The artists have been fully focusing on character design and production these past few days. The Ancestor warrior we’ve shown before is pretty much done and will be game-ready as soon as the finishing touches on the textures are complete. Meanwhile, the final boss of this chapter is currently in the concepting phase, and we are confident this character will turn out to be a very fun and challenging obstacle for the player, due to the unusual weaponry that will be used during the fight.
A simple (yet important) prop has also been added to the game – elevators of Ancestor origin. These will be linked to a puzzle that links some areas of this chapter, and will allow the player to access otherwise unreachable places.
Testing the ancestor lift.
Gameplay-wise, the combat polishing is almost on point. We are really committed to making the “undead soldier” enemy feel like a threatening and convincing foe. He’s got some cool moves like the one shown below. The logic behind the “surprise spawn system” is ready to go, so it’s only a matter of time before we show you guys a humongous battlefield filled with bodies and a couple of unexpected encounters.
If you are too close, beware the smashing shields!
This week we worked on getting the new undead soldier ready for in-game logic and AI behaviors. Our animator is giving life to this undead soldier (no pun intended) and we can already show off a simple idle animation and the dynamic armor system in the gif below.
Undead Soldier turntable.
With this new enemy comes a new armor set and weapons. The player can farm this armor set by killing only these type of enemies, or by finding hidden chests with core armor pieces and weapons. With each full armor set the player has a small bonus in defense, so keep looking!
Lock-On Camera behavior and improved hit detection is something that we can now say is much better than in the PAX build. Sword/shield logic has been improved, much less bug prone, it’s really starting to feel on point.
Parry all the way.
We also added some audio details, for example if Ada has a full helmet armor, her voice is muffled. We love this type of small details, when possible/fast to implement, we add them right away.
In order to make it possible for us to develop interesting environmental puzzles more freely, a simple new feature was added to the Elk. Basically, the player can now command the Elk to stay in a precise location, which will be useful to overcome certain obstacles. After telling the Elk to stay put, it will start following the Girl again if she gets too far.
GET OVER HERE!!!
Meanwhile, another Ancestor Ruin has been placed in the game. This Gate marks the entrance to a very special area in this chapter, but going through it won’t be as straightforward as it might appear.
The high poly model for the Ancestor Warrior is ready, and we’re sure these guys will prove to be quite a challenge. His weapon of choice is very menacing, and we’ll most likely show it in the next update.
High poly Undead Ancestor warrior.
We’ve also added specific idle and running animations that play whenever the Girl is adventuring with lowered stats, something that happens if she gets killed repeatedly. It was our intention to visually convey that the Girl is actually hurt and having more trouble fighting than when she is rested, and we thought a simple message prompt wouldn’t be clear enough. This is meant to work as a reminder of our “stats penalization” mechanic, so players understand why they are taking more damage from enemies and, in turn, dealing less damage to them.
Low stats run behavior.
During this week, we’ve done some tests with stylized water and interactions, like splash particles and spume. Once it is more eye-catching we will show it off. The inspirations for it are Windwaker and the upcoming Rime. In this area and the next area, there will be some small lake zones so a proper, simple and fast water shader is in the works.
We also prepared a “fake interior” for the house we’ve shown in a previous update. In the “central village hub” there will be more similar houses and as the player progresses in the game, people who used to live there will return to their abandoned homes. By then, the player will be able to knock on the doors and talk with the people inside, adding another layer to the story lore.
Always knock on the house doors.
In the new area we are working on, the player can find a great Ancestor ruin, a Water Temple, that shows signs of having been repurposed… Now it functions as a steam powerhouse, but who is harnessing all this energy?
The water temple concept.