Corral Countdown 34: A New Hat for Moon

We’ve thus far shown one new hat for all of the four party members except one. Well, today it’s Moon’s turn. Click the image if you want it revealed to you!

Hat Spoilers! Click to Reveal!

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The Mining Lantern was modeled after the very earliest such mining lanterns ever crafted. Remember this is before the age of batteries of course, so old mining lanterns like this used a lit wick to shed light in dark mines. It’s like wearing a candle on your head! It even works outside of battle to light up dark places.

  • Minecart
  • – Basically, Moon hops in a minecart and smashes into an enemy. This attack is always a critical hit.

  • Lunchbreak
  • – Gain a perk during battle by consuming a Food item. The food is random so you don’t get to pick which one!

  • Kerosene
  • – This attack douses an enemy in kerosene giving them an “oily” stance. This alone does nothing. But if they are hit with any fire-based attacks while the stance is active, then KABOOOM!

  • Avalanche
  • – Causes an avalanche of boulders to rain from the sky and crush random enemies.

It’s no shock that this hat will provide Moon with various mining-related Vantages. The Mining Lantern is an entirely weaponless hat where all Vantages learned here require no weapon to use.

Tomorrow we’re talking about why it’s important to always do your best in battle!

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Corral Countdown 35: Stealth and Surprise Attacks

Welcome to week 4 of the Corral Countdown where every week day we talk about something interesting I want people to know about the upcoming game Boot Hill Bounties. We’ve had 15 Countdown posts, so if you’re new here, I’d suggest you take a look at what’s been revealed so far.

Most people already know that Boot Hill Bounties is one of those RPGs without random battles. You can see your enemies on the map, and, if you can avoid them, you can avoid many battles. But there’s now a little more to it than that.

Enemies will wander around independently on a move pattern, but they have their own vision cone that can spot you. Once they do, they’ll take off and try to engage a battle!

If you have your back turned. The enemy will get a surprise attack on your party and start with half power.

But if you avoid the enemy’s vision and sneak up on them, you can surprise them and your party will begin with 50% power!

Additionally, any encounter you defeat will remember you. Instead of chasing after you, it will instead run away! So once you dominate an area, you can move pretty freely without having to worry about battles. But if you want to fight older enemies, it’s easy to get the jump on them because they’ll be running away!

Tomorrow, it’s finally Moon’s turn to get a new hat. What will it be?

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Corral Countdown 36: Body-Kun Helps You Draw! (Friday Devblog)

If you ever wanted to make art for your own game but have almost no talent as an artist, then this is the post for you.

Artwork for this series has come a long way. Even though I’m not a great artist, I wanted to try to create all the art for Boot Hill Bounties myself. And that meant learning a few tricks along the way. On today’s DevBlog Friday, I will share one of them with you.

Boot Hill Heroes had about eight human enemy sprites in the game. These took a very long time to make look halfway decent. Humans are much more difficult to render into sprite art than animals. Most of the trouble comes from finding the right pose without the use of a model.

For Boot HIll Bounties, I knew I would need to make a lot of humanoid enemies, so I needed to find a way to improve the art workflow. I experimented with software like Poser but it still wasn’t working out. I was shopping online for one of those wooden posable dolls when I found this:

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This is a “S.H. Figuarts S.H. Figuarts Male Body Set 5.5″ Action Figure”, aka “Body-Kun.” Much more articulate than other figures. Just take a look at these poses:

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This was a while ago and “Body Kun” wasn’t even available yet. I wonder how common it is these days among aspiring artists.

I had a plan that I thought was pretty ingenious. First, pose the doll. Then, take a picture of the posed doll. Finally, simply trace the picture and follow its shading to make great sprite art.

But this method didn’t quite work out. By tracing the doll, the characters came out looking too thin. That’s what I get for trying to take shortcuts. Instead, I had to add a step. After posing the doll, I needed to draw the character by hand and scan it. Then I could use it as the basis for the sprite character.

Here’s the same character made using each method. I think you’ll agree that the one on the bottom looks much better.

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Here’s the workflow again.

Step 1: Pose the sprite and draw the character on a sketchpad. Sorry I don’t have the original Body-Kun photographs, but here’s the sketches I made using it as a model.

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Step 2: Scan the drawings and resize them in photoshop. Shrinking these sketches to the size of the sprites makes them extremely blurry since the resolution is down to pixels. So the sketches are more of a “jumping off point”

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Step 3: Trace the outline of the sketches the best you can and color the parts. Pixel art is really tricky and there are much better pixel artists writing about it than me so I’ll spare the details here.

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This new workflow was so successful I ended up making a lot more humanoid enemies than I intended to. There are now about 50 human enemies in Boot Hill Bounties. I promise I’m not shilling for whoever makes these Body-Kun figurines, I just wanted to share how I turned my art from bad to much improved.

Okay, that’s a wrap for week three. I’m glad people are noticing that I’m living up to the promise when this Corral Countdown thing started. I really have something interesting to share about Boot Hill Bounties every day. And with 35 days left, you can only guess what’s in store.

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Corral Countdown 37: Harvesting and Growing Your Farm

You may recall in Boot Hill Heroes, that Kid and his mom were having financial issues maintaining the Howl Family Farm. In fact, this was the catalyst that initially caused Kid to go find a job in Swellsville and soon get wrapped up in an unexpected adventure.

Well, now that there’s some money coming in, Kid can use it to invest in the farm to grow more crops – like onions, potatoes, corn and wheat – or livestock – like pigs, cows, goats and chickens. Harvesting these things yields ingredient items that we’ll talk more about later.

He also gains Farming Experience and can eventually level up to gain a rank in farming. Kid starts out a lowly “Greenhorn” rank but can ascend to become a “Sod Buster” or even a “Weed Reaper”. There are 10 Farm Ranks to obtain in all. The more farm ranks you obtain, the more upgrades you can buy for your farm. And the more upgrades you can buy for your farm, the more you can harvest and get more Farming Experience to gain another Farm Rank.

Not all Farm Upgrades are unlocked through Farm Ranks, you can also hire farm hands like Josie Trotter and Leon Barker as seen in the video. But first you have to find them during your journey and offer them a job. Who else will end up working at the farm?

Tomorrow, it’s once again DevBlog Friday and I’ll demonstrate a technique I used to help improve my sprite art.

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Corral Countdown 38: Rusty Challenges

Teaching players how to play your game is not always easy. After all, games are supposed to be fun! And when you have an especially complex game that requires a lot of explanation, it can be even more difficult to educate the player.

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Rusty Challenges are game tutorials cloaked as side quests given to you by your dog, Rusty. Rusty already follows the player around and saves your game, but now he constantly gives you tiny challenges through the game. If you complete a challenge, you Rusty rewards you with an item he’s dug up while on your quest.

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And the quality and usefulness of these items varies wildly! You never know if Rusty will give you gold or garbage. He is, afterall, just a dog and cannot very well appraise the value of things he finds!

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Rusty’s challenges are usually simple things, like sell an item at a shop or use the inquire button to learn what Vantages an enemy is capable of. Rusty will explain how to do these things and then reward the player for doing them.

Here are some other Challenges you can expect:

Pause the Battle Clock

Change the Text Speed

See What a Bonus Does

Set a Deluxe Vantage

Have a Second Player Join

Change Keyboard Controls

Switch Party Leader

Toggle the Town Map

Use the Inquire Button on an Enemy

Change the Battle Speed

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As you can see, Rusty is not the most epic of quest-givers. But, again, he is just a dog.

Tomorrow, we’re going to talk about the Howl family farm.

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