I don't think we did any sort of roundup post for 2012, but seeing as progress has been pretty sparse most of this year and morale is probably pretty low among everyone, we thought a post that looks back on what TLT did accomplish in the past year might be nice before 2014 hits. This is also a good time to comment on the current status of each category, so read on!
This year may have produced only three Events, but they were definitely smashing successes with very awesome results.
Museum Exhibits, Airship Designs and Sub-Gate Entrances all infused the project with awesome materials, and I still get excited anytime I look over past Event winners. Another thanks to all participants who made TLT's 2013 Events the success that they were!
As for when the next Event is, that's difficult to say as there will only be so many of these and they kind of got ahead of the rest of the project. More are most definitely on the way, though, so we hope you'll take part when the time comes. :)
For the lack of time this year the project made some pretty cool modeling advancements. In the way of additional developers, Joshmnky did some good works on NPC modeling and the like, and we also recently welcomed Vin Baratta to the project, who's also helping us to tackle the massive job of NPC modeling.
fAB's hard work has also resulted in some really awesome stuff in the model gallery; Mona (who was also announced and named this year), Nodin (whose design was finalized this year), Sabel (an awesome rendition of an awesome Event winner), the classic Kuruguru, and of course Tuttle himself got some major improvements from the original model. There's also been work on unfinished stuff like Gold City.
Coming up next is Sirocco's finished design and model!
The Artwork Gallery continues to fill with cool stuff from everyone involved- Mr. Foetus contributed some cool ruin pieces, fAB did a number of island concept sketches and we were very pleased to welcome Kristie "Jitter" Kaiser to the project this year. She produced some pretty awesome stuff, and hopefully she'll continue doing so in 2014 as her time allows.
Head on over to the gallery to have a better look at what all's been added in the past year!
TLT made a lot of efforts this year to reach a Japanese audience with website translations, Event translations and even a flier made up in an attempt to appear at the MRFF event back in June. To be blunt, these efforts completely bombed and we never got any takers...
While we'll be keeping the Japanese side of the site up and of course they're always welcome to participate in the project, we're not planning on further efforts to reach out with Event translations and so on, which should save us some time next year. A big thanks to HF for coming through on the Events and web translations, though- it was worth a try, and trying wouldn't have been possible without his assistance.
Regardless, I think this flier turned out damn sweet as a promotional image.
I used this image back in April, and sadly it still applies pretty well.
So, what can I say here... The engine needs a rewrite, and even since April I haven't gotten that time I talked about needing to do it. Finances are as bad as ever and time is as scarce as ever. So, in the course of a year the engine has hardly budged an inch. I know. Discouraging, right?
But! There is a bright side, and that's what I tweeted about earlier this month: Tuttle's animation system. The most glaring problems with the old engine were two things: animations and state machines- but in a way they're one and the same. For a character as complex as Tuttle you can't just go charging in with duct tape and make it all work, which is essentially what I did for the existing demo. His state machine, the part that controls whether or not he's jumping, landing, running, walking, and so on, immediately began to crumble when I tried to implement a simple attack function as it has to execute WHILE he's standing, jumping, running, etc. The crumbling was emphasized by the animations, which were doing some... very strange things. Hence the need for an engine rewrite.
However, in Unity 4 they introduced a new animations engine which is INFINITELY more powerful, productive, and developer-friendly than their old engine. That night I tweeted about working with it I hadn't even touched the raw scripting side of things but was already seeing his animations come together better than ever before. It is in fact so awesome that it didn't seem unreasonable to try pumping out a new demo this month, but with the holidays, and... you know.
Another important part of this new animation engine is that it's set up like a state machine, where the animations and what they're doing have more control over what Tuttle is doing, and could potentially save me a heap of nightmares with finite state machines. Essentially, this could be a solution to both of the engine's deepest issues.
Anyway, enough tech blab. I've only gotten my feet wet in the new animation engine, but I'm very excited to dive in and see where it goes. It's looking to be a major game changer.
Now that the bleaker Programming and Japanese categories are out of the way, it's time to wrap with what was probably TLT's greatest achievement in 2013. Tuttle's Legendary Soundtrack has received a whopping 19 new tunes this year, all thanks to Mr. Foetus!
Between his incredible music (that in our opinion is outdoing the original Legends soundtracks), concept artwork, passion and enthusiasm for TLT, the man is just too awesome. It's no exaggeration to say he's the greatest thing yet to happen to this project- especially since fAB and I would have been dead in the water trying to do music of this quality ourselves. Seriously, he deserves a medal or something. In the meantime throw him some cookies and cake why don't you. :)
For tracks that we put up publicly this year, we have Sirocco's Theme, Sleepy Dashe Town, Topporouletto, Tronne City, and the all important Malt City theme. These are all amazing tracks- be sure to give them a listen if you haven't (and even if you have!).
Naturally we can't name all of the finished unreleased tracks for spoiler reasons, but among them are the Buscan Ruins, Dashe Ruins, Chizz Ruins, Nodin's Theme, Sabel Battle, Buscan Town, Game Over and Balloon Fantasy.
And he's presently hard at work on the main Sturm Force theme. ;)
Anyway, quite a post 2013 made up in summary, eh? Not too shabby considering.
Our sincere thanks to you all who have stuck with the project, and here's to a better year in 2014!