Devlog October 2019


Hello everyone, here’s news from the front.

I made good progress this month on v0.5, but I have not finished yet, especially since I spent a lot of time doing a major update of my “Universal Device Preview” asset. All the details just below!

Thank you for your feedback

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to answer my questions of the last devlog, about the name of the “Almost Epic Adventures” series and the name of the game “Neverlooted Dungeon”. It’s unanimous, you all like these two names. This confirms my beliefs and I will probably keep them. Thanks again :)

Thanks to the playtesters

Thanks to Philippe, Guillaume, Yves, Maxime, Mika and Arthur for testing version 0.5 this month. Thanks to you, I was able to discover some bugs and issues from the first levels, and that’s very important.

Version 0.5 almost complete

I kept working on lots of things that are not necessarily visible to the testers but that are necessary to get closer to release.

I worked on the character controller. I’m very happy to have replaced the default Unity controller last month, and now that I finally have something clean that works like I wanted. I will soon be able to add swimming and climbing ropes, which I wanted to do for so long.

I replaced Unity’s basic keyboard-mouse-controller management system which was really limited by a much more powerful asset. In particular we can now reconfigure the controls in the game, which was essential. This asset also support any gamepads, and I have already made them almost working. In fact everything is already working very well, except the inventory that must be improved because its controls were designed for mouse interactions. I’m not going to do that right now, but I was very happy to find that the support of the controller would be easier than expected.

I reworked the logic of the game, including transitions between levels. I removed the ugly lifts, I replaced them with beautiful doors and transitions, which are more consistent with the story. Thank you Mika for your advice on the end of levels, I made a lot of improvements and I hope you like the changes ;)

I corrected the tutorial that had some weaknesses. I added some pickable items, and I modified a lot of the issues found in previous playtests. In particular it was possible to pass without really learning to manipulate the inventory, which became an issue thereafter. We will see in future tests if my modifications work.

I added an endurance system, to prevent being able to sprint permanently. I also added endurance potions hidden in the levels to boost the player a bit. I still do not really know if I like this result, because I used to speed run the whole game, and that limits me a lot now. We will see after the tests if I decide to keep it.

I improved a lot of systems and fixed a lot of their issues, especially the localization system, save system, trap damage system. I have done deep code changes to stop using Unity Resources, which are actually too expensive. I have corrected a lot of bugs, some complex, some easy.

In short, a lot of work, and I can not wait to finish to finally go back to level design to improve levels.

Universal Device Preview 1.8

After many requests from users concerning the “Safe Area” support, for the new phones that have a camera in the screen, I finally made a major update of my asset to take them into account in the simulation.

I took the opportunity to redo a marketing work, including changing the name (the previous name was “Multi Device Preview & Gallery), and making a great video. Thanks Eric, Laurent, Jonathan, Kenneth and Christophe for your feedback when creating the new video :)

You will find all the details of the update here: https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/#!/content/82015

This update took me a lot of time, hence my delay on the schedule of v0.5. I hope that in the long run it will take and that it will finance the rest of the game.

Roadmap

The end of v0.5 is near. I still need to correct some systems, and some stuff here and there.

Once completed, I will make a marketing pass with a nice logo and a simplistic first trailer, to finally launch the Steam page. It is important that I hurry to do it, to allow time to win subscribers before the release.

I still hesitate to launch the public demo at the end of v0.5 or wait for v0.6. Indeed, the last playtests showed some issues with the rhythm, and variety of traps and triggers. I prefer not to release a demo if it might disappoint the testers. I’ll let you know. In the meantime, I keep doing playtests regularly, so tell me if you want to come and to test the game :)

In general, the game has taken a good turn, everything starts to fit as I have in mind, and I’m happy with the result. For once I see the release as something doable, and it motivates me well. Once the v0.5 is over, it will be time to work on levels one by one, to bring them little by little toward their final version.

See you soon,

Arnaud


Universal Device Preview 1.8 is Out!


Universal Device Preview 1.8 has been released on the asset store :)

Now with Safe Area simulation and automatic adaptation to better adapt your game to phones with notches !

Safe Area

That feature was asked by many customers, and I am glad to finally release that new version.
You can now directly preview the Safe Area within the editor, but also add a SafeArea layout to automatically adapt your game to them. The SafeArea component comes with unique adaptation constraints, to adapt your game how you need.

New logo, new name

The asset also have been renamed from MultiDevice Preview’ & Gallery to Universal Device Preview to better reflect its new feature set.

Get it now !

