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Post news Report RSS Big Boy Demo (Part Two)

The last blog post talked about some of the technical aspects of the demo and the massive amounts of improvements/bugfixes and optimizations that were implemented in order to get it to that point. For this one, however, I wanted to actually list out exactly what we planned to have for this demo and what we ended up with.

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LOCATIONS:

Our goal for the demo was to have a single playable location: The Atonian Steppe, which would be comprised of two scenes, a canyon and a beach. This is the region we have been babbling about for the last few months or so. Thanks to the amazing work done by Andy, we were able to expand this to two actual locations: The Atonian Steppe and Cephaline. Cephaline is the starting ‘hub’ and is a small, but humble village. There are quite a few things to do here, including interacting with NPCS, finding items, purchasing and selling equipment, and there are actually a few NPC ‘quests’, something that we hadn’t planned on implementing in any capacity for this demo. For some reason though, we still did it.

Farm Tree

The second area represents the first real ‘dungeon’ of the game and is actually itself comprised of three smaller ‘scenes’, of which, the canyon is by far the largest. The other two scenes are the beach and cavern areas respectively. The caverns actually turned out to be a massive, sprawling cave system, home to many unique enemies, treasures and even a mini-boss. Not recommended for beginners. The beach, on the other hand, is a relatively smaller area and is where the actual ‘boss’ of the demo resides. The canyon itself is the main area of the demo and largest scene we have ever created, and we are endlessly pleased by the sheer scope and size of this area. This area is home to many, many enemies and where the strongest ‘mini-boss’ of the game resides. Additionally, there are many, many collectibles, hidden enemy spawns and other goodies to find strewn throughout.

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AtonianCavern

AtonianBeach

ENEMIES:

Months ago, when we were deciding how many unique enemies the third demo would feature, we agreed upon the number 8, which was double the number of enemies in the first ‘Molsha’ demo. Somehow, this number ballooned into 17. To avoid giving away too much, here are a few of the enemies and what to expect from them:

Thumbnail_Spider


Spider – Your average, run-of-the-mill, yet freakishly large spider. Programmed to approach cautiously and prefers to let his friends go in first. Don’t be fooled by this, however, since his Web ability can immobilize a character for a few turns.

Thumbnail_Drone


Drone – Too fast and way too furious, these little buggers will chase you to the ends of the earth if you stray too close to their nests. While they don’t have much in the way of HP, all of their skills are extremely deadly. Can increase its maximum HP using Gluttonous Sting and restore any lost HP with Vampiric Sting. You don’t want to let these guys get out of hand.

Thumbnail_Gastornis


Gastornis – A large and flightless bird. Prefers to be left alone while it forages for grub, but won’t back down from a fight if challenged. While it isn’t very powerful, it has formed a rather strange relationship with the denizens of the steppe, and can send them into a frenzy with Dance of Death or help mend their wounds with Dance of Life. When out of SP, it will resort to strong beak attacks, which reportedly hurt like a mother.

Thumbnail_Grott


Grott – A big ole uh… boulder-looking thing. Strong, slow and as intelligent as a rock, known for two things: bruising and cruising. Stay close and you’ll get a dose of Grott Smash Head! Stray too far and you’ll learn how Grott Take Trip! Best to tank and spank or else he’ll roll all over the battlefield (and his enemies.)

Thumbnail_AuvanianCleric


Auvanian Cleric – A supportive enemy who specializes in healing injured comrades with Rejuvenate. Best to keep him occupied or dispatch him quickly as his skills can easily become too disruptive to handle, whether he silences you with Mute or removes precious buffs with Dispel.

Thumbnail_Earwig


Earwig – This little fella loves to be a nuisance more than anything. Most of his attacks and skills are relatively weak and his carapace seems to be more for show than defense. However, if you see him charging up Kamikaze, it’s time to get the hell out of dodge.

Thumbnail_AuvanianCaptain


Auvanian Captain – A brutish warrior, loves to setup vicious combos with his soldiers. Try not to group up or you’ll be hit with a devastating Whirlwind Slash and god only knows what else.

Thumbnail_Capultra


Capultra – You can find this giant bird of prey circling the canyon. The largest apex hunter of the steppe, prefers her meals to consist of human flesh and takes great pleasure in barbecuing her adversaries beforehand. Chances are, if you’ve encountered her in battle, it’s already too late as a single Paralyzing Discharge will stop your entire party in its tracks. A few Storm Surges later and it’s dinner time!

The other half of the enemies will be up to you to find, learn about and ultimately dispatch! Note that battle spawns in Bevontule are semi-randomized, so you never know what you’ll run into or what formation they’ll be in. Enemy synergy is a huge danger in the world of Bevontule and it’ll be up to you, the player, to figure out how best to deal with different enemies and their unlimited compositions!

