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Post news RSS Dev Diary #12 - Combat Tuning, Game Settings and Level Loading

In April we spent a great deal of time tuning the combat experience, adding more settings so that the game performs on lower spec PCs and enabled the loading of different levels to allow more player exploration.

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We're back for another update!

The April update didn't happen, but that doesn't mean we weren't busy.
April was all about boring stuff that we can't really show screenshots for. Important, but boring.

I've been developing some tools to aid design, working on the website and tightening up combat processing. I also spent a good chunk of time evaluating new technologies and collaborating with other indie studios to resolve problems.
This should enable us to fix some performance issues, address melee combat misses and our persistent minion pathfinding issue.

Unfortunately there is a lot that is in the works, but not a great deal show just yet. Sorry.

Easter Pre-Alpha Release

We released the Easter Themed Pre-Alpha at the end of the Easter Weekend with a reasonably good response from community. Admittedly it was not as polished as we would have liked it, but it was worth it to see bunny ears on all the characters and to collect easter eggs.

The Easter Pre-Alpha will only be available for another few days. If you have not had a chance to play it yet, download it here before it is deleted forever.

Stamina (Take 2)

I know I already spoke about this in the last update, but it has been extended. Now the amount of stamina consumed is relative to the equipped weapon i.e. large two-handed weapons will consume more stamina than smaller one-handed weapons or fists.
Each character class has a different amount of stamina so that a guard wielding a halberd may have more stamina then another character wielding a pike for instance.

This makes for more varied and interesting AI behaviour as they cannot just stand over you and rain infinite blows down upon on you.
They will need to pace, side step and fall back to other skills until they have enough stamina to strike again.

Combat Tuning

We added some minor combat changes that make a drastic change to the "feel" of the game. Now the camera shakes when player lands a blow with a physical weapon so you know when you are dealing damage and when you are swinging at empty air.

We tuned the weapon attack speeds and attack damage based on weapon typeto make combat scenarios less predictable.

Gore Setting

The community expressed that not everybody wants to see the gratuitous blood spray and blood pools, so we added a Gore setting. If the Gore setting is off then a non-violent yellow flash of light is shown when a character takes damage.
We'll come back and do another effects pass later to make it more visually pleasing.

Performance Settings

The community reported some performance issues so we added the ability to turn off some features that could reduce performance. At the moment you can disable Bloom, Ambient Occlusion, Antialiasing and Sun Shafts.
Later we'll add features like Camera Distance, Tree Density, Grass Detail, etc.

Level Loading

I usually don't like to share things that are not yet complete, but I am putting the finishing touches on the new level loading system. A change of scenery is really welcome after playing the icy scene for so long.
The new system gives us the ability to reduce load times and place the player in any given location in any given scene.

That means it's now possible to switch between game scenes like the Necropolis, caves, dungeons, etc.

That's all for now.

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Thanks for the support
Sandbox D7 Team

Sandbox D7
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Thanks for adding a "gore" setting so we can turn it off. Also I love the screen-shake implementation. Its really nice to have a visual queue if you missed a minion or made contact. Obviously you know your weapon made contact when there are particles or blood, but even a screen shake is nice.
Great idea to add different stamina for each weapon. Makes sense to me because heavier weapons would tire you out quicker and lighter weapons would be lighter and use less energy.
Great update!

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Looks good, keep it going :)

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