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1370252 Posts in 64449 Topics- by 56501 Members - Latest Member: liquidpigstudios

December 09, 2019, 02:06:45 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsZealot - Brutal action / adventure game, inspired by Slavic mythology!
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Author Topic: Zealot - Brutal action / adventure game, inspired by Slavic mythology!  (Read 5964 times)
mystic_swamp
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« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2019, 08:40:54 AM »

These visuals are so incredibly wonderful. I can not wait to see more. Shocked
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GrayTree
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« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2019, 02:49:28 PM »

Hey everyone!

To commemorate reaching four thousand followers on Twitter and to thank everyone who supported us so far, our artist made this cool painting of our main character, so here it is!



To keep updated, follow us on on our social medias: Twitter / Facebook.

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Schrompf
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« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2019, 10:27:39 PM »

Nice work! This could also be a badass metal band member.
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Snake World, multiplayer worm eats stuff and grows DevLog
qMopey
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« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2019, 10:38:53 PM »

Cool art Smiley
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GrayTree
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« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2019, 08:38:31 AM »

Devlog 5 - Visuals Breakdown

Hello everyone!

This time around in this week’s devlog, we thought it would be interesting to talk about the Zealot’s artstyle, some of the creative influences behind it, and the pipeline used to achieve this look.

Influences

As many of you wonderfully pointed out, the game takes a huge amount of inspiration from games from the PSX era, which combine 2D and 3D in a similar way. This at the time was, of course, due to resource limitations, you couldn’t have both detailed 3D characters and backgrounds due to the low poly-count limit. So a lot of games ended up compromising by combining both aesthetics, some by having 3D real-time characters on pre-rendered backgrounds (like FFVII), and some by having hand drawn sprites on fully rendered 3D environments (like Xenogears, BoFIV).



We're, of course, huge fans of this look, and we find it a shame that it hasn’t been further explored past that console generation, aside from a couple of more recent examples (Octopath Traveller). So with this, and considering our team’s skillset, we thought it would be a fantastic idea to adapt this visual style to a modern action/adventure type of game.



Gameplay

While most of the game plays from a top-down isometric-ish perspective, having 3D environments allows us to move the camera freely to explore them (as you saw in our previous screenshotsaturday tweet / devlog). Nier:Automata is a great example of an RPG that is not constricted by its camera at all, often times seamlessly turning the game from a third-person hack and slash into a sidescroller, which results in some really beautiful cinematic moments. You can expect a similar degree of perspective shifts from Zealot.



Characters

Characters in Zealot are then, all hand drawn with pixel-art. Given the 3D and top-down nature of the environments, this means each move set needs to be animated 3 to 5 times to accommodate for all the different directions the characters can be facing. We went a little more in-depth about this on our second devlog.



Well, that sounds like a lot of work (and it is), which is why each character design is done very deliberately to consider how many resources it will take to fully animate. Even a simple enemy grunt like the one below, which only has 5 animation states (idle, run, attack, hurt, and death) can take upwards of 2 weeks to complete, due to having to animate this moveset a total of 3 times.



Environments

The main challenge with the environment and props was to make sure that they share a consistent look with the characters. When you have 2D characters running around in a 3D environment it’s very important that the two aesthetics don’t look awkward together, so, to avoid this clash, it’s a matter of making the 3D look as much as pixel-art as possible.



To accomplish this, we make sure that the texture unwraps have a consistent texel density with the characters. For example, our priest has a height of roughly 64 pixels (hat included), so from there we can conclude that 32 pixels is roughly 1 meter. We model all the 3D assets with this scale in mind to avoid too small or too big pixels in the textures.

It took us much trial and error to make this aesthetic work, but in the end, it was when we completely removed all anti-aliasing and filtering that we arrived at a result that we were excited about. (Sully has a fantastic tutorial on how to achieve this look in case you’re interested in learning more about it)



Thank you for reading and we hope that this devlog was an interesting insight into the workflow that goes into the creation of Zealot’s aesthetics. Stay tuned for future devlogs!

To keep updated, follow us on on our social medias: Twitter / Facebook.

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GrayTree
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« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2019, 12:33:01 PM »

Hey everyone!

Showcasing our heavy enemy's dash attack, followed up by a smash combo, for this week's #screenshotsaturday!



To keep updated, follow us on on our social medias: Twitter / Facebook.

