Still Alive Saturday #6: Mekkin’ Arts

Hey everyone!

This won’t be a particularly long SAS; school got in the way of progress for me this week. Thankfully, Justin is a machine and made a bunch of island art despite also being busy, so I can show off more of that today!

I got some work done on the Ledger earlier this week, including the creation of a functional inventory system. The next step for me is going to be working on the world map, as well as extending the inventory system to work with an equipment system. There are some heavy pieces coming into play, and once they’re in this game is going to start shaping up fast!

To compensate for a somewhat lack-luster SAS, here’s a somewhat not-lack-luster GIF of the game in action (Read: Some dude running across the screen)

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We’ve got an incredible amount of work to do still, but it’s nice to see the game starting to look absolutely gorgeous.

That’s all for this week, see you next Saturday with hopefully a lot more progress!

Chris

Still Alive Saturday #5: Books and Stones

Hello there!

Some very big technical jumps happened this week. We started off by tackling proper island generation and art, working on varied landscapes and design. Afterwards, we started working on the Ledger, an important centre for a large portion of the information you’ll need as captain to stay alive and well.

 

Island Generation

A large chunk of the gameplay in Project Sky takes place on islands, both in the air and on the sea. We’ve been working a lot on sky islands lately, trying to diversify both the verticality and the sizing of each chunk. The result is something that I am very, very happy with, but you’ll have to wait a little longer to see the full extent of our work!

Justin has been hard at work creating art for each chunk. We’ve decided on a sort of Giant’s Causeway aesthetic for at least our starting islands, which you can see in the screenshot below. It’s a style I very much like, and coupled with further art assets/background work it’s going to look really nice.

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The Ledger

The Ledger is a focal point for information. From it, you can view all of your crew members, as well as assign equipment and tasks to them. The Ledger is going to be one of your best friends in managing your progress throughout the game.

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Clearly, from the screenshot above you can tell that the Ledger is far from complete. However, this should give you an idea of how it’s going to look. The left side of this screen will eventually hold an inventory screen that displays all of your held items. You will be able to easily equip an item onto a crew member by dragging the object onto their respective equipment slot.

 

Things are definitely starting to come along! This coming week is going to focus quite a bit on under-the-hood mechanics, but I’m hoping to work some more on island generation and events as well, so look forward to that.

See you next week,

Chris

Still Alive Saturday #4: Please Hold

Hey everyone!

I’ll preface this update by saying that there wasn’t a whole lot of actual work done on the game this week. Why? Well, because between Sunday and Friday, the game was in a completely inoperable state. It’s a bit of a long story, but worry not because everything is fixed and good now.

Instead of talking about what we accomplished this week, I’m going to give you some insight into the general story structure. Keep in mind that because we don’t want to spoil any critical story/gameplay elements, I’m going to stay fairly vague with my explanations.

 

The Captains

At the beginning of each round of Project Sky, you will choose a captain to play as. Each captain will be defined by a specific back story and motives which will shape both your path through the game, as well as the options you will have at key moments during the story.

Our goal with these captains is to tell a series of interwoven and personal stories. As I said above, there are going to be key moments during each round where you will have to make decisions that will largely impact your progression. These will be unique to your chosen captain and will be impacted by your play so far that round.

If you’re worried about these captains limiting the customization/random nature of the game, don’t be. Our goal with the storytelling is to enhance the already unpredictable, dangerous and exciting nature of the game, not to force you through bottlenecks each round.

The last thing I’m going to say about this today is that all of the captains are related in some way.

 

That’s all for this SAS! A little short, I know, but when issues appear they appear in full force!

See you all next week,

Chris

Still Alive Saturday #3: Sparks

(Hey all! I was busy this morning and Justin wrote up the SAS for this week. Thank him for me! [Chris])

 

We’ve both been really busy with schoolwork and the like, but this week we managed to add a few details to the game. A lot of them aren’t easy to demonstrate with GIFs, but here we go!

Hitsparks

 

Gone are the days of the shrinking red circle. We’ve implemented hitsparks for sharp attacks and blunt attacks, a block spark, a blood spray effect, and screen shake. In addition to this the player now has a proper hurt frame, so combat looks much nicer.

 

Lizog AI and Combat Fluidity

In addition, we’ve made some tweaks to combat with the lizog that should guide our combat design in the future. The lizog used to attack as soon as it got within range, but this made it much too difficult to take on several lizogs at once, especially because the player’s range was shorter than the lizog’s pounce.

To remedy this we’ve extended prep time to the lizog’s attack.

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In addition, the player’s combat controls are much smoother; they can now switch directions instantly between attacks and blocks, and they have greater control over how far they lunge based on the directional key they press.

Our goal is to build a fairly extensible system where enemies have a certain pattern to them; like in Dark Souls, enemies will be challenging but fair and a great part of the game’s combat will be the player’s skill in dealing with the behaviors of different enemy types. To this end they must know when to strike, when to block and when to dodge, as well as their best opportunities to attack. We want combat to feel agile, and to reward players for their observation and quick thinking.

 

Final Notes

In addition to those things:

  • Chris has added full controller support. Right now he says it plays equally well on keyboard and controller.
  • Avash started writing bits of the story.
  • Lizogs no longer form a lemniscate when faced with a valley.

 

That’s all for now, folks! Hope to see you again next week.

Justin