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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsThe Untold Legacy - Open World Action Adventure
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IconicGames
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« on: May 29, 2015, 03:41:19 PM »

Hello Everyone,
My name is Matt and I run a small indie game studio known as Iconic Games. We have been developing browser and mobile games for some time now and this is going to be our first PC and console game. 

So I have now found myself here wanting to share my latest project as we continue development. Please post feedback and enjoy the ride until the games release.


Latest Images:








OVERVIEW
In a distant kingdom long ago laid a secluded, peaceful mountain village, untouched by the ever changing world around it. The villagers, however, know only one thing: Leaving is not an option; for any who do, will find themselves in the grasp of a mysterious dark curse.


That is until the village’s only child, a young boy, begins to uncover strange messages from an unknown source. These messages are seemingly warning him of a darkness, guiding him towards something, something mysterious, something that will forever alter his legacy and those around him. Will he take up the blade and embark on a treacherous adventure to become the hero this forsaken kingdom needs? Or stand back as he watches the mistakes of the past be repeated once more?

THE GAME

The Untold Legacy is an engaging, atmosphere drenched action-adventure RPG, with a bright and colorful art style set in a surreal and often creepy setting. You will be brought to tears as you uncover the twists and turns in this emotionally story-driven experience that will leave you shocked and surprised as you discover the secrets the world of Touchstone has to offer.

Explore this breathing and vibrant open world, as you tackle dungeons and overcome obstacles in any order you deem necessary, in this non-linear adventure. Become immersed as you encounter the kingdom inhabitants and help them in meaningful and rewarding ways that promise only to enrich the game experience. Face off against a plethora of unique monsters and bosses, as you combine strategy and skill with real time fast paced combat, that will reward you with every landed blow.



FEATURES
-Emotion Driven Story
Drawing from the experiences in our everyday lives, The Untold Legacy sets out to recreate some of the most heartfelt and gut wrenching moments imaginable.

-Atmosphere Drenched
Using the latest in advanced lighting, animation, and particle effects, The Untold Legacy is set to truly bring a living breathing world to life for your enjoyment.

-Dynamic Movement

Due to the technologies being used, we are able to seamlessly blend or combine animations in ways that will make the world feel more natural and alive.

-Hand Crafted Open World
Everything is 100% handcrafted and designed with the utmost care, from the art, puzzles, enemies and secrets. It’s all been strategically placed for the greatest experience possible.

-Non-Linear Progression

Tackle any obstacle in any order you wish. We won’t hold your hand, nor would we want to. Whether it is the game's main story, or a side stories, it’s completely up to you to decide what to do, and when to do it.

-Exploration
A vast open world to explore from creepy forests, caves, swamps, mountain tops, snow covered wastelands, deserts, temples, hidden shrines, haunted houses, castles to the various dungeons that fill the world - all of which is at your disposal from the very beginning.

-Natural Growth

Just like in the real world, nobody starts off as an unstoppable warrior. Begin the adventure and watch as our young protagonist transforms himself from a feeble boy, to an epic hero.

-Fast Paced / Intuitive Combat

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better we made the combat faster and more intuitive, making it possible for you to feel like more of a hero than ever before.

-Beautiful Custom Music and Sounds
Music and sounds beautifully orchestrated from scratch for each and every occasion. Whether it is a meaningful heartfelt moment, or an all-out battle to the death, we will leave your ears satisfied.

-Items
A completely unique and fresh set of items designed specifically for this adventure. Whether it is a puzzles, or combat, you’re sure to be pleasantly surprised to see what's uncovered.

-Puzzles
Puzzles are built into the very core of the game. They are tailored it to fit perfectly with every skill, item, enemy and weapon at the player’s disposal, resulting in the most engaging and intuitive puzzles possible.

-Dungeons
9 uniquely designed dungeons each with their own set of enemies, puzzles and bosses.

-Enemies & Bosses

A plethora of enemies, all with varying degrees of attributes, behaviors, difficulty and skill. Research and study them well if you have any hopes of overcoming them all.

