Rhythm Quest Devlog 45 — Alpaca, Localizations

It’s been a challenge to juggle Rhythm Quest alongside my job, but I still have some progress to report on!

Alpaca

I decided to go with a tan-ish color…alpacas come in several colors but I figured this one would be nice since it’s different than the rest of the characters that I have so far.

The running animation is mostly just basic leg movement, but there’s some secondary motion with its tail and neck that help to give it a sense of weight. The slight bit of elasticity / delay between the chest movement and the head bounce I think is the main thing to focus on.

This was a fun one, haha. The anticipation frame and smear are pretty important here; the motion is a lot smaller without those. The overall form of the animation is similar to Ducky, with the horizontal stretch happening at the point of “impact”. For the water, it starts as a solid wavefront and then splits off into distinct streams, which fade into droplets. It’s actually somewhat challenging to get the spacing to look right for thi sone, since the enemies are really more positioned for a bite than a spit attack. Still, I think in practice it’s fine.

Experimenting with having the alpaca’s legs flail around while jumping was really weird, so instead I kept everything stationary and instead just focused on subtle fur movement so it doesn’t look static. There’s a brief crouch frame used here; that one doesn’t really need to be very clean since it’s more of a quick flash of motion than an actual animation frame.

Flying is the same as jumping, just with the wings added.

And same thing with the flying attack, I just added the wings onto the normal attack animation. It’s really nice that I can just copy-paste the wing frames and have them look fine with only a couple of tweaks…

Community Localizations

Of course, different languages add a whole host of new challenges for me to handle…

Diacritics

And so, I opened Fontforge and added them to the font myself…

So yeah, add “font design” to the endless list of skills that I’ve used throughout this project.

Anyhow, that is all looking mostly fine now:

They don’t render as well at a 1x scale (if you’re playing at 500x300, for example), but that’s acceptable for me. That topic does bring me to my next point, though…

Unicode Pixel Font Sizing

Yeah, that’s a problem. Of course, I could just double the font size here and be fine, but that would lead to characters taking up much more space than I’d like:

My solution here was to implement custom code in my font-switching script that detects whether you’re using a 1x UI scale, and if so, forces all labels using these unicode glyphs to use a smooth font instead of the pixel font:

So now even if you play in Chinese using a 500x300 resolution, things will be somewhat readable. Of course, probably nobody is going to play my game in 500x300 to begin with, but hey, if you do, it’s going to work properly now!

That unfortunately wasn’t the last of my issues, as my CJK (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) font was inexplicably missing characters that I thought it ought to have covered, so I had to spend a bunch of time debugging that and finding a different download…but I think that should be fixed now as well. Phew……

That’s going to do it for this update. There’s still more work to be done for localization (mostly, fixing up the sizing of labels to make sure everything fits regardless of language), but it’s a lot closer to being done than before. Now I just have to get back to working on the rest of the game…

Learn more about Rhythm Quest and play the free demo at https://rhythmquestgame.com/

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