I guess it's true, an old saying that got stuck into my head:
"Make your way and the world will follow"
It's been almost 2 years since the first prototype of SD, appropriately numbered v0.1 - This was the beginning of something new. Not only a never before seen style of game , mixing all that made platformers great. But make no mistake, I did make some. Oh boy I did! I have never used an engine past the first steps, but the ease to mod Open Surge, with all the knowledge i had of sound and graphics, made a good starting point.
But the start wasn't smooth. To begin, I have never coded anything, except basic BASIC (mind the pun :p), and unless *.bat files count too. So, my passion for graphics started blooming again, and slowly i went from ripper to freebie user, to finally become fully capable of originality.
By this time i was blessed with lunarrush, SilverstepP, and Jason Buividas, and our small Open Surge family.
We were all beginners, and Silver was the scripting head of the community. This guy tore the API inside out trying to make a game and the community revered him for that. I learned the language thanks to him, and started making a deeper RPG system to go along with the platforming. lunarrush then adapted what would be an early FCS or Fracture Combat System.
Multiple prototypes later we released V0.3, probably our most widespread so far, trying to reach a bit into every pot of ideas we had. But we've just scratched the surface. We kept wanting more and a distinct graphic style.
Then this experimental phase led into lots of new discoveries, that we would later put in the drawer. 3D seemed attractive and we wanted to try, even if just for lulz.
Right now we can tell that 3D is out of our capabilities, and will be until an undisclosed time, where we have enough human and technological horsepower to do something consistent.
Along with the start of the Fractured Reality engine, in which lunar has been working for a few months, joined Luiz Pimenta, a man of good ideas, specialized in multimedia and marketing. We had so many great discussions in a small time frame that it's like we all share the same vibe.
And now we can say for sure , that if (WHEN) the engine enters a productive state, we'll be producing 2D for a while. For anything that can run the latest Java.
Having an engine of our own allows us to make a buck with games without having to answer to anyone. But it's not about us wanting your money. We need the money to make projects you agree to pay for. And that's called crowdfunding.
Right now we are registering a domain and building a new website for our team, Fracture Game Development. This site where you are currently reading this might be kept for historical purposes. But the Shinobi Densetsu project will almost surely move there, and become itself a crowdfunded initiative.
We want to interact with the public as much as possible, so we thought that if we let people vote in which projects they want to play first it would be a way to make the "Game Company" a term that reminds you of democracy and not "Shut up while i take your money".
Staying in tune with the community is also something we want to put in practise. There are some things we would personally refuse to do, but we're very open minded and love what we do. So any ideas for new games can come to discussion.
And if you have a talent, you could also apply for the team, who knows? It all depends on how successful our first games become. Until then, we keep drinking coffee, living double lives, and not sleeping as we should
First, if you haven't played the Anniversry edition, it is now available.
But the best news are yet to come. New year, new game. Well, sort of.
Since the engine had a new release recently, we decided it was best to restart the game. Not only to take advantage of some great new features, but because our code was getting messy.
We spent the whole last year learning game design and the Open Surge Engine API, and guess what our crash course was? Yup, SD.
So for this fresh start we decided not only to invest more in documentation, but we also replanned and are actually rebuilding every subsystem from scratch.
Confirmed wip features:
Also we need a few more soldiers in our ranks:
Sound Effects Recorders (Real)
Artists (Digital and Concept)
and if you think you have a skill you'd like to use, let us know
As stated in our FB and Twitter feeds, there is a release scheduled for December 25th.
However, there is absolutely no Christmas material in it. there are a few reasons behind that:
We could probably dwell deeper for more reasons, but these ones are by far the most important.
Like we did not turn our back to Linux users, we won't turn our back to those who don't really like Christmas that much.
Also, for those who aren't so fond of 2D sandbox platformers, we made something special. Something that will appeal to the casual gamer as much as to the genre fans. It's something you can play through in a couple of hours, but is still challenging enough to get you hooked through that time.
Sorry, no spoilers!
Always on the lookout for partner projects, Team SD has become like a branch of something bigger: Team Fracture.
This bigger team is composed of people working on 3 different games, Fractured Reality, Mechanical Marathon, and of course, Shinobi Densetsu.
This is something truly amazing, because we can do a human resource exchange kind of thing, which means that we get to work on other games, as well as makers of the other games may get to work on ours.
So, what does this change in SD?
To start, as token of appreciation, we will start displaying the Team Fracture logo (when we have one).
We will have more potential working power
We now share te same forums in a new board. This was a good thing that came in a time we really needed. Our previous forums have been plagued by spammers, and since there was nothing too important, they have been removed. If you were registered, you will have to do it again.
and last but not least, we will, in due time, see a new engine powering our games. The Fracture Engine.
Confirmed features in plans include:
support for 8-10 buttons (opposed to 4, in the current engine)
Hardware rendering (very few people have less than a 32Mb gfx card, so it should render faster in a lower cpu as long as you have a supported card).
I don't know much more details, but only these two would allow us to scratch a few things off our wishlist, that probably wouldn't see daylight in the current engine. Think about real-time lighting effects, shaders, displaying and manipulating 3D objects...
I can't tell for sure if and when these features will be in, but this is very exciting!
After the last post a lot of people over the internet asked if we were abandoning the 2D version.
in 2 words:
Really, we never had the intention to abandon it. What happened was a period of time where nobody was available for development. While it is true that a 3D version came to an early prototype, there are some things that led us away from 3D.
