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ogat
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« on: June 21, 2016, 02:01:15 AM »

LOST GOD
<Formerly Remnant>

The unwanted, sinners and criminals, are sent to atone in the forest of God.
To be hunted down by a dark monster.
Their sacrifice will appease the wrath of God.



Who are we?
We are Time Stop Interactive, a new studio based in Skellefteå, Sweden.
Website / Facebook / Twitter

I am Albert Öhrling, designer and writer on this project!

Description
This is a game about exploration. About the delight of surprises and the joy of discovering something.
Hopefully, it can also be a game about challenging combat and tricky puzzles.

Inspiration
The chief inspiration for the game is of course The Legend of Zelda on the NES. The original title has a certain feel to it that I think is missing from many modern games.
Miyamoto once said that he thought of that game as a “Garden in your drawer”. I love this expression.
I also want to create a game that is like a small garden! A closed off space that the player can explore at their own pace. This is why Remnant is a game about exploration.
I have always been intrigued by a sense of mystery in games, the feeling that there is something more to everything that what it appears to be at first sight.

World and Story
Remnant is set in a unique world of my creation. I want it to be an absurd and strange universe where players can never be sure what will happen next.

My approach to the game’s story is that it is an interactive piece that is meant to be explored and discovered by the player. It will require some puzzling to connect the dots.
It is important to raise the right questions and then answer them satisfyingly.

Gameplay
The idea is to create a base game experience that is immediately familiar to many players and then expand upon that in surprising ways.

Combat is very simple initially. The player character can swing her sword and roll to outmaneuver enemies. More complexity emerges later, such as ancient artifacts that grant mysterious powers.

The game world is open and non-linear. As the player explores, new locations and challenges are uncovered, that can be tackled in whichever order the player desires.

Secrets are an important part of the game. It is important to be consistent and hide a lot of secrets. Players have to learn that searching for hidden stuff is worthwhile, if it becomes a fruitless endeavor it is only natural to stop searching.

Unity3D
We made the decision to use Unity to develop this game. Initially, we decided on a 2d game in Unity, but after lots of discussion with the artist about how to best deliver the art style that we wanted the decision was made to change to 3d. The conversion was surprisingly smooth!

The Art of Remnant
This is the look we are going for. We want a game that is colourful and expressive.
This forest looks tranquil enough, but maybe darker secrets hide underneath?




Under the ground, ancient ruins form a labyrinth, filled with traps and hostile creatures.
A familiar concept that features in many games. But what is the story behind this place?



« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 04:16:55 AM by ogat » Logged

SimonFelix
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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2016, 04:53:37 AM »

Looks great! I really like the color scheme and top down view.  Gentleman
Keep up the good work!
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ogat
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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2016, 04:15:47 AM »

The Style of Remnant
The first thing to talk about when it comes to this project is the development of the graphical style, which was a long and arduous process of several do-overs to get to where we are now.

First I’d like to introduce you to our artist Ricky Person, the man behind all the game’s graphics. He works very hard.

In this post, I will focus on the environment in Remnant, specifically the forest. The environment is much more important than the characters in a game like this, so it was the thing we focused on when deciding on how the game should look.

I pushed hard for Ricky to create a game with a hand painted look, inspired by David Hellman. Because I love his work on ALILBTDII and Second Quest!
Ricky drew up this concept, which made me very happy.


As we developed this style further, we ran into problems. A fully handpainted gameworld would look lovely, but takes can humongous amounts of time to produce depending on the level of detail that is desired. Ricky comes up with an idea to improve the pipeline; hybrid 3d assets with a level of paintover on top. Each 3d asset can be quickly rotated or reassembled from parts before a new paintover, quickly creating unique assets. Below is a comparison to show how this looked.

I am not satisfied with this style and we keep going back and forth with how we can get it to look right.

