Sunday, August 19, 2012


Distant Souls

I've been working a lot since the last time the pre-alpha demo was released. I've been doing improvements overall based on the feedback from testers. I'm trying to get a new demo ready so that more testers can be engaged into the play mechanics. There were two big elements that were present but were very overlooked in the last release: combats & platforming.

Additionally, I've noted there was something lacking, and I believe there was some sort of customization factor. Players are now have an inventory! They're able to wear equipment to become stronger, loot items Diablo II-style, and even level up. It looks like an easy feat but trust me, it takes a lot of time!!! There's a lot of gotchas: what happens if I unequip an item that was allowing another item to be equipped? Should that item be also unequipped? And what happens if there's a domino effect? What happens if the inventory was full? Should the item be dropped? But what if the player was just experimenting? Wouldn't it be frustrating if all it's gear wears off?

Combat is now balanced (or at least, not so unbalanced as it was before); but there's still missing a subtle but straightforward introduction to the combat mechanics. Combos were included in the previous demo, but most of players didn't even notice or figure it out. I need to work on that.

Aesthetics revamp

I dedicated some time to adjust contrast, brightness, HDR exposure, colour balance, sun's size (it was huuuuuge). All stuff I've been delaying until I eventually got used to it being wrong. Good thing players keep reminding you to them. With these corrections, it's much easier to note the cloud shadows (which are very cool)

There are also new 3D models, and a new enemy character. Furthermore, I've significantly improved the normal mapping on the terrain. The close ups are unbelievable detailed.

Towards multiplayer

Even the first demo supports multiplayer, it's just disabled and hidden. However this time I'm working both gameplay-design and code towards full multiplayer integration, matches are already possible; but there's no GUI to setup the connection yet.

Distant Souls supports both PvP as well as team quests.

The Dead Linger

I joined Sandswept Studios' team! I'll be working with them to take their Graphics to the next-gen. They're working really hard towards an alpha release of The Dead Linger and I'm going to make it look good(tm).

Naturally, this will impact in the development of Distant Souls by slowing it down (as I'll only be working on it in my little free time), but it's for the best for everyone.

The project data is downloading as I write this post, once I get to the code I should be able to buff up their graphic tech considerably :)

Final words

There's a lot I didn't talk about, but there's not enough room or sometimes I don't even remember every improvement detail! There's a lot more to come, but as I said, for the time being my main focus will now be in The Dead Linger. Enjoy the pictures!
You can view all of them in full resolution through the web player

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