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November 26, 2014, 04:38:55 AM
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Nu-Type
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« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2012, 06:47:53 AM »

I like the concept art pieces and the idea with the telekenesis and terraforming.

By the way, read the blog "Essential Indie Lessons: Team Communication", it was a very insightful and well written article. Im currently doing concept art and character design for an indie team working on an RTS called Celestial War, been with them since about 2009. And I have found at times my motivation for work sometimes gets hit, as well as having a constant line of communication with them. So, im trying to look at myself, and look at the team overall and see where the problem lies and how it can be fixed or improved upon.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 07:06:52 AM by Nu-Type » Logged
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« Reply #41 on: September 29, 2012, 12:41:19 AM »

Thanks very much Nu-Type. Yeah there are some hard-earned learnings in this article, but it's not a "do this - and everybody will be happy and hard working on the project". Keeping the motivation up is really hard work and sometimes results in a vicious circle as I find myself losing my motivation quickly if I have the feeling of constantly having to motivate others. Why are they in the team if they need constant motivation... Smiley I'd be interested to hear how your personal way works out for you Smiley Thanks!
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« Reply #42 on: September 29, 2012, 12:48:43 AM »

We've been working on a lot of things and some agenda items we've been discussing for a long time finally resolved. Particularly this week this is what happened:

  • we had to adapt our texture / visual style because of limited resources
  • we're experimenting with modular rock formations instead of one giant level mesh
  • the main character model and textures are nearly finished, even though it might look strange in the video, that's because the rigging is still playing finny tricks on the mesh
  • integrated Sarahul models and animations
  • we integrated the new sand shield

You can see a video of all the updates here.


I can't seem to figure out what's important when creating modular rock meshes so you can mix and match them to build a greater structure that still looks good. Any of you got some advice? It would be greatly appreciated. You'll see that my first attempts in the video still look very "arbitrarily put together". What to look for regarding the shape of a mesh, UV mapping and placement?
« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 01:09:42 AM by Chris Polus » Logged

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« Reply #43 on: October 07, 2012, 04:26:00 AM »

While we're still working on the rock formations and adjustment of the texture style like described in the last dev update, I'm making some well deserved holidays in the Swiss mountains. Here, I get some more recording done of mountain creeks, wind, rain. A paradies for sound designers Smiley

This week our game designer Ricardo talks a little bit about general considerations when designing levels. Probably nothing too interesting for you pros here, but you can see some interesting progress hidden in the video: You can see the Sarahul (lizardfolk) I showed last time spawning funnily and running around, so this has been done, too. We had some requests on Facebook to do some level design videos and this is part 1 of 2. Enjoy.

We actually use Google Docs to exchange maps and comment on them and link to them from Basecamp. Our process for maps is: doodle them on paper, discuss, make an elaborated Illustrator version and add a description of things, block it out roughly in 3D, insert it into the game, playtest to see if scales feel right.

Dev Diary #5 - Designing A Level
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« Reply #44 on: October 17, 2012, 08:00:00 AM »

We seem to have stalled a little bit currently. We have great character concept arts made by our new concept artist Olivia. We also got a new room concepted out, but we're short on 3D artists to model that stuff and our current 3 artists have a lot of project work to do in their day jobs so they don't sit down for another few hours in the evening to work on Son of Nor at the moment.  Sad

We're still looking for 3D env artists, so if you know any I'd be really glad if you could point them to us Beer!
We made some posts on CG forums but what made me sad a bit is that nobody on those forums replied. Normally we have at least a handful of applications, but this time nothing. Do we look unattractive as a team?

Back to more positive news.
We made some really cool progress in the programming part of our game. When throwing rocks, it's possible that they break apart. It's a lot of fun breaking things, hehe. We also implemented a new 3D shader that needs no UV mapping which we use for rock formations. I hope I'll get a video up next week that shows some of that!

Until we really have something implemented that I can show, we released a new video of our level design workflow. Carlos shows some paper sketches, illustrator vector maps and finally rough, clean 3D blockouts to test levels and challenges. I hope you like it.



