This week we continued the work of replacing old animations with the new ones which add a lot more personality to the game. Walking on quicksand and the visual feedback of that action, for example, was something we needed to improve, in terms of animation and also in shader work. We’re currently working on that, but it isn’t finished yet. In the meantime, we are also doing some experiments with stylized water shaders to use in small lakes or shallow streams, for example.
On a different note, the cutscene system was fine tuned, and now there is an option to skip forward those events.
Knock,Knock, who’s there?
The new areas are developing smoothly, and although there are many assets to create, concepts like the one below help us to establish the mood we’re trying to achieve in advance. In this case, the image depicts the stage of a bloody battle.
Previously, we’ve shown the concept for an armor used by a new kind of enemy the player will be facing. The “game ready” model of this equipment is already finished:
In-game soldier with full armorset.
The new environments for Chapter 2 are evolving smoothly, and the art team has been hard at work producing all the required content to really develop unique locations for the players to explore. One of the current challenges has been to come up with a different kind of architecture to contrast with the stern Ancestor-built ruins of the previous areas. This time we went for a more “rural look”, loosely based on the Portuguese Traditional/Popular construction.
Using the Amplify Shader Editor and Vertex Painting, we’re able to quickly put together houses like the one shown below, while making them feel different from each other by making texture variations.
House in the woods.
Meanwhile, our master puppeteer has improved upon the existing running animation by tweaking the position of the arms and spine of the Girl while she is equipped with any type of weapon available. This way, the particular weights of both short and long swords, as well as maces, hammers or bows, really come through as the animation contextually adapts.
Upper torso bow base animation – blended with walking and running animations in real-time.
Run cycle variation.
A short devlog this week, ’cause the team is away during Easter. Chapter 2 is going great in terms of art, in the next devblog we will show you some cool screenshots and a glimpse of what the central hub village could look like.
Meanwhile, Andre did a complete revamp of the logic AI system. We were aware of some performance issues that were aggravated with the constant additional complexity growth of the AI. Sometimes, the best way to fix something is to scratch what you have and start again. Obviously a lot of states were recycled, but it’s a different approach in AI handling. In the gif below, using the old AI logic, we could hit an outrageous 25ms time of processing time, now it’s around 1ms. The problem used to happen if the build ran for long periods of time with various AI agents active.
Overcrowded combat – DEBUG MODE not actual gameplay.
Until next week, have a great Easter!
Once again, we are working hard on polishing a lot of aspects of the gameplay and fixing bugs. The camera collision was improved when in small spaces, mounting and unmounting was also tuned and the transitions are much more fluid. Like we’ve shown in the previous post, our animator is replacing all the placeholder animations, and this week it was time to replace the ladder climbing animations.
We are also working on a Lore driven collectible which we are calling “Echoes”. They basically consist of recorded memories of certain characters. As the player finds them throughout the world, these Echoes will be made available in a specific tab within the inventory.
The cursed soldier model is “game-ready”, and this is the version you can see in case the enemy has no armor equipped. Like in the first chapter, we have a dynamic armor placement which makes the enemies feel different in every encounter. This time around we will also add a destroyable armor mechanic – each piece will be destroyed as the player keeps striking.
Cursed soldier In-Game model (No armor).
Here is the concept of the fully armored cursed soldier. This armor set can be looted from the enemies and equipped by the Girl.
The full armor version of the cursed soldier.
Climbing ladders new animations.