Stygian Sentinel 19
Issue #19, February 1st 2016
Move like a Monkey, Fly like an Eagle, Sting like a Bee
Today we are updating the Prototype build with new gameplay features. First up is more advanced movement modes. The team are fans of Jackie Chan movies, Parkour and David Belle, and American Ninja Warrior. Moving through a space with grace, flow and just feeling awesome doing it, is one of the goals for movement in the Underworld.
When a game has great movement controls, like the old Id games Doom and Quake, they become an extension of the player. No thought is needed for basic navigation, and it opens up for players to become more creative and skilled at getting around the world. In recent memory Mirror's Edge did this especially well. The Parkour skills chain together so beautifully and when you master the game it is like a ballet moving around the game world.
- Mirror's Edge by EA
Tim and Will have put together the bones we can build on for a robust movement system. They have decided - at least for the moment- to have full body awareness. This means that the body of the player can be seen by the player, and it also reacts like any other physical object in the world. Momentum matters. Run faster you jump further. Chain jumps together you keep your momentum going, stop for a second and your momentum is lost. Jumping wall to wall if you pause you start sliding down the side of the wall. Sliding down a slope is fast, running up a slope is slower than on a flat plane.
Just these motions give us some pretty interesting ways of navigating the environment...
Second, we've stood up the beginnings of combat. There are 3 attacks so far: a light swing, an overhead swing and a stab. There is a bad guy wandering about who just wants to be hit.
Most RPG games have you cleave your way through battles without much thought. Looking at my Fallout 4 play through I've killed over 4,000 enemies. Yikes. Maybe I'm the reason the Commonwealth isn't prospering.
Tim is trying to make each encounter more meaningful and impactful. We will also keep the combat encounters intimate, giving more opportunity to show off unique features of the monsters and opponents. If you look back on the simple combat of Ultima Underworld they were all intimate affairs.
That is the feeling we are going after, but with more robust tactics, movement and use of the 3D space than was technically possible in the original games. Enemies with have 'tells' so the player can learn to react to them properly. We are still looking at other complexities like locational damage, status effects, dodging and blocking. How complex we push the AI in combat is being experimented with, but we expect them to have options, not just 'ARRGH kill the player' and 'oh no I'm hurt! Run away'. If they have spells they will use them, if they are carrying a magic weapon it will be equipped.
We have one other thing to talk about...
...Ladies and Gentlemen the new art style for the Abyss...
- Click on the images for a larger version.
Here's a sneak peek at the new Art Style that Nate has been driving, what we're terming the "Authored Look". We think is showing wonderful potential, and we'll be showing a bunch more of the new style soon. Tell us what you think of this sneak on the Forums!
– Chris Siegel, Sr. Producer
In Other News
From the creators of Planescape: Torment including Chris Avellone, Colin McComb and Mark Morgan that is set in Monte Cook's Numenera universe, our friends over at inXile are proud to present Torment: Tides of Numenera on Steam Early Access! If you enjoyed the classic Planescape:Torment and love Engaging, story-driven RPG's with emotion and depth we suggest you check it out! I've played a good chunk of it over the weekend--it is worthy!
Check out the Launch Video
Our plan is to continue to crowdfund on BackerKit and PayPal, likely through this summer. We have a few more stretch goals that we'd love to reach and are tantalizingly close to unlocking The Wailing Haunt.
The Team at OtherSide