Speak to you later!

Chris
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 11:34:16 AM by Chris Polus » Logged

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« Reply #45 on: October 21, 2012, 10:03:08 AM »

Ouff. There's a lot going on behind the scenes again after coming up with a cool mini game concept at Devmania 2012's overnight game jam. We're thinking about making a small mini game on the side as it's a lot of fun. Also, some of our artists have gotten new jobs and are busy making good impressions there, which is good for them but it's also hard for us as we need to again look for people who'd like to join the team, which costs time.

There were a few interesting things though.
  • Parametric rock destruction improved
  • Some new tweaks for our new 3D shader that doesn't need any UV maps
  • Stabilized terraforming algorithm for the Unity terrain

The terraforming feature was great and looked good when we only had small amounts of sand in a level. Also, it needed to be one piece of coherent terrain. Which really was not practical to distribute in a level. As soon as we started putting sand in more places, we ended up with basically 2fps max.

We managed to improve the terraforming and make it much much faster using some tweaks. Also, there can now be many small sand terrains that don't need to be in one piece and thus saving lots of unnecessary terraforming terrain computing power.

As always, there's a little dev diary about it. This one shows what the sand can do and how it behaves. All in color and 3D (at least in the game, not with glasses).

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« Reply #46 on: October 23, 2012, 05:00:37 AM »

Argghh. Today's dev update:

  • my coffee machine broke Lips Sealed
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« Reply #47 on: October 29, 2012, 02:37:05 PM »

We managed to add new stuff to our game build this week. One of the new things makes you feel like you ate magic mushrooms, hehe. So, here's what we managed to do:

  • Wizard Implementation of a triplanar shader (I call it the magic mushroom effect - watch the video to see what I mean). It's a projection technique that projects textures from two sides and from the top. No UV mapping is needed for the geometry so we can freely scale and stretch things and it always looks good. I'll try and build some rock formations now for our first chapter using rocks with the triplanar shader applied. If I don't have to puke from looking at it, that is...
  • Ninja Sarahul enhancements. The main enemy of the game got a relaxed idle, attack idle and run animation implemented. They also know basic pathfinding and can attack the player, although the attack animation is not yet implemented.
  • Hand Metal Left Parametric object destruction. This is a pretty cool one and I like playing around with it. Basically this is destructible environment. Rocks can be thrown and they break when hitting a wall. Pieces can be thrown again and break again until the pieces are too small and cannot be picked up anymore. Throwing stones just got much more fun.

There's a dev diary video showing all this.



On the negative side, one of our two animators mostly had to leave the team as he got a freelance job and is too busy to continue. We hoped to finally get the main character's animations in. So I'm out in the cold again having to look out for an animator that can take over.

Ah, and, my coffee machine works again, btw. I thought that was important enough to mention.

Here are pictures of the new features. Click 'em to get the big versions.

Parametric Object Destruction


Sarahul


Mushroom Shader™
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 03:43:17 PM by Chris Polus » Logged

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« Reply #48 on: November 04, 2012, 11:18:01 AM »

After last weeks dev diary, where we could not yet show a Sarahul's attack animation, we managed to finish a basic attack animation for this week. What's new...

  • Radir Construction Site: The place where you start off your game, the place where you learn about your magical abilities, is being constructed as we speak. But currently, there's not much to see except a few very rough blockouts.
  • New Spell Effect Visuals: We improved the Windpush and Tornado spell effects to make them look better. They're still being tweaked, but I think we're pretty much there with these 2 effects. Finally new effects to look at.
  • Sarahul Enhancements: As already stated, Sarahul finally got their most basic attack animation.
  • Also in this video: I don't know if you've already seen the Sand Shield. But have a look and see what's the difference between the Sand and the Magic Shield.



