Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1402074 Posts in 68031 Topics- by 61616 Members - Latest Member: MichaelCasady

August 13, 2022, 03:48:41 PM

Need hosting? Check out Digital Ocean
(more details in this thread)
TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSon of Nor (OUT NOW / PC MAC LINUX)
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 ... 14
Print
Author Topic: Son of Nor (OUT NOW / PC MAC LINUX)  (Read 42098 times)
Chris Polus
Level 3
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #60 on: December 02, 2012, 05:45:28 AM »

It's tutorial time in the development of Son of Nor. While we're working on completely revamping The Edge because of scale problems we have, Julian took on the task of blocking out the tutorial part of the game. It's everything but pretty but the goal of this exercise is not to look good but to program all the stuff that needs to work in this level in order to gently introduce players to the game mechanics. Maybe we'll distribute this tutorial as an early game demo for some testers to try out! Stay tuned.

  • We've thrown away the old Edge because we completely screwed up our scales. The character was extremely tiny and everything was so huge. We'll have a conference call on Monday where we need to define a new workflow to get scales right once and for all so everybody knows how big things should be. Standards are so effin' important. Why haven't we seen this coming?
  • Julian created a functional blockout of Son of Nor's tutorial. Functional means that stuff works and game mechanics are programmed. The layout of the map can and should be changed to make the tutorial more interesting. So the next step would be handing off this tutorial to our level designer who adds more interesting paths, lengthens or shortens sections, and then distributes assets to our env artists.
  • We're happy to say we found a new team member (still in his trial period), who might take over level design and lead environment artist. That would be really cool. We wish him all the best! He's got some great experience from past game projects and already made several suggestions to our workflow.
  • This diary also features the best MANUAL CAMERA SHAKES ever seen in a video game!

It's IndieDB Game of the Year 2012 voting time. If you like our project, please go there and click to vote for Son or Nor! Thanks so much Smiley

« Last Edit: December 02, 2012, 06:10:45 AM by Chris Polus » Logged

http://stillalive.games
Drone Swarm, Rescue HQ, Bus Simulator, Son of Nor
Chris Polus
Level 3
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #61 on: December 10, 2012, 12:58:54 AM »

We literally have nothing to show from WITHIN the game as we were busy discussing fundamental game mechanics this week. I don't know if this is good or bad, discussing fundamental things after such a long time of development. But our game controls are not that common so we lack references and can only test if something works when we implement and really test it. And after some testing it dawned on us that our current magic system controls are complicated even in its current form and doesn't integrate well into the world and lore as a whole.

And that's what happened this week. We set out - again - discussing the problem of the magic system and looking for a solution. We recorded some of the discussions in this week's dev diary.

Logged

http://stillalive.games
Drone Swarm, Rescue HQ, Bus Simulator, Son of Nor
Peregrinus
Level 1
*


***


View Profile
« Reply #62 on: December 10, 2012, 04:07:18 AM »

I think it is always a good idea to rediscuss the fundamental aspect of the game. You had ideas and expectations at first but it usually changes along the way. Sometimes, it doesn't turn out as you wanted it too.

Anyhow, I don't see any problem here, just a normal creative process Smiley
Logged

There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.

***

I'm a composer. If you would like to hear my work : http://soundcloud.com/n-galipeau
Chris Polus
Level 3
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #63 on: December 11, 2012, 06:11:22 AM »

Hey Peregrinus. Yeah I somehow think so too. If you're moving on unknown land you have to be prepared going back and choosing a different direction. I guess that's absolutely normal. We're trying the new system we talked about, Julian is about to implement it this week. Maybe we'll see some progress on next week's Dev Diary then. Either the new magic system or a new area he's blocking out right now. We don't know yet.

We also realized this week that we have a big f**** mess with the objects we modeled. We all used different scales and sizes and units, we didn't reset the pivot, and now we can't build things that really fit together as they were meant to be. What the... I don't know why it took us so long to realize this.

