Dev Update #05

About this blog: we would like to invite everyone to comment on what we post. So don't hold back and tell us what you think! Making games is a process where you constantly learn new things and where you have to adjust to them, evolving the game in something new. All things that we show here are very Work In Progress and should be regarded as such.

Refactor week: Playing games, having fun.

We laid back for a week recovering from all the stress surrounding the alpha. Once again we would like to thank everyone that participated in the event: Thank you so much! At the end of this post we'll share some cool statistics about the alpha, if that's your thing. We really appreciate all the feedback we received and will use it to make the game into something better. We had a great time playing with all of you and we'll hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

In the next 3 weeks we'll revamp the combat systems, controls and skill selection. We'll add more enemies, a bare bones boss, make all the props breakable and rework the skills. A lot to look forward to!


Lance

It's been a while! There was no update devlog last week, but it didn't mean we weren't busy working. So what's going on?

During the Alpha I was on stand-by to fix all the obvious game-breaking bugs. Doors not opening or keys for the doors not dropping was a major flaw which got hotfixed during that weekend. Very exciting to see that Feedback tool being actively used and we've received a ton of feedback that included screenshots to help us. Neat.

But this was nearly two weeks ago. Last week we've started our refactoring process - this means that we look at existing code and optimize it or just rewrite it increase its usefulness. So far, it made the game run smoother in some places, seeing increased frames per second. Most notably a better handling of enemies who calculated paths. As mentioned before, pathfinding is always an on-going process of finetuning so this was expected. We generally refactor whenever necessary but every once in a while we specifically set aside a week or two to fully focus on it. Especially when we've had tight deadlines follow eachother consecutively.

Things in the back-end, the 'things behind the scenes', its refactoring and all may mean little to nothing for most of you. But I've also done something on the front-end. The game uses triggers for several things - such as the boss platform that takes you to the boss area. Previously, creating a trigger like this was very limited; one trigger per object and one action per trigger. So a boss platform could only have one trigger that checks if everyone is on it and then moves you all to the next scene. What if we wanted to do more? Like if some and not all of you are on it, it triggers a wave of monsters? Can't do that.

So I made fundamental changes to this, and - of course - created an editor tool for it.

(Yes, the icons are placeholder! - I'm just a fan of the old Unreal Editor's icons!)

It works simply by adding new triggers - they come in all types - and each trigger has its own unique parameters and handlers. Adding duplicate triggers is now possible. A trigger that works when an enemy is killed AND a trigger for when you step over its corpse to start an event? It's possible now. It's something most games obviously have but we didn't need it until now.

Next Week

Combat sprint begins! A period where we focus on everything combat. I'm going to start off with artificial intelligence and make our enemies a bit more exciting to battle with, smarter and perhaps more cunning.


Sebastiaan

Take a break, play some games.

Phew, doing an event and an alpha in 1 month is hard. Luckily we planned the past 2 weeks to get some air and play some games. We played some similar games mostly to check out the controls, camera systems and other random stuff that we might like to see what we could steal, ehhh, learn from.

We played the following games:

  • Realm of the mad God
  • Path of Exile
  • Nuclear Throne
  • Titan Souls
  • Torchlight 2
  • Alien Swarm
  • Gaunlet
  • Hammerwatch
  • Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup
  • Diablo 2

Do you think we missed out on a game? Let us know!

Controls Controls Controls

Like always, I was tinkering with the controls some more. It's a bit hard to explain what's going on exactly with some screenshots or a movie. You have to experience it, someday. Martin and I are still trying out new things to really ace the controls.

Next Week

Back in action! I can't wait to finally update the combat systems, long overdue.


Martin

This week was our refactor week, so I had the time to work on the humanoid animation set. Because I made a new rig for every humanoid character in our game, I had to remake all the animations. Every humanoid character will now use the same animations, this saves me a lot of time and allows me to make new characters. We also played a lot of similair looking games to refresh our ideas for multiple things like: combat, controls, new features, etc.

Our about page is looking a little empty, it only shows the heads of the core development team. So I decided to rework the heads and add the new heads of the rest of our team!

Next Week

Next week I will still be working on getting the animations ready for the combat sprint, I will also finish up the Cabrah and start rigging/animating.


Viktor

Clean Up

This week we had a bit of a slow week and room to try some stuff out and refactor a bit. I used this time to optimize some of the models and clean up my 3ds max scene, putting things in the right layers and groups.

Next Week

Stoked for the combat sprint and taking a few days off for Fallout 4 ;)


Jom

Revamping a tavern!

While the guys where working on the release of the Alpha I received the request to start thinking about redesigning the tavern (also known as the serverlobby) so that it would be less boring while waiting for other players. First of all I started thinking about visual props that could be inside a tavern.

Afterwards I decided to put some of those elements together in a combined concept piece. Note that this is not the final layout of the tavern but just a feel for what it should look like. There will be a great emphasis on interactive objects (like smashable pots and barrels, a bar where you can order drinks and enjoying the poledancers) so that the player is not bored while waiting.

Next week

A revamp of the campfire scene and maybe more!


Jacqueline

The menus I created all have been implemented in the game. Though I’m not completely satisfied with the current looks of the buttons and the skills. Some of the skills showed some aliasing so I tried to solve that by avoiding to rotate images in Unity; it hasn’t been kind to the borders of the icons. Beside some adjusting to the UI, I’ve been cleaning some PSD files and sorting the art-document so we have a clear idea about our designs.

Next Week

New Bandit redesigns for distinguished looks.


Alpha Statistics

Here is a little rundown of all the numbers. These include the pre-alpha test we held at our school to iron out some of the bugs the day before the alpha.

  • 2 game breaking bugs
  • 2 patches
  • 149 alpha sign ups
  • 98 unique players
  • 167 sessions (a group from 2 to 4 players)
  • 1.5 session per user
  • 69.5 total hours played
  • 17.6 minutes average level completion time
  • 9 groups reached the boss room
  • 172 feedback forms filled out
  • 1 sad capybara at a party

Thanks again for playing!


Thanks for taking the time to read this development update. Remember that you can sign up for the alpha if you want to play the game in this early stage of development. If you like the game, please tell your friends!