Pine DevBlog #67 - Territories and Tail-Feathers

Posted in Weekly Development Blog

More work on the simulation in combination with our goal-oriented action planning this week! We expanded to now simulate villages on the whole island, trying to balance the territories. It's a difficult task, but important of course.

We're also looking into sequencing and cinematics a bit more - although it's early, we're excited about the insane possibilities with Unity's timeline and Cinemachine. It's extremely easy for us to put down a situation, and then animate and shoot it accordingly! Most importantly, we can blend between cinematics and gameplay seamlessly.

We've also started animating the Gobbledew - good to see them come to life!

Until next time!

Pine DevBlog #66 - Chests and Cutlasses

Posted in Weekly Development Blog

More blockout and area prototype work this week! One of the most important areas was blocked out a bit to get a grip on the cinematics and situations happening there. It's in the forests, on a cliff - and you'll see quite a bit of it during gameplay. Can you guess what the white cubes are?

Furthermore, in the last few weeks we've been doing a lot of sketching for all kinds of things. Showing the sketches is a bit more difficult, as we don't have a scanner that fits the sketchbooks well - but we were inclined to show a few anyway.

These are resource chests. Every chief guards one in each village, and organisms of a tribe will move to the chest to grab resources to go out. We style them for each species, of course - do you know which one is from which species? There's a chest of an unannounced species in here too!

Regarding villages, we also expanded the node system we have in place for it. We can now place fences, action sockets and the all-important and all-new totem in each village. We also fixed up our prop system and environment system, so that different tiers actually have a proper layout and variety among villages.

Lastly, there's a new weapon in town - the first weapon Hue uses! We're not gonna spoil how you get it, but it's made of Pine trees.

Until next time!

Pine DevBlog #65 - Jams and Jewelry

Posted in Weekly Development Blog

New week, new blog! February has already started - time flies.

Last weekend we joined the Global Game Jam 2018, as we do every year! That means we were making a game in 48 hours. The whole team joined this time, together with a good friend and one half of Ratchet Audio! The theme was 'transmission', and we made "Wisp-Lash" - a game in which deities dash into each other to transmit their soul power, but in exchange for energy. The more soul power you have, the slower you are!

We actually took to for the first time, so you can download our jam game! It's local multiplayer only, and a lot of fun with a few friends.

But on Monday it was back to Pine, of course! We had a long discussion about a particular area of the species' behavior, which is reachability. Often we see situations where species are stuck or useless, because they have no means of reaching the player.

One of such limitations is steps, ledges and heights - species can only walk on flat surfaces now. We've thought long and hard about this, but we've decided to add basic leaps/jumps for species so that we can make the world more interesting and let them follow you in more ways than one.

Another limitation can be found when using ranged weapons. We were working on a fleeing/cover system for the species, but that behavior didn't seem to fit all personalities of the organisms. Thus, we worked on non-damaging throwing attack animations to knock the player off higher places if they are exploiting a ranged tactic. Simple but effective!

Furthermore, we've continued to work on our extensive GOAP simulation system, as explained in previous blogs. We're now combining multiple villages that interact with each other and we've improved roles, the concept of energy and more to make the simulation feel alive. It's like watching ants! It may look simple, but there's a huge and intricate system at the base of this.

After getting a lot further with the first two Vaults (the Hollow Mountain and the Dry Bay Tower), we've made a few mood sketches for the third one - the Ancient Stables. Exciting area abound!

Lastly, as promised, here's an all-new look at the all-new Gobbledew species! We announced this one when the Kickstarter was still running, and it was named by the backers - and we're really happy with how they're taking shape. We've taken inspiration from Greek and Egyptian culture for their look and feel - but they still go crazy when in combat. This is the high-poly version (before texturing etc) - feedback is welcome!

Soon we'll have a few big things to announce. One of them is the long-awaited update on the Human player species. We've been working tirelessly to make something unique out of the Human race, to make them as interesting as the other species. The player character is looked at the most, so we're hoping it's good. We're gonna need some feedback on that soon!

Pine DevBlog #64 - Condos and Contemplations

Posted in Weekly Development Blog

With a lot of 'secret' but exciting features and content in development, this week's blog is a bit shorter! We'll have a huge update soon with an update on the main character, species, the island and more.

One species we announced during the Kickstarter, named the Gobbledew, is getting steady updates in the office. An important part of a new species is always their buildings and architecture - so here's a first look at a paintover of the Gobbledew houses!

We also made more progress on the GOAP system and GOAP planner that's powering our simulation. The system is now really polished per organism, and scaling up is the next step.

For this GOAP system we queue tasks and let organisms plan. To optimize that and put that out in a logical way, we're making organisms think! We have looping animations for if they have to think about what they're going to do.

That's it for now - until next time!