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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsThe Wayward Isles (+teaser trailer!)
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Author Topic: The Wayward Isles (+teaser trailer!)  (Read 5789 times)
Panurge
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« on: September 11, 2016, 12:59:41 pm »





http://www.thewaywardisles.com/

What?

The Wayward Isles is an adventure and exploration game with a strong narrative focus, set within a completely open island environment. There are elements of combat and puzzle-solving but the emphasis is largely on story and atmosphere.

Players will take the part of Scyld, an aging exile returning to the island of his birth to settle old scores. Managing his relationships with the various NPCs will be the key to making progress and there is a good deal of freedom in how to do this, allowing for a lot of different paths through the game.


Where?

The setting for the game draws on the folklore and culture of Scandinavia and the Orkney islands. It's a 'low fantasy' setting with elements of magic but a generally more realistic mood than most similar games. We're keen to avoid the usual tropes of the genre where possible.

Who?

Our team currently consists of five key members, as follows:

Gerhard Botha (engine/code developer). Gerhard's wizardry makes the whole thing possible. We are using his own very powerful and flexible engine: http://www.covertengine.com/ce/.

Tony Manfredonia (composer). Tony is a high level bard with a lot of experience composing for games. You can check out his previous work here: http://www.manfredoniamusic.com/.

Peter Hurman (artist). Peter is hard at work bringing the world and characters to life. His portfolio speaks for itself: https://peterhurman.carbonmade.com/

Lee Williams (writer). Lee is creating all the story and dialogue for the game. Don't be fooled by his use of the third-person, he's writing this devlog too! Check out his previous work here: http://www.leewilliams.eu/

Will Pritchard (3D artist). Will is building the world from the ground up, modelling characters and environmental props. He has some awesome work on display here: https://maenar.carbonmade.com/

When?

I guess it's still too early to say. We're aiming to launch a Kickstarter campaign next year and the success of that will dictate the speed we can work at.

Why?

Um, why not? Truly, though, we're looking for all the feedback we can get. We're at the start of this project and nothing is set in stone yet so we really want to build a community of people who can help us to shape the game as it develops. Feel free to chip in here or hound us on social media (https://twitter.com/Wayward_Isles) - we will be almost embarrassingly grateful for your questions and opinions!


The Man of Joy

Early Screenshot
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 12:36:40 pm by Panurge » Logged

amanfr01
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2016, 07:00:19 am »

I am very excited to be a part of this project!

Stay tuned for some awesome work from the rest of the team, TIGSource community! There's lots in store, and some great conceptions to be applied. The Wayward Isles await...
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2016, 10:36:16 am »

The art looks cool. Looking forward to seeing more!
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Panurge
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2016, 08:33:06 am »

TAGONISTS

Today, I’d like to talk a little about the protagonists and antagonists of our game. Collectively, I’ve decided to call them TAGONISTS. Yes, I know it’s not a real word but here on the Wayward Isles we take a pretty relaxed view of what’s real and what isn’t. If you’re going to follow this devlog - and we sincerely hope that you will - you’ll probably need to get used to that.

The Protagonist

The first TAGONIST we’re going to look at today is the protagonist. The protagonist (or, generally speaking, the player character) is particularly important in a game because without them there wouldn’t be much for the player to do. There would probably, in fact, be nothing whatsoever for the player to do. It may not even be possible to have a game without a protagonist. I don't know. Finer minds than mine will have to debate that one. In the meantime, meet Scyld:


Scyld

Scyld is a badass. His whole ass is bad and the rest of his body pretty much follows after it. He was exiled from the Wayward Isles as a young man because of a dreadful act of treachery he may or may not have committed, thus sealing his reputation as a villain. Prior to this, he had been lauded as a great hero of his people, the warrior who drove the Odd Folk back beneath the waves. Having wandered the world for forty years, he is now returning to the island of his birth to settle old scores. He’s a more mature protagonist than is generally seen in games and this will be reflected in the way he moves, talks and fights.

We’ve decided to go all-out for character with Scyld. He isn’t an empty vessel for the player to inhabit, you won’t be able to customise him or make him do things which are drastically out of line with his principles. He already has a rich backstory and a bunch of conflicting motivations.

