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TIGSource ForumsCommunityTownhallBehind the horizon - a RPG,farming,nature simulation game - Demo released
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Jadawin
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« on: June 28, 2020, 01:07:12 AM »

Hello Community,

after some years of development I released a demo which includes the first chapter of the story from Behind the Horizon on itch io:

https://jadawin1.itch.io/behind-the-horizon

and a new english Trailer for the game:






--------------- Description ---------------

Behind the Horizon is a RPG, Farming and Nature simulation game with an epic story. The game offers a long mystical story a long way from the usual "Hero Saves the World". Rather it tells a story about the discovering of one's own nature and of the nature of the world.


The community of Woodhome and the contact to the inhabitants plays an important role in the game. There are a lot of story lines  concerning the Woodhome´s inhabitants.
The nature simulation makes sure that no game is like the other and that the landscape changes every day.


The weather and the seasons are also simulated and have a direct influence on nature and the player. There are even catastrophes and special events in the simulation, which can change the landscape sudddenly.

In the settlements the NPCs go about their business and everyone can be talked to. The inhabitants have their own history and many need help or just want to chat a little.


There are some difficult decisions to make and everything affects yourself,   the world and the story. Friendship and romances are also not unknown in Behind the Horizon, but more shall not be revealed here ;-) !

Well over 50 cutscenes, which bring the story forward or breathe life into certain moments. Among them are events like learning new skills as well as visions and information about the stories.

There are hundreds of items that you can find in the dark dungeons, buy from merchants, or make yourself. Potions, spells, all kinds of food and many other useful items can be built on the farm. There are numerous recipes for housing and also a lot of furniture at the local traders.Magic is also not unknown in Behind the Horizon and the exploration to find the origin of magic is a central point in the story.

The combat system with 5 weapon types has over 30 spells. Many are also usefull while farming. Huge underground caves and dungeons with traps, labyrinths, treasures and many surprises await you. There are several boss enemies with sophisticated mechanics and also many annoying  ;-) Trashmobs like the well known giant bats.Farming: You can cultivate many vegetable plants and also all wild plants and trees.


Animals can be kept in enclosures or stables and also small, helping companions can be found and trained. All the plants that you harvest on your farm can be used for your own nutrition, for cooking and the making of spells and of course to get the desired coins to be able to buy some things from the traders of Woodhome.

The mix between farming/RPG/exploring caves and housing is up to you, but it should be said that you can have a lot of variety. Just wandering through the nature after a season is over is always exciting to me. To see what has grown, what has died, how the course of the river has changed or where the quality of the earth has improved.System requirements:


A Windows PC or Laptop (Windows 7/8/10) with 4GB memory or more. It runs smoothly on the newer Intel graphics chipsets. So hardware requirements rather moderate!

------------ Screenshots ---------------






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Jadawin
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2020, 02:11:56 AM »



Hello, community,

Today I would like to tell you why I wrote Behind the Horizon!

I have played many games myself, especially roleplaying games, and there are only a few I like to remember, because they bring new and different ideas in. 

Normally it's all about the hero who saves the world and the destruction of one or more enemies. Online games are about competing with others and being better, having better equipment, making some kind of achievement, etc.! Besides, most games are endless. Monsters get up again, quests have to be done over and over again and the grinding has reached unbelievable dimensions. In short, as a player I feel more and more in the role of being played by the game, instead of diving into another world and experiencing a good, exciting story there. In terms of a book, it would be in something like this: After each page of the novel I first have to count all the pages of the book before I can read on ;-) !

Furthermore, the focus of many games I know is on violence and destruction. Even many construction games don't make a difference. I have always longed for peaceful, beautiful and also romantic moments in games. Unfortunately, these moments rarely or never exist. I think games should inspire people! What is  inspiring about a soldier armed to the teeth who blows up an enemy tank? Are there not enough conflicts and violence in the world?

- In Behind the Horizon I tried to avoid all this and let the player dive into a living world that is constantly changing. Of course there are monsters to fight in my game, but fighting isn't the focus nor is it completely pointless, because something is really changing. The player always has an impact on the world. The story is about the player himself and delves deeply into mystical and spiritual themes that have the potential to change your way of thinking in the real world. Behind the horizon is a "friendly" game with lovable, lively people who populate the world. Getting to know these people and telling their stories in a cheerful, nice way was also one of my goals. It should feel like home to stroll through Woodhome, visit Emma's junk shop or go to Chloé's restaurant.

