Tag Archives: Props

DevBlog 85 / What’s hiding behind the masks?

Greetings curious ones!

Work on the Canyon Zone is coming to a closure as our craftsmen have been polishing it up while implementing its last mechanics, such as the boat that was revealed in a previous DevBlog, NPC placement for storytelling purposes, as well as a new puzzle that will give access to a very special place. It involves a few masks and… that’s all we’ll share, for now!

I’m masking you a question!

The village hub has been getting some love as well, even though we’re not ready to share a screenshot of its current state, rest assured that it will be an area which will always spark your interest, no matter how many times you revisit it.

We’ve also been working on the last key characters for the game, which we’re not going to spoil for you just yet, maybe sometime in the future as we’d like to keep some of them a mystery at least for the time being!

The Royal Guard, however, keeps insisting on making an appearance on every blog post.

Someone just took a wrong turn!

As usual, we’re happy to indulge, as he’s been getting a few new animations and some further polish as you can see by the screenshot.

That’s all folks, thank you for tuning in and have a pleasant weekend!

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DevBlog 76 / Dungeons &…Hold the Door!

Hi everyone!

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.

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DevBlog 75 / Canyoning

Hi there!

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!

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DevBlog 69 / QA is coming…!

Hi everyone!

Actually, QA came early during the week, and we’ve been doing some extensive sessions which led us to implement some additional tools and on-screen information for assisting with the playtesting and debugging of the game!

On-screen debugging info.

The new streaming logic we mentioned last week is still being tweaked and optimized, and we’re pretty happy with the results we’re getting!

Streaming chunk visualizer.

A new animation for the masked youths is also nearing completion, as you can watch see below.

Canyon kid evade animation.

We felt the need to add a little more variety to the game’s enemy pool, and we thought it would be cool to have less “area specific” creatures the player could fight with. Most of the ones we have so far are basically bound to the chapters they first appear in, and there’s no way around that because of the lore. So we are coming up with new ideas for creatures that can spawn anywhere throughout the whole adventure. The first one is a monster that inhabits barrels, and it will keep you on your toes anytime you’re about to destroy these wooden containers in hopes of finding random items.

Producing the assets for this enemy also forced us to remake the basic barrel and crate props, for the sake of coherence, especially because the ones we had previously were recycled placeholders.

We could Barrel-y see it coming!

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DevBlog 66 / Jetpacks, picnics gone wrong and tribals!

Hi there!

This week we continued working on the current chapter’s end boss, nearly all of its move-sets are complete, while the AI polish and behavior are currently in the works. This boss has a lot of extra moving parts and we experienced some problems managing several of its animations simultaneously, but we’ve solved this in the end.

A fully functional jetpack!

We also finished populating the environment of this chapter while also adding the logic to support it, now it’s time for testing and to finish balancing! Here are some combat encounter screenshots:

Two’s a company…

…three’s a crowd!

Unity 2017 released an awesome new tool for cinematics, so we’ll have to port our existing ones and create the future ones with it for a more cinematic and professional feeling.

Regarding the next chapter, players will mostly be facing a new threat, the masked youths that dwell in the depths of the Rift! Their visual concept was inspired by a Portuguese tradition, the “caretos”, as well as Princess Mononoke’s battle costume. Their motives for attacking the girl on sight will have to remain a mystery, for now…

Orphan kid.

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DevBlog 65 / Steam Valve

Hi everyone!

This week we’ve discussed some new ideas and concepts for the next chapter of the game. It will take place in the bottom of the canyon, bordering the windmills zone which you might be familiar with.
We already have some concepts of the new characters and a lot of references, so the ideas are getting close to a conclusion.
For the previous chapters, André had already made some blocking, level design and testing. This final zone is currently drafted on paper, so the next devblogs may be focused on its level design and the details we would like to add.

The boss of the previous chapter is nearly done and currently being worked on by our animator. Here’s a small WIP preview of his weapon in action:

Steam weapon shooting animation WIP.

This zone has a steam theme, which is noticeable due to the mechanisms that are clearly inspired by it. The player will be searching for valves to activate and new paths to unlock. Although the steam particles are an early work-in-progress, they have already been implemented to set the mood for this theme.

Interacting with the valve.

Examining the valve.

