Once again, the team is working hard to finish and add all the small details so the game looks and feels good. Developing armor sets and polishing animations is currently our daily routine! Animating with our proprietary tools makes the process much simpler and the results much nicer.
With and without improvements
Also, the reworked VFXs are looking great! We’ll be showing them in all their glory in a later post, but here’s a sneak peek.
Look at the cog detail and the new ripples VFX
The shield design competition is almost over, this is the last day! Very good submissions so far, we will announce an album with all the submissions and descriptions provided.
On the audio department, now it’s all about the finishing touches – the cutscenes are in the oven and they’re starting to sound great!
As we’ve mentioned in a previous post, the team has been producing new pieces of armor. The one shown below is made from the mud of the Sacred Grounds of Palus, a large swampy area the players will have to cross in the game.
Mud armor set
Today the post is a simple update about some of the progress we’ve made regarding a few enemies, armor sets and overall detailing.
A lot of polishing is being done on the animation side, our animator is doing a bunch of small tweaks and additions so the game feels and looks a lot more fluid.
We have a new temporary addition to the team – the wiz Paulo Pinho is helping us on the VFX side, and the results speak for themselves, but we’ll have to share that in the next post!
Our sound designer has also joined us in the office for some, so the sound/music additions will be faster and better implemented.
On a different note, a new enemy is born – this giant Stinger will haunt you wherever you go! Remember, it can fly… It features a binaural sound when it gets close, for an extra level of creepiness.
Sometimes they attack in swarms!
One of the aspects we wanted to improve on for a long time was the armor set variety. In order to give more options of apparel to the player we are introducing 3 new sets, each tied to a certain location of the game and respective lore. One of these is already in-game, as you can see below. Of course, equipping all the pieces of any set will grant the player bonuses, so keep an eye out and find them all!
The Tradesman armor-set.
While our teammates from the tech side of Amplify were busy showcasing our products at Unite Berlin, the rest of us kept working on the game… So we do have some goodies to show!
To start things off, here are some shots from the last area of the game. The Palace is still work in progress, but we feel like we can already offer some sneak peeks.
Imponent King Statue !
The calm before the storm…
The process of revamping the terrain meshes is pretty much complete. Below you can see a “before/after” comparison – we added more geometry to help with both the silhouette and the vertex painting.
Terrain mesh revamp!
Meanwhile, the last cutscene is finally in game, featuring perfect integration with gameplay. Also, the intro of the game is going very well – it’s a mix of a cutscene and gameplay.
Next week we will recap the Unite Berlin experience, have a great week everyone!
This week the team has worked hard on finding and fixing the bugs that have been spotted during PAX. Simultaneously, all of the game’s audio has been converted into FMOD, which grants us greater control over how we want everything to sound like, with a much more flexible workflow.
On the art side, the development of the last area of the game is progressing nicely, with all the final meshes and textures already in place within Unity, awaiting the detail and polish passes.
The statues we have mentioned previously are also pretty much finished, and we can’t wait to start placing them around in the various locations of the game to really strengthen the visual storytelling.
Scary Statues and palace props.
The team is still hard at work preparing the show build areas by fine-tuning animations, enhancing the mood through color grading, as well as placing new assets in the scene. All this will serve as a guide for the remaining parts of the game, particularly regarding the level of polish.
New particles on the way! Echo shells sound like waves in the distance.
Debugging some stuff on the editor, always fun!
Another cutscene is finished and now it is time to begin focusing on bug fixing before integrating the final zone of the game, adding mechanics prefabs, manage the streaming logic and such. After this last step, the whole team will be on the “polish phase”. Almost there!
In other news, Ada’s high poly model is pretty much finished, as you can see below. We are still testing which should be the main color of her clothes, as you can tell from the polls we’ve posted. We’ll share the final version once we’ve settled the matter!
Ada High Poly is done!
This week we continued working on the Elk behavior and polish. The challenge was providing a smooth control and feeling inside dungeons, mounted or not. The canyon has a huge rotatory temple so dealing with ramps and slopes forced us to rework some path-finding logic.
