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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSon of Nor (OUT NOW / PC MAC LINUX)
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Chris Polus
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« Reply #220 on: August 11, 2014, 09:06:54 AM »

We have another special edition. We're taking an in-depth look at how some of the core aspects of Son of Nor evolved over the past 3 years! This week: Terraforming.

  • We're having a look at how Terraforming changed during the development of Son of Nor and we're showing lots of in-editor footage. It's an interesting view at game design, technology, taking risks and changing things to make them better.
  • Terraforming was the second core game mechanic planned for Son of Nor. The game was designed with these 3 powers in mind: Telekinesis, Terraforming, Elemental Magic. And they're still present in the game.
  • We had Terraforming implemented in our own home-brewed game engine that took advantage of DX11. Sand already flowed around objects and behaved very naturally. The underlying algorithm and tech for this is still the same. Only the implementation changed as we moved from our own engine to Unity 3D. We evaluated a bunch of engines and finally settled for Unity as it fit the requirements and licensing model of our team the best.
  • Off-the-shelf engines all had a problem though. For optimization reasons, game engines rely on a static terrain to pre-calc walkable surfaces for path-finding. Unity, too, actually only supports static terrain for enemies to concentrate on "how" to get there rather than "how's the terrain looking today, do I need to take an umbrella?"
  • But with our Terraforming feature, terrain looks one way now and completely differently the next moment. All enemies need to constantly be informed about the terrain to make decisions about how to get to the player for an attack. We had to bend Unity in various strong ways, basically implementing our own terrain to make it work.
  • The way was not without further challenges. For performance reasons, we needed to break up terrain to keep calculations only to a small portion of the terrain. Which caused the terrain to sometimes break up and leave holes for short amounts of time. Another incident happened when we optimized the Terraforming to be multi-threaded for more than one CPU.
  • At first, Terraforming was only meant to "create your own stairs" to get to higher places. But we found more and more uses for it: make craters when you shoot rocks with high velocity into sand, craters when fireballs explode, carve out passages when you hit a pile of sand with wind magic, terraform below enemies to make them lose balance and give you time to think about your next move, push very heavy objects you couldn't lift with normal telekinesis, destroy watchtowers by terraforming below them, hide behind terraformed terrain to avoid a fight or use it as shield in combat to avoid arrows!
  • Son of Nor is now in the Steam Store as Early Access version. Thank you for supporting us: http://store.steampowered.com/app/264000/
  • Watch the previous episode on Telekinesis!

  • Get into the discussion and join our forum: http://forum.sonofnor.com

Beer!
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« Reply #221 on: August 18, 2014, 09:52:06 AM »

We're taking a look at how core aspects of Son of Nor evolved over the past 3 years! This week: The Magic System.

  • We're having a look at how the Magic System changed during the development of Son of Nor. It's an interesting view at game design and changing things to make them better.
  • Magic was the third core game mechanic planned for Son of Nor. The game was designed with these 3 powers in mind: Telekinesis, Terraforming, and Magic. And they're still present in the game.
  • Magic System v1: Spells were charged for a one time use by conjuring balls of sand in geometrical patterns (triangles, squares, stars etc.) This made the combat very slow since people were busy conjuring sand balls instead of using magic for the fight.
  • Magic System v2: We moved from a pattern-based casting system to a gesture-based system in v2. Draw magic lines on the ground to conjure fireballs, wind spells and shields. This worked more or less quickly. But it still took too long to do in combat.
  • Magic System v3: This one only exists on paper, fortunately. Since conjuring spells and combining magic was so slow in previous versions, we thought the solution to this problem was  to let players create "macros" in an editor before you start the game. Sort of a Crazy Machines for spells. Instead of conjuring a fireball, make it stronger, add another type of magic to it for magic combination, we wanted to let players do that in this editor in advance and then only cast the final product. We quickly scratched this idea.
  • Magic System v4: Today's magic system is quick, fast paced and works great in combat. You don't have magic abilities from the start. You need to get the power of absorbing elements in the temples you explore during the game. Once you got the ability you can absorb the fire element from a fire place, the wind element from a dust devil and so on. Once absorbed you can use the power immediately 3 times without drawing, conjuring or arranging patterns. After casting a spell, an area of that power remains active to interact with other spells. This is important for spell combinations. Cast a wind push and immediately after it a fire burst to combine wind and fire for a fire tornado. It also interacts with the environment. Add fire magic to rocks to make fireballs. Cast fire on sand to get glass for additional ammo if you run out. You can also enhance this glass shard with fire magic, of course and thus, basically create your own fireball if needed.
  • Son of Nor is now in the Steam Store as Early Access version. Thank you for supporting us: http://store.steampowered.com/app/264000/
  • Watch the previous episode on Telekinesis:

  • Watch the previous episode on Terraforming:

  • Get into the discussion and join our forum: http://forum.sonofnor.com

Beer! click image to play video!
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 02:36:34 PM by Chris Polus » Logged

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« Reply #222 on: August 25, 2014, 09:19:00 AM »

Watch what we're working on now that we released Son of Nor on Steam Early Access.


