This week we looked at how to design and implement variations of each creature type in FoM. Instead of having a gazillion kinds of cannon-fodder, we have a few carefully designed creature types that really adds interest to the battle system. So e.g. the Crabler is one organic creature type with an aggressive and defensive behavior pattern that requires the player to use specific strategies and choose his/her abilities and pairs wisely.
As you can see below the Crabler will have different looks and weapons depending on its level and element type.
This “armor-sets” or attachment modules will all work with the base rig and mesh of the creature and lets us add a lot of variation to each monster type.
Next time I’ll go into some more detail on the production art and the whole 3D translation process.
Have swell weekend!
Hey everyone! Hope you all had a good holiday and a great New Year celebration!
We figured it was about time to get back into posting stuff again, so I’m going to show you guys some concept art for an area we’re calling “Zenit”. We’ve got people working on the gameplay and content design for this area as well, but I’ll kick it off with some concept art and visual development sketches!
Without revealing any story around it, Amon and Gnart find themselves facing an unforgiving desert, the habitat of the Rock Crabler, Fire Beetle and Fire Djinn from previous posts.
From there we wanted to get a better feel for the environment as a whole, and I started out doing a color sketch of Amon and Gnart right after they’ve been dumped into the desert:
We originally thought a camera above the player and pretty far out would do it, but after some discussion and prototyping the camera in engine we felt it would be better to position the camera more behind the player considering the gameplay we want in this area.
There will of course be combat encounters in the desert as well, so I did a quick mockup of how that might look when Amon and Gnart face off against a Fire Djinn.
And another following the same camera rules as the start of the desert, showcasing ancient architecture of a city buried in sand.
That’s it from me for this post! Hope you enjoyed the pictures!
In this post I will explain what we are trying to achieve with our combat system, and why.
In short we wanted to simplify the RPG Stats’N Skills, but (a very important but) without loosing the great tactical depth and variation that the AD&D rules allows. It’s a big hairy goal, we know!
First we threw out stats like STR, INT, DEX, VIT, etc. We kept HP and made a mix of Stamina and Mana and called it Energy.
Our combat is based on standard old school turn-based system and we have 3 tactical stages.
The combat rules are equal and applicable to all units in combat whether they are PC, NPC, Friend or Foe.
First off we wanted to add an extra element to setting up your team members by allowing you to pair up two players. The pair will become one combat unit and get extra combo abilities, so mixing up your players in different ways will unlock different combo abilities.
A Pair consists of one Fighter and one Protector.
When Paired the Protector will get one or more unique abilities that affects the Fighter.
The Fighter will have access to the magical energy that will enable the use of magical attacks.
From the larger amount of combat actions (both combo and solo actions) you will need to pick out a limited number that will be available in combat. You might start off with only 3 slots (5 on the image above) and at a later time max out at 12 or 18 slots. The Action selection sets (Menu to the left) can be saved for quick selection. The Combat Action selection can be chosen just before going into battle, when you know what you are up against.
This idea was inspired by how you need to choose a limited amount of plants before starting a battle in Plants vs Zombies. Reducing the player’s options makes for more fun gameplay – in many cases.
There are 4 types of actions.
Each round a Combat Pair can perform two actions, one each. Most Actions will use a certain amount of energy. Some actions don’t need energy, some do, and some creates energy. Each Combat Pair will have an energy bar, and as they perform actions it will affect this energy bar. How you manage the energy will greatly affect the outcome of the longer battles. The max amount of energy will increase as you level up. We would also like to allow the Protector to über-charge the energy bar unlocking some awesome super powered combo attacks.
We will try to keep each attack animations short and sweet. We want the gameplay to feel fast and flowing – as much as possible for this type of combat.
As the old school JRPG genre matured, combat stress was increased by adding time to the gameplay. Active Time Based Combat was one of those mechanisms that will penalize if you spend too much time thinking about what to do next. We don’t like to punish the player, but we do appreciate the added fun of getting a bit stressed out while playing. So, our approach is to add a timer that if you manage to do your combat action within a specified time-limit, you will get some kind of combat bonus. This might be a XP bonus, or an energy bonus, or maybe a Critical Hit bonus. This speed selection bonus will require fast action from the player.
Spent most of last week working with both the content and visual design of the monsters for our desert outdoor environment! We had an original design for an armor plated lion-like beast, but decided to save that design for a boss battle and start fresh.
The Desert Armor Monster has two modes in combat – defensive and offensive. Its element is Earth and it is the only desert creature vulnerable to fire.
I ended up with the design below – the Giant Rock Crabler. It fits the desert environment, easy to read, not too hard to animate and looks both intimidating and cute at the same time.
These spider varieties were inspired by the adorable Jumping Spiders. I really liked the look of the four big eyes, but the whole quad legged design felt overly sci-fi and did not fit the desert. The Spider just ended up goofy-looking which is not what I wanted. The creature had to look brutish – big, lumbering idiot of a monster!
The Horus giant design. This is where I got the idea to place the armor on the front arms/legs. A gorilla like giant with an eagles head and giant fists of stone was overly far-fetched and would be hard to animate. I think it’s important that the concept of a fantasy creature is easy to read – both visually and conceptually – soooo this one was a no-go!
The first designs I did. We quite liked the Pokémon-ish scaled dog, though it did not fit the requirements for this particular creature.
Well I better get back to drawing monsters. If you have any brilliant monster ideas feel free to share them in the comment section.
Hey guys! Friday art post! I just finished this enemy design for Festival of Magic and wanted to show you guys! It’s pretty large, constantly flying and it can swoop in and give Amon an uppercut with that nasty horn. We’re working on a new environment where this guy will be an encounter. Frits is doing the system design for him now! Can’t wait for Hans Kristian to make the 3D model and animate this sucker!
Modeling sheet and texture variation suggestion:
Other than that, you can vote for us for the Indie of the Year (IOTY) award over on IndieDB! It’s super easy, just follow the link below and click the big old banner on the top saying “Vote for this game” at the top of the page!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Hey everyone! Just wanted to sign off this Friday with a peek at what I worked on today. we have started planning a new area for Amon to explore, and it’s got to have some enemies, right? We’ll be back with more on what kind of environment it is and such at a later point! Until then, have a look at the little guy below!
Hope you all have a great weekend!
Hey guys! We’ve been hard at work preparing for Game Connection in France where Bendik and Erik are right now talking to exciting people about Festival of Magic! One of the things they have a long is a pre-alpha teaser which we made. We wanted to share that here as well!
Here’s the video! We hope you enjoy!
The SnowCastle Games team