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.
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?!
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.
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:
The Temple revamped
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.
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!
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.
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!
Polished version of the walk cycle.
New trot animation.
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.
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:
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.
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.
On the center the new Fur approach.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.