DevBlog 23 / Responsiveness

Hi everyone!

This week’s devblog will be more technical. We will talk about some tests we made on the subject of responsiveness in Decay of Logos. Although this game is not a hack’n’slash, with very tight controls in favor of gameplay, we do take this component into consideration. It has slow paced attacks, depending on weapon classes, but still we are targeting for a fast responsiveness in the controls. In the test shown below, the frame when the anticipation of the animation kicks in will be the end frame measured, and the first will be the frame after the button is pressed. The game was running at 60fps and the video recorded at 60fps. The monitor has a 6ms (Gray to Gray) response time.

You can see that after the button is pressed it takes about 4 frames for the animation to start, and about 10 frames for the actual damage to be dealt (when the trail is visible, damage can be applied). So it’s about 66ms of input lag and 166ms of delay before damage is applied.

For comparison, we measured and made exactly the same test with Dark Souls, using the same machine, with DsFix (for running at 60fps) recorded at 60fps. The results were: 3 frames for input lag, and about 18 frames for actual damage be done. It’s about 50ms of input lag and 316 ms of delay.

We choose a short sword in Dark Souls and a short sword equivalent (our Carved Sword) in Decay of Logos for a more fair comparison.

We also compared the dodge responsiveness (jump back). Again we used the same principles as above.

On Decay of Logos we get about 4 frames (66ms) again of input lag and about 16 frames (233ms). In Dark Souls we get 4 frames (66ms) of input lag and about 19 frames (316ms) until we’re able to perform the next jump.

Another way of measuring this type of things is by attaching a led light internally in the controller and putting it next to the screen for a more precise moment of the given input.

André also made changes in some transitions and blends in animation, which improved significantly the delay felt during combat.

The Bark Armor Set

Slowed down video.

More information about this subject, the influences of CPU Logic, Rendering and Input lag can be found here: Programming Responsiveness

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DevBlog 22 / Armor props and screenshots

Hi there!

This week Tomé used the highpoly model from the wooden enemies to generate a bark armor set which can be looted from their corpses or found randomly in chests. Equipping the whole set gives the player bonus physical or elemental defense points. We aren’t planning to produce a very large number of armor sets due to our current manpower, but nevertheless some combinations are very interesting in terms of gains in stats.

The Bark Armor Set

The Bark Armor Set

André recently improved a lot the responsiveness in the animations and feel of the attacks, something he’s been meaning to do for a long time. He has also been tweaking the streaming logic so the player can enjoy a seamless journey.

Pichel was working hard to create an additional layer of detail for the ground textures. This is our first detail pass, and later we intend to pick up where we left off and add even more asset variety, whether it be new props, particles or textures.

Indoor Battles

Indoor Battles

Forest mood

Forest mood

Showing the discovery

Showing the discovery

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DevBlog 21 / World and HUD Improvements

Hey everyone!

This week we all invested some time in the first portion of the game, making a lot of tweaks and populating every space with the assets we produced so far. The shots below show how much more alive the game feels now following this collective effort.

How'd It Get Burned?!

Lumberjack hut area and companion.

How'd It Get Burned?!

The old Temple

One of the things that is still in a clear “wip” state is the texture of the hills and cliffs that limit the areas of the game. There was actually an unfortunate setback in our process – Pichel had made a lot of progress in texturing when suddenly Mari crashed and a lot of work was lost, since it somehow corrupted the backup files. But nevertheless we are back on track.

How'd It Get Burned?!

Long journey

André worked on improving a bunch of mechanics, improving the “ambush” feature, the enemies’ awareness system, and updated the HUD alongside Tomé, using new graphic elements they designed together.

How'd It Get Burned?!

New UI elements

We also got a lot of new elk animations from Iuri that really help making it look livelier. Ricardo also jumped in to assist the team with the general lighting of the game.

How'd It Get Burned?!

The Aqueduct

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DevBlog 20 / Environments Revisited

Hi there!

This week Tomé and André reworked and tweaked some interiors of the game using many brand new assets. Some color calibrations were done to improve the atmosphere of each space and create distinct areas.

How'd It Get Burned?!

Secret areas are easy to be missed.

How'd It Get Burned?!

Some hidden lore in this wooden house.

How'd It Get Burned?!

Another pass in populating this interior.

André did some bug fixing and polished some mechanics. He’s preparing a new test build. Also, a first new version of streaming scenes was implemented with a great performance improvement and also an easier way to edit scenes for everyone.

Meanwhile, Pichel finished the player’s companion and is working on the other characters and NPC’s and doing a more detailed version of the painted terrain.

The outdoors are really coming along, the new areas are almost complete.

How'd It Get Burned?!

Another pass in populating this interior.

Next week we intend to redo the HUD (replacing placeholders) and make some minor functionality changes in the inventory.

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DevBlog 19 / Fired Up

Hi everyone!

This week André returned from vacation and is back in action, so we got some cool things to show besides new art and props!
He made some changes in how healthbars behave on screen (something he wanted to do for some time), they are now screen dependent instead of world dependent. Also, he improved the idle combat animations and behavior when the player has no weapons equipped. Only kicks and punches can save you in this situation.
Working alongside Iuri, they gave more life to the Elk. With some spine IKs system, ground adaptation makes the animal feel more real.
It’s still in WIP state (still doesn’t have the new Fur), we need more animations to make it like we want, but for now we are really liking the feel.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

Some Elk action over here

Ricardo lent us a hand and did some awesome shader work to “fire up” the look of the wooden enemies we’ve shown in previous posts.

How'd It Get Burned?!

How’d it get burned?!

Instead of baking the burnt effect directly into textures, the shader allows for countless dynamic and randomized burnt variations. It’s a great way to empower artist and reduce production times.

Burnt variations.

Burnt variations.

