We have been working on the tech demo for about ten weeks now. The Slashware forums are now up again after many years! please head >>> there <<< to discuss this update or anything about the game.
We added a 3D scene for James Cook’ campaign cutscene, including dynamic lighting. The script for this first cutscene was designed and the images that will be rendered on the scrolled are being produced.
We also have a new title screen, with art made by Jaime Robles. We were considering doing a 3D title screen instead but I’m kind of liking how it looks.
For the campaign selection view, we created a component to generate portraits, and integrated it with our first pack of art for portraits. We plan to expand upon it adding more variety. We also added tooltips for several components on this screen, including the crew members, the ship and its equipment. Finally, we also added special portraits for the expedition leaders and tweaked the layout.
We worked on different things for the exploration view, one first thing we added is a very simple simulation of the wind direction, it changes randomly and affects the speed of the ship, this means you have to adjust your course in order to make the best use of the wind (sailing against the wind is difficult!)
We also added music tracks for the title, cutscene, and world (based on current weather). We are currently using the tracks from the original Expedition project.
Looking forward to having a playable campaign, we loaded a new map covering the journey from Plymouth to Rio de Janeiro, we also experimented with tree billboards for the forest sections of the world and made it so that cities can be loaded from a list which we will further expand in the future.
We added commands to allow the player to change time compression, in order to make long event-less voyages bearable. In the future, it’s going to pause automatically whenever something interesting happens.
We worked further in the Storm’s View, doing several graphical tweaks and enhancing the integration with the buoyancy script. We also added a simple model for ship damage based on the difference between the ship’s heading and wind direction.
The game now displays the integrity of different parts of the ship and shows a ship sunk event when hull integrity reaches 0 (Game over!)
After binge-watching all the possible endings for Bandersnatch in one sitting, I could not take this idea off my head, I had to recreate the game as something playable. You can play it online here
At first, I thought on doing it from scratch, creating a fake 3D engine similar to Akalabeth or the early Wizardry titles. After doing some research I opted instead to use proper 3D rendering, and adapt movement and appearance so it felt like a ZX-Spectrum game. I took our entry for the 2015 7DRL Challenge, Stygian Abyss, and started chipping off stuff and adding makeup until it felt decent enough.
One thing the engine didn’t have was support for interactive “prompts”, so that had to be added completely. Jucarave was up to the task and managed to do it during the last day of 2018.
Then came the question of designing all the game content; of course, the episode doesn’t directly reveal a lot of information about the game itself… however, there were some “design notes” scattered around Stefan’s ZX.
I used them to recreate a possible game flow… which frankly doesn’t make a lot of sense 😛 but that’s what it is! I also incorporated some parts that were visible on the short gameplay clips shown in the episode.
(warning, spoilers below!)
Luckily, the engine had support for static maps, so I mapped out the flowchart into a level layout, with each choice being an interactive item.
And that’s it, hope you like it! And by the way, you can check the source code here if you are interested.
Another year of awesome indie gamedev. Here is the story… stay tuned for the 2019 plans, coming soon!
OpenArthurianX6 saw its first milestone completed although not nearly enough dev time was invested into it as planned, Expedition was brought back to life as a game with a modern UI and a 3D look, work in Ananias halted, I participated in 4 game jams, wrote 4 articles, went to 3 events away from home, did a retro animated video, learned a bit of Unity and C# and a lot of PixiJS. All in-between a challenging year where I went full independent with Slashware Interactive, started hiring people back and had a lot of client work in order for it to happen.
Ananias 2.4.4 was released after a long hiatus of dev, only to go to an even longer hiatus, with no further released being made over the year.
Created a page to gather resources for the maintenance of roguetemple. Worked on moving lots of content into its own private hosting, there are still some redirections to fix to make sure all migration is complete.
Set up 7drl.com with an informative (and now outdated) page for the Seven Days Roguelike Challenge.
Did some work in OpenArthurianX6 for player’s party ranged attacks and mob AI, but didn’t really pick up dev.
What sad month, I was mostly completely busy with client work. However I did publish CvRL on itch.io
Participated on the fourteenth 7DRL challenge with Haunted Mansions, managed to complete it and it looks fine but wasn’t really happy at all with the gameplay. Did further work on it to produce a mobile version (not yet published), seeking to find funds to develop it into a full-fledged game on GDC (ha!)
Flew to San Francisco for GDC 2018, went to a lot of parties there, got some contacts mainly for Digital Distribution and/or Publishing for Ananias but didn’t follow up on them thru the year (gotta make a better job at it on 2019). Also organized a roguelike developer meetup there and meet some cool nerds.