PLATFORMS

Wii U, Pc, Mac & Linux

THE TEAM
Iconic Games is a small independent development team of 3 who have been working together for years. The team consists of 1 artist, 1 programmer and 1 musician.
Matt Vile
Game Director, Writer, Character Artist/Animator, Level Designer
Stefan Langeder
Game Programmer
Daniele Zandara
Musician & Sound Effects

INSPIRATION
The game draws inspiration from many popular titles, ranging back to the classics of the 80’s, up until the console behemoths and indie titles of the present. One of which will draw the most obvious of comparisons is the action-adventure defining series, The Legend of Zelda. As massive Zelda enthusiasts ourselves, it has been a major influence for this game and will no doubt be a treat for long time fans of the series and newcomers alike.

Although this game has some obvious influences, it is not a clone or cookie cutter project - at every turn we are injecting our own flavor and unique ideas. From the story, combat, items and puzzles we are finding ways to expand and enhance old ideas, as well as insert completely new concepts to create a unique experience for today’s players.

Website:
http://www.the-untold-legacy.com

IndieDB
http://www.indiedb.com/games/the-untold-legacy

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/Iconic_Games

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/IconicGames
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 08:43:13 PM by IconicGames » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2015, 05:27:54 AM »

OH MAN : ) I'm your fan
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IconicGames
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2015, 05:33:57 AM »

OH MAN : ) I'm your fan
Thanks for the comment! Its short but really made my day XD  Cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2015, 05:48:15 AM »

Its Update Time!

DevLog # 01

Animations
Over the past couple of weeks I have been devoting most of my time to working on the games various animations. In Untold Legacy I am really wanting all the characters to show strong characteristics as well as fluid animations. I'm achieving the animation style by using a variation of meshes, skewing and a skeleton. All of which is setup in an animation program known as Spine.

The Hero Pushing an Object:


By using spine this will allow us to manipulate the character in realistic and dynamic ways within the game world. Just a few examples: when the hero is running through a village he will turn his head in a realistic manner to look at objects of interest, his hair can be effected by wind, and the hero can have various facial expressions while playing the game. Imagine his eyes darting around or the heros facial expression changing to match the setting. Pretty exciting stuff isnt it?

His animations will also blend in fluid ways. Normally when seeing 2D animations in a game you will see a series of animations switch. But by using spine it has allowed us to "blend animations". Meaning the hero can go from a natural walk cycle into a run cycle.

The Hero Running: (beautiful bouncy hair)


The Hero Walking:



Some of the other advantages to spine is we can easily assign props to the hero such as a sword or shield. Making it very easy to swap items and if needed alter existing animations. You can even add event listeners so Stefan (our) coder knows when to activate certain instances. For example when to initiate the player jumping, when to play certain sound effects or when to initiate damage.

The Hero Walking With Weapons Equipped:


Jump Animation With Assigned Listeners:



So yes the technology we are using is awesome. It really opens up a lot of doors and allows us to do things you normally couldn't.

The Game Engine & Prototype

Now on over to the code end of things. Stefan was largely working on the games prototype. We did have a working build from before but we made some big changes in the gameplay/design (just prior to the games official announcement) which resulted in Stefan restructuring the whole thing and starting from scratch. In the end this will for sure make things more organized and structured. We wanted the game to be as unique as possible so we implemented jumping into the mix which will make progressing areas and combat more unique. Below you can see we have dynamic shadows, fluid spine animations (placeholder), z mapping, jumping and a touch of 2D normal maps.

Me Testing out Dynamic Lighting and Jumping



Concept/Cinematic Art
On the other end of things we have also been hard at work with some concept art for some rather important locations in the game.

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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2015, 09:43:51 AM »

We broke top 100 on indieDB. Not sure why my sig isnt updating. But ive posted images as proof :D.