Happy developing and have a great start into your new week!
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« Reply #49 on: November 04, 2012, 11:35:39 AM »

can i mak a telekesis cock and balls in teh sand
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« Reply #50 on: November 04, 2012, 11:39:03 AM »

u kan if dat's what u need
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« Reply #51 on: November 04, 2012, 12:03:52 PM »

awesome
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« Reply #52 on: November 13, 2012, 03:07:48 AM »

The construction site lives! It's only a short update though.

  • The Radir construction site got an update. Instead of blank walls the Radir is now built. It needs texture updates and decorations.
  • Statue of Nor: We added the statue of Nor to the Radir. Lighting is missing though.
  • And I do what I like doing most. In fact I do this all day long...

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« Reply #53 on: November 14, 2012, 06:43:44 AM »

Wow Chris! Nice job so far! It looks really promising. It's nice to see a game that's more oriented on logistic and logic than pure mathematics (I mean like 15 fire damage with the anti-buff -23% resistance to fire = I win). No seriously, I'm looking forward to see this progressing, you have awesome ideas and great concept art!  Hand Shake Left Smiley Hand Shake Right
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« Reply #54 on: November 14, 2012, 06:50:15 AM »

Thanks so much Peregrinus. As I kept updating myself I already thought nobody's really interested in such a project. And all devs know some nice words really go a long way of motivating whole teams Smiley

Yes, we want to avoid the mathematics part. There will be some mathematics for balancing of course at some point (x amount of health, and spells do y amount of damage) but it will be very simple and straight forward. If you make a shield, that shield blocks stuff. No items, no character levels, no percentages to add and subtract from any buffs or such things. Gameplay is going to be very plain and direct.
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« Reply #55 on: November 14, 2012, 07:57:55 AM »

I understand quite well the part on encouragment. I am working on a RPG tabletop with a partner and the fact that people around us were very interested in our concept and setting motivated us a lot in starting this long project. The things is, I wanna see this to the end, even if I doesn't make me any money, I will be very proud of it and of myself.

I guess same thing should apply here with your project. Besides, it really is a neat concept and I'm sure it'll go far! I really dig the part of combining spells and the part where modifying terrain helps you win a fight. So it's no more just about stats, it's also about skills and cunning!

Well, carry on, this whole project deserves it! :D
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« Reply #56 on: November 19, 2012, 09:38:50 AM »

@Peregrinus: Thanks again. Much appreciated.
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« Reply #57 on: November 19, 2012, 09:44:01 AM »

So, for your visual pleasure. A new dev diary is out. About TORNADOS: The winds of change.

  • I think we finally nailed the tornado effect and finalized it after some final tweaks. What do you think? Death animations are missing though and so tornados disappear with a big, unsatisfying *PLOP*.
  • Lots of concepts to model. We modeled praying benches.
  • Also, decorations and wall paintings for the Radir.
  • And the entrance to the Sand Temple.



And the big version of above's picture without the badge (click for big version). Look at the tiny character on the right Wink
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« Reply #58 on: November 27, 2012, 08:34:37 AM »

Creating a game is a story of many people's individual lives. Yesterday, my life took a bitter twist. My appartment was broken into the day I made this dev diary Sad About 2500$ worth of stuff is gone. I guess I'm happy nobody got hurt. So, on to the news.

I certainly had my share of frustration. But there's good news, too. And some learnings.
  • Modular rock formations don't seem to work out for us. We're struggling with finding the right technique to make them look good, but watch for yourself. There are some learnings there. We're not giving up though!
  • We're experimenting with image effects like bloom, blur, vignette, depth of field. Settings are quite sensitive, adjusting numbers a little bit might have a big effect and could quickly look bad. But we found some interesting settings we show you in this diary.

So, enjoy this hopefully once in a lifetime DEV DIARY #12 SPECIAL ROBBERY EDITION.



The Edge at Sunset - playing with image effects and lighting
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« Reply #59 on: November 27, 2012, 08:52:02 AM »

Sorry to hear that Chris. I hope for you that nothing too "sensitive" was stolen (I mean hard drives containing your work). It always seems worse to me when an artist gets robbed of costly materials that are essentials to their work.  Angry
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