My new project for SMILE GAME BUILDER is entitled Confluction. This is a working title only at the moment, and it might change during the course of its development, but it’s kind of sticking!
Confluction is an obsolete word for "confluence", the "coming or flowing together, meeting, or gathering at one point".
Our destinies are fixed, but we forge our own paths. We might make choices that cause us to stray from the path of Destiny and deviate from its course, but we’ll always return to it at some point. And that’s the subtext for the game.
Many events in the game are loosely based on events in my own life; I’ve taken certain creative liberties with them. The choices you make in life do matter!
Most of the models are being custom-made for this game.
I’m aiming for high-texture models and assets, so this is what will probably take the longest time to create since I create many of them by hand.
The focus will be on most of the models first, then the game itself. And then most likely at that point, I’ll work on character animations as and when they’re needed. This will be the biggest challenge for me; I’m not good at animation.
So when it comes to the perfectionist in me, I’d want to make sure all animations are smooth and fit well with the game!
Patrons (subscribers) will start benefiting from additional perks, including tier-specific Discord roles/titles, and unique content, game dev insights, exclusive content, such as demos, and more.
If you would like to support me there, either as a patron or donator, it would be greatly appreciated. All moneys will go towards several goals and will give an extra incentive to continue with the project.
I will try and update this more regularly, with more regular content and some patron-only content soon!
What About Relationship Sim?
The project I was working on before Confluction is Relationship Sim.
However, I decided to continue on THIS project first, and then resume with "RSim" when the new SGB is officially released to take advantage of some of its new features! (At the time of this post, no, I can’t say what those new features are outside of what SmileBoom has already announced publicly!)
As many of you already know, I started live-streaming SMILE GAME BUILDER on YouTube, specifically for developing Tutoria, the lands in which the game takes place.
Tutoria is a vast land mass sitting in the centre of the Primeval Ocean (a bit like Pangea before it shifted into the continents we know today).
It’s divided into two supercontenents: Aetios, the frigid ice-bound tundra in the north, and Kryuth, comprising more temperate climates in the south and the sweltering desert regions farther south and east.
Connecting them is a man-made bridge in the east, referred to simply as the Crossing, and an isthmus in the west known as the Dragon’s Causeway. The capital of Kryuth is Ancieryth and Aetios’s capital city is Cloverleaf.
The above image provides a very basic layout of what Tutoria is meant to look like. Details will inevitably change as development continues throughout the live-streams and the map itself might change over time. (The map was created on Inkarnate, an online map creator. You do need an account to use it, but you can still make some useful maps even with the Free version; the Pro version isn’t that badly priced either.)
The Purpose of Tutoria
The basic idea behind Tutoria – and the purpose of the live-streams on YouTube – is to create a game from start to finish (however long it takes) and then to post-process it in Unity so that it can then be downloaded and played by all.
It isn’t a serious attempt at game making! It’s simply to create a game over the course of one- or two-hour streams for others to watch. And that’s it!
As I develop Tutoria during the live-streams, I’ll also revisit some of my older video tutorials and bring them more up-to-date. Plus I’ll demonstrate how to create some of the graphics for the game, including icons, effects, and so on. This essentially makes it a tutorial live-stream with the end-goal of a completed game.
Incidentally, Sana of SmileBoom suggested the name "Tutoria" some time ago because I initially wanted to create a series of videos dedicated to creating a short game in SMILE GAME BUILDER based on my tutorials. And it stuck! Hence why it’s so named now.
During live-streams I’ll be giving away free stuff! Everyone likes free stuff, right?
This could be anything from Title screens to Game Over screens to assets that I create. In last week’s stream, I gave away a Title screen of a nice fairy sitting on a toadstool in a fairy ring.
In the beginning, these giveaways will be sporadic, pretty much as and when I feel like it, but over time, they’ll become a regular feature for all the Tutoria streams. I’ll usually announce this on Twitter and Facebook.
The rules for receiving these freebies (as they become available) are:
You must say "Hi!" during the live-stream (even if you say nothing else).
After the live-stream, you must contact me on Twitter or Facebook, or in Discord, with the name you used during the stream.
You must NOT use them in anything but SMILE GAME BUILDER.
You must NOT share them with anyone else or on any other website. (Of course, you can still use them in your games if you want to.)
A final note about the giveaways: In time, these free assets will make their way in packs on the Gnome Treasure online store and Itch.io. So if you want free copies you can collect them in the live-streams only!
Tutoria Live-Streaming Schedule
Live-streams for Tutoria were initially scheduled for Fridays. I had to fit this into my shifts at work. Now that they’ve changed slightly to Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, however, it makes it easier to work with as far as game development as a whole is concerned.
Starting this weekend, I’m rescheduling these live-streams for Sundays because, being the weekend, and based on the feedback I’ve also received, this seems to be a more convenient slot for a people to attend.
Jacob Mann has offered a comprehensive tutorial on using Mixamo with Smile Game Builder’s popular B-Style characters. And the best thing about this method is also compatible with Unity when exported with the Exporter for Unity DLC.
Support Tool for Making FBX Motions Files with Blender
There is a useful and necessary tool, called TimeSpanEndFixTool (provided by SmileBoom). It’s at the very bottom of the page.
What this tool does is fixes the end frame limit of 60fps so longer animations don’t play to the end.
It might come as no surprise that creating animated character models for SMILE GAME BUILDER is one of the commonest questions asked.
While this in itself isn’t as complicated as it may seem at first, there are a number of rules you need to follow to successfully create and import character models into SGB, notably with bones and armature.
Jacob Mann has produced a video that comprehensively explains the process from start to finish on YouTube. It’s well worth watching if you’re a relative beginner and wish to create your own 3D characters.
Although there is a plethora of tutorials on armatures, many are for more general creation and don’t take into account SGB’s especial bone structure and format, which may lead to some weird, undesired effects in SGB itself. Jacob’s video is tailored specifically to SGB and makes it easy to understand how animations are created and how they work in Smile Game Builder.
The bookshelf and its modular books models have been resized to match the size of the default bookshelf. The narrower models didn’t look or feel right.
This will be a part of the Hi-Tex Furniture Pack, which is scheduled for release later this year. It’s been set as Vol. 2 of the Furniture pack. However, I’m considering releasing this as Vol. 1 instead of Vol. 2, as I’d like to remake the chairs and tables, basically a few adjustments to size and form.
Names in Message Windows of Added/Removed Party Members (Extended Version)
Random Guardians (Two Ways)
Random Guardians (One Way)
Reasons for Two Versions
This will become the norm from now on: A "smaller" version for YouTube and an "extended" version elsewhere. (I’ll write an article on the reasons for short and extended tutorial versions to explain the logic behind this a bit later.)
The complete House Pack set will contain all kinds of terrains and furniture models. From tables and chairs to cooking equipment to utensils, this is the perfect set to furnish and enhance your houses.
In each pack, the contents have been carefully selected so that they’re not duplicated. Each model has been named so that when you import them into Models in SGB, they’ll integrate seamlessly into the House Pack (HSP).
This pack contains 295 assets, including:
284 house wall terrains
This pack will be updated with 3 more models (1 more lintel and 2 more chairs) later.