Version changes 1.8.0 – 17/10/2019

  • Asset name changed from ‘MultiDevice Preview’ & Gallery to ‘Universal Device Preview’. Folders and scripts have been renamed accordingly.
  • (NEW FEATURE) Safe area simulation
  • (NEW FEATURE) Safe area automatic adaptation layout
  • (NEW FEATURE) DeviceInfo API
  • Improved overall user experience
  • Backup/restore last preview pictures
  • Support of Unity 2019.3
  • New devices with images/notches
    • OnePlus 6
    • Apple iMac
    • Apple Macbook Pro
  • New devices presets (resolution only)
    • Lenovo TAB 2 A7-20
    • Lenovo TAB 2 A7-10
    • Asus Zenfone 5
    • Asus Zenfone 6
    • Honor 20
    • Honor 20 Pro
    • Honor 20 Lite

Upgrade Instructions from 1.7 to 1.8

Several files have been renamed in update 1.8. It is recommended to do a clean re-install by removing the asset folder before importing the update. Do not forget to backup your custom prefabs and MultiDevicePreviewConfig config file before doing so. Otherwise, follow the upgrade process described below:

  • Rename the AlmostEngine/MultiDevicePreview folder to AlmostEngine/UniversalDevicePreview
  • Rename the file Assets/Script/MultiDevicePreview.cs to Assets/Script/UniversalDevicePreview.cs
  • Rename the file Assets/MultiDevicePreviewConfig to Assets/UniversalDevicePreviewConfig
  • Rename the file Documentation/MultiDevicePreview.pdf to Documentation/UniversalDevicePreview.pdf

Devlog September 2019


Hello everyone, here’s news from the front.

After a month of August a little complicated where I could not work much, September has been very productive!

Version 0.5 in progress

As expected, I’m working hard on version 0.5 to have in the coming weeks a clean playable version, representative of the game experience. I seriously attacked the bugs, cleaned and improved some bad parts of the code, and improved several aspects of the design. When I finish the debug, I will move to level design. Thanks to some recent playtests I have many ideas to further improve the game and make it really fun.

By correcting inventory bugs, I took the opportunity to add a new feature: we can now manipulate scene objects directly from the inventory:

So, you can place objects more easily in the scene. Be like Indiana Jones!

Game story

I started reworking on the game story. I started with what I already wrote several years ago, at the beginning of Wild Mage Games. I wrote several new versions, I looked for better twists and climax. After selecting one of the versions, I started writing, and now I have a first draft that I like. I have already asked for some feedback on this story, which is rather positive. I started to integrate it into the game, but I continue to look for ways to improve it even more.

The initial pitch is very classic: you are an adventurer in a tavern looking for adventure, and you are told of an unknown dungeon not far from the tavern, which supposedly have a legendary treasure. But this dungeon has never been looted successfully …

In the process, I also did the intro of the game in text mode, which sets the tone before starting the adventure. You may have the opportunity to play it soon :)

Neverlooted Dungeon

This is the title of the game that I am developing. What do you think of this title? Do you find it catchy? What does he evoke you? Do you want to know more?

Almost Epic Adventures

Since I will soon have to set the name on Steam, I spent some time thinking about the final name of the series and the game.

As a reminder, my Goblin’s Week game and Neverlooted Dungeon are part of a saga that takes place in the same universe. They share many things: their stories are linked, always with a touch of humor, and their gameplay is very close. I also have several other projects for the future. It is with this in mind that I wish to group them under the same series.

The current title of the series is Almost Epic Adventures. I am attached to it and I have a hard time judging its qualities. Help me determine if it is appropriate: What do you think of the name Almost Epic Adventures as the name of the series? Do you find it catchy? What does he evoke you? Does it make you want to know more?

Send me your feedback, it will allow me to have a critical vision on my work :)

Tons of GIFs !

I started creating a presentation page on the site. It’s still very basic and need much improvements, but you can already see lots of animated GIFs and new images!

You can see it here: https://www.wildmagegames.com/traps

Join the Discord !!!

By the way, Wild Mage Games has had its Discord for a few weeks now! Discord is an online chat room. If you have discord, you can join me here: https://discord.gg/FpXESF7

Roadmap

If all goes well, in the next devlog I will announce the end (or almost) of version 0.5. Hopefully I’ll also have finished the Steam page, if possible a trailer, and I’ll be able to start showing off what I did for this game :)

See you soon,

Arnaud


Devlog July 2019


Hello everyone, here’s news from the front.

Only a month apart since the last devlog? What’s happening?

I hope you do not suffer too much from the heat wave. Here it is hot and humid, but that did not stop me from creating levels.

Version 0.4 completed

As announced in the last devlog, my goal was to complete a first version of all levels. It’s done! It was not easy, and some levels were harder to complete than expected, but now I have 14 playable and interesting levels.

Compared to the 12 that I announced last month, I reworked some of them a lot, removed some, and added new ones.

Given the already large number of levels, I decided not to make some levels I had planned, although I had plenty of cool ideas for them, to try to keep the amount of work in something doable. I prefer to focus on fewer levels so that they are all interesting; the quality before the quantity. Do not worry, the game is already long enough like that.

I want to thank Aurélie who has played all levels and allowed me to identify what works and what does not, and to find bugs.