With our animator in-house now, it has been easier to iterate the animation tree and logic. For a long time we intended to add acceleration and stopping animations when the player is in “exploration mode” (when there are no enemies around). In our prototype we had this feature but we removed it temporarily. Below is our first test:
Small run/walk acceleration and stopping animations.
Here’s a possible encounter in the dungeons!
Hey there, how’s it hanging?
Regarding the environment art, we are finally focusing on the previously mentioned dungeon. It’s a huge structure, with an overarching puzzle. Meanwhile, the outside areas are awaiting a final pass, which will include some texture variation and plenty of vegetation props. Here is a work in progress shot showing the current state of things:
Another canyon WIP view.
This week we’ve worked on adding and improving the audio for the game, having added a lot of new sounds for the characters and even the environments, resulting into a much improved mood, which is getting close to where we want it!
Half of the team was working on a complex and intriguing boss battle, from which we can only reveal that it has two distinct participants. As such, there was plenty of work involved in both programming and in the artistic side as well. The first part of the encounter has been finalized, and we are hacking away at the second phase now!
We also took the opportunity to give some love to the Elk, the control system is being tweaked and improved so it’s much more responsive now!
Wandering in the dungeons.
The work on the canyon-like area we are currently developing is entering the final stage – texturing and detailing. After that the team will focus on the main dungeon of this location.
We really don’t want to spoil the boss fights too much, but we’re all eager to show at least some of the cool stuff everyone has been producing. So here is a little teaser for one of those important battles:
This week we’ve added a new, simple mechanic to add more diversity to the main puzzle of the zone we are currently working on. Inspired by the Indiana Jones Movies, specifically where stone doors close slowly, you’ll have to sprint and slide in order to successfully reach the other side.
We are focused on maintaining a smooth learning curve as far as puzzles are concerned, so we’ve increased the complexity of previous puzzles in the game in order to prepare players for the challenge this latest one provides!
*Indiana Jones Music intensifies*
Using our modular dungeon system, we’ve also done some extensive dungeon building tests, however, it still remains to be decided whether we will add randomly generated dungeons or at least different layouts for them in NG+ and beyond!
Custom dungeon example.
We decided to add a new threat to the player – elite soldiers, members of the royal guard, that will surely be a tough challenge to those who dare face them. Here is the concept:
Royal Guard Concept.
This week we added a lot of new sounds to the game, both character and background related. And with that a very important immersion component of the game was improved. This is of course an ongoing task, and with new zones and enemies, new sounds must be added.
We worked on the logic for the small lakes too. The drowning, walk in deep water and splash interactions were implemented, but without the proper polished particles we intend to show at a later stage.
As stated before we re-used armors from enemies as player items, so there’s now a scary version of the main character!
Shadows in general have undergone some small but crucial modifications; basically we now use the same technique used in CryEngine/UnrealEngine and other custom engines.
Left: Scary mask! Right: New point light shadows
Same as before, the new canyon-esque area is progressing nicely, and we are spending quite some time adjusting the mood and materials to achieve the proper feel for the place. The work on the new character models is also headed on the right path.
Some progress on the Canyon Mood.
Check out these moves!
Today we will show you one of the new enemies we added and teased recently, the Mimic Barrel. Even sneakier than the Chomper, it will pounce when you are carelessly looking for some random items inside barrels and crates. It delivers fast attacks and is very agile, which will certainly make killing it your top priority.
The Chomper is also complete, with all the attacks it requires, such as throwing things at the player depending on the zone it spawns in, like mud, sand, etc.
We also tuned the camera a little bit, which now adds a small offset when the player is locked to a target, so he/she can always see the focused enemy.
Oh my God!
The work on the new area is progressing smoothly, we are using the following concept as the main guide for the mood we intend for this location:
Meanwhile, the high-poly model for the new boss is pretty much finished, so the game-ready version will surely be developed during next week!
Mood concept for the canyon.