You are ther center of the story and the story is like a red thread through everything you experience in the world. The tension intensifies in the last two chapters before it ends with one of the two possible endings. Since I created this game alone in years of work and I am mainly a game designer and programmer, I had to make some compromises mostly in terms of graphics. First it doesn't feel like all of a piece, but when you play Behind the Horizon for a while, it's hardly noticeable. There may be players for whom bombastic, coherent graphics are

indispensable and for whom my game is certainly unsuitable. All others, who are also longing for a game in which you can feel comfortable, I highly recommend to give Behind the Horizon a chance!

The demo (1 chapter of the story) is available on itch io in german and english:   https://jadawin1.itch.io/behind-the-horizon

The final release will follow soon!

Trailer:


















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Jadawin
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2020, 03:16:08 AM »



Hello Community,

 After some consideration I decided to give up the round world map and extend the player's view to the whole screen. Many testers said that the unused screen area disturbed them and I now agree with that.

To make this change possible had to adjust some spells and potions in their function. For this purpose I have built a fatigue system into the game. After 16h without sleep the player gets a message that it is time to sleep. After 18h his visibility starts to decrease until he only perceives his immediate surroundings. If this is ignored, the loss of energy puts an end to the endless hustle and bustle ;-) !

Sleeping reduces the tiredness naturally. Roughly speaking you have to sleep 1h to get rid of 2h tiredness. With a 16h awake and 6h sleep rhythm this works well. By means of a spell or with potions you can also extend the time of being awake without causing negative effects.

All changes in V1.05 you can see in the Changelog.

The new version you can download on my itch io page:
https://jadawin1.itch.io/behind-the-horizon

Here some new screenshots:










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Jadawin
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2020, 09:25:45 PM »

Hello, Communnity,

there is a new gameplay video from Behind the Horizon. This time it's about the fighting system in the caves.
The huge areas of the caves and catacombs are, like the whole map of the game, are 100% hand designed and each cave is unique. There are small puzzles, traps and many little stories from the ancient times. Everywhere there is something to discover.

Have fun with the video!






You can find the latest version of the demo (Chapter 1) on my itch io page:

https://jadawin1.itch.io/behind-the-horizon




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Jadawin
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2020, 01:33:28 AM »

The village Woodhome

Take a little walk through Woodhome! In Woodhome live many inhabitants. They walk around, go to work, visit each other and live in harmony with nature. You´ll find many shops and craftsmen there too. You can talk to everyone and the people will tell you about their needs and problems or help you in your tasks.





You can find the latest version of the demo (Chapter 1) on my itch io page:

https://jadawin1.itch.io/behind-the-horizon

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Jadawin
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2020, 09:11:05 PM »



Hello, community,

Today the focus lies on the nature simulation in Behind the Horizon. In the beginning programming the simulation was my only goal and it is now the base of all other systems in my game. At first I tried a very complicated approach with many parameters, but I soon realized that this would become much too complicated for the player. So I created the simulation based on 4 essential factors. These are: ...temperature, light, humidity and nutrients. All plants have a "feel-good" area for each value in which they grow and a duration of days they can endure extreme conditions. If there is no improvement afterwards, they die.

Nutrients are in a constant cycle and are absorbed and released back into the soil after death. A lack of nutrients is the quickest way to kill a plant. Animals also belong to this cycle by eating plants and excreting them again. Some farm animals can even be used selectively to fertilize the soil.

Water enters the soil through rain or snow, but also through fog and through adjacent water or swamp fields. Many desert plants can survive almost indefinitely without water, but then they also stop growing. Depending on the type of soil, part of the water gained seeps away again and is not usable for the plants. In sunny weather a lot of water evaporates. Ground cover and trees help to minimise evaporation.

The temperature depends on the weather and the season and peaks in midsummer. Plants that prefer a cooler climate usually grow only in the north. At temperatures below zero degrees, rain falls as snow and gradually forms a solid snow cover, which also thaws only slowly. Ponds also freeze at low temperatures and can then be entered.

The light intensity changes according to the season and is of course lower under trees. Some plants do not tolerate direct sunlight in summer.

Possibilities:
To adjust these four natural values and to grow all plants successfully on the farm there are many possibilities of influence from fertilizer and water buckets to magic crystals and spells. However, you can also make a lot of things possible by observing nature and finding combination of plants which can grow in symbiosis. For example, the temperature under trees is always a bit higher than on the bare earth.

