Epsylon is a game project based on the good old detective stories but taking it a step forward mixing it with an unconventional cast and a new game engine technology. Detective stories are in general static narratives with limited set of interaction and little replay value once the story is done. The player has next to no influence on the way the story unfolds. Here the Epsylon project hooks in and expands the game mechanics to allow the player to conduct investigation his own way. How the player conducts the investigation influences the world and people around him. An AI in the background reacts to the moves of the player potentially altering the course of actions. Besides the basic detective moves the player has access to some "characters" providing some special abilities that can be of help.
You are Georgo Valentino, a private eye. On your way looking to solve one of your longest standing unresolved cases you end up with a hunch leading to the parallel world Alpha-10. In this universe multiple worlds exist next to each other. Very little people know about this though. One of your friends, a scientist, does know. and he most certainly knows more than that. He has a special "friend" himself that he met while researching what is called the "Xendron", the multidimensional space. Arriving at Alpha-10 Georgo is quite surprised finding his "friend" having dropped off his little girl at his side as he has "own business" to take care off. You should learn soon that this little girl (Sean) has some special abilities that can be of help to you. And if that is not enough the organisation you end up with has two special "agents" (Odjin and Bahatos) at their disposal that have their own set of abilities to bring to the table. The interesting part? The little girl and these two special agents are dragons of different kinds. As it looks like they play an important role in the case to unfold.
Will you be able to solve the biggest case you ever had?
All your actions have large influence on the events in the world. It is better to conduct your investigation without force if possible. As you are a stranger in this world people tend to not tell you all they know so you have to find your own ways to gather the informations you need to crack the case. There are multiple ways to solve the case depending on how you approach the investigation and with whom. Be careful though with whome you talk and what you do. The underworld is watching you and will react to your snooping around. Counter measures can range from making "vanish" information you seek all the way to trying to silence you or people you got in contact with. Various features can help you on your way:
One of the key points is that the story is part of the game mechanics. It is not told to the player by hitting NPCs. The story is the main case in the investigation. So to learn the story solve the investigation. Depending on how you solve it you can learn more or less about the story. It is therefore useful to look sometimes deeper than requested. And who knows what influence your choices have on the outcome... or members in your team.
This one took a bit longer than excepted but it was well worth it. Two main tasks have been finished in the last few weeks. I'm interested to hear what you think about the changes.
This task had been on my list for some time now. The Gui Theming used so far worked but turned out to be more and more cumbersome with getting down to actual use. I had to deal too much with script code doing Gui Theme jobs which I do not want to burden onto a future co-worker artist and future modders. So I took the time to nudge the Gui Theming up to the next level so it can be fully done using XML files. The new system is now working as I intended it from the beginning making it way easier to style UI elements than before.
The two screens below show an example of the system used on conversation to help better grasp who is speaking and how he is speaking. More XML Gui Theming is shown in the video below. All is now handled with this XML Gui Theming: HUD, UI Dialogs, In-Game Computers and so forth.
For those interested in some reading and documentation you can find new and updated Wiki Pages about the Gui Theming.
This idea I had around on my desk since some time but just went about to actually do: Interactive Main Menu.
In-Game the game is HUD-less focusing the player on really doing his investigation work. So I thought it would be nice to also extend this interaction design choice also to the main menu. Instead of a boring background image with buttons I wanted to add a bit of detective investigation work. I'll be adding more hot-spots to the screen later on as little goodies.
The video below shows the menu in action. This video is right from after launching the game so you fade into this "room" like shown below. If you have any thoughts please share them.
This will be another surprise. After all surprises are the most fun aren't they?
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