One is the lack of Linux support in Unreal Engine, which would drive away all our Linux-using fans.
Second, 3D requires a lot of manpower which is not available in a short time. Sure, 2D also requires a lot of work, but mostly anyone who can use their painting apps is a possible help. No modelers, no lighting dudes, and most of all, no expensive apps or tricky setups of free ones to export "right".
There are times in which only one person is developing, at times like the one in the previous post, none. And very few can work in more than one area, and trust me, being McGyver ain't easy in 2D, imagine in 3D...
So, guys and gals, this Christmas (or whatever you call it, personally, it doesn't matter more than a regular holiday to me.), v0.4 will NOT be out. Excuse me for being so blunt, but it is still a bit far. What you get, though, is a heavily reviewed 0.3, setting the base for 0.4, in which we expect to have stuff like equipment ready, and yes, VISIBLE equipment. Badass swords or bulky tank armors will be yours to showoff.
not at all
I don't know how many people are awaiting v0.4, but i want to make something clear:
Even though development seems (and it is) halted, the project is not dead.
lunarrush is working with team Fracture in the meantime. They are prototyping a game with Open Surge Engine, which will see an early alpha released soon. Sorry, i can't detail more, even though i'm somewhat involved in the project, i won't leak. I'm not the person to do the announcements.
I am, on the other hand, learning UDK, head-on and full speed, which consumes all my free time at the moment. But it is for the good. In less than a month I was able to create an early prototype of what SD would be in 3D. I have not yet decided if the movement should be a totally free, or restricted to side-scrolling, or maybe blending both and do separate gameplay types or different levels.
Regarding the Open Surge version, I'd like to remind everyone: It is Open Source. You are free to modify the game however and how much you like. You can even use the scripted sub-engines (the RPG system and its modules) to create a new game. Nobody is going to knock your door with a C&D letter, as long as you don't use and distribute copyrighted content.
Regarding the 3D version, if you haven't seen it:
this is how it looked yesterday
for more, stay tuned to our Twitter and Facebook news. The blog remains, but only important news will be in it. All other development news should be found at our feeds.
We are about to compile all the level editor knowledge we have and release it to you. We can give you lots of good reasons to edit levels:
If you press F1 in the editor you'll get a help screen to learn how to control the editor. Have fun
It's been almost 2 weeks since v0.3 has been released, and to be honest, we think that v0.4 will not arrive with the same delay. What we, complete game-making newbies did for the last 8 months was learning how to work more professionally. Knowing the engine inside out, studying game design, blueprinting, protoyping, trial and error, trial and error, trial... and success.
v0.3 is to us the first genuine SD prototype. Not only it has most of the mechanics we wanted to implement, even if in basic forms, it has suffered a major facelift, using completely redone graphics, great part of which is team product. For the missing part we searched the internet for people willing to contribute, and especially for free sources like OpenGameArt. That bought us some serious coding time but on the other hand pushed the workload on one coder only because the other one had to do graphics. It was a hard time on both of us, but after all the rips were replaced we were back on 2 coders and we could work different areas of the game at the same time, again.
Who apparently had a hard time (not), was our tester who mastered the art of ninja parkour, and by that said, he especially enjoyed the physics. He is also a master of glitching things up, which helped us build solid levels, and debugging objects.
In this time we learned working methods and learned how to work together, and the balance of this experience is great. We all levelled up quite a bit and we can now do more damage in less swings, because these months felt like training.
With the core mechanics almost set, the next version will aim to complete them, to invest more in the storyline, to add more depth in visuals and to optimize CPU usage. There will be new levels and more to see and do in-game.
The team is also going to prototype a second game, not related to this one, except it's the one for which the Fracture combat system was originally conceived. And that may be revealing too much.
As told before many times, the release of 0.3 is due Monday, August 15th 2011.
There will be no public updates before that, so as an appetizer, here's the confirmed feature set:
3 full areas to explore, some with sub-rooms.
1 incomplete area for the daring
more liveliness with NPC's, platform puzzles, hidden rooms, fake walls, destructibles, interactive objects, and the star of gameplay, Physics.
4 kinds of enemy Ninja with different abilities (Red, Green, Blue, Black)
8 kinds of beasts, some harmless unless provoked and some naturally aggressive
1 full boss, probably a second one too
3 different sword attacks for the main character right at start (running, standing and crouching)
2 more sword attacks and 1 special shot attack unlockable through quests
Characters improve their unique ability by levelling up.
Enemy AI ranging from dumb to almost unpredictable.
The more special attacks you learn, the more combat options you have.
Up to 5 playable quests
1 follower to be found
Clearing areas changes their population
Day/Night and weather cycles
6 clock speeds
NPC dialogs with facest
Player home to eat and sleep anytime
In-game menu for all your needs, from items to status info to controlling a team.
Loot drops from dead enemies
The style is now consistent and characterizing. The game now looks unique, as opposed to the amalgam of rips that v0.2 was.
Sound wise, expect a rich sound set, from environmental audio to action sounds.
It also smells great after burned into a cd-rom
one important notice: the tutorial mode will not be selectable until we finish it, because of the way the game is currently built. Since the tutorial levels are not clearable right now, you wouldn't advance to story mode, as planned.
Feature set may not completely match the final features in case of time constraints. Remember, this is not our job and we all have lives of our own. Probably, just like you
See you in Monday!
we had a bit of a delay in pulling this out, but it's finally here!
Visit our DOWNLOAD page