Time for a devblog! As mentioned, we've been lowering the frequency quite a bit, in order to make sure we're not spoiling too much and to focus even more on developing the game.
With regards to that development, we're making some really great progress. A region system, trigger system, working on the Outfindings, an updated main character... Lots of important steps to completing the content structure of the game.
One of the more important mechanics that was properly added recently is the new eating mechanic, allowing the player to heal only during gameplay. This changes the way you fight a lot and makes it a lot more dynamic and interesting! You can pin food to your HUD (3 foods at the start of the game) and eat from there. We will be working on a 'heal preview' functionality and more polish later. Check the top left UI here:
We are currently prototyping the first Vault, the Dry Bay Tower, to greater detail - having meshed all the building blocks, the design team is now busy with creating every layer and all puzzles in between. Without spoiling anything, that blockout looks something like this:
The swamp assets are making good progress too, as we're building large trees, small trees and more vegetation to put in the swamp area (Soggy Fields). Check out the first trees:
The river tool is also being used to great 'length', as we're placing the first rivers and it seems to work nicely!
More soon - we'll keep you updated as we go along. A lot of the work is related to the new Hue, so we're holding off a bit on that - soon!
Until next time!
Pine Monthly Recap April - From Village to Village04-05-2018
Another monthly update! We have been more silent than ever this month, but only because we were working hard on so many things and didn’t find the time during the month. But we’re excited to tell you all about what happened now!
The main focus of this month was a milestone deadline – the simulation alpha. Our goals were to:
- Get the simulation running on the whole island, both in simulation space (under the hood) and real space (which is in front of the player)
- Run that with seamless streaming of assets and organisms
- Finalize the infrastructure of the island, with all villages, roads and species’ navigation made possible
- Structure the first version of the economy on the island with different resources and foods in different regions, and with villages gathering and trading those
Overall, we succeeded. The simulation is complex but clean system of villages, village goals, groups, roles and organisms. It takes a lot of time to test and analyze, but it’s cool to see it come to life.
Villages have a bank and their leaders need to fill that bank
To supply for their inhabitants, village chiefs send out groups to gather food and resources, or trading/scout/raid groups to get to that goal. That alone brings many concepts: leaders, groups, goals, banks and more. All of this has to be visualized and implemented, but we’re glad to have improved our village system and village commander systems a lot to make it happen. Most of these assets are obviously temporary!
Chiefs send out gatherer groups:
Or a trader!
Sometimes trades go wrong…
The bigger villages send guards with the traders, and they’ll usually come back with some good value:
The village banks are created per species – here’s another look at them:
Worked on village structure and design
Each village has an alarm bell, fences, tiers set up and more. This is all part of a vast system of nodes that get enabled when a village exists in a certain way.
More blockout work on the island, revamping the Arid Canyon
In the attempt to connect the island better, we also revamped several areas to be better suited for the gameplay and make more sense naturally. One of such areas is the Arid Canyon, which is now one of our favorite areas! We redid all the materials, tweaked vegetation and more.
Tools, and a new intern: Pavel!
Pavel is helping the programming team and immediately started making himself useful by working on much-requested tools for the art and design team. One of such is a ‘fencing’ system with which we can more easily place connected meshes, such as fences:
Also, a cool new water system allows us to make a procedural river mesh throughout wherever we need it, which is more flexible than before.
The build that resulted for the milestone is giving us a lot of information – we’ve been making plans, testing and tweaking away ever since. The economy on such a scale is something very delicate and we’re making sure the experience is smooth and logical in all areas.
Next, we're prototyping some last player mechanics and we'll be solidifying the simulation and the island's design. Exciting!
As always, all feedback, questions and comments are welcome. Feel free to reach out through pine[at]twirlbound.com, on IndieDB, on Reddit, on our Discord server, Facebook or Twitter.
Lowering the amount of blogs has so far really helped us focus more on content and share it in shorter bursts - so here's another one packed with content for you.
We've worked on the Litter Stack, Krocker Rattle and Fexel Furnace for in their villages - similar objects to the Cariblin Pole, where they assemble food and resources and can gather for social activity.
The most important work of the last two weeks has been working on finalizing the island's infrastructure for the full-scale simulation to play out. This means making sure roads are finished and passable by species, interesting locations are blocked out and that species have something to do.
Also on a village scale this means the species have a ton of spaces and nodes to choose from while performing the tasks of their village schedules.
It's been interesting to see where the issues are. Sometimes trades fail too often, food sources aren't placed correctly or organisms can't find their spot in the village. But we'll keep working on it!
To round all the roles, positions, reactions and behaviors off, the art team has continued blocking out things for functionality. A lot of new animations and props were added to communicate the roles and reactions clearly, such as suspicious-trigger animations, a new alert for the litter and chief animations for all.
In the future we'll make these roles more species-specific - check out these sketches for the village leaders for example!
Lots more was done in these weeks, as we're ramping up to a simulation alpha build. In that, we're seeing the simulation in full scale, streaming, for the first time. It's gonna bring up even more issues, but our systems have been set up to be very tweakable, so we will keep on fixing things throughout development.
Until next time!
As mentioned last week, we'll be toning it down on development blog content, but some weeks we'll have some interesting stuff to share nonetheless!
We worked on the Cariblin's village Post: a place where they gather their food and where the village's chief/king/boss/leader/highness can be found nearby. This is one of the first to be finished and ingame.
Each tier is represented in these as well, and they act as landmarks so that you know where to go look for species.
Now that the simulation is running on the island, we've also worked on a few assets that are important for that - one being an alarm bell, one a resource chest, and a few fence assets. These are generic for now - we'll be making them species-specific as we go along, now that the functionality is there.
The fences work per tier, so that we can expand villages and make them smaller based on that.
The Gobbledew had a few more animations done this week too: domestic animations (stuff like giving and taking) and scouting.
The simulation is now really coming together, and we're testing a lot of different reactions that are based on confidence and affinity. Lots of layers, but it's turning out quite fun.
Until next time!