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paulmyers
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« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2019, 12:40:51 PM »

This game looks fan-friggin-tastic. I want to explore these environments! They also give me Vagrant Story vibes along with the other games mentioned
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andyfromiowa
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« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2019, 04:43:11 PM »

This looks exceptionally good. The 2D/3D transitions are pretty mind blowing. Keep up the amazing work!
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GrayTree
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« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2019, 08:52:30 AM »

Devlog 6 - The World

Hey everyone!

On today’s devlog we’ll cover the starting area of the game, as well as explain a bit about the rest of zealot’s game world!

The Ruins

The first area in-game is composed by the ruins of the first and only attempt from the Orthodoxy to colonize Zealot’s land. At first, the colony grew and reached a town’s size, complete with walls and a fully fledged cathedral as the central point. After the big revolt from the united Pagan tribes, most of the infrastructure was ruined, leaving nature free to reclaim the settlement. Although the settlement was ruined and overrun, most of the walls still stand proud to this day.



The Purpose

This starting area serves as both an immersive tutorial and the main hub for the entirety of the game’s duration. For the remainder of the game world to be “unlocked”, the player will have to complete a series of challenges and learn about most of the game mechanics, progressing through the ruins in a semi-contained experience of what the other zones are going to feel like.

The priest will find himself returning to the cathedral often to make use of the blacksmithing station, change up his arsenal of weapons and relics and to pray at the holy altar using found prayer sheets, whose effect will passively increase or decrease the main character’s statistics. The settlement is also the central point of the game world, making travelling back to it an even more enticing offer when exploring or just travelling to different areas.

The Land

Zealot’s land is controlled by Pagan tribes, with different ones claiming unique territories for the worship of their gods. There will be four major zones, each controlled by a tribe dedicated to a major deity from Slavic mythology, and each containing both different styles of combat related challenges and unique exploration related secrets. The areas are all going to be visually distinct, keeping in theme with the god worshiped there. We’ll go more into the specifics of every area in future devlogs.



The map above is a representation of the different explorable areas of Zealot. It depicts the Orthodox settlement at the centre, surrounded by the plains, a neutral area where defectors from each tribe live unaffiliated. Surrounding the plains are the different zones controlled by each of the four main ruling tribes,  marked by their corresponding deity’s symbol!

To keep updated, follow us on on our social medias: Twitter / Facebook.

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TanukiDev
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« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2019, 11:51:59 AM »

I really love the art direction of your game. It's a great mix between 2d and 3d.
My only concern is that the game play looks pretty rigid, I am curious to see how it will evolve!
I will definitely keep an eye on your project !
cheers
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GrayTree
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« Reply #30 on: June 15, 2019, 08:01:35 AM »

Hello everyone!

A little teaser of our rotating camera for this week's #screenshotsaturday!



To keep updated, follow us on on our social medias: Twitter / Facebook.

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GrayTree
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« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2019, 07:19:18 AM »

Devlog 7 - Relics

Hello again!

This week we've started implementing relics into the game. In this devlog we're going to be giving you a brief run-down of how they work, as well as showing off the first of these relics, the cross.

Basically, relics are re-usable active items that offer various combat advantages. You can think of them like the alternate weapons from Castlevania games, or how shop items work in A Link Between Worlds.



Relics require energy to use, represented by that blue-ish bar below the health, energy is also tied to a number of actions such as rolls and alternate attacks, in order to incentivize a more thoughtful style of play and to prevent spamming.

Under that you can see a picture of a cross inside a frame, with another one stacked underneath, this is how relics are represented to let the player knows which one is currently equipped, at the moment we allow for 2 different relics to be equipped at any given time, but we’re considering implementing a way of expanding the maximum number of equippable relics in the future.

To inspect and equip relics, the player will have to make use of a large reliquary that can be found inside of the hub cathedral, there, they will be able to scroll through all of the relics they have collected throughout the land as well as to learn about their effects in combat, all accompanied by some flavour text, of course.



Moving on to the cross itself then, as you can see in the gif above, this relic when used emits a cross-shaped shockwave in the direction the player is facing, This shockwave serves to push back any oncoming foes that are stricken by it, dealing some minor damage, as well as interrupting their attacks.

This is massively helpful for when the player finds themselves overwhelmed by smaller foes and is in the need of creating some space between themselves and the enemy for evading, or just for focusing on a specific enemy at a time. It will definitely be very handy when facing those quick wax-men grunts that are found in the beginning area of the game, which is coincidentally where you find this relic also.

We're currently working on polishing this mechanic in our build and will likely have something to show off come next saturday, so be on the lookout for that!

To keep updated, follow us on on our social medias: Twitter / Facebook.