Adapted the virtual stickers album I had made for Brazil 2014 World Cup, into Russia’s 2018. Invested a bit on it and got no money back.
Participated in Ludum Dare 41 with Golf Over Africa, was pretty happy with the results, a fun, focused game.
Did some work on OpenArthurianX6 on the projectiles, but again failed to pick up speed due to client work. At least created a fan-fic to guide further development.
Finished implementing projectiles on OpenArthurianX6, but again didn’t really pick up speed. At least managed to lay some plans for work done in future months.
Thought on participating on procjam 18 with a pokemon town generator (with the intent of using it on a future version of MonsterTrainerRL) but failed, too busy. At least posted an article with a kind of deconstruction process that can be used to created similar generators.
All I managed to do was writing a pretty long article about “Ultimate Collector”, Richard Garriott’s stab at social gaming, and how it related to the Ultimate RPG project and Shroud of the Avatar.
Serious work put into OpenArthurianX6, including its first source code release for backers! Still at a very early stage but at least gave them the opportunity to play around with it and have an idea of what it can do.
I also created the retro-looking trailer for Roguelike Celebration 2018
Flying around and client work let little time for indiedev. Went back to San Francisco for the Roguelike Celebration 2018, where I organized a tournament for Ananias and gave a talk about the connections between D&D and roguelikes.
Also attended Colombia 4.0 in Bogotá which was much better than I expected, got to meet some indie publishers and learned a lot in the talks.
Having finished some of our client’s projects, we started working in the Tech Demo for the revamped Expedition. For a long time was deciding what to do with it, finally settling to using Unity, and making a real-time game in 3D.
A lot more work was put into the tech demo for Expedition, you can sail around the map, there are different weather effects, you can land with your party and walk around, check your map, navigate storms, and some other things detailed in three updates 2, 3 and 4.
Wrote an article about the connections between D&D and roguelikes, based on my talk in roguelike cel 2018.
We have been working on the tech demo for about eight weeks now.
There has been a lot of work on design and planning for the completion of the tech demo, including the test campaign. Some of the things we did since the last update:
Test modal storm event, taking the player to a separate scene with rough waves.
Make camera orbit the player following his heading
Different levels of rain
Test layout for 3D rendered cutscene
Reactivate Minimap and include more position markers
Show latitude and longitude minutes
Surf effect for the ship on overworld mode.
Tests for other units following the player while in land exploration
Tests on appearance for Campaign Details screen
Tests for soil and trees on the map
Display wind direction and change randomly.
Point of sail calculation affecting the ship’s speed. (Wind direction vs heading)
Navigation from game to title screen.
Ship info tooltip on the campaign details screen.
Populate campaign details screen with a long list of crew members, including tooltips with their names.
The project’ artists have also been hard at work, delivered the first pack of art for the portraits, and a new cover art which we are still deciding if will be used for the title screen or for the website and marketing material.
Some minor maintenance on my projects’ website, powered by ReactJS, ended up with pretty big changes, the most visible one is the revamp on the “collaborators” section, which now shows what games I worked with that person.
Additionally, I added an “activity” classification per project, which can be either active, paused, stalled, stopped or finished, to reflect on what is the perspective for future work on it.
I also relocated the filters into the header and updated the texts a bit.
We have been working on the tech demo for about six weeks now.
Some of the things we did since the last update:
Labels hovering on towns with their name
Decrease depth of field of view during night
Torchlight during night
Pause time button
Show hour of the day
Allow docking ship in town
3D town scenes (then ditched)
Test title screen and flow
Test event popups
Test town Popup
HUD relayout and temporary UI elements
Test “New Campaign” screen and flow
Another aspect we also invested quite a bit of time on, was changing the whole water system to use a different library. Even tho we are not using all the features of the plugin (the entire refraction system, for instance), it has allowed us to display foam in the shorelines, create the Storm scene with big waves and simulating buoyancy on the ship, as well as some additional effects.
Finally, after many weeks of delays and many hours of work, I managed to finish a new article based on the research I did for my 2018 talk at the roguelike celebration. I hope this article provides useful insights and allows having an additional approach to roguelikes as a genre on its own.
Many thanks to all the friends who provided useful feedback. 🙂
Can we find useful insights on what a #roguelike is, by examining the results of the efforts of the developers of rogue and other early roguelikes to bring their beloved #dungeonsanddragons hobby into the world of computing?