Soils:
The quality of the soil is slowly evolving because of the plants that grow on it. The quickest way to do this is for the player to plant a field himself, because the crops give the soil the most experience. If the soil quality increases by one level, its ability to store water and nutrients usually increases, and often it is possible to plant certain more demanding crops on it.
However, as a result of certain events or natural disasters, the soil can also degenerate and thus loose quality again.
There are the following soil types in my game which are important for farming: rock, loose stones, gravel, sand, sandy soil, clay, hard clay , red earth and black earth. Beyond that there are the swamp and the waters and a few more, but they do not play a big role.

Plants:
There are three different plants that can grow on a field at the same time and therefore there are many more or less successful combinations. The lowest level is formed by the ground cover, followed by the cultivated plants and above that by bushes and trees. Each plant has its individual characteristics and also produces something. These can be fruits and vegetables or flowers and alchemical substances. Everything can be used in any recipe, or sold for coins.
All plants sow themselves according to the direction of the wind and reproduce themselves. If a plant is harvested, it will not multiply. The life span of a plant varies from 1 year to 10 years in the game. After that the plant dies and returns its nutrients to the earth.

Conclusion:
This was a small insight into the mechanics underlying the simulation of nature. I can guarantee that every world will look different. Depending on what the player does (and there are many possibilities) and which way the plants themselves choose, the landscape changes constantly. I had already had one year where a mass death of pine trees started and large areas emptied. This area was then gradually conquered by other plants.


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Jadawin
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2020, 08:10:30 PM »




Hello, community,

Today I would like to tell you something about the graphic in Behind the Horizon. Since I am mainly a game designer and programmer I had to start from scratch in the graphical area and often had to rely on other generous artists who provide their textures and sprites as OpenArt. Therefore there are inevitably different graphic styles in my game, which is perceived as disturbing by some. But I have found that after a short time it doesn't matter anymore and in some "magical" way ;-) everything fits together again. It's the athmosphere that carries the game and the many possibilities and stories that Behind the Horizon is focused on.

It was especially difficult to find animated sprites, which had to be available in many ariations (NPCs) for my game. The NPCs should be easily distinguishable and in the end I decided to use an OpenArt Online Sprite Generator and then manually enhance them and add animations if needed. This serves its purpose well. I would have liked to add more animals of the wilderness, like squirrels, foxes, wild cats etc... but unfortunately there was little choice and creating my own animations proved to be so time-consuming that it would have doubled the already giganitic time needed for the game.

In the caves I decided to use the technique of ambient occlusion, because it's simply more exciting if you don't see everything immediately and turn around a corner and discover a surprise (good or bad) there. The corresponding part of the program was quite complicated, because it should be fast enough to handle many light sources and it is calculated on the CPU. With the third attempt it worked and I think it does its purpose and contributed a lot to the atmosphere in the dark caves.

The graphical interface is almost completely designed by myself and it is colored in earth tones matching the theme of the game. I tried to make it clear and not overload it with too much information. It was also important to me that the handling is fluent and comfortable and one does not spend too much time in the inventory or other elements of the interface.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You can find the latest version of the demo (Chapter 1) on my itch io page:


https://jadawin1.itch.io/behind-the-horizon


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------








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Jadawin
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2020, 08:18:16 PM »

Hello, community,
Today I have another gameplay video for you. This time I walk through some of the different types of landscapes from the high snowy north to the deserts in the south.

In the second part unfortunately the recording software messed up the frame rate and the video stutters. But in the game everything runs smoothly :-) !


Have fun with the video!






You can find the latest version of the demo (Chapter 1) on my itch io page:

https://jadawin1.itch.io/behind-the-horizon
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Jadawin
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« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2020, 09:02:13 PM »




Hello, community,

today I´ll tell you about magic in Behind the Horizon. Magic and its use is closely linked to the epic story of my game, and is used not only for killing monsters in the huge hand made caves, but for many other manipulations of the world. For example, later in the game you can turn land fields into water fields or speed up the growth of plants enormously.

Graphically I have a unique animation for each spell, which shows the character of the spell visually. There are 40 different spells and animations in total.

As a magician you learn new magic formulas one by one, which are mixed from substances found in the world or produced by yourself. The finished spells can be used with enough magic power. However, every spell has a minimal consciousness value. If this value is higher than the player's, the spell can be cast, but can lead to unpredictable consequences. For example, a healing spell can deal damage, or a weather spell can cause a natural disaster. The probability of this happening is directly related to the lack of consciousness.

There are also magic crystals that directly affect the surrounding fields and change the temperature, light or even water and nutrients of the soil. This gives many exciting new possibilities to create your own farm.

Indirectly, magic also finds its way into many items of equipment, where it improves basic values such as creativity or attack. Such magically enhanced equipment can be found in large numbers, bought or even build by yourself.

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