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Captain’s Tail is a colorful, fast-paced modern 3D platformer for the PC, featuring Dash, the pirate corgi. Explore islands, collect treasures and defeat enemy pirates to become the fluffiest pirate captain of the Seven Seas!

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It's time for another Dev Diary! We'll give you some sneak peeks at our levels and explain how we iterate them from paper to whiteboxing and from the preliminary mesh to a finished level. Later we'll take a look at last week when we went to Helsinki to Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2018! So let's get right into it!

DashUnnamed CompanionSte
The current group of characters: Dash, our unnamed companion and Ste!

Level design is the passion of our lead designer Toni. When he creates levels for Dash to explore, there are many things he takes into consideration. Playtime, player's viewpoints, enemy placement, difficulty curves and pacing. But many of these things can't be done before there is a level to iterate. So, he starts on paper.

Level 1 concepting
Toni shared this image of the first level on his Twitter page

From here, he brings it to Unity and starts whiteboxing. Since the addition of ProBuilder, this process has gotten quicker and quick changes are easy. At the beginning of the project, Toni made accurate measures of Dash's platforming capabilities, so he knows what's easy, difficult or actually impossible. From here, playtests tell him what parts need some TLC. Some basic textures are added to give the team a feel of what the level looks like.

Level 1 whitebox
The routes, collectibles and enemies will already be placed where they belong.
If any big changes happen, they are easier to fix.

Once the level feels good, it's passed to Antti, one of our artists. He takes the whiteboxed level and makes it look and feel more natural. They discuss what areas should look like, where things need to be exactly like the whitebox and where artistic freedom is allowed. When the mesh is ready, textured and tested, the level is filled with aaaaall the small things that make it look alive, like trees and petals of grass.

Hidden corgi, crouching pirate

After that, the level is "done"! Additional playtests reveal possible breaks in geometry, things that need to be smoothed and made more pretty, how lighting affects the gameplay and possible bugs. All in all, the whole of "Bay Six", up to it's newest version took about 6 weeks. This was the first level designed and was actually split into two, hence the long work time. The other part became the "Bay Six" we know now, the other becoming the second level in the game. The third level has taken about 2 weeks so far, and it's now at the "whiteboxed and tested" part.

That's how we make the islands in Captain's Tail. For more looks into the first iterations on levels, go check out Toni's Twitter @turboherne.

Now, let's look at something more recent and IRL. We visited Pocket Gamer Helsinki 2018 and had a booth at the Big Indie Zone, filled with amazingly fun games made by fellow indies. We went to the event to showcase our game and talk to gamers, indies and publishers. We were happy to see everyone's face turn into a smile when they saw Dash, grabbed the controller and went for a run on Bay Six. We got so much encouragement, feedback and business talk that we were tuckered out when we got on the bus home. But the event was a great time and we'll be going to other events in the near future. So if you are going to Northern Game Summit or Nordic Game Arena, give us a holler on social media!

PGC Helsinki booth
Juho and Eirik telling visitors about Captain's Tail.

And before I show you the gameplay video, don't forget to follow us on social media! We have a sticker giveaway coming when we hit 100 followers on our Twitter!

Dash stickers

Thanks for reading! We'll see you again in a couple of weeks. Until then, hope you enjoy this short gameplay video we made for PGC Helsinki!

Settling to new shores

Settling to new shores


IndieDB page release! Looking back on what has happened during the project

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Latest tweets from @captainstail

RT @BitingMascot: It's time for one last holiday before the winter! Most of the group will be on holiday, a couple at work and a coup… T.co

15hours ago

We have added wallpapers to our website! You can choose from three different designs! Captainstail.comT.co

Oct 17 2018

RT @captainstail: Captain's Tail is an upcoming modern 3D platformer. Play as the fluffiest pirate captain Dash and collect treasure… T.co

Oct 12 2018

We have some amazing wallpapers coming! They will be available on our website soon, be patient! #gamedev #gameartT.co

Oct 11 2018

Level 2 is forming up nicely! Time to polish and liven it up! #gamedev #indiedev #madewithunity #indiedevhour T.co

Oct 10 2018

The islands need some life to them, so we're adding some locals to the world. Can you guess who this guy will be?… T.co

Oct 9 2018

We got hit with unexpected snow and water during the weekend. Winter is just around the corner. Just gotta shake it… T.co

Oct 8 2018

RT @BitingMascot: The contest was tight! Congratulations to @RedStageFI for winning the @NGS_Kajaani qualifying round! Our team will… T.co

Oct 5 2018

RT @BitingMascot: Contest time! Our @Serafiron is going to pitch @captainstail at @NGS_Kajaani! We are one of the 3 contestants on th… T.co

Oct 5 2018

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