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
Not that there are any items inside, but half the bag is empty. Or so to speak.
What we mean is that the barebones for the inventory system are set, but it is unimplemented as of now. There is some rework to be done, but it is bound to be operational soon.
No details will be revealed yet, but this seems like a great achievement for our team, so it is expected to become the greatest thing ever done by us
That's right, folks! all of you who have been patiently waiting will be rewarded for your patience
While the 6-month deadline (hint: August 15) is more than one month away, the fact that over 95% of the ripped assets are now gone is going to mean one thing:
PUBLIC BETA FOR DOWNLOAD SOON
As you all know, we don't like to conceal the development stages, but we felt it was a safe move for our project if no more releases were made with ripped graphics. Legal issues would be the death of us. Now that we're almost through with that, you will again be able to experience the game's latest advances on a regular basis, just like with v0.1 and v0.2.
No more rambling on new features, you'll get to try them first hand within one week. Stay tuned!
that's right! I'm happy to say that the first quests have been built in successfully
although the need for polishing abounds, the basic quest mechanics are working. objectives can be set and completed, and also the player (or character) can be rewarded upon completion.
The town is now more lively than ever with random generic npc's that emote through visual elements, clock-controlled lights, and unique npc's that enter conversations.
Physics have been tweaked for grip. the controls shouldn't feel slippery anymore.
The clock has now 6 speed modes including real time and real time SYNC (your computer's clock)
You can choose to start the tutorial or the story mode. (more game modes to come)
The first master is being built. expect new abilities soon.
Levels are being rebuilt from scratch. 5 areas are being finished for the demo.
it's all i could remember for now. expect more than what's being told
That's right, so we are giving idle characters some artificial intelligence and response to orders. they can follow you around until they get too far from the camera, or up to places they can normally reach. you can make them wait for you, or while they wait, also guard that spot from enemies. All this through the in-game menu, much like you would switch weapons or change options.
The menu is also advancing, and besides volume controls, we added something to make the game more cpu friendly for oldies: Controllable visual effects. Water particles flooding your computer? you can reduce or disable them. Transparencies slowing it down? you can use alternative graphics.
However, there is one limitation that may become hard to avoid: the way the engine handles off-screen interactions. Sometimes AI controlled characters lose response because of that. We're working on a possible source code hack, because it seems to be the only way that will cause benefit in the long term. this may pump up minimum requirements a bit more, we can't say how much yet, but we'd like to keep it in the Pentium III range, as the engine was designed to be. If this process proves successful, further hacks are to be expected, as we'll try to polish the engine to our needs.
That's all, folks! See you soon
Sometimes, the end of the road seems like the longest part of the trip, and this is one of those times.
The good news: by the end of this week we expect to have 90% to 100% of all ripped graphics removed
The not-so-good news: All levels will have to be rebuilt. Every single area you knew from 0.1 and 0.2 does not exist anymore.
The so-good news: Rebuilding levels will eliminate almost all level related bugs, as the new standards are more fail-proof and fool-proof. This will also add physics to the mix. A walk in the park can turn into a run downhill with a few ramps.
The other news: Polishing existing elements like the intro, the menus, the character system, the sound system, enemies and much more.
Maybe it's a wild guess, but August 15 seems to be the day...
We are currently building basic sound sets for all characters and enemies. most moves translate into sounds, and in future, when we have a better defined storyline, we'll want to record the dialogs. Meanwhile, as of now, everyone has a chance to be the voice of a character, even if it doesn't exist. All you need is to open your sound recording app, have a microphone, and scream, grunt, moan, say some quotes... whatever you think that would fit in somewhere, and send it to us with your name so we can credit you.
Have a nice recording session