Beer! Click the image to watch the video.
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« Reply #223 on: September 01, 2014, 10:57:17 AM »

We've got new animations and a very special surprise for telekinesis users!

  • Again this week we gathered a ton of input and feedback from our forums and let's players. See what action points we've taken in this week's dev diary. PICKING UP AND SHOOTING SWORDS!
  • Our main question to you: How do you think we could improve close combat so that it doesn't feel clunky?
  • Son of Nor is now available as Steam Early Access version. Thank you for supporting us: http://store.steampowered.com/app/264000/

Beer! Click the image to see the video!
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« Reply #224 on: September 08, 2014, 01:59:24 PM »

Here's an exclusive sneak peek at the Essence Temple and the city of Taro that we're currently working on.

  • We've gathered a ton of input and feedback from the Steam Community Hub, Let's Players, and articles about Son of Nor. See what action points we've taken in this week's dev diary.
  • Our main question to you: How should we show that NPC are quest givers as opposed to passive NPCs?

Beer! Click the image to watch the video!


Thanks for watching, see you next week!
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« Reply #225 on: September 15, 2014, 09:51:45 AM »

We've got an awesome update this week! Bury enemies in the sand, destroy trees, dragon!

  • We finally managed to implement some more complex things (that also took more time) you guys were commenting on and requesting! If anything, THIS dev diary is the proof that we're listening and keep improving Son of Nor bit by bit!
  • HUUUUGE content update coming this week! New main menu, new customization options, new playable characters, featured map, new loading screen, loading screen tips, new fun sandbox map, visual improvements, much better player guidance and improved gameplay in level 1, destroyable trees, pick up branches and use them as weapon, and BURY ENEMIES! And new levels will be available with this content update, too.
  • Our main question to you: What do you think of the new sand-burying mechanics?
  • Son of Nor is now available as Steam Early Access version. Thank you for supporting us: http://store.steampowered.com/app/264000/

Beer! Click this image to watch the video!

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« Reply #226 on: September 19, 2014, 01:06:11 PM »

The NEW update is here! It has many changes, fixes and lots of improvements to the earlier levels. Revamped main menu, pick up and throw Sarahul swords, shields, bows, take dry trees apart. We totally revamped the first levels according to player feedback!



Notable things in this update:
  • The Main Menu has been revamped! Check it out, tell us what you think!
  • New "Featured Level" option in the main menu. This allows you to jump right into the action of late-game levels. This will only be available during Early Access
  • with the purpose to get more feedback of the latter levels in the story.
  • Three new levels are now available! these come after the finishing up the Yant'shaza chapters. You will find a BIG surprise in here.
  • We have improved and changed lots of things on the first few levels, including the tutorial. Can you see the difference? Do you think it is better?
  • We have improved the short-range combat by combining MASS TK with TK Shockwave, also now pressing the LMB will create a TK PUSH.
  • More things to pick up from the environment! Tear dry tree branches or use Sarahul swords and bows as throwable weapons!
  • And many many small fixes for quests that were not working under certain circumstances.

For even more info, see the complete changelog here: http://steamcommunity.com/games/264000/announcements/detail/184968832032980436
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« Reply #227 on: September 22, 2014, 11:53:43 AM »

A huuuuge update to Son of Nor's Early Access version has landed! See what's new in our video!

Beer! Click the image to see the video.


  • There are so many new things in this update that I don't know where to begin Smiley Completely overhauled tutorial and first level to give it a lot more OOMPH, improved graphics, improved quests, improved cutscenes, bury enemies, better close combat, pick up enemies' weapons to shoot them. We listened to feedback a lot and implemented as much as we could into this update. Try it out!
  • Our main question to you: What do you think of our improvements in this update so far?
  • Son of Nor is now available as Steam Early Access version. Thank you for supporting us: http://store.steampowered.com/app/264000/
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« Reply #228 on: September 29, 2014, 07:52:37 AM »

In episode 99(!!) we're showing how the sum of Son of Nor's features come together to form a fun game.

  • We've focused so long on showing single features we've been working on on a week-by-week basis that it's now time to have a step back. Before our Dev Diary turns 100, we're giving you an overview of what type of game Son of Nor is.
  • Our main question to you: What cool feature have you discovered while playing Son of Nor?
  • Son of Nor is now available as Steam Early Access version. Thank you for supporting us: http://store.steampowered.com/app/264000/

Beer! Click the image to watch the video.

