Summary and Merry Christmas

Hey, guys!

Today I’d like to talk to you about what went on after the Milan Games Week 2018 and how the game development is going in general, so you can have a better idea of where we’re at.

Environment (backgrounds and landscapes)

After MGW 2018 I made a difficult decision (how unlike me, right?): to make some drastic changes to the art direction and the work method we were using to develop  parts of the environments. That obviously also meant the models that were already all finished. Leo practically  fainted when we broke the news. Oh damn, I’ve not introduced you to Leonardo yet! Well, he’s our modeler! The ONLY 3D modeler of the game, for now at least. So, see him as our unsung hero. As I was saying, when he realized this meant he’d have to redo practically all of what had been done for the background and landscape departments, he did shed a tear or two. But our minds were set: the game had to become better and better to do justice to the story we wanted to tell!

Sure, the alpha we brought to MGW 2018 was really appreciated from a graphics point of view, but as you may have already realized, I’m not one who’s easily pleased. So I decided we had to re-develop all of the shaders (you remember what they are, right? We mentioned them a while ago when I was explaining our character development) of the vegetation, the basic assets of the game’s explorable, or not (all of the platforms, caves, tunnels and what have you) backgrounds, and  bodies of water. I can assure you it was NOT an easy, or quick process.

… What’s that you say? You don’t know what an “asset” is? Well, think of an asset as a piece of the game! Every single plant, rock, switch or door, they are all assets.

To face this huge task we had to ask our dear Gianluca to lend us a hand yet again, and working together we managed to create the necessary concept art that could help us to find “the right path”. 🙂

Lighting

What else didn’t really convince me “graphically” of the alpha? The quality of the lighting system could be greatly improved upon. And so it was! Now the game uses a completely different technique than before to calculate lighting, and the end result is a little more “believable” and “pleasing” to the eye.

Preferences

We implemented a preference system for the game, one that will allow you to choose your own preferred setting for the moves, some graphic aspects etc. At the moment we only have the part concerning the volume of music and sound effects, but the basic code is the same, and it’s all ready so we can integrate all the rest 😉

Menu

The starting menu, the creation of a single player campaign, being able to load previously saved campaigns, the preference menu and the whole system that controls them all have been set. They are still to have some graphic makeovers, but at least they are completely functioning!

Stringram

This a sore spot. The Stringram, the very heart of our game, is a really tough beast to tame. During MGW 2018 we discovered a bug, that required a great deal of work to solve.

Apart from this, there have been some changes to the programming (I’ll keep it short, ’cause I don’t want to bore you) that kept sending the whole system in tilt, so we had to really work on it to make it compatible. For what it’s worth, this was all done to stabilize the Stringram, making it easier to expand in the future when we have new gameplay ideas and to debug and optimize things. By January 2019 we should have been able to solve the last problem that limited us in its use, and we’ll soon post an article that’ll only feature Stringram.

At the moment we are working on the production of our new interior assets and backgrounds, on the second stage concepts, the implementation of cut-scenes (animated intermezzos), on the right game design  to balance the Stringram, to testing what we have just improved and inserting Evangeline’s interface, whose menu will allow the player to unblock hidden skills.

The plan is to take part in an important event during the first trimester of 2019 (but I’m not revealing anything just yet!) with a stable game up to and including the first stage and to later open a closed number alpha testing group, to give us feedback.

And this year, as with every year, Christmas has come, but we’re going to keep on working tirelessly! 🙂

Best wishes to you all!

Andrea

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