We now need to go over every asset, export it again with proper scales and units and sizes and import it into Unity. Otherwise there'll always be resizing and everything will fit together somehow, but not really as intended. Our new level designer, a great guy, is looking into that now, building The Edge, our first level in chapter 1, from scratch. It's an effort, and it feels unnecessary, but it's important to get our workflow right and standardizes. One step along the long way to optimize our workflow. The more people work on a project, the more standards become important so you don't lose time over and over doing little things.

*sigh

On another note: Son of Nor made it to the TOP 100 "Indie of the Year 2012" projects on IndieDB.

Please support us, go here and vote for Son of Nor Smiley It's much appreciated Smiley
Logged

http://stillalive.games
Drone Swarm, Rescue HQ, Bus Simulator, Son of Nor
Chris Polus
Level 3
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #64 on: December 16, 2012, 05:50:54 AM »

OK, we're back with some actual in-game footage!

  • Julian's been busy creating a blockout of a new area. The "Sand Temple" is located below The Edge.
  • We have 2 puzzles working down there that slowly introduce you to the concept of telekinesis and how the world works.
  • We have a new team member and he's a work horse! He creates awesome concepts and constantly asks for more work. I don't know where to take it from since we have to discuss things carefully before giving it for concepting and building. Ha ha. Luxury problems.
  • The scarab bug concepts are from our new artist, the statue concept is from our long-time member Olivia.
  • Don't miss out on Julian's cyclops.

Also, we're still running for Indie of the Year 2012 here on IndieDB! Vote for us! Thanks Smiley

Logged

http://stillalive.games
Drone Swarm, Rescue HQ, Bus Simulator, Son of Nor
Chris Polus
Level 3
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #65 on: December 23, 2012, 03:01:11 AM »

A lot to talk about this week. First of all a HUGE thank you to everybody that voted for us on IndieDB! We made it into the top upcoming games of 2012 in the category role playing! That's so great!

What happened in game dev this week:
  • We changed controls in the game to make combat more fluent. Instead of picking up items with telekinesis one after another players can now lift a number of items in reach at once to shoot using telekinesis. Players can't move while lifting multiple items, so this convenience comes at a cost. We'll see if this works out over time.
  • A Sarahul having a bow and shooting arrows is still in the works. But we implemented the AI for arrow shooting enemies.
  • Dynamic terrains and enemies are a challenge. But now enemies take terraforming into account. When players terraform in front of them, enemies will run up the hill or run around to get a clear shot at players again.
  • Pathfinding now also takes terraforming into account.
  • The Edge has a new, smaller town area. It helps keeping our assets under control and not have to make huge structures. It's still in rough blockout stage though.
  • At the end, there's an alien space ship. Or a giant blinking christmas tree. Depending on what you believe in. Merry Christmas everybody!

Thank you all for a fantastic year. All the best for your projects, games and ideas and see you all in 2013.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 07:01:27 AM by Chris Polus » Logged

http://stillalive.games
Drone Swarm, Rescue HQ, Bus Simulator, Son of Nor
Chris Polus
Level 3
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #66 on: January 06, 2013, 07:05:01 AM »

Happy New Year everybody!

Probably the biggest news in 2013 is that we started to pay our first members! This means we left the path of a hobby project and show especially our members that we're serious about this project! We won a governmental boost in Austria for our project and the business plan and we started to send that money to our artists. From now on, 2 people get paid for working at stillalive studios, and 1.5 will be added to the payroll next month. That's great as well as terrifying...

What happened in game development:
  • Our main character gets a new rig and we hope to finally implement the new main character model into the game. We know the current one with its animations looks awful!
  • Daniel, one of our concept and 3D artists modeled a bug he concepted a few weeks back (see our image library for these concepts).
  • Julian implemented the bugs and added crowd behaviour. Bugs don't yet have any animation though, they just slide on the ground, but it's barely visible.
  • We're working on a closed alpha where we will send an early demo to a very small amount of people to get early feedback on the controls.

