Devlog August-October 2016


Hi everyone, here is the news from the front.

Dialogues, missions, cutscenes, story

Good news, I finally completed the first playable version of the adventure. You can play a goblin that has just been hired for three days and does various tasks for the dungeon master, including maintenance of the traps. It is still in a raw state, but it will be my base that I will gradually improve until all levels, characters and stories are done.

3D Characters

I spent a few days working on 3D characters. It also needs to be refined, but I’m pretty happy with the first draft. Do not hesitate to give me your opinion, if you enjoy it or not.
Speaking of characters, they are now able to open doors and fall into pits :)

Next playtest: volunteers?

The goblin demo is almost over. In a week (or two …) I will need volunteers to come and test this new version of the game. This implies to come at my home to play while I take some notes. Tell me if you are interested and I will contact you to organize a playtest when it is ready.

Roadmap

I’m still late, since in the last email I announced the end of the goblin demo to late August … especially as I had originally planned to finish it in February … When it will be ready and the tests done, I will review everything, analyze what work or not in the demos, review objectives and schedules, and move into production. It will also be the moment to start the marketing with an updated website and the beginning of a series of videos to show and comment on the various demos and development progress.

See you soon,

Arnaud


Devlog July 2016


Hi everyone, here is the news from the front.

Playtests

First of all, thank you for having been a lot to ask to come and to test the game. Thanks to Anthony, Gaëtan, Leo, Gregory and Benjamin for playing almost 2 hours each! I’m sorry to have delayed some tests to a future demo: I already had enough feedback to identify what worked well and what did not work, and it allows me to keep “fresh” testers for the next demo, which a good thing.

I have lots of things to fix for the next demo, particularly in terms of inventory management. Feedbacks were still quite positive, especially on things that interested me, and that’s good.

Dialog Editor

This month, I mainly worked on the design of a new tool: the dialogue editor. The editor is fairly standard, it allows you to write text lines and link them together in the form of a graph to create a conversation. One can add conditions, which allows multiple possible branches (eg if a quest was started or not), and the player can select his answers, giving even more branches.

At first I was a little reluctant to do it, but now I think the tool is really great, so I do not regret the time investment. Indeed, I created a custom graph editor, even with rare features, such as hierarchical dialogues and subdialogues. The writing is super fast, and I played a lot with it to write absurd things you will discover in the next demo. The editor works so well that I think to adapt it to also edit the AI behaviors.

Roadmap

I am still working on the Minion’s demo. I still have to finish the mission system, adapt the maze adventurers to make maintenance tasks interesting, improve the AI ​​to make the infiltration even more interesting, complete a first playable version of (a sub part of) the main story, and correct problems of previous demos. I hope it will be done by the end of August, but maybe I am too optimistic.

See you soon,

Arnaud


Devlog May-June 2016


Hi everyone, here is the news from the front.

New Demo

These two last months, I developed the “Stealth” gameplay, ie everything related to infiltration with guards, and the demo to test all of this is finally ready.

There are three test levels where the player has to find a mysterious artifact. He starts at the entrance of the dungeon and must find and access the secret underground part. It’s a mix of traps and guards to avoid, places to explore and clues to find. I look forward to seeing what you think about it.

I continue to do observation playtests (I look at people playing the game). If you are motivated to come and play on site at the new demo I invite you to tell me :)

Stealth system

For this demo, I made a first version of the AI ​​system to manage the behavior and perception of NPCs. The guards react when they see / hear the player or anything suspicious, and chase the player to try to kill him. My system is largely inspired by the one implemented in the Dark Engine (Thief 1.2).

For noise, I have implemented a system of footsteps: the sound and volume change depending on the surface, for example it is quieter to walk on carpet than on stone, and the moving speed. It is also useful for hearing the guards approaching. Objects collisions make noise that is detected by the guards: for example you can throw a rock to make a diversion.

For the visibility, I implemented a player visibility system that takes into account the dynamic lighting of the scene. This is very generic and work in all configurations. For example the player can pick up, move or unlit torches to decrease the light, the guards may carry torches to light near to them. My goal was to make it consistent with the physical interaction system of the player. In my tests I even found myself moving a table to create a shaded area to observe a guard from the shadows.

There are still a lot of work and testing to make it robust, but I think that it is already pretty fun. We’ll see what you think about it during the tests.

Roadmap

In the near future I will improve the important issues that will rise during testing, and start the last demo: to be the minion of an evil dungeon master. On the menu : clean dead adventurer corpses in the trapped part of the dungeon – without dying, if possible -, recover their treasures and re activate the traps.

At the end of this demo I will check whether the various parts of the experience of my game are fun and if they fit well together. Then I will make a big concept validation, code cleanup, and I will start to prepare the first alpha version of the game. I would also like to start making short videos every month in which I will play the demos to show what I describe in these news.