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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2015, 04:32:26 PM »

your signature image is too big.
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IconicGames
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2015, 04:38:09 PM »

Sorry about that. I scaled it down. Hopefully its better now?
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2015, 05:07:28 PM »

yes ^^

Quote
This looks promising. What is your game language?
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2015, 05:09:35 PM »

Thank you. We are developing the game in Unity. Platforms are Wii U, Pc, Mac & Linux
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2015, 01:05:23 AM »

Thank you. We are developing the game in Unity. Platforms are Wii U, Pc, Mac & Linux

How do you manage dynamic shadows? It's a custom solution or you use special library/extension for that? I also create 2d games in unity and I look for good way to make dynamic shadowing/lightning.

Also how do you find spine? Does it export in unity model divided in many "pieces" or its a sprite sequence? Is it optimized well to unity? Are there any shortcomings with using it with Unity ?
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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2015, 07:22:52 AM »

Thank you. We are developing the game in Unity. Platforms are Wii U, Pc, Mac & Linux

How do you manage dynamic shadows? It's a custom solution or you use special library/extension for that? I also create 2d games in unity and I look for good way to make dynamic shadowing/lightning.

Also how do you find spine? Does it export in unity model divided in many "pieces" or its a sprite sequence? Is it optimized well to unity? Are there any shortcomings with using it with Unity ?

Thanks for the comment. I handle the art & animations so pardon me if at some point I don't entirely make sense when talking about the code end of things. Ive had a lot of experience coding but its been years since ive really done anything with it.

From what I understand the dynamic shadows are a custom solution. We wanted shadows like this from the beginning but in our first build we hadn't quite nailed it yet. After deciding to make some key changes to the gameplay my coder came up with a solution and it seems to work fairly nicely.

Spine animation can be found on esoteric's website. They had 2 (correct me if I am wrong) successful Kickstarter campaigns and their software is just phenomenal in my opinion. 
http://esotericsoftware.com/
Spine has several export options but for Unity the character is divided up into pieces. This saves on file size and allows for more dynamic animations which can be manipulated with code. Spine also has a great set of tools making it easier to make animations seem more organic.You can also export sprite sequences or sprite sheets if you wish.

Yes Spine is optimized well for unity and I feel like the best route for animation in 2D games. (if your going for a modern art style)

The only shortcomings that I can tell are that its just different from what most people are use to. Most developers are use to sprite sheets but Stefan (the games coder) quickly got the hang of it.
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2015, 09:34:16 AM »

Hey guys,
I posted a quick update/devlog to indieDB in regards to Untold Legacy.
Check it out.
http://www.indiedb.com/games/the-untold-legacy/news/the-untold-legacy-devlog-02
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« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2015, 09:08:33 PM »

Good luck on this guys, The graphics for the main character are looking pretty good! I like the art style you seem to be going for, as well as the shadows from the gif.
Looking forward to more development!
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« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2015, 06:48:04 AM »

Hello Guys!
Thank you so much for the comments. We have a big update coming soon and I cant wait to show off everything we have been working on. The game is really coming together nicely.

On another note we have a featured article on Armed Gamer in regards to The Untold Legacy. You guys should check it out. It may give you some insight to our games development.
http://armedgamer.com/2015/06/the-untold-legacy-a-classic-rpg-with-a-modern-twist/
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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2015, 11:06:21 AM »

DevLog #02
Were back with a new update from The Untold Legacy. We have been really busy this past week and have a whole bunch of new goodies to show off. I worked on a handful of animations, new game art, some major game design decisions as well as story/quest oriented stuff. Over on the code end of thing we began to implement some of my animations so we could get a feel for everything and decide if any tweaks were needed (they were and still some are needed). But overall things are headed in the right direction and I feel like its all coming together.

Animations


Animations are by far one of my most favorite things when it comes to a games development. Thats when a static character begins to move and feel alive. A personality is beginning to be formed and the game is beginning to take on life. Its a truly wonderful thing when you see your creations come to life and often go directions you never imagined, but I gotta say when it comes to this game it has been incredibly daunting. The sheer amount of work ive done and still ahead is massive. Since im working in spine all the animations take a good amount of extra time to set up and this is compounded by me having to switch back and forth from the various angles in the game. Each character will have 4 angles and should move in a realistic fashion. The hero is by far going to be the largest amount of work. Right now I have done well over 60 animations per angle. Which results in over 240 animations and im not even half way done yet.

Below are some older test animations. These were primarily made to test how the player could move and react within the environment. Some of these will even be blended with existing animations for even more natural movements.


Hero's Head Turns Left

Imagine this being combined with a running animation so the hero can look at something of interest.

Below is an animation adapted with the 3D like head turn. Its one of the new animations I worked on this past week. I spent the week working on various weapon based animations.

Hero Aiming Bow

Here the player looks focused as he draws back the bow and closes his eye.

You can see the other 2 angles below where I had to painstakingly make sure the animations were aligned properly and in sync.

Aiming Upwards


Aiming To The Side


Here is an animation that was made so I could bring a little more personality to the game. The player will realistically react to none playable characters and events in the game. Whether it be a conversation with a character or he sees a terrifying monster we plan to have the appropriate response.

Character Nodding In Approval Or In Agreement

The game is chalk full of animations created specifically for moments like these.


And now on to the Attack animations. From the start of this games development I wanted a really engaging and fast paced combat system. So it was crucial that the animations were quick, readable and looked great.

Here is my first run at the x3 attack combo.


As you can see its not bad, but this actually ended up being way to slow when tested in the game. We need immediat reaction upon button press and this just didn't cut it.

Below are the updated versions after testing in game.

Initial Attack


Combo x2 Attack


Combo x3 Attack



With the animations sped up, tweaked and some event listeners added it became 100% better.

I also worked on how the player would use the shield, aerial attacks as well as some powerful finishers.

Defend


Defense Broken


Double Handed Finisher


Aerial Downward Stab


Aerial Downward Stab/Impact


This is just a little bit of what we have done over the past week. Ill update this thread more during the week with more of our progress.

« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 11:13:02 AM by IconicGames » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2016, 08:21:50 PM »

Were excited to be back after a long absence but for those of you following us rest assured that The Untold Legacy has never ceased development. In fact we have been so busy working on the game its been difficult for us to find time to post regular development articles. Moving forward we fully intend to post a new article every Friday. If that goes well I will be sure to post more.
We have exciting news coming mid January so keep an eye out as we continue to make regular posts.


Concept Art
During our time away we made long strides in terms of environmental assets as you can see above. We started with some early concepts and eventually polished it all out and found the style we wanted. However it was not an easy road. We spent around 8 months trying to find the perfect style while working on various parts of the game. Not all the iterations are shown but below I have placed a series of images for everyone to see our progress.

Shortly after we dropped off the face of the planet we began doing early environment art concepts. Although some were promising we ended up landing what is pictured at the top of this page. You can see one early test image below.

The idea we started with was in direct relation to our notes in regards to the games completed story. The games first area, known as Crescent Peak, and starting point is in a quiet farming/mountain village that is shut off from the world. This is not by choice but due to the fact that the simply cannot leave because the world outside is cursed. And if you are to enter that world you will also fall to that curse. Despite this dark omen the villagers are rather cheery and friendly and act as one big happy family.
Although this seems pretty good we felt it wasn't really in line with the clean/simple and "cartoony" artistic style of the characters. We set out to create another iteration of the environment art. This time it was close to what we wanted but ended up being just a bit to simple for the world we wanted to create.

So we went back to the drawing board and ended up with this as our first approved environmental art concept image. The entire team was exceedingly happy at this point and everyone involved felt invigorated after the several failed attempts prior. Although it wasn't yet perfect we new we had discovered what we wanted.

We continued on making several iterations of each individual art piece. With the style chosen it was a pretty smooth process with small iterations at each turn.



One completed house with a new house design as will as an early brick pathway.


Here we have an early image of the games hills. This is before we had decided to completely ditch 2D tiles in favor of 3D environments. (textures mapped to 3D objects) We wanted the hills to cast shadows and have realistic physics to them and it made the most sense in the end to ditch the design.

Here we have an early mock up of how hills could look as well as some water and how bridges will be fir together. We decided to go in this direction and are super happy with how the final design turned out.


Here we have several iterations of torches, fences, lanterns, dirt pathways and holes in the ground.Our goal from the start was to try and include as much detail as possible so we could create a full, moving and vibrant world for the players to explore.


The games first area, Crescent Peak, is meant to be a secluded mountain village of farmers. There the whole village works together and grow their own food. Below you can see our initial concepts of the kind of fruit and vegetables that are grown in the village. All the fruit/vegetables grow realistically and have several phases of growth. This is probably most comparable to something like harvest moon. You can also make out a small puddle of water at the bottom.

Below you can see some of the various artistic concepts we had for buildings. Many of which are rather detailed and each have their own story as you look at them.

Here you see the potion shop concept. Imagine how those cauldrons will bubble up with various liquids.

Here we have the fisherman's hut and the village monks house.

Here you can see our apple soup and apple pie shop. This is a single shops that is shared by twin sisters who constantly feud about who's product is better. You can also see an older version of a pine tree next to a new version in the bottom right hand corner.


Environmental Art
This is just a small test area without dynamic shadows and 3D lighting enabled. Some small bits of polish you can look forward to are how everything will cast a real time dynamic shadows, 3D lightning, "mostly" easy depth sorting/management, particle effects, weather effects and a realistic world (think about how trees will move with the wind) . What does this mean? Basically the shadows are created just like a real shadow would be. There is a light source and any object is able to cast a shadow. You can see an example of this below.

This is easily done because The Untold Legacy is actually created within a 3D environment. We just utilized a few tricks to actually make the game appear 2D while actually working within a 3D landscape. This allows us to use more realistic lighting, realistic 3D physics for movement and also allows us the use of 3D models wherever we may desire. You cans see this illustrated below.

Below is a test/debug area as shown with the camera positioned from a 2D perspective. Keep in mind what is shown is in the editor so it may appear a bit blurry and place holder art is present.

And again this is the same area shown but with the perspective tilted to show the game in its true 3D form.

One thing you can notice in the image above is that the water actually casts a reflection. This adds a tremendous amount of polish in my opinion and some nice production value. What you cant see is that the water also moves rather beautifully and sways. It is also effected if the player dives into or touches the water.

Another thing we have implemented is 3D textured objects. A good example is the box/crate. Above you can see us testing it in one of its earliest incarnations. Our reasons behind doing this are because we wanted the box to realistically flip and rotate when pushed off of high platforms. This wouldn't have been possible if we had gone with a 2D static image. If we had gone with traditional 2D the box would simply have fallen without any movement or I would have had to animate the sprite. Both a bit stale when this solution seemed much simpler.

Here you see the Box shown in from a 3D perspective.

Among what you see there has been even more work done behind the scenes that is not at first noticeably. The games editor is being continually added to so we can easily add objects, quests, items, animations with the utmost ease.

One of which is how the waters edges can be bent and manipulated using meshes so we can create lakes into any desired shape. Take a look at it in action below.

As you can tell were striving for a high level of polish. This will continue into the environments inter-activeness. Not only will water reflect light and move realistically but you will also be able to fish in these waters.

Below you can see some strands of grass which are being effected by wind. You can also see how the player is able to slash them away.
http://media.indiedb.com/images/members/3/2850/2849580/profile/GrassSlash.gif
The grass will also move realistically when walking through it.





Whats next?

I originally planned to post more but I now realize that is unnecessary. This article is already rather lengthy and I will post the additional information next week. You can look forward to seeing some updated animations, enemy art as well as some early gameplay sneak peaks.

If your interested in following our progress a little more closely please check out our twitter and Facebook below. We would appreciate a follow and a like!

https://twitter.com/Iconic_Games
https://www.facebook.com/IconicGames/
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 08:27:42 PM by IconicGames » Logged

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