Picking up where he left off last week, Tomé worked on visually improving a huge temple ruin that players will get to explore in the first area of the game. Here’s how it’s currently looking:

Old view on the left, current view on the right

The Temple revamped

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DevBlog 18 / Art Update

Hey, guys, Tomé here! Since André and Pichel are currently enjoying some well-deserved vacation time, only Iuri and I got some stuff to show you this week.
I worked on another stone built prop, a “Tempietto”. Like in previous assets we developed, this monument is composed of separate parts that can be hidden or relocated in order to organize different ruin compositions.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

The Tempietto.

Remember the Lumberjack fellow we’ve shown before? I started exploring how his house could look like in the game. It’s pretty big. Inside there will be a few surprises for curious adventurers!

Old view on the left, current view on the right

An early concept for the Lumberjack’s house

Finally, I spent some time doing an overhaul of the modular stone building kit we have. I wasn’t too happy about the tileable textures I had developed before, so I made new ones, and added a couple of new props that hopefully help these structures start to feel like ancient ruins. You can see how the whole thing’s progressing below.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

Before and after the visual upgrade.

From our animation specialist, we got the polished version of the walk cycle featured in the last post, and a brand new trot animation for the Elk!

Old view on the left, current view on the right

Polished version of the walk cycle.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

New trot animation.

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DevBlog 17 / The Elk is alive!

Hi everyone!

This week André helped the art team by doing some improved scenery meshes from the blocking mesh for the underground passage in the swamp zone (a new area we are working on). André also worked in something he wanted to do for some time, foliage dithering fading.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

Dithering per vertex when the camera is too close .

André also did the same effect but per object when characters get too close to the camera.
A reworked streaming logic is in the works, more fluid and efficient logic that can’t be noticed even if the player has a HDD disc drive (or for consoles).

The new model of the Elk is starting to come alive! Iuri began skinning and animating the Elk, and we hope to show gameplay with the new model in a near future. For now we have a very dynamic walk cycle:

Old view on the left, current view on the right

The new WIP walk cycle.

Tomé has been producing some more tree models to spread around the game environments, specially dead trees for the swamp area we are working on. He also developed a few modular stone pavement groups that can be combined together to form roads.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

New trees for various new zones.

Pichel made a lot of progress with the Elk model, and he has been investing a lot of time into making the fur work with our visual style. You can see how it’s coming along in the image below.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

On the center the new Fur approach.

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DevBlog 16 / Back to work

Hi there!

Last weekend we showcased the game to some developers and players and some new bugs were found as expected. Some we already knew about and others were simply created when André was doing the combat demo scene we’ve shown. First thing Andre did in the beginning of the week was to fix these bugs and tweak the combat (feedback was very important). Seeing players playing and looking at what they do with the controller is very enlightening for improving small nuances in gameplay and making things more intuitive. This is a process that we intend to repeat in ever showcase we’ll do.

Tomé worked on some props this week. One of them is a very important prop – it’s basically a resting spot where one of our mechanics takes place. When the player uses it in order to recover, an ambush can randomly occur during the night while sleeping.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

The various parts of this prop can be rotated or hidden to achieve different compositions and avoid repetition.

Meanwhile, Pichel is hard at work handcrafting the mystical Elk’s textures and experimenting with fur. He already finished the maps for the saddle, as you can see in the image below.

Old view on the left, current view on the right Old view on the left, current view on the right

He also finished the High Poly of one of the NPCs that can be encountered in the beginning of the game. We will talk about him and the others NPC’s soon in a dedicated devblog.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

The prisioner.

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DevBlog 15 / We showcased Decay of Logos and it was awesome!

Hello everyone,

We apologize for not posting an update last Friday, we were away for the entire weekend showcasing our game at ISMAI Legends, an event organized by the fine folks at ISMAI, a technology centric Portuguese University. The event hosted an E-Sports and a small GameDev gathering with varied talks and interesting guests. Not only did we have the chance to play some awesome games we also set up our own playtest area with a fully playable combat showcase area.

Feedback is awesome!

Feedback is awesome!

It was a great experience, we received loads of feedback that will definitely allow us to improve the final game. We are very happy with the results, the game was stable, the players had fun playing it and were mostly comfortable with the intuitive controls; those that were not provided valuable feedback on how to improve it. We took note of the issues found, as with any game in development there were a couple of animation and input problems regarding interactive objects, although the combat and navigation is already pretty cool we will definitely improve it in the next couple of builds.

Sprint like you meant it.

Sprint like you mean it.

Some issues were pretty weird, the kind of problems that only show up when you are showing your game to a large crowd such as the sudden mini-boss multiplication bug seen bellow. We never encountered anything quite like i but it was pretty fun seeing players trying to fight them.

A wild lumberjack appears!

This was also the first time we showed off our game without restrictions, we are not quite ready to start posting gameplay videos here but we are getting very close. We also had the chance to give a talk about our game development process, it was a short but colorful talk about the game and the products made by Amplify Creations.

Andre describing how little we have shown of the game world.

Andre describing how little we have shown of the game world.

Thank you for reading, don’t forget to check out our new blog post on Friday, we have some new cool stuff to show you.

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DevBlog 14 / Replacing placeholder mechanisms

Hi there!

This week, André and Tomé worked on replacing some old interaction and mechanisms placeholders with quality, animated and fancy shaded 3D models. Small logic additions and adaptations needed to be made to fit the new art.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

Some new props, girl model for scale.

André is also doing some logic changes in order to streamline the localization process, the entire user interface and game text will have support to various languages.
Iuri is also replacing placeholder animations and doing some new ones for the mechanisms mentioned above.

Old view on the left, current view on the right

A Journey checkpoint is always important.

Pichel is working hard on finishing the 3d model of the player companion. The next step is rigging it.

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