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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSon of Nor (OUT NOW / PC MAC LINUX)
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Franklin's Ghost
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« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2012, 04:34:38 PM »

Really nice concept designs of the Sand Dragon, looking forward to seeing it implemented.
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« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2012, 04:37:42 PM »

Reminds me of Sandworms on Arrakis Smiley
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandworm_%28Dune%29
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« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2012, 08:53:42 PM »

It reminds me of raptor jesus.  Durr...?
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« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2012, 01:38:09 AM »

Ha! Dune came to mind, that's true. Then again, it's hard not to think of Dune once a desert is involved  Beer!

LOL, Raptor Jesus. Where is this from?
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« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2012, 06:32:40 AM »

I've been away this week from the project, but development moved on it seems. Here's a short update.

  • the main character was modeled and brought into Unity 3D
  • work on animations for the main character
  • work on chaos / order spells (were renamed from split / force)
  • work on some AI started
  • work on our own water system as unity 3d's system is very basic
  • modeling of Sarahul buildings started
  • work on a new map started
  • work on first opponents (Sarahul) started

There's an early concept video of a chaos/order spell to see how it feels in the game.




We also changed the sand dragon a bit. I think it's not flying anymore but it's more a worm sand dragon eating through the sand. Maybe I can dig up some new concept art on this Smiley
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« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2012, 12:36:08 PM »

Happy Monday People!

Updates on the game have progressed somewhat slowly in the last days. We had some multiplayer tests last time we had a team conference and we surfaced several points we really need to overhaul. Here are some highlights Wink

- The sound plugin that we currently use in Unity has some strange side-effects so we decided to try another one. This unfortunately means some extra work for me as I need to redo all the sounds and create the sound objects and attach the events from scratch.

- There were very funny network sync problems when we had our test a multiplayer game. Magic that didn't work, fireballs moving around as if alive, we really had a good time. Maybe this'll be a new multiplayer mode: chaotic madness.

- Sand tornados never died! At one point, everybody cast some tornados and there was no spot on the map to hide from them anymore. They didn't stop, either. Everybody was constantly whirling through the air, we had to reset the level.

- We will redo big parts of the magic balancing. Currently, the gameplay feels slow, it takes too much time casting and energizing spells, so we're going to tweak parts of the casting system. This will take some time, but it's probably the most important aspect of development right now.

But, as coding and sound works is basically two steps back, level design and modeling progressed.

Here's a new concept art of the new multiplayer level we're building.


And a Sarahul warrior, which will be the opponent race in the game:


We're still looking for level designers and animators. Shoot us an email if you're interested: [email protected] and check out our join us page.

Again, happy Monday and a productive week!  Beer!  Beer!  Beer!
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« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2012, 02:01:18 PM »

Dear People Of TIGSource

We've now roamed several forums and got great feedback, but also some critique along very helpful constructive ideas. Especially about what I already mentioned in my last update post: the pace of the gameplay, which seemed slow in the video. We had some playtesting going on and are addressing the comments in this regard, basically revamping some magic gameplay mechanics and making things more fun with more action and fewer wait times.

Another comment we heard several times now is regarding the visual style, which currently is determined by a standard Unity 3D renderer. Several people said it looked generic and lacked character. We discussed this and we thought it's an important point to address.

We would like to shoot for some more distinct visual style with more character. Having said that, we have a great concept artist as you can see from the included art above, but we don't have an artist who could really define the in-game style and look. Or in terms of technical shaders and stuff.

Ideas we're currently having is making the colors look more washed out, or a sepia filter, maybe combining it with some outline shader to make it more cartoony.

But we don't really have experience with such things. If there's anybody out there who would have an idea what direction we should take with the game, or has other feedback or experience with this sort of visual direction, we'd be glad to have a chat with you. Please reply here, we surely could use the help in this regard. Thanks!
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« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2012, 08:37:03 AM »

Finally an update from our side. There have been so many changes that I even don't know where to begin Smiley

The most significant change that's visible from the outside is our newly launched website. We hope to provide more content, images, videos, and development diaries now that we have a system that works for us. Check it out: http://stillalive-studios.com

We also have a new dev blog section where we would like to provide more insight articles about the history and development of the game. There's an article about where the game started a few months ago and the next parts will be about game decisions, visuals, GDKs and how far we've come to date. Later we'll talk more about in-depth dev and 3D stuff.

We were quite busy talking to people interested in joining the project. And we got a great team together. It's so important having people that take the lead and the responsibility in their area and then deliver.

After extensive playtesting we mostly refined the controls and are still tweaking it. It's hard coming up with a system that allows to control telekinesis, terraforming, spell combinations and other things without having a GUI and dozens of buttons. It's one of the goals we set for the game: no UI. I don't know if we can really pull this through, but we try. I think we changed the controls a dozen times in the last couple of weeks and every time we think we have something, we need to change it because it doesn't work out in the long run. But I think we're getting there step by step.

After very cool artists joined our team we finally kicked off an internal project to define the visual style of the game. Being mostly a programmer and an audio guy, visuals weren't our strong suit. I'm curious what they come up with. Basically we're blocking out a level and trying different styles on it. Different textures, textures blended with real photographs, or purely hand-painted textures. We'll see what we decide on.

So I guess there will be more news coming now that we established an internal team, defined a workflow, priorities and especially responsibilities. This took up most of the time of the past weeks. And I close this update with some new concept art we did for the game.

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« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2012, 08:38:34 AM »

And the second concept art from the same series, done by our environmental modeler and concept artist Krystian Ślusarz.