The downside of this approach is that although the player will hopefully be able to sympathise and identify with Scyld, they won’t be able to project their own personalities fully into the role. The upside is that we can tell a much tighter and richer story which is specific to the character and that’s something we really want to do with this game.

Development sketches of Scyld

The Antagonists

I don’t think I’ll cause any controversy if I say that most good stories and games also need antagonists of one kind or another. In real life it might be nice to live without enemies and obstacles but in games they are pretty essential, even if they are simply environmental or metaphysical. Without antagonists, Pac-Man would have been a mindless grind of gluttony and Dark Souls little more than an Armoured Walking Simulator. Space Invaders, let's be honest, would have been a waste of everyone's time.

So we want to get our antagonists right and, if possible, do something a little unusual with them.

Humantagonists

The most important antagonists of the game will be human and to overcome them the player will need to carefully manage their relationships with the inhabitants of the islands, uncovering their secrets and winning their trust. The islands are sparsely populated and we want every NPC to count somehow, to have a story to tell and a reputation with the other islanders.

Combat with other humans will be a weighty matter, subject to a number of laws and traditions. If Scyld challenges someone to combat, he must be prepared to kill them. If he kills them, he will carry their soul with him until he dies, tattooed as a fish onto his skin (using squid ink mixed with an irritant to remind him of his guilt). These victories will also greatly affect the story. Family is important to the islanders and feuds are not easily forgotten…

Although the game’s focus is more on story than combat, we want these fights, if and when you have them, to feel tense and impactful. To this end, the player will need to have honed their fighting skills on more than just the local wildlife...

The local wildlife

The Odd Folk

The Odd Folk are the most common adversaries in the game, a strange race of creatures who have been leaving the ocean in increasing numbers and settling on the land. They are sea-flesh shaped into a crude mockery of the human form, oddly articulated and incapable of speech, their mouths fixed in permanent rictus grins straight out of the uncanny valley. Their presence and purpose on the islands is a mystery but they certainly do seem to have some beef with Scyld. Although weak when alone, they have no fear for their individual lives and can be very dangerous when attacking in waves. More on them and their enigmatic leader, the Man of Joy, later...

The Odd Folk

ALSO...

We have a new video up showing off Gerhard's CovertEngine. The models are placeholders but it gives a good feel for the sort of scenic scope we'll be able to achieve.



« Last Edit: November 10, 2016, 09:50:45 am by Panurge » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2016, 08:38:26 am »

Beauuuuuuutiful art direction. Wow!
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2016, 11:26:45 am »

Oh yes! This looks promising. Will definitely keep an eye on it. Hand Money Left
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2016, 01:40:31 pm »

PANURGE is back!  Cant wait to get my hands on these tagonists.
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2016, 02:08:47 pm »

Awesome art direction! Looking forward to seeing what comes of this.
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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2016, 01:12:15 am »

Thanks all! Your encouragement is really appreciated - this is a labour of love for us and we're committed to making the sort of game we'd really like to play ourselves, hoping that others will feel the same way about it.

PANURGE is back!  Cant wait to get my hands on these tagonists.

I cannot be killed! (probably)

Joy!

A 3D artist has washed ashore on the Wayward Isles and we're not letting him leave! Please join us in welcoming Will Pritchard to the team! Once we release him from our awkwardly emotional group hug, he'll be getting to work building the characters and environments for the game.

More joy!

A whole Man of Joy, in fact. But who is he? Where does he come from? What is he so happy about?



The Man of Joy is the seeming leader of the Odd Folk and one of the most unusual characters in the game. His backstory will be central to the plot. He is exceedingly tall and gangly, much like the other Odd Folk but far more striking to look upon. Branches of coral adorn his head like a crown and his long, delicate fingers twitch constantly. His grinning mouth never speaks but it is said that he sometimes confers in whispers with the chieftain's wife, over whom he has a mysterious hold...
« Last Edit: October 16, 2016, 11:08:47 am by Panurge » Logged

Panurge
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2016, 03:10:33 am »

Our bard has leveled up! Check out this beautiful piece by Tony, designed as a theme for the Odd Folk:



https://soundcloud.com/tony-manfredonia/the-wayward-isles-the-odd-folk
« Last Edit: October 16, 2016, 10:53:45 am by Panurge » Logged

Panurge
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2016, 11:07:20 am »

Will has been hard at work fleshing out Peter's concept of our main character Scyld and it's very exciting to see him in glorious 3D for the first time.