Thank you members and fans for a fantastic year last year. We're all looking forward to what'll happen in 2013.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 07:30:08 AM by Chris Polus » Logged

http://stillalive.games
Drone Swarm, Rescue HQ, Bus Simulator, Son of Nor
Peregrinus
Level 1
*


***


View Profile
« Reply #67 on: January 06, 2013, 02:32:37 PM »

Hey Chris! Nice job there, glad it starting to get real :D

Keep up the good work, and happy new year to you too Smiley
Logged

There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.

***

I'm a composer. If you would like to hear my work : http://soundcloud.com/n-galipeau
Chris Polus
Level 3
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #68 on: January 06, 2013, 11:49:04 PM »

thanks!

 Beer!
Logged

http://stillalive.games
Drone Swarm, Rescue HQ, Bus Simulator, Son of Nor
Chris Polus
Level 3
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #69 on: January 13, 2013, 04:34:20 AM »

This week we're visiting a topic we haven't visited in a while. Sound. Sound is incredibly important for a great atmosphere. Even a slight wind breeze adds a feeling of space and location. So let's see what I've been able to implement in the past week. Also, we reached a milestone with our character. It's implemented and it works with Mecanim, Unity 4's new animation system. Even though the standard animations that come with Mecanim are not suited for our needs but, see for yourself...

  • Improved visuals and added new rocks to the tutorial area.
  • Developed sounds for a falling drawbridge, wooden objects collide with other objects, counterweight chain mechanism, arrow trap training mechanism, arrow flyby, walk into plant rustles. More sounds were created but are not properly implemented in the game yet.
  • For certain sounds to start playing we implemented a special collider that triggers sound events as soon as a collision with a specific other object is detected.
  • Rigged and skinned the main character and connected it to the Mecanim animation system.
  • Imported the main character into the game. Colors and textures are missing and a part of the clothes, too, though.
  • Implemented help system for the tutorial.

The first week has now passed in which several of our members work full-time on this project. Predictably this led to certain tensions regarding roles and competencies. This is such an important aspect of any team that this cannot be overemphasized. Pro tip: It's mega-important to talk about tensions as soon as possible, before they get insurmountable. And about role definitions and competencies.

Logged

http://stillalive.games
Drone Swarm, Rescue HQ, Bus Simulator, Son of Nor
Guert
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #70 on: January 13, 2013, 05:46:11 AM »

Pro tip: It's mega-important to talk about tensions as soon as possible, before they get insurmountable. And about role definitions and competencies.

Indeed. Defined roles help to establish what, when and where things must get done and who's taking care of this. The only issue that rises from this is that, in a small team, members must be "agile", ie, be able to wear more than one hat. I don't know what kind of system you guys are using, but one thing that's really helpful as a producer is to make a list of all  the tasks at hand to reach the current milestone on little post-it papers. You place them on a board with the names of each member. By doing a meeting with the members and assigning the tasks by placing the post-its next to the names, not only can you easily see the workload of each member and everyone knows what the others are up to. If some of your guys are online, a webpage or an online google doc/ excel sheet can do the job as well.

Good luck with the project! Smiley  Gentleman
Logged

Chris Polus
Level 3
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #71 on: January 13, 2013, 11:01:04 AM »

Hey Guert

We've got a task list for our milestones but I haven't added names. Our problem is more like responsibility for specific task types or who's got the competence of having the last word. But your system might work for that just as well. I'll create a list of task types like "define needed animations", "comment on animations", "creating animations", "approving finished animations" and stuff like that and I'll assign it to names. Then I'll go through with people to really nail down what they can and cannot do.