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« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2012, 12:26:05 AM »

Liking the new concept art.
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« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2012, 02:06:03 AM »

I also like the new concept art.  What intrigues me the most about the concepts are the symbols that are shown when casting spells and the coloured outlines around manipulated terrain and objects. If you get that into the game and it looks visually correct, I think players will be more immersed with the game they are playing. I mean who doesn't like cool  and weird magic symbols. And its a very common way to suggest that the player is casting a magic spell rather than using a super power. The symbols are also probably the best way to convey that the character is casting the correct spell without any on screen buttons.

This game so far has me excited, the 3d models are great, the previous concepts art and new are all great. I can't wait to see how the game is further developed.
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« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2012, 02:20:22 AM »

Thanks for the comments guys.

Well, I can tell you that we're trying really hard not get a UI of any sort into the game. It would be so easy that we're sometimes asking ourselves why we just don't do it Wink It would be such low hanging fruit.

What you mentioned is exactly what we're trying now. I think, too, having symbols that light up would be a good way of transporting information. We're currently working on symbols and an alphabet to make everything look as natural as possible. It's not easy showing what kind of spell you currently have in your hand. As there are many spells and spell combinations you can do.

There are 4 classes of magic, each with 3 spells that can be combined within the magical class. Also, magical classes can be combined with other magical classes (not with individual spells of other classes, though). Transporting the information what class of magic the user has selected and what spell within that type is something we're working on right now. I hope to post some updates as soon as we've implemented something that works Wink There are only concepts at the moment.

But, as it so happens, some concepts look really promising, until you try it out in a game. I stopped counting all the stuff we implemented only to change it after a simple test play Smiley But this is how things work and get improved. *fingers crossed
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« Reply #32 on: July 17, 2012, 03:44:25 AM »

We had some great motivational boosts in our team during the past few weeks. One of them was being featured on awesome online sites like:
PixelProspector: http://www.pixelprospector.com/son-of-nor/
Indie Games: http://indiegames.com/2012/06/upcoming_action-rpg_son_of_nor.html
Kotaku: http://kotaku.com/5917984/this-game-might-actually-get-force-powers-right
Rock, Paper, Shotgun: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/06/14/ooooo-son-of-nor-has-terraforming-fire-tornadoes/

Most people complained about the very mediocre visuals. And they were right, visuals sucked. We just completed our internal project to find THE visual style for Son of Nor and we began creating the first assets in that style. Our concept artist Krystian came up with this really cool hand-painted texture style.

Wall concept rendered in Unity


Pillar


Wall Light


But ... it's not easy coordinating an international team and there's still lots to be done for the game. If you'd like to take part in this endeavor or know somebody who would like to contribute to an ambitious project, WE'RE LOOKING FOR ADDITIONAL HANDS.

More specifically, we're looking for:
  • Unity FX Artist
  • Unity Level Designer
  • 3D Animator
  • Programmer

Go here to learn everything about it: http://stillalive-studios.com/join-us/
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« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2012, 09:39:07 AM »

We extended our list Smiley

We're looking for:
  • Additional Concept Artist
  • 3D Environment Artist (for hand-painted textures)
  • FX Artist (Unity 3D)
  • Level Designer (Unity 3D)
  • 3D Human / Creature Animator
  • Programmer

Care to have a look? Go here to learn everything about it: http://stillalive-studios.com/join-us/
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« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2012, 10:29:20 AM »

Our last update was some time ago. We were busy since making our next milestone.

The focus of this milestone was to create the first part of our first chapter of the game and implement the new visual style we defined. Our artists created beautiful hand-painted textures as you'll see in the trailer.

On a technical side-note: There's some vertex painting involved for the big level mesh, we created a system for spawning dynamic light and shadow rays. There's a cool, new magic shield, the fire tornado was updated a little but actually not much was done on the FX side. Many props are still in the works. So, yeah, the focus was really the new level and textures.

Next up will be the main character and new animations, as well as new areas of our first chapter of the game.

Enjoy and we appreciate any feedback.



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« Reply #35 on: September 05, 2012, 12:58:10 PM »

We start posting behind the scenes videos where we talk about the development of Son of Nor. If you're interested, watch our first developer diary on YouTube where our lead programmer talks about a light shaft generator we developed in Unity.



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« Reply #36 on: September 13, 2012, 02:16:41 PM »

While we're just about to finish our next dev diary, I wrote a comprehensive blog post about a topic that is super essential: communication.

We're telling the inside story about the challenges we face with 16 distributed people and try to show solutions that worked for us so far: what collaboration tools do we use, what have we learned from working together over a distance. I you plan on adding people to your team as a dev, this is definitely worth a read.

Share your experience. What worked for you so far? Have you made a similar experience? This is so important that talking about it helps every indie dev not make the same mistakes over and over again.



http://stillalive-studios.com/2012/essential-indie-lessons-team-communication/
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« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2012, 02:36:35 PM »

We have a new Developer Diary up on our site. As we think sound is very important in a game, we spend much time trying to get the right mood to a place. Dev Diary #2 is about the ambient sound setup for our first game chapter. I hope you'll like it. If you have any questions, fire away.

http://stillalive-studios.com/2012/dev-diary-2-ambient-sound-setup/
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« Reply #38 on: September 24, 2012, 05:34:49 AM »

This week, we:
  • tweaked our dynamic water system
  • added some vegetation
  • played with vegetation settings for wind movement
  • played around with modular rock formations to save time building levels
  • there was some level blockout happening for other parts of this chapter
  • drew concept art for character clothing in the game (interested in seeing the concepts? add a comment and I'll ask if I can publish them)

You can watch the latest Dev Diary #3 video, where our programmer Gauthier talks about his implementation of the dynamic water system in the game.



Please keep in mind that we're still looking for 3D environment modelers! Do you know somebody who'd be interested joining us? Go here: Join Us
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« Reply #39 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.
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