There are 7329 individual hairs in his beard and Will modeled and placed each one by hand. All hairs will be rigged and dynamically animated, responding individually to threats such as singeing, knotting and excessive bristling.*

*Okay, this is speculation on my part. I felt compelled to say something technical...
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Panurge
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« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2016, 02:37:57 am »

Many of you will have been thinking "What do people use for shelter on these islands? Do they just wander around all the time without sleeping? Are the developers so stupid they think we'll accept a world without houses? Did their mothers not teach them to think before they act?"

Firstly, calm down. Secondly, please leave our mothers out of it. Thirdly, check these out:


Peter's designs for the island's buildings hint at the backstory of Scyld's people, the Varuni. Once a powerful clan of nomadic pirates, they were defeated many centuries ago by a coalition of the cities they had terrorised and the surviving Varuni fled to the Wayward Isles. Here they scuppered the remnants of their fleet and used it to build their new homes. Traces of this nautical heritage can still be clearly seen in the houses' designs.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2016, 09:49:30 am by Panurge » Logged

Panurge
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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2016, 07:13:30 am »


Sleeps 4, all mod-cons, sea views. Slight danger of attack from ocean-dwelling horrors, pets and children left unattended at guests' own risk.
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Panurge
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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2016, 03:43:53 am »

Been toying with a 'magnifier' mechanic for reading text in the game. The idea is that Scyld's eyes won't be so good anymore so he'll only be able to read with the help of a glass dome which he slides across the page, like this one:


These were used by medieval monks before the widespread use of spectacles and would fit in nicely with the game's setting. In terms of gameplay, it will allow us to subtly withhold some information from the player until a dome has been found and will also enable some interesting puzzles as Scyld uses it to examine charts, illuminated pages of text and intricate decals on objects.

The game will be very light on written lore (even though I'm a writer, I'm not a fan of that sort of thing) so I don't imagine it will be too wearing for the player to have to use this mechanic when they do discover the odd page. I'm still wary that it may be a little too gimmicky though. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. You can check out my very rough prototype here:




Follow the link and just mouse across the screen to test it out.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2016, 09:48:21 am by Panurge » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2016, 04:52:10 pm »

Neat!  I've done some water refraction shader stuff and I could prolly help you out with the distortion effect on the edges if you need it
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2016, 05:31:50 pm »

Wow, the artwork here is just stunning!  I can't wait to see where this goes. Keep it up!
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Panurge
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« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2016, 01:13:30 am »

Thanks all!

Neat!  I've done some water refraction shader stuff and I could prolly help you out with the distortion effect on the edges if you need it

Thanks very much for the offer but the prototype is really just my clumsy mock-up. If we do implement the system then the artists and coder will nicen it up a hundredfold!

By the way, Caravan looks great! Only just noticed it and I really like the direction you're taking.
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« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2016, 08:39:55 pm »

By the way, Caravan looks great! Only just noticed it and I really like the direction you're taking.

Thanks!
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« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2016, 10:15:50 am »

Although The Wayward Isles will be an open-world game in that players will be free to roam wherever they like on the island and tackle the story in any order, we're fully aware of our limitations as a small team. We're not aiming to compete with Skyrim! The island will be relatively small and sparsely populated and enemy types will be limited. There will almost certainly be no need for skill trees, shops, weapon variants, loot, items etc. All the focus will be on atmosphere and story.

However, we hope to compensate for the lack of quantity by driving for quality in every aspect of the game. The combat may be simple but it will be honed obsessively to make it as fun as possible. There may be few NPCs on the island but they will each have a distinct character and a meaningful, flexible relationship with the player. Key locations will be few and far between but each will be unique and detailed.

With that in mind, Peter has been working on concepts for the island's only town, the port of Bryth. I'm naturally biased but I think they're awesome!


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« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2016, 07:24:53 am »

Testing out some weather in the engine...



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