You might also notice the game does show as much ground as it used to. The camera was centering on the player’s feet. No more foot fetish for the camera — “my geometric center is up here, buddy.”
The video also shows the dialog system which will likely be the main way the player is given instructions and is exposed to the story.
While the dialog system needs a little more work “under the hood”, it’s pretty much in a finished state in terms of what’s visible. I won’t bore you with the details but I will mention two things:
They’re quite customisable.
As is a guiding principle in Vox Venio, all said customisations can be defined by a level designer without touching the code.
Setting up the dialog system was kind-of fiddly, but that’s going to be true of any UI-like feature done in “gaming” XNA compared to “business” tools I might use professionally, like WPF.
What was more unexpected was the dismal way XNA treated pixel fonts. Vox Venio is a pixel art game, right? So you’d want a font that’s pixelly. I liaised with Candice, the project’s artist, and she pointed me to Gros, which I used. (It’s also in the video.)
But XNA wanted to round and smear the pixels right out of it. Yuck. Turns out it’s a commonproblem. One solution is to use a bitmap-based font, so I turned Gros into a bitmap font using this.
It worked well enough, as you can see for yourself, but not perfectly. More refinement is needed.