With our July 7th demo release date right around the corner, we wanted to share a few more tidbits of information about our recent development efforts as well as a few clips we've recently uploaded showing off various aspects of Bevontule's gameplay.
Here we have a few AI improvements as well as a demonstration as to how important it is not to rush headlong into battle. While this video shows a scene from a bygone era (about 8 months ago, to be exact), it also shows how easy it is to setup new enemy encounters even in older scenes. And yeah, we'll definitely be revisiting the town of Molsha to give it a nice touch-up using what we've learned in our most recent endeavors :)
We've also made numerous optimizations to many different parts of Bevontule. All of our UIs are blazingly fast now (contrast with a month ago, when simply 'flashing' a panel would cause calamitous frame drops, looking at YOU, Unity), and the inventory panel, which literally could take up to 5 seconds to fully load on my POS dev machine, now loads within a hundred milliseconds or so. The battle rewards panel, likewise, has been extremely optimized, as have dialogue panels and cutscenes.
We also took some time to speed up our 'battle transition' (the swirling effect before battle) as well as touch up some of the enemy appearance behaviors, which you can see here:
We've recently improved our combat text to make it more legible and we've vastly improved the general battle performance and responsiveness as well, optimizing and refactoring inefficient code. Here is a quick video showing the last few seconds of battle as well as the battle reward/level up transition effects and its associated UI:
Speaking of UI, we recently revamped the store/equipment interfaces to make them more responsive and robust. Since Bevontule supports multiple modes of input (mouse, keyboard and XBOX360 controller) it is crucial that our input systems can handle all of these simultaneously and quickly. We recorded the following sequence showing the player buying an item, equipping an item and selling an item:
Speaking of items, the Bevontule demo features nearly fifty unique items and multiple 'tiers' of equipment for each of the three main characters. Since we don't quite have our skill progression system finished (for allies) we elected to give the player access to all 15 skills that are available in the Bevontule demo. Please note that this is not a complete reflection of all the skills that will be available in the final game. For enemies, however, we were able to implement 'learned skills', which means that a Lvl. 4 Adaro might have access to skills that a Lvl. 1 Adaro may not.
We have also implemented scaling item rewards, which means that the same Lvl. 4 Adaro may (and will) drop better items than the Lvl. 1 Adaro. Just to add some more detail, enemies in Bevontule can be configured to scale, level-wise, with the characters or they can be statically set. All of the bosses in this pre-alpha demo are statically set. And they are no walk in the park.
Finally, we were able to quickly record a battle tutorial video, which is also accessible in-game as well! While it doesn't cover every single nuance of Bevontule's battle system, it does give a quick and high-level overview of the fundamentals of combat. You can check it out here:
That pretty much sums up what we've been working on in the past few weeks. We are extremely proud of our efforts thus far and are more than excited to share our progress, which somehow has been pushing a year or so now (pretty insane to think about.) We hope that you enjoyed our summary and hope even more that you'll enjoy our massive new demo, releasing tomorrow.
(Update: Demo is now live and you can snag it below!)