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September 20, 2014, 02:01:45 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsSon of Nor
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Chris Polus
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« on: February 27, 2012, 03:11:09 PM »

Son of Nor
Telekinesis • Terraforming • Spell Combinations



Hey, my name is Chris Polus and I'm the producer and sound designer of Son of Nor, an upcoming game from stillalive studios.
Check out the video above (click on the image to get to YouTube) Blink

Video Dev Diaries
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Weekly video dev diaries: http://www.youtube.com/user/stillaliveGameStudio/videos

Game Description
*************

Son of Nor is a PvE single- and co-op multiplayer game for currently up to 4 players (split-screen, LAN, internet) that experiments with various game mechanics. It has no UI, yet players have telekinetic powers, the ability to terraform, and multiple types of magic at their disposal. All powers have their individual tactical use and they can be combined to creatively prevent damage from or deal damage to enemies. For example, only basic magic can be invoked directly but basic spells interact with each other and can be combined to new, more powerful magical effects.

Watch the preview video above.

Game Facts
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Genre: This is an action adventure with puzzle elements in a desert setting.
Platforms: It will be released for PC, Mac, and possibly Linux.
Release Date: no idea, we're very early in the production process Smiley

Developer Information
*****************

Website: http://stillalive-studios.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stillaliveStudios
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/sasgames
Dev Environment: Unity 3D



What do you think?
***************

We're looking for initial reactions. These are quite unique game mechanics and we're heavily experimenting with them. We came up with lots of spell combinations and other interactions and would like to get the idea out to see if "we're up to something here" and this could get good. None of the individual ideas are new or unique, we know, but we haven't seen a game that combines these things in the particular way we're trying to.

With all the "grind your way to success" type of games we wanted to create a game that really requires some skill to master. It's not enough clicking the spell button and looking at a homing spell missile. Fast reaction is key. Recognize spells your enemies throw at you, invoke countermeasure spells and shields. Throw things using telekinesis, but mind the fast moving enemy players. You have to aim well. You can even help your team friends making their own spells stronger, work tactically in teams. Of course, everything is in a very early stage...

Are we up to something here? What do you think?

I'll keep you up to date about our progress in this thread. With new concept art, screenshots or videos Smiley
Thanks for your time, folks!

Chris
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 02:13:50 PM by Chris Polus » Logged

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I'm the
- sound designer of Son of Nor (Devlog) at stillalive studios
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles
Udderdude
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 03:29:43 PM »

Looks really ambitious.  I hope with all the emphasis on skill, the leveling/gear is subdued or nonexistant.
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Franklins Ghost
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 08:03:25 PM »

The terraforming with telekinesis looks great also like the magic spells.
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unsilentwill
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2012, 09:25:09 PM »

The graphics are still early, so its hard to say much yet, but its always exciting to see a functioning 3D indie game.
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Chris Polus
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2012, 08:42:03 AM »

Thanks for the feedback so far, folks.

@Udderdude: There won't be an inventory, there won't be any gear. We're still thinking about some kind of leveling to motivate players to master some skills and unlock new abilities. If everything was accessible from the beginning, wouldn't this be too boring? Maybe not, it then really comes down to skill and to a very good balancing.

@unsilentwill: I noticed a healthy skepticism here on TIGSource towards bigger projects. Which I think is good. And yes, we, too, had big plans for a lengthy RPG until we realized the content we would need to produce is just beyond. So I understand where this skepticism comes from. Probably many ambitious projects were started and then abandoned due to the fact people realized it's just impossible to finish. Especially towards people who want to make an MMORPG Wink And as soon as you go 3D, it's amazing by how much it increases the effort. That's why we limited the scope to an arena PVP game first. We can keep the content down this way Smiley

We're currently ramping up our online presence and want to give updates on a more regular basis (I added a new Facebook page and our Twitter account to the main post). We hope you like what you see and you'll find following this project worthwhile.

Meanwhile, here's some more concept art from our concept artist Arnold Smiley

« Last Edit: February 28, 2012, 08:55:13 AM by Chris Polus » Logged

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I'm the
- sound designer of Son of Nor (Devlog) at stillalive studios
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles
Gabriel Verdon
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2012, 11:34:59 AM »

Wow, that art is actually pretty awesome, reminds me of the spirit of Zelda 1 in the best way possible.
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Chris Polus
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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2012, 01:03:33 PM »

Hey Gabe, thanks for dropping in and your friendly comment, really appreciate it Smiley
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http://about.me/chrispolus - my website, music, sound design, videos and services.

I'm the
- sound designer of Son of Nor (Devlog) at stillalive studios
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles
peous
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« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2012, 08:42:25 AM »

Hi
Nice videos so far. In fact you do a sort of Magicka, but in 3d ? With some mix of "From Dust" Smiley really interesting !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_6rwRkv3XI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSOQGazo7Oo
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Chris Polus
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« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2012, 10:00:21 AM »

Hey peous

Yep, as I said, the individual ideas are not new. But the implementation is different.

Thanks for your post. I'm looking forward to giving you new info and screenshots as soon as we completed the next steps.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2012, 09:50:56 AM by Chris Polus » Logged

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- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles
Chris Polus
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2012, 12:09:55 PM »

Some progress update for this week.

Our main programmer Julian was quite busy implementing the death beam, another NOR-type spell, and all its interactions / combinations with other spells. The death beam is one of the 6 spell beams available in the game. I haven't really talked about the beams extensively yet. I'll try to do this sometime later.

