After a lot of cleanup work in the scripts, it's time to move the game forward a few stages. We've been implementing new art and nailing down bugs as they come up, and now we have some cool new NPCs and level block outs emerging. Moving forward, my main jobs will be to fix bugs, balance systems + gameplay, as well as further developing tools the team may need.
This week, I queued up a lot of time for tools development again. This will become less and less of a priority as the semester continues, since tools development is most important at the start. For now, the NPC tool is functional enough to build basic NPCs, and it's flexible enough to quickly iterate after we get feedback.
In the 2 days so far this sprint, I was able to get "Branches" working. In the sense that an NPC is a dialogue tree, the Branches are important for building interest in NPCs. At the moment, the only way to use Branches in the tool is by using the "Show Choices" event. This will add a dialogue box after text with up to 4 choices from the player to pick from. Each choice leads to its own branch, and once the player gets through all of the events on any of those branches, they return to the original branch.
The example I used was simply a guy who asked if you liked Frogs. You can answer Yes or No to his question, and based on how you answer, he will respond differently to you. It's a simple thing in-game that adds a lot, and now that the base implementation is complete, we can create a lot of new, engaging NPCs.