THE GORE SWINE
Instead of updating the blog with a consistant feed my progression with the city, I took a little time to do some animations for one of our pigmen. Personally I like to call this guy the “Gore Swine” and he’s probably the toughest regular enemy within the pigman roster. Sadly I can’t take the time I’d like to really polish these animations, but I tried find a middle ground between fat heavy movements and deep aggression.
I’ve also been implementing the pigman shaman into the game so that he’s now able to play animations and exist within the game, he does however still lack dedicated animations.
his week I finished texturing the Crusaders amor tiers. When texturing, I start out by giving each armor part a simpe, basic color that matches the color of the material it is supposed to look like. Then I add a soft light on top of it to define how shiny it is. After that, I draw some strong highlights at some places, depending on what material it is. The final thing is to add some shadows at the areas that the light have a hard time reaching.
Previously we’ve had long sequences of combat rooms full of enemies, but we found that simply going from fight to fight through an entire dungeon is not ideal. Our solution is to break up this continuous intensity by having other types of rooms in between combat rooms. One of these types of rooms are “shrine rooms”.
Shrines can be seen as an optional coin toss on a good or bad outcome. If you choose to take a chance, you may see a positive outcome such as all of your heroes being healed, or you may see a negative outcome such as all of your heroes’ health being reduced to 10%.
The shrine rooms are supposed to offer a small break from fighting and have the player consider a choice that could have positive or negative ripple-effects on the current dungeon run.
In case you missed it, you can read more about what shrines are in our 8th. Devblog where I attached the design doc on Shrines : http://www.playdreadmire.com/2017/12/01/devblog-8/
I have been setting up some rooms for testing with shrines. As you can probably tell by the images below, shrine rooms are quite small. For now, we simply want to test shrines in an isolated environment with no enemies in sight, but we will experiment with the use of shrines in combat rooms as well in the near future.
These are some editor dumps to give you an idea of the current sizes and layouts of shrine rooms:
As you can see, some of these shrine rooms are very tiny, almost like hidden chambers or corridors. There’s also a symmetry in the layouts with the shrines resting around the center to catch the player’s attention immediately.
I have continued work on interface design.
Designing good interfaces is not an easy task and may require a lot of iterations before a well performing design is starting to take shape.
I have been through several iterations with the interface design of the town shops and hero management. There are a lot of things to consider, especially because this is a VR game.
Just to name a few, these are the some of the main considerations we go through when designing and testing the interface:
Can the player easily see all the information that they need to perform the tasks at hand?
Can the amount of steps required to perform the actions be reduced?
How much can we reduce the amount of information shown without hindering well informed decisions?
Are there significant risks that the player could misinterpret what is shown?
Is there consistency in the ways you interact with the interface?
Is the layout visually appealing and are the important elements easily registered?
Work on the interface is a persistent challenge and something that we will continue to work on and improve upon throughout the development of the game.
Below are some of the recent drafts where we have experimented with different setups:
These were the first proper iteration of the hero thumbnails that the player would use to select a hero inside town shops in order to preview their stats and equipped items.
We realized quickly that the need for being able to have an overview of all of your heroes was necessary. We changed these tabs to a horizontal brick shape instead, including important information such as level, current stamina, attack value and protection value. Instead of listing them side by side, we’ve gone for a vertical list where the ones selected for the active roster are highlighted.
We have talked a lot about how we can boil down the character overview screen significantly while only displaying vital information. It is a difficult task, and we’ve already moved on from the design draft below. I’ll return to this topic next week and share our progress.
Lots of UI Work
This week we added first prototype of shrine and loot interactions. Although it is coder art right now, the interaction itself really adds to the feel and pacing of the game. Activating a Shrine and seeing the roll visually make it a much more complete experience. The blacksmith city UI was partially implemented with basic trading working in a early prototype of the layout. This allowed us to test UI placement, font sizes and readability and basic interaction flow, which informed the design going forward. Once Jesper is ready with the next prototype version, more shops will be added. Also the city now has procedurally moving trains…
Thanks for reading!
Tune in next week for more.