There are two versions of the death beam. Have a look at the original one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmDKXdnBe1M

And then an alternative visual style after some internal discussions.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh9GVof5JHY

Which one do you like more? There seems to be quite some debate internally.
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I'm the
- sound designer of Son of Nor (Devlog) at stillalive studios
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2012, 01:06:55 PM »

Nice to have news, I see you are on active dev !

Like more the second one, as it feels more "3d", the 1st one looks better on a screenshot, but it's harder to evaluate its position.
The trap effect is a bit strange, very long, that makes it less beautiful.
And about secondary effects at the end of the video, I don't understand what it does with fire.

The random purple rays are only visual ? Even if it's quite beautiful, the player may want to avoid these, when it's useless... Maybe make them less precise, more fuzzy ? So the player don't think it's a threat ?
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2012, 05:24:54 AM »

Think I prefer the first version of the deathbeam. Seems to stand out more and is clearer then the second version.
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2012, 09:26:43 AM »

 Hand ClapShocked Hand Shake LeftWaaagh!Hand Shake Right

Give me more  Panda
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2012, 04:01:31 PM »

OP:  I saw your game a few days back and thought it was hugely ambitious and at the same time very interesting.  Granted your re-direct towards a MOBA is a shame, but I totally understand it. 

I saw you respond to Udderdude by saying “If everything was accessible from the beginning, wouldn’t this be too boring?”  My response is no.  I am a huge PvP, MMORPG gamer and levelling up to reach the good stuff is a painful and unnecessary time sink. 

I’d like to see a system that reduced the importance of remembering skill gestures the more you use them, for example unlocking a skills key bind after XXXXX damage is done.  Apart from that keep it gearless and without varying ranks of skills. 

I look forward to seeing where this project goes.  Excellent stuff so far though. 
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Chris Polus
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« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2012, 01:33:23 AM »

Thank you folks, this is great feedback. You know how it is. Sometimes your head is stuck so deep in calculations, spells, interactions and hopefully cool features that you can't decide what would be best for players that just want to play and have fun. You just lose sight of it because you know too much and you have gone through too many iterations to objectively judge. This kind of fresh-eyed-insight helps.

As an anectode, this is probably the third major iteration of the magic system. It was always the plan of not having buttons to invoke  spells. But we previously thought we should put the spell combination system in some kind of editor. So before you started playing, you created your combinations upfront in an editor and map it to a limited number of spell slots. You could not change these spells later, so you had to plan in advance, but had access to the combined spells quicker as a result. But we ended up with so many spells and combinations that it would have been impossible to prepare in advance and, in consequence, if you had prepared the wrong spells and counter-spells, a game would be no fun at all. So we killed the whole editor idea, changed some mechanics significantly, and now you can basically build your spell combinations right in the game. The more players you are, the quicker it works. As everybody can interact with every spell. You create a tornado, while your fellow players strengthen it, and turn it into a fire tornado at the same time. Enemy players could sabotage your spell, though, so if you're preparing a big blast, you better don't do it in an open area but hide behind rocks or so. We'll see how this works out Smiley

We're having a Skype conf call this evening, let's see what comes out of it. Thanks again. Speak to you later.
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http://about.me/chrispolus - my website, music, sound design, videos and services.

I'm the
- sound designer of Son of Nor (Devlog) at stillalive studios
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles
Chris Polus
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« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2012, 01:41:37 PM »

Some updates from today's conf call. Julian made new versions of the death sphere and death trap. It's not going to be the final version though, there were several comments to improve the look and feel.  Hand Metal Left

To answer your question, peous, the rays coming out of the spheres are the main damage dealing effect, so it's not only a visual gimmick. They're pretty random in the video though, we just discussed the rays should be attracted by the player who set off the trap. I guess there'll be an update soon, stay tuned.
Gentleman

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YjbKxJt17U

You can also see a new effect of the death beam we just implemented. It's currently called "Life Hunter". Upon invokation, it locks on to an enemy target and follows it until it deals some damage (or gets blocked). Then it randomly locks on to a new target (which might be a friendly player or even the caster itself). It can be stopped with an appropriate shield, though.

These are the first incarnations of death spell visuals and it's still a huge construction site. The proper effects, the balancing, the damage it deals, the speed at which the Life Hunter moves and so on are not yet implemented or defined, so this is pretty much experimental stuff! Wizard
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« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2012, 01:54:46 PM »

How many abilities similar to those seen in Guild Wars are we likely to see?
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Chris Polus
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« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2012, 02:00:06 PM »

Hey Udderdude

I'm not very familiar with Guild Wars. I played it years ago but didn't even reach (what was it? Level 20?). So my experience with it is very limited. Are you saying we're doing something similar Guild Wars did years ago without us even knowing about it?  Durr...?

UPDATE: I just found this site which I think lists Guild Wars spells? http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Category:Spells
Wow, quite a list! Can't vouch for not having any similarities at all. Might be there are some overlappings, though none were intended. Thanks for the hint, though.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 02:15:28 PM by Chris Polus » Logged

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- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles
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« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2012, 02:42:14 PM »

Yes it has quite the gigantic list of skills and abilities.  Although only some of them are truly unique and interesting from a gameplay perspective.  It's worth reading through, though.
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« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2012, 02:51:42 PM »

OK, cool, thanks!
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I'm the
- sound designer of Son of Nor (Devlog) at stillalive studios
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles
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