Inspired by the adventures of Link in the Zelda-series, the intriguing nemesis system of Shadow of Mordor, Fable's choice-dependent progression and the dance-like combat of Bloodborne, Pine brings you an ever-evolving world that provides each player with a truly unique journey.
In the world of Pine, every action, even inaction, has an effect. The direction in which you explore the island of Albamare and way in which you come into contact with its many inhabitants, defines how the world will change, evolve and adapt.
Pine is world-centric, meaning things will happen across the island even without your involvement. Based on principles borrowed from evolution and ecology theory, every single species will try what it can to survive - from small power shifts to the utter extinction of a group, Albamare's living, breathing and constantly evolving world can and will make it happen.
As you embark upon the quest to save your tribe and find a new home, you uncover intriguing details about the history of the island and how the current evolutionary course came to pass.
The island will provide you with everything you need, and as you progress, you will even discover many mysterious and helpful contraptions that will change the way you traverse, interact and fight: Scare away creatures with the Igniter, make your way across large gaps with the amazing Airglider or scale the highest cliffs using strong Climbing Axes!
The island has its share of predators and territorial species. To defend yourself against their attacks or influence the course of action, Pine features a solid and varied combat system, inspired by the "dance-like" attacks and dodges of Bloodborne.
But be wary, as your enemies will learn how you fight: They will observe you, try out different combos against you and physically evolve, to specifically oppose your style! It will force you to adapt to them in turn, so choose your enemies wisely.
Based on their specific needs, some species will try to find shelter during storms or on cold nights, or even move to a new territory in large migrations. The weather can be your ally or your worst enemy, so keep an eye out for what's coming your way.
Inspired by both classical symphonies as well as contemporary game and film music, Pine's soundtrack by Ratchet Audio seamlessly flows through the experience as if it were coming from the island itself.
In the world of Pine, Humans never reached the top of the food chain. In this novel ‘evolutionary timeline’, other species got the chance to develop language, cultivate and become smarter than ever.
You play as Hue, a timid adolescent growing up in an isolated group of Humans, deep into some beautiful pine woods. Traditionally, the tribe you live in does not go into the Out, afraid of the creatures wandering through the biosphere and afraid of losing their safety.
We are filling Albamare's ecology with wondrous locations. It features mountains, plains, forests, beaches and swamps, ready to be explored in an open world-fashion.
The weather on the island is always active, meaning a species on the other side of Albamare might be fleeing from the storm that's raging there. You might even need to take advantage of certain weather conditions to get things done!
Pine is all about your adventure and the way it evolves through your actions and interactions with its world. On your journey you will meet a wondrous cast of creatures, some more, some less evolved.
With every encounter, every interaction, you will learn more about the species you share the island with. Your decisions will alter the course of what all of Albamare will become.
You can choose to befriend a species, fight alongside them, help them to gain territory or even bring them food and resources. But you may also choose to attack them, steal their food or force them to abandon their current habitat and move on.
Your actions will shift the power of balance between Albamare's inhabitants - choose your friends and enemies wisely!
Find pieces of equipment on the island, or trade with and steal from the species living on Albamare! Earn their trust by using armor sets that resemble their cultures.
Each organism within a species looks different. Using procedural algorithms, we give each organism a personality and specialty. Based on their stats and style, they look differently. Natural selection and survival of the fittest will do the rest: the entire species will grow more towards the organisms that are strongest against you.
Let us know what you think in the comment section below! We read all feedback, suggestions and ideas.
Mid-December we thought it was finally time to fling the latest build of Pine into the world and gather some feedback. Feedback we got – you wrote over 30 full pages (!) of feedback for us on trading, movement, combat and more. Thanks so much for that!
We’re also really glad that pretty much all testers really liked it – more than we expected! It sure has some rough edges, but traversing the world, exploring and gathering seemed to be good for everyone. We got a lot of positive comments on trading, while combat was definitely roughest with a lot of amazing feedback in that area. Time to work on that some more soon!
An important part of traversal was still missing from the demo, and that’s swimming! To prove that it’s coming, check out this cool swimming animation.
We’re getting really pumped about the main story of Pine, which guides you through the island and gives you a real purpose to spend enough time with the species you want to appeal to. There’s also a bunch of characters you meet – one of which sits on these Alpafants, fully packed:
The Dry Bay, Arid Canyon and Dusty Springs are important areas on the Eastern side of Albamare. It’s a bit dry, but still a very fruitful area for completely different types of vegetation and food. Check out some progress:
By FAR the biggest task of the past two months is a really important one to highlight. It’s an ongoing process, but definitely at the core of the game. We decided to revamp the way we think about our simulation and implement a system often seen in bigger games – goal oriented action planning. It’s a structure of algorithms that decides the species’ actions in the simulation, while allowing for interruptions and different ways of execution.
For Pine, it’s an extremely efficient and solid base for guiding all these organisms to a goal through several sensible actions. To match this system with a sensible design, we looked more into something we call roles. Organisms of a tribe will have a role, something to do for the tribe, which they pick up at their chief’s house. Once the role is collected, they perform whatever it is they have to do. We want that to be very visible to players, so we’re creating outfits and animations that match their roles. Here’s a Litter-trader:
Here’s a scouting Cariblin:
To ensure this system works well for a lot of organisms, we’re loading everything asynchronously, which basically means some organisms will be waiting/queued while others already start their tasks. Because this is Pine, we’re visualizing that too – species could be thinking about their next actions!
We’re getting very happy with Albamare’s latest species, which you named during the Kickstarter! We’ve done a lot of iterations, and constantly looked at their backstory – as we have one for every species – and ended up with a Greek/Egyptian Aristocrat style for their appearance and architecture. Check out a paintover of their buildings and a first high-poly look (not game-ready yet)!
We’re currently working towards more important updates, including another new species, a long-awaited update on the Human character and a production update – more on that soon! For now, we’ll go back to dev-ing away on Albamare. It’s shaping up to become quite special indeed.
More good progress this month! We showed a very early version of the demo at CHI Play Amsterdam, but we noticed it could really use some work in a few...
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