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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsBattleJuice Alchemist – Base-building patch is live on Steam!
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Author Topic: BattleJuice Alchemist – Base-building patch is live on Steam!  (Read 74401 times)
Alain
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« Reply #700 on: December 01, 2023, 01:20:06 PM »

Quote
It is funny you mention the ice-sliding: we actually have that. When on an ice surface, you are not slower, but a bit faster. The downside is, that it is difficult to stop, because you keep sliding into the direction you last moved.

I remembered you describing how it works + I think I saw it in the video? I didnt like the endless sliding, thats why I suggested a more elegant way to move on ice Smiley

Ah, I see :D Well, I'll see if we iterate on the sliding mechanic in the future!
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Alain
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« Reply #701 on: December 01, 2023, 02:04:05 PM »

BATTLEJUICE ALCHEMIST DEVLOG
Unlocking Character Variety


Hey folks,

as you're aware, we're a small team dedicated to BattleJuice Alchemist. With our combined efforts, we (that's Patrick and myself) essentially have the workload of one single full-time artist covering everything from 2D and 3D work, including modeling, texturing, and animation. Additionally, we create every asset ourselves, foregoing the use of marketplaces or asset stores. This poses a challenge for a comprehensive RPG, and today I'd like to shed light on a magical tool we use to add diversity to our characters despite these constraints: animation retargeting.


In the image above, you see three skeletons of different sizes. Upon closer inspection, you'll notice that they aren't just scaled versions of each other but have distinct proportions. Given our limited resources, creating individual animations for each character is impractical. This is where animation retargeting becomes invaluable.

If you just slap an animation onto a character without retargeting, things can go quite wrong, as you can see here (image from the Unreal Engine wiki):


Animation retargeting in Unreal Engine is like taking dance moves from one character and teaching them to another with a different body shape. It saves us a lot of time by reusing animations for various characters, even if they don't have the exact same proportions. The process involves setting up a translation of movements and rotations to fit the new character's structure, ensuring that the animations look good on different in-game personas. This allows us to efficiently use and share animations across various NPCs, like these two very different characters:


Here is what the teeny-weeny Leprechaun looks like in-game in comparison to our player character:


As we navigate the challenges of developing BattleJuice Alchemist with our lean yet dedicated team, animation retargeting turned out as a great ally, allowing us to breathe life into diverse characters without overwhelming our limited resources. Eventually, we plan to individualize animations more and more. For example, a giant should walk with more gravity than a Leprechaun. However, it is surprising how many animations work well, especially from our top-down perspective, when shared. I believe this is a smart approach to our work, and it has become one of our prime directives: We must choose our battles wisely by adding detail only where necessary.

Thank you for reading and have a great weekend!

Alain
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marcgfx
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« Reply #702 on: December 02, 2023, 08:31:02 AM »

Save where you can. If no one notices it's even better Wink
Looks like you forget to retarget the head of the head-less, but that might have been intentional Cheesy
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Alain
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« Reply #703 on: December 08, 2023, 12:14:41 PM »

Looks like you forget to retarget the head of the head-less, but that might have been intentional Cheesy

Cheesy
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Alain
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« Reply #704 on: December 22, 2023, 01:57:55 PM »

BATTLEJUICE ALCHEMIST DEVLOG
Happy Holidays!


Hey everyone,

As we approach the festive season, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to each and every one of you who has been following the development of our game. Your support has been the driving force behind our journey, and I can't thank you enough for being a part of the Alchemical Works family.

This year has been particularly special as I worked intensively with a full team for the first time, consisting of Patrick, Jan, Felix, Markus, and Dominik. Working alongside these creative minds has been an incredible experience for me, and together, we're crafting something truly extraordinary with BattleJuice Alchemist.

We also want to extend our appreciation to our fantastic publisher, ESDigital Games, for their unwavering support and collaboration. This year, we met them for the first time in person at Gamescom, which was just great, and we are so glad to have them in our corner. Also, we would not be able to work the way we do without the support of Media Funding RLP and the German Federal Funding.

And, of course, none of this would be possible without the encouragement and enthusiasm of the people patiently waiting for the game and following its development. Your feedback has fueled our determination to create a truly unique RPG.


As we step into 2024, we're thrilled to announce that it's going to be a monumental year for BattleJuice Alchemist and Alchemical Works. We have some major news coming your way very soon, so be sure to stay tuned for updates and exciting reveals!

Wishing you and your loved ones a joyful holiday season and a Happy New Year. Thank you for being a crucial part of our adventure. Here's to an amazing 2024 filled with magic, challenges, and triumphs!

Warm regards,

Alain and the Alchemical Works Team
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Alain
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« Reply #705 on: January 11, 2024, 02:52:18 PM »

BATTLEJUICE ALCHEMIST DEVLOG
Our Secret Visual Improvement



Hey folks!