CHARACTERS:

We were not able to add any additional characters for this demo as that takes a far greater amount of time and effort than adding enemies, which we mostly have down to a science. However, we were able to greatly expand and diversify the characters, while focusing on and expounding upon their respective strengths and weaknesses.

BodomThumbnail


Bodom – Deals considerably higher damage than the other party memebers and is able to set up devastating combos using his signature skills, Slash and Backstab. For maximum effect, consider buffing yourself with Vigor, a stackable strength enhancement, before moving in for the kill. Can also reposition himself using Lunge to avoid any danger, since you really don’t want to get hit too often. (He’s just a widdle guy!) Also can use Blade Toss to keep an even larger distance at the cost of lowered damage. Bodom has the highest speed and movement radius in the game, and the majority of his skills can be optimally used to setup combos with his allies.

Thumbnail_Moroch


Moroch – Jack of a few trades and a master of even fewer, Moroch specializes in support and disruption. On the healing side, Chakra can be used to apply a weak AOE heal to all nearby allies, while Aura can be used to remove a debuff on a nearby ally, while adding the ‘Regen’ status effect, which will provide a stronger heal, but over a longer period of time. Owing to his vast alchemical knowledge, Moroch’s signature skill is Firebomb, in which he lobs a flammable concoction at a group of enemies, setting them ablaze and dealing damage for several turns. Despite having aspirations of being a feared warrior, Moroch’s physically damaging skills leave a little to be desired: Gut Punch deals a minor amount of damage and weakens the target enemy, while Spinkick can be used to knockback a group of surrounding enemies. Moroch’s speed, movement and resistance are average, while his magical attributes are superior to others.

ApolithAvatar


Apolith – A strong warrior who specializes in dealing and absorbing damage. Apolith’s signature skill is Taunt, which forces a group of nearby enemies to attack him. While facing the wrath of enemies, Apolith may choose to augment his own defensive attributes using Resolve or he may use a more nuanced skill called Focused Rage, which allows him to absorb damage for several turns and then return a portion of it in a small vicinity back towards his aggressors. Rounding out Apolith’s kit are two physically damaging skills: Shield Bash and Bludgeon, which while similar, have subtle differences in charge times, SP costs and ranges. The slowest of the bunch, Apolith makes up for his limited mobility with raw defense and strength.

STATUS EFFECTS/ITEMS/EQUIPMENT:

We were also able to implement a wide variety of status effects (nearly 15 of them) as well as an assortment of new items and equipment (nearly 50!). Status effects are present in battle only, so you won’t have to deal with annoying ‘poison ticks’ in the field (ya’ll know the ones!) Items can now be used to their fullest potential and equipping the various equipment pieces, accessories and weapons can confer some serious advantages to your group of adventurers! Here are some of the status effects and items you’ll encounter in your playthrough of the definitive Bevontule demo:

Poison (Status Effect): Your standard DOT (Damage Over Time) affliction. Unlike its sister status effect “Burning”, this will only tick down when it is the affected character’s turn, but will hit for a lot more damage. You’ll find that the strange vegetation in the steppe will be most likely to employ this… uh… method of attack.

Weakened (Status Effect): Reduces the affected character’s RES, causing physical attacks to deal more damage. Used by scavengers.

Silenced (Status Effect): A mainstay of clerics and mystics, this prevents the afflicted character from using skills for a few turns. If all of your characters become silenced, you’re gonna have a bad time.

Immobilized (Status Effect): Used by a few denizens of the steppe, this effect can be quite a nuisance and prevents the affected character from moving. Strangely, does not prevent movement-based skills (-cough- Lunge -cough)

Instant Death (Status Effect): A very nasty status effect that does exactly what its name implies. There is probably at least one enemy that employs something so treacherous and it’s a safe bet that he lives in the deepest recesses of the Atonian Cave system…

Addled (Status Effect): The bane of people like Moroch, this works similarly to a DOT status effect, except it works on the affected character’s SP instead of HP. Let this run for a few turns and you’ll soon find yourself unable to use skills for lack of SP.

Stop (Status Effect): The nastiest status effect of them all, results in complete and utter helplessness with the affected target being unable to move, attack, use skills or even start a turn. If this hits all of your party members, be prepared to kiss your ass goodbye.

Enrage (Status Effect): Increases the afflicted target’s STR for a few turns, increasing the impact of the target’s physically-based attacks and skills.

Panacea (Item): Used to remove one negative status effect (debuff) from a nearby target character.

Wellspring Sap (Item): Restores all HP/SP to target character. Very rare and very useful.

Ring of Mobility (Accessory): Increases MOV by 5.

Molten Pendant (Accessory): Provides immunity to the “Burning” status effect.

Ruby Brooch (Accessory): Increases MAX SP by 10.

The Debugger (Weapon): A weapon that has no right to exist and is way too powerful for this early stage of the game. I wonder where it is?