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« Reply #229 on: October 06, 2014, 08:48:20 AM »

Enjoy our festive dev diary #100! We've come a long way!

  • Julian takes you on a journey through our project.
  • Our main question to you: Now that we turned 100 and mostly work on polishing the game, what would YOU like to see in future dev diaries? Any topics of special interest? Dev questions?
  • Son of Nor is now available as Steam Early Access version. Thank you for supporting us: http://store.steampowered.com/app/264000/

Beer!
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« Reply #230 on: October 07, 2014, 07:57:34 AM »

And, how to better watch a game come to life than seeing a pro YouTuber play it? We're happy that Blame the Controller (BTC) picked up Son of Nor for a let's play spin! (This guy really gets our “The World is Your Weapon” tagline!)



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« Reply #231 on: October 07, 2014, 11:56:24 AM »

It's awesome to see you still going strong with this! I remember when I saw this a couple of years ago, and thought it was a pretty massive undertaking, but you've managed to chip away and refine it into something that blows my mind to be honest. Outstanding!
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« Reply #232 on: October 07, 2014, 01:19:05 PM »

Wow. That's really humbling. Thank you very much!

We went through some great ups and some massive downs with this project, especially with the team. It's only because we all stuck together and took some risks that we kept going and going.

In the last dev diary we asked what people wanted to see going further. Currently, we're spending a lot of time polishing, which is not always visible, or barely. So there isn't a lot to show each week. It seems that comments on YouTube would like to see behind the scenes of the team, how we work, what our daily routines are. Maybe this would be interesting. I don't know.
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« Reply #233 on: October 11, 2014, 01:36:27 PM »

Let's Player BTC is still on it and has lots of fun with Son of Nor  Hand Metal Left

Beer!
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« Reply #234 on: October 12, 2014, 08:44:00 AM »

Take one of the closest looks into the development of Son of Nor!

  • On popular demand, we're showing our development process, daily routine and the tools we use to collaborate despite living on different continents. THIS is how we develop Son of Nor.
  • You'll see in this video that we're working on Oculus and emotic EPOC integration. Briefly. To all people waiting for that: We're on it Smiley Yeah!
  • Son of Nor is now available as Steam Early Access version. Thank you for supporting us: http://store.steampowered.com/app/264000/

Beer!
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« Reply #235 on: October 12, 2014, 12:43:55 PM »

That was a very interesting dev diary! Thanks for the insight. Really enjoyed it.
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« Reply #236 on: October 12, 2014, 01:13:21 PM »

Thanks a lot! Diaries that go beyond the usual "Here are 2 new features we implemented this week" are extremely time consuming to produce. And I appreciate your appreciation Wink And that you found it interesting. Let's see how this series continues.
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« Reply #237 on: October 19, 2014, 01:46:48 PM »

We show you how we are giving more life to the world of Noshrac. We also take a look at TRI in our Indie Corner!

  • We are starting to implement the animal system which will spawn random animals in the environment to give more life to the world and create more immersion.
  • As always we are polishing our work, this time we show how we are fixing the animations that cause overlapping of clothing with the bodies of playable characters.
  • CALLING FOR REVIEWS: If you are playing and enjoying Son of Nor, please write a review of our game on the Son of Nor Steam Store Page, we would appreciate it very much!
  • Indie Corner: We take a look at TRI: Of Friendship and Madness. Pretty awesome game!
  • Get into the discussion and join our forum: http://forum.sonofnor.com

Beer!
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« Reply #238 on: October 26, 2014, 09:53:58 AM »

Have an inside look at our real life hack week and see some code from the pro Cool

CLICK THE IMAGE TO WATCH THE VIDEO


  • Our main dev Julian shows some code of how he implemented mass telekinesis. How do we manage to keep a clear line of sight? How does it work that rocks don't end up in front of each other?
  • CALLING FOR REVIEWS: If you are playing and enjoying Son of Nor, please write a review of our game in the Son of Nor Steam Store Page, we would appreciate it very much! http://store.steampowered.com/app/264000
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« Reply #239 on: November 02, 2014, 07:59:13 AM »

Butt-watching's over Smiley Sorry. It was fun while it lasted!

  • Try and play 4 new game jam games made in 24 hours and look deeper into our daily routines. This week: Making the dev diary and our regular testing sessions. And since some people could only talk about the huge butt outside the Radir, we now gave the Horastes statue some clothes!
  • CALLING FOR REVIEWS: If you are playing and enjoying Son of Nor, please write a review of our game in the Son of Nor Steam Store Page, we would appreciate it very much! http://store.steampowered.com/app/264000

Beer! CLICK TO PLAY VIDEO
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