At the same time another problem emerged: characters. 2d animation has gotten easier with tools like Spine, but our characters has to be able to move towards and away from the camera in a quasi-topdown perspective. The amounts of angles and animations on even a single character is staggering. We once again reach for 3d tools to help us. The result is a 3d character in 2d world:

Here we also see a completely different design on the main character (more about that in another post)

Another shot with all assets from the orthographic pipeline and the new main character’s design in progress:

This technically works, but orthographic camera always looks a bit dorky. :D

At this point, several people involved in the project tell us to just go full 3D. So we do! This turns out to be what we should have been doing all along, although at first I am not at all satisfied with 3d. The game looks like this:

As you can see, we are experimenting with a toon shader, which we later drop.

After several more weeks of hard work by the artist and our engineers, we arrive at this:

Now we are getting somewhere! With the pipeline finally working, Ricky sets out to add more detail, which leads us to the modern look of the game:


Next I will talk about our characters!
« Last Edit: June 22, 2016, 05:43:14 AM by ogat » Logged

ogat
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2016, 02:32:36 PM »

I think it is about time that I showed you the game in action!

Running around in the forest:


Trying to avoid getting hit by traps:


And:


That can't be good.
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ogat
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2016, 10:52:13 PM »

The Main Character
In the beginning, I did not view the main character as something important. The world, and the story of that world, were in focus. This is of course not a very good idea. Regardless of the character’s importance to any grander narrative, this is still who the player will be spending all their time in the game with. So it has to be given a larger focus.

I call the main character “The traveller”. As outlined in the first post, she has journeyed to find the prison of an unnamed god and free it from that prison. The character’s development begins with this:


Here, we are thinking about a character that has traveled far. There is visible damage on the character and bandages. Clothing is torn and frayed. The red color scheme was selected to immediately separate the character from the typical environment colors: green, brown, grey and blue.

Given our original mindset about the character, this is found to be a sufficient character. We proceed to a 3d model:


When putting the character in the game and animating it, we begin to uncover a large amount of problems. The realistic proportions are creating some issues for us in the semi-top down perspective, since smaller details are disappearing. There is a discrepancy between the cartoony, expressive style of the environments and the somber, realistically proportioned main character. Perhaps the biggest crime is that most people think that the character is boring.

This inspires us to completely rethink how characters look in our game. After a lot of going back and forth with Ricky, we have arrived at this style:


Looking a lot less like a post apocalyptic survivor and more like a fantasy heroine!
Below is an early 3d render of the same character:


With textures and normal map:


Current iteration, inside the game:


We spend a lot more time obsessing over the character’s color scheme this time, as evidenced by the each of the images featuring the character in different colors. Which one did you prefer?
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jctwood
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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2016, 01:33:49 AM »

I am absolutely loving the atmosphere, I prefer the second set of colours with the reddish hair. Seems more readable I think the blues and greens of the others will blend in with the environment a little too much.
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Davi Vasc
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2016, 10:15:51 AM »

Amazing work so far, the art looks very inspired. The design philosophy sounds promising too. The Legend Of Zelda is my favorite franchise of all time so its great to see that you are taking inspiration from it. That sense of mystery and freedom from the original game is definitely worth replicating.

Looking forward to seeing more of it!  Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2016, 01:26:20 PM »

Love the way this game looks, interesting protagonist! Looking forward to seeing where this goes.
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2017, 01:42:46 PM »

This looks amazing!  The art style, perspective, lighting/shadows, so much visual *depth* and attention to detail, like a diorama I could reach down into...

I noticed the website and game name have changed (Lost God), and it looks like you've posted some recent updates on Twitter... do you have any news you can share here on the devlog?

Looking forward to seeing more of this!
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2018, 04:10:50 AM »

After a long period of silence (and a name change), we have actually managed to release the game on Steam.
http://store.steampowered.com/app/694930/Lost_God/
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2018, 08:51:21 PM »

Looks like an awesome game! Congratulations and good luck! (A little bit expensive for me, so I'll wait until it's 1$ or so. Grin
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2018, 11:26:50 PM »

Well done! Congratulations.  Beer!
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