Welcome to the first BattleJuice Alchemist devlog of 2024, where we spill some beans on how we spiced up our headless lorekeeper, Dullahan. This one's for the tech nerds, but I promise it's cool even if you're not into the nitty-gritty stuff.

So, Dullahan is this mysterious old, headless lady who lives among her scrolls and ravens in the supernatural realm surrounding us, the Crossroads. Our artist, Patrick, had this idea to take it up a notch technically. Dullahan should have a flowing cape and candles on her back.


Usually, we use only a single texture, which determines the colors for a character. In modern games, a 3D asset usually has multiple textures: There is something called PBR (Physically Based Rendering), where you add textures providing the information on how bumpy or reflective a surface is. We don't use PBR because our game is all about that hyper-stylization. But Patrick came to me with this plan - add a second texture file that stores different information.

The new file tells the engine how wind should mess with Dullahan's cape and how much the candle's flames should glow.


Wind Effects (Blue Channel): Dullahan's cape is swaying in the wind, even though our animations are as simple as it gets and the cape is not animated. It just moves, where we paint blue into the new texture. That's the magic of the texture's blue channel right there.

Glow (Red Channel): Dullahan's candles now glow. There is no particle system, just a simple plane for the flame as part of the 3D model. It moves, because of the blue channel and thanks to the red channel, we can crank up the glow intensity in specific spots. With our post-processing applied, Dullahan looks like this:



We can even expand on the system by making use of the currently empty green channel and the alpha channel of our new texture later on.

"Why secondary motion?" you may ask. Our animations are deliberately simple, but throwing in some secondary motion is like adding a sprinkle of magic. It's the reason puppets like those in Sesame Street often have fur - extra motion that makes the character more lively and does not need to be animated manually.

Patrick's idea turned out to be great, and I am glad he nagged me to implement it. Check out Dullahan inside the game:


As we keep pushing what we can do with such a small team, these tech tweaks help us keep things stylish yet immersive. We're stoked about how Dullahan turned out, and we hope you agree.

Stick around for more behind-the-scenes shenanigans and thank you for reading!

Alain
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Tangleworm
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« Reply #706 on: January 13, 2024, 10:26:39 PM »

Using texture channels for effects is really cool! The end result is absolutely worth it.
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Alain
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« Reply #707 on: January 26, 2024, 02:57:29 AM »

Thank you so much, Tangleworm!
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Ramos
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« Reply #708 on: January 27, 2024, 10:36:42 AM »

Solid progress you have here Alain, you surely invested a lot of time into it

 Gentleman
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Alain
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« Reply #709 on: February 05, 2024, 03:24:37 AM »

Solid progress you have here Alain, you surely invested a lot of time into it

Thanks Ramos! I hope it was worth putting some time into the system to get a bit more out of the things we can do with our characters with our limited resources.
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Alain
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« Reply #710 on: February 05, 2024, 03:48:47 AM »

Hey everybody,

I am thrilled to announce that the BattleJuice Alchemist demo has launched, and it's eagerly waiting for you to take it apart! To give you an idea what awaits you, here comes our teaser:






Our demo is part of Steam Next Fest starting today. Download it here right here:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1384060


Thank you so much for patiently following the development of BattleJuice Alchemist Smiley

Alain
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Alain
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« Reply #711 on: February 16, 2024, 07:42:16 AM »

BATTLEJUICE ALCHEMIST DEVLOG
Our Demo & Steam Next Fest Wrap-up



Hey folks!

Wow, what a whirlwind Steam Next Fest was! We're absolutely buzzing from the response to our demo. Thousands of you dove in and gave it a spin, amazing streamers showed it to their audiences and we've just been blown away by the positivity and feedback.


And guess what? The demo's still alive and kicking! So if you haven't had the chance to check it out yet, now's your shot. This is not just a 15 minute demo, let me give you a little taste of what's waiting for you:

- The Mountain Pass: Start your journey in this tutorial level, where you'll get the lowdown on our combat system. Picture this: top-down isometric action RPG meets JRPG-style duels. It's all about learning the ropes, honing your skills, and getting ready to kick some demonic behinds.

- Caribou Creek: Once you've got the basics down, you dive into the heart of the action. Follow Juice, our intrepid alchemist protagonist, as they uncover the mysteries of Caribou Creek. There's a whole questline waiting for you, packed with potion crafting, ritual magic, riddles to solve, and maybe even a few surprises along the way. Don't forget to keep an eye out for side quests - they might just lead you to some handy companion to join you on your journey.

- Exploration: Finished the main questline? Awesome! But the adventure's far from over. Venture out into the wilderness surrounding Caribou Creek and discover more levels of epicness. From towering mountains to murky wetlands, there's no shortage of places to explore, enemies to face and loot to gather.

If that sounds good to you, scoop up those potions, polish your intellect, and immerse yourself in the universe of BattleJuice Alchemist. We can't wait to hear what you think!

Have a great weekend!

Alain
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