Of course friendly comments and input are always welcome. But if an artist keeps changing a model back and forth because two people have a different vision of how it should look like everybody loses time, the project loses steam, people get frustrated. That's the worst thing, losing momentum. So it's important for artists to know who they have to listen to and who's just able to comment with general ideas. And it'll help people understand their roles and how far they can go in their role.

Great tip, thanks!
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 02:02:02 AM by Chris Polus » Logged

http://stillalive.games
Drone Swarm, Rescue HQ, Bus Simulator, Son of Nor
eyeliner
Level 10
*****


I'm afraid of americans...


View Profile
« Reply #72 on: January 16, 2013, 10:02:12 AM »

Looking great! Loving the atmosphere there. How are you balancing performance? Are you using anything special to make the game play in a minimum configuration or are you too early in the process to look at that detail?
Logged

Yeah.
Chris Polus
Level 3
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #73 on: January 16, 2013, 05:02:45 PM »

Not at this stage. At the moment we're just hammering in stuff and make it look good to again release some videos to show around and also to have an early alpha ready to give to a small group of testers.

There is a lot of potential for optimization and the Unity monitor helps finding bottlenecks. For example, the tutorial is quite linear and you go from one area to the next. We could just disable all meshes from rendering that are not close to your area and save tons of polys. Stuff like that, but as you correctly assumed, we're not there yet. This will be an interesting topic though.
Logged

http://stillalive.games
Drone Swarm, Rescue HQ, Bus Simulator, Son of Nor
Chris Polus
Level 3
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #74 on: January 20, 2013, 03:19:24 AM »

We made a huge jump in the past couple of weeks. Several artists finished their work and we could put in many things at the same time. You've seen the new visuals and rocks we have in our tutorial level. We've got more of that this week. But we also thought it would be super fun to develop a story around this week's dev diary. So we dove into the game's lore and came up with a narrator that utters a promise towards the Sarahul. And we illustrated that promise he makes with our new visuals and places we have in the game. We all worked very hard to get to this state and we're very happy how it turned out.

Of course this is still pre-alpha work. Everything you see is heavily being worked on. We still have issues with the character, dynamic cloth, hairs, animations, there are lots of other construction sites as well. But we felt like celebrating what we achieved so far. Especially if you take a look where we came from just a few months ago!

  • Nearly completed the tutorial level and help subtitles.
  • Completed the cave section and added light shafts to holes in the ceiling.
  • Added new lighting to the tutorial level with a sunlight and 3 fill lights to create atmosphere and mood.
  • Added sounds to a door with a timing mechanism to learn one of the game's controls.
  • Added sounds to a pack of scarab bugs.
  • Implemented the real model for the drawbridge and the timing mechanism button door.
  • Implemented a rock nerved with crystal chunks that will have a special gameplay role in the game.
  • Added the main character with hair, re-targeted run forward animation, and dynamic cloth.
  • Added camera shake controller that shakes the camera on gameplay evens such as the drawbridge fall down (I don't need to simulate this manually with the mouse anymore Wink
  • Many more little additions, fixes, and programming features.
  • We continued work on an AWESOME dynamic wind system that makes grass and other things shake realistically in the wind.

We're going to wrap up the tutorial and give it out to a closed group of testers to get their feedback on the controls and the tutorial level in the next 2-3 weeks. And now enjoy this dev diary special edition Smiley

Logged

http://stillalive.games
Drone Swarm, Rescue HQ, Bus Simulator, Son of Nor
Chris Polus
Level 3
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #75 on: January 20, 2013, 02:58:50 PM »

And to add to this week's dev diary, we did some perdy pictures.
Most of them were taken from the tutorial level where players get introduced to the controls.