OK, I think that pretty much sums up everything (that I want to share). Really though, without getting too sentimental, in many ways, this is the true culmination of all of our hours and hours of seemingly endless work and blood, tears, sweat and yellow bile. A single area alone should have been sufficient, but we were able to pack about 4-5 hours of legit gameplay into it (one friend playtested it for so long that he broke our leveling system and killed damn near every enemy in the game.) Come hell or high water, we will be releasing this demo on July 7th and it is our hope that if you try it, you’ll be hooked! Thanks again for reading and feel free to leave any comments, questions, suggestions or death threats in the comments below!

Comments
pepiyotron
pepiyotron

woow

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MTG_Andy Author
MTG_Andy

Hey, got any additional comments, questions or feedback for us? Would love to hear from you!

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baszermaszer
baszermaszer

You have my wallet! Very nice graphics and lighting! GUI is top notch!! Don't change it, you got it this time. Characters & monsters & world looks very good.

You need to market this game more, I'm sure I'll buy it and hopefully a lot of other people too. Just continue creating content for missions and cities with this amazing color art direction and you'll be fine.

Great font size! Please don't use smaller fonts just bigger ones, if you wanna change these in the future. Current font size is perfect.

Excellent use of faint red on the GUI and on the 3D ground selections. Please don't even consider using intense red UI parts or ugly intense red letters in the game they make my eyes strained. Lots of games fall in the pit using intense red and they suffer sensitive eyed buyers avoiding them.
Example of ugly red ingame that immediately makes me vote NO! for buying the game: intense red in X-Tactics combat at 01:00 Youtube.com

You are doing fantastic!

Maybe show some inventory, to see, what's your idea, but I'm sure you solved that as well with neat icons and generous inventory space and arrangement.

WOW, excellent work and congratulations!

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MTG_Andy Author
MTG_Andy

Thanks so much for the excellent feedback, it is very much appreciated! We spent a lot of time trying to perfect the UI, so it's nice to have some feedback for that!

If you noticed in a lot of our older materials, we do have a ridiculously bright and obnoxious red font to display damage numbers. We have recently fixed that and pretty much all font colors are white with only the outline color being changed. I'll try to get a few pictures up showing that!

Unfortunately I couldn't see the video that you linked. Mind re-sharing that?

Thanks again for the amazing feedback and we look forward to delivering much, much more! Take care.

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MTG_Andy Author
MTG_Andy

By the way, we added a short video recently that shows off some of the combat in motion, along with the enhanced text. I agree that red can be really overbearing, so we've taken care to downplay it as much as possible. Hope you like it!

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baszermaszer
baszermaszer

Nice work on the AI Beatdown video. Most important during these battle scenes is that the player must easily see WTH is going on. You need to add lights or illuminate the battleground via post effects or using your own methods: Increase contrast of the characters and add distinct, emphasized shadows so the combatants properly separate from the ground environment. I modified a screenshot of your battle scene and painted in some shadows in Photoshop.

"https://i.imgur.com/hJ4vrhB.jpg"

For the red target selection circle at 00:18 you can try a medium bright yellow~orange or light blue overlay that isn't a texture.

X-Tactics, red ground icon and text elements in a game with inept GUI design: skip to 3:09

"www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fd_hWIb8Pg4"

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baszermaszer
baszermaszer

Nice work on the AI Beatdown video. Most important during these battle scenes is that the player must easily see WTH is going on. You need to add lights or illuminate the battleground via post effects or using your own methods: Increase contrast of the characters and add distinct, emphasized shadows so the combatants properly separate from the ground environment. I modified a screenshot of your battle scene and painted in some shadows in Photoshop.

"https://i.imgur.com/hJ4vrhB.jpg"

For the red target selection circle at 00:18 you can try a medium bright yellow~orange or light blue overlay that isn't a texture.
Less intense yellow circle than they used here:
"http://cf.shacknews.com/images/20131003/airship_dragoon40_27489.jpg"

Here they got it almost right, but maybe don't fill the circle too much, use color towards the edges like you did with Bevontule:
"http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ZxMlmkeDNdU/VD0C9gMR3BI/AAAAAAAAToU/a-fopZGqlCs/s1600/sorcererkingpreview3.jpg"

X-Tactics, red ground icon and text elements in a game with inept GUI design: skip to 3:09

"www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fd_hWIb8Pg4"

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MTG_Andy Author
MTG_Andy

Thanks once again for the amazing feedback! I agree that we could do more to further differentiate between the characters and the ground. The scene that I chose for the video is actually really old and just happened to be the 'sandbox' that I was working in at the time so I will admit that the particular lighting there is not the best (we were just young whippersnappers back then.)

I appreciate you taking the time to touchup the scene and have always had a UI design philosophy of 'controlled subtlety' (if that makes any sense.) and I see that you have a pretty good eye for that. When we post additional material, I'd love to hear your feedback on that also. Thanks again!

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