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GrayTree
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« Reply #32 on: June 22, 2019, 06:48:39 AM »

Hello everyone!

Today's #screenshotsaturday is all about the cross relic, a powerful tool further explained in our latest devlog!



To keep updated, follow us on on our social medias: Twitter / Facebook.

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Loungers
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« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2019, 01:34:47 PM »

great art style
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GrayTree
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« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2019, 09:26:50 AM »

Devlog 8 - Pray

Hey everyone!

For this week’s devlog we’ll be talking about our prayer system and show you guys two different specific examples of our praying sheet items!

These sheets are collectable items scattered throughout the world of Zealot. When collected, the player will be able to follow the written prayer when praying at the altar of the ruined Orthodox Cathedral (see devlog 4 for more information), granting the priest passive enhancements.



There are three types of prayers, the first ones grant passive modifications that are strictly positive, like a health or damage boost. These are often found incomplete and their effects are expanded when the player collects more versions of the sheet.

Next, are the forbidden prayers, powerful benedictions with tradeoffs associated, for example, giving a larger damage boost while also greatly reducing resistance to enemy attacks.

Lastly, we have the pagan prayers, heretic incantations that the player can optionally burn at the Orthodox settlement to increase the overall difficulty of the enemies, angering the old deities. Only for those seeking a challenge, or increased rewards ...

Most of our prayer sheets are inspired by excerpts of real life Orthodox prayers, matching their theme with the effects that it grants to the player in-game. Here are some examples:



The first prayer sheet is Postnaya Molitva (Lenten Prayer), a prayer referencing one of the most important seasons for Orthodoxy practitioners, the Great Lent. During this period of fasting, the believer’s character is uplifted and strengthened. We interpreted this prayer as a strength increase in-game, increasing the priest’s damage.



The second sheet is Vremya Nuzhdy (Time of Need), a prayer that practitioners use when asking God’s mercy and help in erasing the believer’s fears and bolstering their courage. In-game, the prayer increases the priest’s vitality, augmenting its defence.

Thanks for reading, and for a final note, with this main feature described, we will start making devlogs based on what we are currently working. In order for those to be detailed enough, we will be changing the schedule of these to a bimonthly cadence starting now. Look forward to the next one!

To keep updated, follow us on on our social medias: Twitter / Facebook.

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badru
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« Reply #35 on: June 28, 2019, 01:21:08 PM »

This looks sick as fuck. I don't even have anything to say other than, amazing work, keep it up, god bless. Mostly just replying to follow.
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edwinm
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« Reply #36 on: July 05, 2019, 10:25:06 PM »

This looks awesome! Love the style, there's so much atmosphere in those pixels... very dark and moody  Smiley
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GrayTree
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« Reply #37 on: July 11, 2019, 08:44:30 AM »

Hello everyone!

A bit late but here is our latest #screenshotsaturday, featuring our newest kneeling animation!



To keep updated, follow us on on our social medias: Twitter / Facebook.

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GrayTree
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« Reply #38 on: July 11, 2019, 08:52:22 AM »

Devlog 9 - Hub Area Layout

Hello people!

As we move past implementing basic mechanics and towards starting to build content, we began thinking about the layout and design of the hub area of the game as well as the various “equipment stations” the player will be able to interact with.



Excuse the messy sketch, but here you can see the general layout we've imagined for the area. With this draft we're trying to figure out the best arrangement for the different stations so that it would be effortless and intuitive for the player to move between them to switch up their loadout. This is all of course subject to change until we get a grasp of how it feels in-engine, some things like the central square with the monuments could probably be a little bigger and wider to make traversal simpler.



That previous sketch helps Vasco (our artist) to visualize the context and scale for each of these stations before he begins their concept art, so with the reliquary for example, since its been sitting outside of the cathedral for assumedly many years it would make sense that it’d show some wear and tear from being exposed to the environment and all of the foliage surrounding it. Another important thing to note is the actual interactivity of these assets, we’re trying to make the UI for these stations diegetic whenever possible, so for the reliquary we made sure that all the relics preserved within were on display for the player to see and equip with ease and without breaking up the gameplay, avoiding “menu-ing” as much as we can.

That’s about it for this week’s write-up, thank you for reading and be sure to check in with us again in our next devlog!

To keep updated, follow us on on our social medias: Twitter / Facebook.

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GrayTree
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« Reply #39 on: July 13, 2019, 06:09:15 AM »

Hello everyone!

Showcasing our player death animation for this week's #screenshotsaturday!



To keep updated, follow us on on our social medias: Twitter / Facebook.

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