For the next week part of team will be working on the new characters and level design of the next chapter of the game. Stay tuned if you are into level building!

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DevBlog 63 / The water wheel is in motion!

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Hi everyone!

This week while the art team was working hard adding props and populating the battlefield zone, some logic/code was improved, like the responsiveness of the dodge after an attack animation and also the time after a big hit attack from an enemy. After these tweaks, the Girl won’t take so much time getting up to resume the fight, making it possible to avoid possible follow-up attacks. We are also adapting the prototype logic to the new props added, for example, the logic of this enormous gate is ready to go.

Surprise encounters and a puzzle awaits.

Animation wise, Iuri has joined us in the office (he usually works remotely) and is producing new animations and polishing some others. Afterwards he will tackle this chapter’s boss!

Remember the Water temple concept? Here is watermill in action (still WIP).

The low poly model for the new boss is pretty much complete, and we’ve started to work on the retopo of the weapons. Next, we’ll do all the texturing and fine-tuning. Regarding the environments, we have been busy putting together the largest ruin in the game (so far), a very tall tower. As soon as it is ready, we’ll be sure to show some screenshots.

Undead Soldier new attack example.

This chapter has a lot of small ruins and dungeons to explore, set loose your explorer’s instinct!

Explore everything!

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DevBlog 62 / Water gazing

Hi there!

This week we added more animations to NPCs to accommodate the later encounters with them. As the game flows, the mood of the NPC’s change so extra animations were needed. We also made some progress regarding the in-game water, it’s still not finished for a complete step by step devblog post, maybe next week!

A small lake for relax.

Some “dungeon modules” were added too, for a more dense and labyrinthic experience when player wanders through them. We believe that every small place to explore must have some reward, so keep looking!

A Dungeon entry, beware what lurks inside!

We also changed the impact particle that shows up when the Girl’s feet hit the ground (dirt) so it looks more stylized. We will continue with this approach for the rest of the VFXs, like fire and smoke.

Puff example.

Populating some new zones with props and creating the mood is also in the works. On the art department things are also progressing nicely, even though this new enemy is probably the most complex character we have developed so far, especially due to the arsenal used…

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DevBlog 60 / Into the woods

Hi there!

This week we continued working on polishing the combat system, this time on the feeling of the combo attacks. We tweaked once again the window between the consecutive attacks that could form a small combo. We also added a slope detection so the player cannot climb to places that he/she is not meant to. In this case, the character will decelerate when the player tries to climb something with a slope greater that 45 degrees.

One thing that was asked of us at PAX East was an option to auto hide the HUD, so the player could have a more immersive experience. This was easily added, although, every time the player gets hit, changes weapon/potion, has low stamina or the current weapon durability is changed it appears again for a few seconds.

Beyond that, it has been quite a grind to populate and wrap up the environments. Getting the mood of each location just right is a big challenge. Here are some shots of the game that showcase what we are going for in a couple of areas, but keep in mind all of this is still very much work in progress.

Cabin in the woods.

Very WIP water temple.

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DevBlog 58 / The Ancestor Soldier

Hi there!

This week we have finished the AI behavior of the Undead Soldier with the new animations, and started testing the group control with various enemies of this type, as well as with the big Ancestor Soldiers. The game model for the latter is already completed, as you can see in the GIF below. While exploring the battlefield area, if the player isn’t aware of the surroundings, several enemies can be triggered to attack. Mind the bodies lying around!

As always, various small bug fixes and small details were added to the code; a feature that was planned a long time ago was finally implemented – the dual weapon logic for the enemies. To put it simply, the enemies equipped with bows will now draw their swords for close combat situations, for example. Lastly, we’ve also added the Ancestor Soldier’s Mace and helmet to the game as wearable player items.

The Ancestor Soldier.

For the larger terrains we’re currently working on, the team has been trying out quick ways to achieve good results. The image below shows our simple pipeline to produce that kind of content, static environment parts. We first come up with a basic blockout of the scene, then we take it to Zbrush and refine the shapes and silhouettes, while keeping the model rough (since most details will be lost in the following step). Afterwards, the resulting mesh gets decimated, using Decimation Master. A little cleanup is often required, but after the UV’s are ready we bring the whole thing into Unity and start giving it life with Vertex Painting.

Workflow example.

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