Son of Nor


Canyon Leading Up to the Drawbridge


Drawbridge Telekinesis Lesson


Cave With Arrow Traps


Sarahul Scout Party Roaming the Land


We also try to increase our fanbase a bit. Let's see if this strategy works out:
https://www.facebook.com/stillaliveStudios/posts/195280277283838

I've seen several companies do this and I think it's a nice idea of having giveaways in exchange for some sharing. What do you guys think. Any strategies that worked for you in that regard?
Logged

http://stillalive.games
Drone Swarm, Rescue HQ, Bus Simulator, Son of Nor
ROCKYIII
Level 0
***


View Profile
« Reply #76 on: January 20, 2013, 03:11:57 PM »

WOW Chris O_O Looks unbelievable. Keep up the great work! :D
Logged
unsilentwill
Level 9
****


O, the things left unsaid!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #77 on: January 20, 2013, 03:22:12 PM »

Game's still looking so darn good. Sounds like its been a hard road and I'm glad to see it moving along. I really want to play it once it's ready.

I'm no marketing specialist, but the social media plan can be a bit like pushing a rope. It's difficult to manufacture buzz, and giveaways seem like a bit of a distraction. From what I've seen the most effective way to gain a fanbase is posting regularly (which you guys excel at) and showing off bigger previews to "gaming news" sites. I hope you get a lot more attention, and a demo and a bigger trailer somewhere down the line will be your best hope in my opinion.

Again, not completely sure what I'm talking about, but the honesty of your technical/plot updates aren't quite as attractive as more visually unique updates. Until we can play it, what we have to go by is exciting sounding tech and and an empty desert with lizardmen and bugs. It's missing a bit of... grandeur? Maybe it's still a bit early. Either way, sorry if this sounded negative, I'll try to help spread the word aswell.
Logged

Chris Polus
Level 3
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #78 on: January 20, 2013, 11:28:36 PM »

I'm no marketing specialist, but the social media plan can be a bit like pushing a rope.

That's probably the best analogy I've heard so far! I really had to laugh Smiley You know how the saying goes. Only 50% of your marketing budget (or time invested) is fruitful. The other half was invested in things that had no effect. But nobody knows which half is which...

Again, not completely sure what I'm talking about, but the honesty of your technical/plot updates aren't quite as attractive as more visually unique updates. Until we can play it, what we have to go by is exciting sounding tech and and an empty desert with lizardmen and bugs. It's missing a bit of... grandeur? Either way, sorry if this sounded negative, I'll try to help spread the word aswell.

No no, it's OK. It was said very constructively and I'm thankful for your honesty. I mean, if I don't get an honest opinion of how our efforts look from "the other side" here in this dev forum then where else? It seems sometimes that all you get from a younger generation of gamers is either black or white. Either they say "take my f***ing money i wanna play" or they say "this is the worst crap bad shit i've ever seen". So constructive reflected criticism is quite refreshing Wink

What would your "grandeur" suggestion look like? Is it more on the story part, or some special gameplay element? Or visuals or from the size of locations? It's this word I cannot quite grasp.

Thanks unsilentwill! Your opinion was greatly appreciated and thanks also for the compliments about the looks. It's good to hear positive feedback from time to time among all the difficulties of pulling through such a project. Thanks RockyIII, too!
Logged

http://stillalive.games
Drone Swarm, Rescue HQ, Bus Simulator, Son of Nor
unsilentwill
Level 9
****


O, the things left unsaid!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #79 on: January 21, 2013, 01:26:57 PM »

By grandeur I mean the wonder and mystery that players will find in the game. Powerful spells, more about the dark history of the land, who the Sarahul are and what sort of force from what kingdom they bring against you. I watched the 2012 GDC trailer which was very effective actually, but still a bit early in terms of content and animation for widespread appeal. The scene of the statue in the village helped, though it was surrounded by some boring houses in small valley cave. I also really like the concept art on your webpage.

Seeing the low percentage on the DevLog is a good thing, I know it's important to hammer out all of the engine features before building up the world to its full potential, and even more not to show your best stuff off in a trailer, but once more content is designed and polished I don't see a reason why you would not get more attention naturally.
Logged

Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 ... 14
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic