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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsThe Great Whale Road: Steam Early Access
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Author Topic: The Great Whale Road: Steam Early Access  (Read 12571 times)
Sunburned Games
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« on: August 17, 2015, 07:24:05 AM »

The Great Whale Road releases on March 30th 2017!


The Great Whale Road is getting ready for the next leg of its journey. We have been working on the game's concept since the beginning of 2015, and the first artists and developers joined the team in April that year. We weathered the odd storm or two and entered the Sea of Early Access eight months ago. It has been an exciting few months and we are super grateful for the community's help and feedback.

We have decided to leave Early Access on the 30th of March - this will include the full story of the Danes and all features we have been adding since 0.6.2. Among them a new combat camera, more warcries, development area upgrades, an enhanced ship upgrade system, new journal screen, trade screen enhancements, AI improvements and more.

Cheers!
Joachim @ Sunburned Games

« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 05:02:49 AM by Sunburned Games » Logged

Sunburned Games
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2015, 02:47:01 AM »

Update

After yesterday's introduction here is a quick update on the current status of development.

Multi-Player Combat Game in Pre-Alpha:

We decided early on to split development into two phases - into what we internally call 'the combat game' and 'the exploration game'. In a way we are following the example of Stoic and what they did with 'The Banner Saga: Factions'. The goal is to release 'The Great Whale Road: Battles' as a demo and showcase for our Greenlight and Kickstarter campaigns planned for November.

We have an overall design document for the game, which links the loops between combat, exploration and the RPG elements. Over the last two months we took a rapid development approach and did design, art and prototyping in near-parallel. In general we are using SCRUM, to prevent office brawls. 

Architecture-wise we decided to use Playfab with Photon on top of Unity, which enabled us to build the base version of the multi-player in a few weeks. On the art production side we have two cultures ready, with one more being worked on at the moment. The aim is to release the demo with four cultures. We have also completed the first pass on all user interface elements and screens required like front-end, deck management, combat screen, visual feedback etc. 

The last few days we re-designed the combat screen, from vertically aligned ships to an isometric view. We spent two days discussing angles, camera types and related stuff. This morning we decided to go with our own version of isometric.


Apart from headache inducing geometry discussions we also did some early early play testing, crushed the first multi-player bugs and  continued to improve the gameplay. The next job is to get a number wizard on board to work on the balancing. We combine elements from turn-based tactics, MOBAs and tactical card games which makes balancing an interesting challenge.

The Exploration Game:

The historical research for the game has been completed over the last three months (thanks to our super-human research intern Belén). This allowed us to anchor the overall design firmly in its historical setting. Art-wise we reuse the character elements across both sub-systems, and we did drafts of the world map and other elements during the art-style definition. Reuse was one of our common core requirements for design, art and development.

Coding on the first parts of the exploration game will start in October, art will already start working on it in September. Until then design and writing will be the main efforts for this part of the game. Most likely we will consult a writer to work with us on story, dialogue and produce barks later on this year.

Hamingja,
The Sunburned Games Crew

   
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Sunburned Games
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2015, 04:06:42 AM »

Quick Update

The work on the re-designed combat screen is progressing well. If none of us get run over by a bus (not that unlikely in Valencia) we are on schedule to release the demo for Thanksgiving.

In the meantime we can introduce three of the characters you might meet on the whale road:

Wuffa, son of a Northumbrian ceorl. Spent his youth stealing sheep from fellow Saxons and Picts alike. Now he robs ships. Career criminal.

Bera the Grumpy, daughter of a Danish swineherd. Twice widowed under suspicious circumstances. Likes her axe and buff young men.

Hjalti the Unwashed. Lacking in hygiene, makes that up in spear skill. Good neighbour in the shield wall - downwind.

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AD1337
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2015, 05:25:33 AM »

A historical game! The best of luck to you, my brethren!
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Sunburned Games
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2015, 07:45:09 AM »

Same to you, kind sir!

We like dragons, magic and spaceships too, but they don't have to be in this game. Painter's Guild is quite an unusual game idea, nice. Will check it out on Steam once its live in September.

Hamingja!
 
A historical game! The best of luck to you, my brethren!
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macepoodle
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2015, 07:46:57 AM »

The sea and turn based RPG!? You've had me at hello!
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Sunburned Games
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2015, 12:33:01 AM »

@ macepoodle - I love this animation, and I have a phobia of pixel art:



A few links on your site are broken e.g. your FB link, fix this! Rápidamente!

Get your butt in gear, start tweeting, post everywhere, and tell the world about your game.

Best.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 04:07:56 AM by Sunburned Games » Logged

Sunburned Games
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« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2015, 12:40:34 AM »

Weekend Update

The new isometric combat screen will be done in a week or so. In the meantime we have completed the pre-alpha of the deck management screen. Here players will select the characters, equipment and abilities of their boarding teams. At the moment a crew can be up to 24 characters strong, a boarding team has eight members. We will describe the design in more detail once we have the updated screens to show this with.

In the meantime enjoy one of my favourite characters: Eadric the Wise



Have a good weekend,
Joachim @ Sunburned Games
« Last Edit: August 22, 2015, 09:31:03 AM by Sunburned Games » Logged

Sunburned Games
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2015, 11:59:11 PM »

A Really Minor Update

After a few quite heated 'design versus development versus art' discussions we believe to have found the optimal solution. We had to find a way of placing the combat hexagonal grids and at the same time preserving the historical look of our ships, while also ensuring gameplay wasn't negatively impacted. Nobody said that 2D was easy.


The pictures above capture the spirit of the discussions quite well. Wink

Hamingja!
Joachim - Sunburned Games
  
« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 01:57:41 AM by Sunburned Games » Logged

Sunburned Games
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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2015, 01:18:44 AM »

As folks love an animated GIF. Here one of our first sketches for combat animations and visual feedback. This was created a few weeks ago, and there will be a new one soon.



Best.
Joachim @ Sunburned Games
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2015, 02:41:17 AM »

The combination of bordgame-like tokens, 2d pixelart/drawings and elaborate animated visual fx looks really good imo!

More Gifs, please! Smiley
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ryansumo
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2015, 07:14:17 AM »

At first was a little disappointed that it did not involve whaling, but it looks very promising regardless. 
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Sunburned Games
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« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2015, 07:26:55 AM »

What is going on with folks and whaling lately?  Evil

But I can officially announce that whaling will be a minor feature in the game to get supplies. Medieval folks rather used already dead whales then trying to kill alive ones. It is a lot safer and more convenient (if you don't wait too long, because then the whale can explode).

Best.
Joachim @ Sunburned Games

« Last Edit: August 26, 2015, 12:10:43 AM by Sunburned Games » Logged

Sunburned Games
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We are working on The Great Whale Road.


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« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2015, 07:31:34 AM »

The combination of bordgame-like tokens, 2d pixelart/drawings and elaborate animated visual fx looks really good imo!

More Gifs, please! Smiley

I am not a clairvoyant, but I can see more GIFs in the not so far away future. We just have to complete the new art work and the refactoring and we are good to go. 

Best.
Joachim @ Sunburned Games
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Pixel Noise
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« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2015, 07:36:46 AM »

Whoaaaa! For a debut project, this looks absolutely fantastic! Clearly, you guys put a lot into your art, and it shows Smiley

So following. Eager to see this develop!
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Sunburned Games
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« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2015, 07:51:57 AM »

Whoaaaa! For a debut project, this looks absolutely fantastic! Clearly, you guys put a lot into your art, and it shows Smiley

So following. Eager to see this develop!


You made our day, thanks! Our artists are very good, indeed. And we have some veteran mentoring - our consultant art director has spent the last 18+ years working for Microprose, Rebellion, EA etc.

Best.
Joachim @ Sunburned Games   
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Jasmine
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« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2015, 08:04:55 AM »

 Shocked

Just...  Hand Money Right

Really, though. This is STUNNING!

Seeing as how it is influenced by the Banner Saga (felt it as soon as I saw the art and smiled as I read through your OP), will this game also be heavy in the story department? Will it feature another "journey" system (i.e. Oregon trails), or more of a group of people on a conquest? Perhaps more FFT-ish?

Either or, I'm hooked on the setting and the art direction. Now, all you have to do is hire Austin Wintory...
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Sunburned Games
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« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2015, 08:31:00 AM »

Shocked

Just...  Hand Money Right

Really, though. This is STUNNING!

Seeing as how it is influenced by the Banner Saga (felt it as soon as I saw the art and smiled as I read through your OP), will this game also be heavy in the story department? Will it feature another "journey" system (i.e. Oregon trails), or more of a group of people on a conquest? Perhaps more FFT-ish?

Either or, I'm hooked on the setting and the art direction. Now, all you have to do is hire Austin Wintory...

Our goal was to find a more organic and warmer style than the Banner Saga. My starting point was Prince Valiant (the Hal Foster 1930s original). Then I stumbled across King of Dragon Pass, followed by the Banner Saga. It took us two months of trial and error to then find our style for The Great Whale Road.

I shouldn't write this stuff, the artists will tar and feather me tomorrow morning. I never use the correct art terms. Smiley

I had to google Austin Wintory (embarrassing), and I am assuming that we will not be able to afford him. Wink But we are trialling some talented local composers. The brief is to produce a classical theme with an archaic medieval flavour. Looking forward to hearing what they will come up with!

Best.
Joachim @ Sunburned Games

PS: I saw the gameplay question, but I am withholding information as I am planning to post an update about this topic next week. Wink  
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Sunburned Games
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« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2015, 07:04:32 AM »

Choose your Weapon!

Today is 'choose your weapon' day on the great whale road. Pesky pirate, cheeky customs official, stalker? One of these can solve all your problems.

Simple, but Efficient
The Berserker Stopper
A Popular Classic

Next time: Swords, Seaxes and Bows

Hamingja,
Joachim @ Sunburned Games
« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 01:55:53 AM by Sunburned Games » Logged

Sunburned Games
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We are working on The Great Whale Road.


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« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2015, 05:12:51 AM »

Adventure Appropriate Clothing


Francisca - Nomen est Omen


Hamingja,
Joachim @ Sunburned Games
« Last Edit: March 17, 2016, 06:14:08 AM by Sunburned Games » Logged

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