this to happen the presentation had to be changed beforehand to accommodate.

Scroll madness

All the scroll-bars (not just the new monsters book one) were updated to handle up/down clicks too + screens where scrolling grids reacted to mouse movement (Stash, Treasury), were fixed since they could produce horrible noises with the quickly changing focused artifacts.

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Nearby beasts

How could I forget about this feature?! The same thing was implemented for the "Tome of Artifacts" with nearby items long ago, but somehow I missed this one. Opening the "Book of Monsters" next to an enemy now selects it immediately.

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Tome hot-keys

I also added hot-keys for accessing the tomes (Left Ctrl + A for the "Tome of Artifacts", Left Ctrl + M for the "Book of Monsters") with only one press as they may be opened semi-frequently during play. The input guide was updated to reflect these changes.

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In-game inventory on steroids!

A real nemesis of mine. I could not find a good way to notify the player about nearby items so far. I tried multiple things in the past (some even made it into the game), but I was never satisfied.
I think I got it now? I really like the current version. Let me know what you think!

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Little development history

One thing I tried long ago was changing the color palette of the slots which may be affected by a neighbor item pickup. Empty slots became lighter and used slots became red. I scrapped this approach because I could not find good enough color variants and it generally did not look that useful.

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To give at least some help to the players I decided to add in-world slot notifications. I liked them quite a lot so I released this feature a while ago, but I admit that functionally it was not best (e.g.: with a full inventory the slot icons don't help too much :| )...

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Then it hit me! Don't change the slots I have to focus on, change the ones I don't have to focus on. May sound counter-intuitive, but it worked way better than my first color based attempt :)

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It wasn't a ~perfect solution though. I just could not pinpoint the best time when to fade in and out unrelated slots. It looked a bit chaotic. With some iteration, I worked it out though. If there is a rapid change just forget the whole thing (disable the feature) so it doesn't bother the player and only fade out the unneeded slots if the player stays still a little nearby an item (or items).

Summer Sale

In the meantime I Am Overburdened also joined the Summer Sale!

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You can buy it at Steam or at itch.io for dirt cheap (50% Off - 2.49$, may vary based on region).

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What's next?

This is the first "teaser" update where changes related to the expansion pack crawled into the official build of the game and I shared tiny but concrete info about what is to come. Expect a few more updates like this in the upcoming weeks, but soon (hopefully really soon) I will unleash a bigger and better I Am Overburdened upon the world :)

Thank you very much for following my progress and for all your support.
Stay tuned!
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