User-friendly data tools for my JRPG

Image result for persona 5

I haven’t done a project blog in regards to tech in like forever. In fact, I haven’t blogged in like forever. HI! So yeah I finished Persona 5 (hence the picture) and it took around 90 hours. And that game is a JRPG. And I am working on a JRPG so see it is kind of relevant right!

So today, I am talking about how I am doing some of my data tools. JRPG are giant houses of numbers. It is like your overpacked loft… but instead of the random crap you have collected, it is numbers. And you want to be able to change these numbers all the time for balancing.

As I said before I built a sort of equivalent CMS system in my game. It is the loosest phrase of “content management system”, but as I said in the previous post, I modelled what I was doing by separating data, etc from my work at MediaTonic, who have a quite frankly world class CMS that is hundreds of times better than others I have used. Like I mentioned previously, I make heavy use of scriptable objects:

For some designers, however, double-clicking on the curve and editing it from the editor can be quite cumbersome. And writing Editor GUI code in Unity is quite frankly out of the question, because it is well… horrible… so I came up with a slightly better solution.

Google sheets. In google sheets you can build your data really nicely, view it in graphs and curves to see progression and can be used for balancing.

I came up with a sheet schema as above and then wrote some a little editor script:

And also a static parsing class to parse the data from a csv file to my game data:

 

What the editor script does is add this little button to my battle character scriptable objects:

And uses the parsing code to fill out those curves.

Therefore we can use the power of a spreadsheet program to plot our graphs and then load the data in and apply it to our scriptable object.

Neat, huh?

 

 

Loving the JRPG Business

If you read my blog you know I love the racing game business, but what you probably don’t know is I equally love the JRPG business. I also love the loving the business business (bizception!) but that is another day… :P. Anyway this makes me excited about Pier Solar. This generation of consoles has had a lack of decent JRPGs. Lost Odyssey was pretty good, and Xenoblade Chronicles and Last Story were also meant to be pretty good, however I have barely played the first and do not own the second and they are currently living on that casual games platform known as the Wii (yeah, I said it…and what). As I stated back on the previous incarnation of Coxlin’s Blog, Final Fantasy has gone a bit tits up recently, with no real decent titles emerging. I also hold to the fact that these games should start living on other mobile/handheld platforms rather than the home consoles, but again another story. Anyway, because I love the JRPGs I am really looking forward to Pier Solar HD on the 360 (it is on other stuff too, including the WiiU). If you didn’t know (and don;t worry I heard very little about it too!) Pier Solar is originally a game made for mega drive and was the only one made this millennium. I did not own a MegaDrive (my first console was a GBA.. I think, that or a PS1) and if I did probably would have sold it off when I was a youngster for a 360. Luckily I do own a 360, and the guys at WaterMelon have done a solid kickstarter campaign to  get an HD version out. I am pretty excited. It has been a long time since I have played a Final fantasy style JRPG (I have been playing the Tales series and they are real good, but the combat is completely different) and I am going to make an effort to play Pier Solar through. I also love the fat it is a game made by fans for fans, and it has got funded. I did mention on twitter a while back that I would actually do a game in my own time from start to finish and would love to work on a JRPG. It would not be the first time, I did start work on one back at Uni and as I have a couple of weeks off around Christmas I MAY spend some time looking at getting that stuff together and prototyping to see if I come up with anything cool.

As a little P.S. at the end, currently there are 14 hours left for Pier Solar, and I would love the custom 360. Sadly I don’t have the spare $999 so I went for the standard 360 HD edition with soundtrack (I love soundtracks for my ipod! It makes me feel like a final fantasy character…) however if you do, or are looking for a cool game anyway then I would jump on the Kickstarter before the end!

Pier Solar HD