Current state of the game

Overall the game is already fun and the levels already well advanced. The concept is well defined and original. There are plenty of traps that are fun to avoid, the levels are varied and enjoyable to explore.

I still think that I do not use enough the unique mechanics of the game, and that it could be much more fun. The game sometimes lacks rhythm, and the difficulty is not well balanced.

Also, the game unfortunately still contains a lot of bugs, mostly minor ones, but 1 or 2 important ones. Correcting all of them is a priority.

Finally, I would like to further refine the gaming experience. I need to improve and correct some details to better match what I have in mind.

Roadmap

I will work on all these issues, gradually iterating on all levels.

For version 0.5, I will focus my efforts on the first 4 levels, to improve level design, gameplay, experience, fix bugs, and to improve all basic content (menus, sounds, saving progress, etc.). These levels are particularly important because they influence the desire to continue playing the game. They are approximately the first hour of play. I will do several iterations on them.

Ideally, I would like with this version 0.5 to make a “demo” a little more “pro” than usual, especially compared to the polishing (interfaces, menus, bugs …) and maybe to do some playtests with more people than usual, to get more feedback and find more bugs.

In the following versions I will gradually integrate other levels, and more narrative content.

See you soon,

Arnaud


Devlog June 2019


Hello everyone, here’s news from the front.

Again, a lot of time has passed since my last devlog. I will rename these “monthly newsletter” in biannuals, it will be more realistic.

After months of April and May a little less productive because of moving / travel / holidays, here I am again on the track to finish this game!

Designing the Game Experience

Thanks to the many prototypes and playtests that I made at the beginning of the year, I was able to validate the trapped dungeons exploration concept. After these few weeks of rapid prototyping, it was time to start thinking a little more seriously about the concept and the game experience.

At first, I created new levels and made other playtests. I made levels of different types, sizes, structures, rhythms, changed various aspects of the gameplay, to better understand what the players liked. I tested the idea of ​​having “themes” in the levels, to see what it brought. I also took advantage of these playtests to test and correct many aspects of the game, including interactions, inventory, character controls, and other miscellaneous bugs.

Most of the playtests were very positive. The testers had fun and I saw better and better what made this game a unique and promising concept. I also heard several times “this is my last level” and have seen the tester continue “a bit more to see” and finally end up doing one or two more levels. These moments were particularly encouraging :)

I would like to thank Aurélie, Laurent, Jonathan, Eric, Kenneth, Christophe, Philippe, Grégoire, Michaël, Cédric, Benjamin, Romain and Maxime, for having tested the game, sometimes several times, and for their numerous returns which allowed me to improve the experience of the game. Thanks :)

 

First throw of all levels

After these months of work, we can say that the core of this new game is here and works very well. We can play several hours and have a good time.

After validating the game experience, I added content to the game, including more levels, and more traps and triggers. I’m making a first version of all levels of the game.

Most levels and themes are done, with their unique traps and triggers, adding variety as you progress through levels.

I now have 12 levels, which is close to the total that I would like to have for the final version. This is very encouraging, especially as the levels that have not yet been done are very advanced on paper, or already prototyped.

When all the levels are done, I will look for difficulty, pace, and so on. I will run more playtests to validate the different aspects of game design, and also to have feedback on the game in its entirety.

 

Arcade or Adventure

A question that continues to tickle me, that I already tested a little during playtests, but that I have to look further, it is if I make the game more “Arcade” or more “Adventure”.

A game more “Arcade” would be a little more like Mario, with different independent levels for which we try to have the best “score”. For this concept it is more the performance of the player and the “visible” traps that dominate the gameplay.

A more “Adventure” game would be a little more like Dark Souls, where one explores a huge dungeon, keeping his inventory and various bonuses collected on the way. Here ist’s more exploration and “hidden” traps that would be at the heart of the gameplay.

From the beginning my choice is more on the Adventure side, especially because it will be the dominant part for my other games, including the goblin one. It will test different solutions and take the one that best suits the players and myself.

Musical theme

A long time ago I was contacted by Alexandre Sciré (https://alexandrescire.bandcamp.com, https://soundcloud.com/alexandrescire), a composer who offered his services to create original music for my game. I had put this idea aside for a long time because I was too busy dealing with game design and level design.

A few months ago I though it was time to look for it. At first I wanted to focus on the title screen music. After a few exchanges on what I wanted, and a few days of waiting, the game now has an epic main theme that fits perfectly with the atmosphere of the game!

Improved Website

One more time, I improved the website https://www.wildmagegames.com, this time focusing on the front page that I found really too “amateur”. All your returns are welcome :)

Roadmap

So I’m finishing the first version of all levels, and preparing the next playtests.

I still have not worked on the story. There is a lot of novels that I have written that could stick, but I need some time to do it seriously and have a real “Almost Epic Adventure”.

It will then iterate on all levels to improve the level design, probably several times, make one or more passes of visual improvement, and finally do all the little tricks to polish the game but that take so much time.

See you soon,

Arnaud


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