Skip to content

Independent, story-driven games

Whoa It’s March

March 16th, 2014

John

Whew, it’s almost been two months…

But we’ve been grinding away in our cave, and a lot’s been getting done! Here’s the recap (TLDR video at the bottom):

Art

Environments are continuing to come together. Here’s some recent stuff:

palace

field

assets

Kalen will be hosting a Livestream around the end of the month or early April. Come hang out with us and watch him paint up some in-game assets like the ones above. He’ll be walking us through a bit of his process, and may even take a few requests from the audience! Details to come, stay tuned.

Sound

Aakaash’s latest piece, which you’ll hear in some of the game’s smaller battles:

Development

Code-wise, my focus has been on combat UI and AI.

The UI still needs some tweaks, but the functionality’s coming together pretty nicely.

The AI’s been trickier to get right. Since one or a few bad moves in the game can be fatal, the AI can’t get away with attacking blindly on sight. At this point, it manages to do a pretty good job of predicting future outcomes and avoiding very poor to suicidal moves, and instead of charging blindly, it tries to wait for openings to strike. That said, teaching it to play well while leaving opportunities for players to gain an advantage will take some time to get right.

Anyhow, here’s a video!

Things are still rough overall, and there’s a ton of placeholder assets everywhere. I’ll be focusing on characters and animation once we’ve finished nailing down more of the core gameplay elements. Things should start looking much more interesting once that’s done and I can start implementing class abilities.

Lastly, Kalen and I will be at GDC next week. If any of you will be there as well, let me know. I’d love to hear from you!

Big Late New Years Update

January 19th, 2014

John

Hello everyone, hope your new years are off to a great start! It’s been a while since our last update, and we’ve been hard at work on lots of tough areas since then. Here’s the rundown:

Art

Environments are continuing to come together. Since the last update, we created over 150 assets for our towns’ exteriors alone to ensure we have varied environments throughout the game. These assets are created in a modular format so we can create visually distinct structures efficiently:

We ran into lots of challenges getting rotated buildings to work with our grid. These took some time to sort out, but I think we’ve come up with a solution that works. Here are a few samples of our latest environments:

I’ve been continuing to refine our process for creating levels and making lots of improvements to our editing tools. For anyone interested, I’ll try to put together another “how its made” video as soon as I can find some time.

Sound

Aakaash’s awesome work on our soundtrack continues. Here’s a sample of his latest!

https://soundcloud.com/aakaash-rao/cobblestone-tale

Development

Apart from streamlining our level editing tools, my development focus in the last two months has been in two areas: cutscenes and combat.

Since the story will play an important part in the game, the ability to quickly generate precisely timed cutscene events directly from gameplay is critical. Before our Unity port, cutscenes needed to be timed and scripted by hand, which was complex and time consuming. This time around, I’ve implemented a visual editing tool which I’m extending to support the many custom events we’ll need. Here’s a shot of what it looks like in action:

Using the timeline (top), I can visually edit complex events with multiple characters acting simultaneously while previewing them in our editor (bottom), all without having to synchronize the actions in code. This will vastly accelerate development in the coming months as we implement the game’s story elements.

My second focus has been on implementing the core aspects of the combat engine. Things are still very early, but over the last few weeks I’ve gotten core features like the combat grid, player input, movement, animation, and basic AI in place. Here’s a quick preview of the combat engine running along with some of the other above mentioned features:

The ability to make real-time adjustments to combat parameters is a huge upgrade, since it’ll allow me to quickly try out new ideas and better balance the game.

So that’s the recap. Things were very much WIP in the last few weeks as we moved past some of the biggest pre-production hurdles I expect we’ll face (hence the delay). Thanks for sticking with us.

Time to go try The Banner Saga. Can’t wait, been waiting all week :)

Pre-Thanksgiving Update Feast

November 22nd, 2013

John

Hi everyone! Busy month, lots going on. Here’s the run-down:

Greenlight

We’ve been Greenlit for Steam! Thank you to all of you who voted for us and helped spread the word! Anyone interested in PC/Mac/Linux copies will be eligible for Steam keys, just be sure to indicate your preference when we send out your surveys.

Moving 

Since our last update, I moved out to the west coast to be closer to Kalen and Aakaash. Working side by side with Kalen has already made a huge difference as we continue to refine the art direction and set up our asset pipeline to fit our technical constraints. Check our our sweet digs!

Art

Environments

With the game’s new style decided, Kalen’s been working on putting together some amazing environment assets. Here are some samples:

 

The assets are created in a modular format to minimize our memory footprint, and we’ve been spending a lot of time refining our process for constructing levels. Here are a few shots from our editor to give you a sense of how it all works:

Characters & Animation 

In addition to environments, we’ve been working on revamping our character models. Here are a few of our new animations running in our updated engine with tricks like real-time lighting, 360 degree movement and animation blending applied:

Sound

Aakaash has been creating some awesome music to go along with our new art. For this update, we wanted to share some of the more atmospheric, ambient pieces he’s been working on: 

Development

FInally, on the code side, pre-production continues. Here’s a screen of what my workspace is looking like to demonstrate some of what I’ve been focused on:

Breakdown:

1) Building customized editing tools in Unity to streamline our workflow

2) Early performance profiling with our new architecture

3) Re-writing core functionality (movement/animation, the tactics engine)

I’ll try to do a walkthrough later on to walk through these in more detail. For now, here’s a little teaser video of in-game footage that shows how our art, sound, and code are all coming together:

Friends

To close out, I just wanted to share a few cool projects from friends who’ve supported us in various ways since our start. Check them out!

Stellar Wars - Recently launched RTS/Shooter mash-up for iOS

Battle Worlds: Kronos - Recently launched sci-fi turn based strategy game

Lobodestroyo - 3D Action Platformer Game (funding, < 3 weeks left)

Graywalkers - Post-Apocalyptic Turn-Based RPG (funding, < 1 week left)

Cheers, and until next time!