What Sorcery is This?!

Happy Holidays, everyone!   

Sorry for the lack of updates through November - I've been nose to the grindstone over here and sometimes it's hard to remember to come up for air. Before we get to the new stuff, let's talk about release since we're about to head into the new year.

To be frank, the game isn't finished yet, which is as big a downer for me as I'm sure it is for you. I was hoping to be close to wrapping the project up by this time, with mostly sound, music, and quality assurance work left and well underway. I'm not quite there, mostly because I feel that what I have isn't the game I want to play yet. When this game launches it needs to be well worth your time to play through! Sorry to be a bit of a broken record, and thanks so much for your patience and support!

On the other hand, what I do have is coming along great! Over the past year, I have essentially been building myself a toybox full of cool action figures and set pieces at my disposal. It's a relief (and very gratifying) to be able to pick and choose from an array of neat looking stuff and build out interesting little rooms and levels. I have learned that this is also one of the most challenging parts of the process - to produce interesting and playable levels that don't get boring, and keep the experience fresh from start to finish. The map maker and designer in me is having an absolute ball throwing all of this together, while the obnoxious art-coward in me is throwing a fit at the challenge. The map maker part is totally kicking the coward's butt, last I checked ;)

As a small example, here's what the old pre-alpha starting dungeon looked like:

And here it is again after a pass using some of the new art assets and props to populate the scene:

It feels a lot more alive and a bit more "real" (as real as a low resolution pixel art scene can feel, anyway, ha!). 

So, New Stuff! 

Here's a sampling of the new area, Blackfen, in the works:

An example of the new visual props I've cooked up:

New Boss!  

This particular character has definitely been the most challenging to create thus far. He does a lot of things that I'm not used to - flying around, shooting magic, teleporting, etc... From a raw engineering perspective (and an art one), it's been a real battle trying to get it right - but I think I've finally nailed down something I am very satisfied with.

Here is a graphic representing his most basic finite-state machine loops (horrible graphics tablet handwriting and all!):

Some character fluff - because!

He was called Gizmotin - a sorcerer from from an ancient civilization who reached too far into esoteric wizardry, flinging his body across time and space into the Beyond, a realm composed of madness, nightmares and raw psychic energies. He has spent so long away from the physical plane that the sum of years comprising his absence are trivial. He has since re-materialized in the world of Lor where his body and mind are broken and in a constant state of flux. Bits and pieces of his ego phase in and out of reality, quadrants of his psyche are constantly fragmenting and reshuffling, existing in several places at once. His sojourn has made him alien, mad, and even more dangerous.  

With him he brings things strange and vile; creatures that devour, break and bury anything not of their own.

  My gif software doesn't like the game's framerate, so Gizmotin's teleporting animation looks strange here

My gif software doesn't like the game's framerate, so Gizmotin's teleporting animation looks strange here

Trailer Update!

The super talented Christine Carstairs of Escaping Westlawn sent me some composite shots of the Savage "TV commercial" she's been working on - Behold!

 I'm hiding behind the 'table', holding the sword up in place :)

I'm hiding behind the 'table', holding the sword up in place :)

To see the full update including a sample video, go here: http://www.escapingwestlawn.com/savage-the-shard-of-gosen-commercial-preview/

Music!

When time allows, I've also been cranking out some in-game music, as well as music for the trailer.

 

This is the full version of the track, "Sei-Thahn", featured in the recent teaser:

Here's a mashup of different versions of the Savage theme, "Hymn of Doom", that will go in the final trailer:

So that's all for now - again, sorry for the delay everyone. I can't tell you how grateful I am for your patience and support - it means everything! It will be super worth it once your game ships!  

The Happiest Holidays to you and yours!

-Matt