See you soon.

Arnaud


Devlog April 2016


Hello everyone.

Core demo finished

This month, I finally finished the demo of the “Core” gameplay, i.e. exploration, investigation and infiltration. I have two playable levels: a little trapped maze and a residential level where you have to investigate to find the magical artifact … There are a lot of interactions, hidden things to discover, deadly traps to avoid (See images below). I’m pretty happy with the proposed game experience because it corresponds to what I had in mind, but the game still feels “incomplete” since the dungeon was not thought to be empty, but populated by characters.

Playtests

Thanks to Antoine for testing the game; sorry for the others for having canceled your session due to last minute bugs. The playtest was rather positive, but the micro lag problem made it a little uncomfortable for a long gaming session. I investigated it and I think I have solved the problem (it was from the Garbage Collector).

Next demo

I was finally able to start the demo “Adventurers” in which I populate the maze with hostile adventurers who seek to kill the unfortunate Goblin that you play. The purpose of the demo is to code what is needed to handle characters. Animating them went rather quickly thanks to Unity technologies that adapt biped animations to any animated model. In terms of Artificial Intelligence, I started working on Behavior Trees, and now I am coding some more dynamic systems based on decision trees.

Roadmap

I take some holidays in May, and on my return I go back to the demo “Adventurer”, and finally to the demo “Minion” in which we can finally see what it is to work for an evil dungeon master …

See you soon.

Arnaud


Devlog – December 2015 – March 2016


Hello everyone,

It’s been a while since the last newsletter, this is the time to catch up!

Gameplay demos

In January, after a few weeks breaking my head on level design, I decided to stop working on the entire dungeon and to focus on just one playable level, to make things easier and improve the gameplay. I did several small demos, containing more and more content and gameplay, to get a complete level close to what I would like to have in the final game. As usual, it took much longer than expected, but the result begins to be interesting.

Playtests

I also began playtesting the game. Players feedbacks were rather positive and encouraging. A big thanks to them :). The tests also helped me to point some problems on which I am still working today, and qualities that I am trying to improve. For those to whom I promised to participate in the next sessions, be patient, I would like to improve the demo, it should not take too long. There are performance issues that I would like to solve because they harm the experience.

Programming

I also took the time to clean my code and revise its architecture. It was necessary for several reasons, the most important being creating a savegame system. Saving player’s progress is now possible and this will make the playtest less painful.

That’s all for this time, I will try to give news more often,
See you soon,

Arnaud


Devlog October-November 2015


Hello everyone!

As I said last week, this month I finally finished the announcement page of the game. After some communication time, I can now work again on the gameplay and on the game experience, including Exploration, Investigation, and Infiltration.

I need your opinion

I did not have much feedback on the announcement page, so feel free to tell me what you think (especially if you think it is bad and you do not want to say it, it is important to tell me what you dislike so I can improve it).

New Video

Here are two new videos:

Walking in corridors:

Physical Traps:

 

See you soon,

Arnaud


Devlog October 2015


Hello everyone, here is the news from the front.

Art Style

This month, I worked a lot on the graphic prototype. I worked on 3D models, researching their art style, colors and textures. I also worked on the dungeon architecture, walls, vaults and archs. I am late and did not finish yet the announce page of the game, but it should be done very soon.

 

New website style

If you go on the website, you will see that I did a totally new skin. Do not hesitate to let some comments, and please report any problems you may encounter.

See you soon,

Arnaud.


Devlog September 2015


Hello everyone, here is the news from the front.

Prototyping

This month a lot of prototyping gameplay and graphics. I worked especially on the physical traps, of which here is a video:

For the images of the graphic prototype it will be necessary to wait a little more.

Announce page incoming

I also started working on a game announcement webpage, to describe the concept and want to learn more. If you are interested in previewing it and giving advice for its improvement, do not hesitate to tell me.

Roadmap

My priority now is to finish this presentation page. For that I need to finish the graphic prototype to be able to take screenshots and make a teaser video that will be added to the page.

See you soon,
Arnaud


Devlog August 2015


Hello everyone, here is the news from the front.

This month, I worked mainly on things that are not seen. I especially cleaned up code and spent a lot of time writing the game’s story.

New gameplay prototype video

Here is a new video of the gameplay prototype:

It is primarily a video to show the interactions with the environment. The rest (graphics, audio) is not representative.

Good viewing, and do not hesitate to leave a comment.

See you soon,

Arnaud


Devlog July 2015


Hello everyone, here is the news from the front.

Gameplay prototype video

This month was fairly light in the progress of the project (holidays, heat wave …). I still made a video of the gameplay prototype:

Good viewing, and do not hesitate to leave a comment.

See you soon,

Arnaud


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