Savage is equal parts inspired by the Conan stories by Robert E. Howard, my fascination with Zelda II (yes, yes, I know - the black sheep of the Zelda family), other games of its ilk (like Gargoyle's Quest) and a healthy dose of general barbarian fetishism.
The final product will (hopefully) include a varied, somewhat open world to explore, an interesting little tale filled with machismo, magic and muscles, day/night cycle, overworld hunting/tracking, lots of action/platforming, fun melee system and some mild RPG elements (item use, leveling up, gear, crafting and the like).
Horizontal thrusts? Up thrusts? DOWN thrusts?! I've got you covered, Barbarian Horde!
The last few months I've been grinding away at the one last juicy feature I felt was necessary to make Savage really shine: Directional combat! I mean, I can't cite one of my big inspirations as Zelda 2 without allowing players to strike their enemy's head from above. Let's have a look.
Across several new player states, new sprites (774 frames), new armor sprites (2,322), shield positions (you can also shield bash upward and downward!), and weapon positions, bringing the pain to the baddies is now possible from WHEREVER. This has also fixed certain issues I wasn't excited about. Situations like climbing a ladder and having a stubborn enemy directly above you, or some harder to hit, low lying enemies like the cave crawlers and rockbiters.
This also makes existing enemies (like skeleton warriors that spawn with specific gear sets, for example) that are able to mimic the down/upward attacks feel a LOT more fair, giving the player the same strategic choices -- making combat feel WAY more interesting.
Timing a perfect downward strike and HOLDING the attack button also gives you some good air on your bounce!
In those gifs above, I'm sure you've noticed some new sprites and visual effects, like new clouds, and an honest to goodness SUN in the sky. Good eye, I say! There is now a fully functioning dynamic weather system, along with new sun sprites and effects, moon sprites (with actual phases, i.e. new, waxing, waning, full), new cloud sprites that reflect the day/night/weather change, and star constellations that correspond to the different deities worshiped (or abhorred) in the world of Lor.
Here's a look at all of that in action in the 2D platforming sequences and the 3D overworld:
The weather system is also dependent on what in-game season it is (and what location you are currently in -- probably not going to snow/blizzard in the desert, ha!). Along with it, a slew of new backgrounds reflecting things like snowstorms (and winter) have been added:
New weather types include clear skies, cloudy, thunderstorms, light rain into rainstorm, snow, and blizzard.
The combination of location, day/night, season, weather, moon phase, and dominant constellation can, and sometimes WILL affect what sort of randomized encounter you are going to have on the world map.
There are also some secrety fun things constellations can do, depending on what God's fetish, fetish level, and FAVOR stat you currently have (more on that in a future update!).
The new Gosen Highlands location also brings with it some new areas, dungeons and baddies, like the Noctwurm Assassin, courtesy of the Noctwurm Cult (all with their own backstory and lore)!
Patch Notes and Release Breakdown
A reminder - Kickstarter backers can access all the newness via Steam, provided they have redeemed their Steam Keys.
Groupees Greenlight Bundle folks can access the same from their product pages (their Steam Keys will unlock once the game is released).
I have zero excuses why this is taking me as long as it's taking, but the reasons are pretty important. Wanting to deliver a game to you all that is worth your time to play is chief among them. It turns out trying to make the best damn game I possibly can takes time, and more time than I initially accounted for. That's 100% on me, and I'm sorry for making you all wait so long.
I will also not release a crippled, ugly thing that I am not proud of, ha! So, the battle continues, but the end is certainly in sight. With the directional combat completed, in the game, and fully functional (and actually feeling pretty great), aspects of the game like personality, mood and atmosphere are coming together very quickly. Especially with the new atmosphere and weather effects in place, the game is looking and feeling like the game I wanted to bring to life in the first place - and I have all of you to thank for that.
The current step is content, content, content (finishing dungeons, NPCs, items, weapons, armor and shields, and a handful of enemies that are not completed to flesh out certain areas).
So again, thank you for your patience, your involvement, and your support - it is keeping the fire going bright, strong and SAVAGE... (*ahem*)!
Your loinclothed (is that even a word?) friend,
P.S. Forgot to mention! If you're curious about checking in on the game's progress more frequently, I have been very active with live development streams here: Twitch.tv
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SAVAGE: The Shard of Gosen alpha 4.5 - Lots of new content in this update, including shields and the undead!
I threw together some goodies for you (or anyone who's interested) to consume! The "bag" includes: Wallpapers, NES retro controller overlays, and a few...
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