Hello again everyone!
It’s been to long since our last update and I must apologize for that. I had fully intended to start updating fairly regularly but it has just not possible lately. We have had a lot going on and it has left us exhausted needless to say.
Adham, the games solo coder, has been hard at work with the games engine (building it from the ground up) and it’s a daunting task. However he has been making excellent progress, of which I will be sharing in this devlog.
I have been hard at work on the art, design and animation side of things. It’s a lot of work for 2 guys but your guys support has been very encouraging. So if you’re excited about the game feel free to hop onto Discord, join our group and let us know! It really is incredibly motivating for us to be reminded you guys are out there!
Progress and Goals
During our absence we have been hard at work on all of the games core mechanics so we can get the first demo into our supporter’s hands. We currently are in arms reach of doing so but it has been a long journey and from the start our plan was to get the games core mechanics in place along with some polished elements before sharing. This way you guys can get a real idea of what we have to offer but this is a double edged sword. It also means we need to finish a bunch of the game (which takes time) or have many of the basics set up before we can share. We are aiming to impress and I truly believe we are going to fulfill this goal. Below I am going to go over many of the core mechanics we have been working on (and are implemented now) and some of the extra polish we have been integrating.
Depth & Height System
Over the years since TUL’s inception I had planned ways for our game to have various elements to modernize and differentiate us from the game(s) that had inspired us to create TUL. One of the core mechanics I had always envisioned was a sophisticated depth/height system not typically seen in a top down 2D game.
The vision from the start was to be able to climb and interact with the world in a more realistic way that players may have had never seen in a top-down 2D styled game before. I imagined that this would really help us utilize the world & enemies to their full potential. So naturally from the very start this mechanic has been a part of the core design and let me tell you, it was no easy feat. We actually went through several coders, various iterations, demos and a lot of pain but we have finally got it right. I never imagined what a challenge it would be but over the past few months I believe Adham has cracked the code (pun intended) and now it is working 100% as imagined.
Heights In Gameplay
Sorry! I may be primarily an artist but I still get really excited about the technical stuff and what is going on behind the scenes. So basically this means that every object in the game has a height and the player can climb, jump and interact with the environment like it is 3D, instead of 2D. This opens up a lot of possibilities. Such as more natural environmental puzzles, using height to your advantage against enemies and even climbing onto enemies, similar to what happens in Shadow of the Colossus.
Scavenging & Vegetation
In the world you will be able to collect all the vegetation you see within the environment. All items and ingredients have a use alone. But combining ingredients will offer great recipes, elixirs and potions that will grant the user various buffs, power ups & restorations. The protagonist comes from a village of farmers so we will have the usual ingredients as you would expect, such as; potatoes, onions, wheat, tomatoes, flowers and mushrooms. Not to mention even more fantasy based vegetation purely inspired by our imaginations as well.
Hunting & Animals
Although you can scavenge that is not where things end. We are also in the process of adding various hunting mechanics as well as animals. All of the animals in the game are going to be fantasy based so we are able to create our own world filled with unique and diverse creatures. The goal is to create each animal so they are familiar yet unique. We didn’t want to just take animals that existed in reality because to me, it felt like a missed opportunity. Why make a deer or a rabbit? That seems boring and something everyone has seen. Why not instead make a mammoth cow pig instead? And instead of it giving milk it could give the player a sweet honey like nectar? The possibilities are endless so why try and limit ourselves? Below are just a few animals you can hunt in the game.
Remember the mammoth/cow/pig I mentioned? Well here he is. I call this one the Mammoot!
Here is an early concept sketch of the Figlet I put together. I was really wanting to have more fantasy inspired animals for the player to hunt and I think this fit perfectly with what I was aiming for. I will be sharing the finished version very soon.
This is probably going to be the most normal animal that will be in the game. Simply because I designed him early on in TUL's development and it would be a shame if this little guy went to waste.
This is something we are still admittedly working on. However we do have the basics in, but plan to iterate and improve as we continue forward. The idea behind this is that the player is able to utilize a handful of various weapon types and as he defeats enemies he will grow in proficiency with the weapons he uses. This intern allows the player to be faster and more fluent with the weapons he utilizes all while unlocking new combo’s and proficiency naturally (and without some complex upgrade wheel, screen or chart)
Progression, Skills & Leveling Up
The majority of the skills the player can learn is from his/her own progression. We will also have other skills and abilities that are unlocked by studying under certain masters or learning from npc’s who have skills to offer. The goal is for this system to just fill like a natural growth as the player progresses like in real life. Imagine if you were forced to fight with a sword one day. Naturally at first you would be a sloppy and slow fighter but as you go you would learn and become more proficient/skilled. You would just become better as you hone your skills as a warrior. Eventually you would teach yourself as much as you can and would need someone else to teach you more. This is what we are going for. This will also carry over into other elements of the game outside of combat. That’s something I will elaborate further on in a future post.
At the end of the day the combat is meant to be fast paced, similar to a fighting game, allowing for the player to be incredibly skillful and to evolve. Not to mention the player is meant to be a very acrobatic/agile fighter. Evolution is important to us and we want the players to feel like they have grown from a newbie to an expert by the end of their journey.
During our absence I had decided that additional weapons is something we for sure were going to focus on. This is something I personally have put a lot of effort into. I felt everyone would expect various styles of weapons and iterations, however I wanted to do something new or different. As I may have stated before the player will have various weapon types that he can master. He will also have multiple weapons to acquire that each have their own strengths and weaknesses. We currently have the sword, hammer, axe & spear.
Ive shared the early sketches and designs below.
And a good look at the new weapons!
The Turtle Shield
Here is a little something new on the defensive front and will be available in the demo. It is the Turtle Shell shield. I think it gives some character to the hero and has its own distinctive look and story behind it! More details will come very soon!
Here are some early sketches and wip images of the process I used to create the new shield.
And here is the shield all finished up and added onto the character! Looks pretty good if I do say so myself.
Day/Night Cycle & Lighting
Next on the agenda we have lighting systems. There is a fair amount of work into this and several systems all working together at once to deliver something visually compelling. For starters we have a day/night cycle. As the day progresses you will see how the environment is effected by the sun slowly drifting overhead. The world grows brighter as night turns into day and the world gets a slight red hue at nightfall just before sunset. Eventually it falls completely into darkness as the cycle enters the dead of night. For testing purposes the cycle is greatly sped up but we are thinking that day and night will last for about 6 minutes each, totaling about 12 minutes for a full day cycle.
This means that 1 minute in real time equals 2 hours within the game world. Not only will this grant ambience and some nice cosmetics but you will also see changes in the world around the player based on the time of day. For example NPC’S will be doing different things depending on the time which will also stretch onward to certain shops being closed/open and quest availability.
All of the objects in the world cast shadows in relation to light sources which give everything a more lively and dynamic feel. This is true for when the sun is shining overhead or when the player is standing next to a candle.
These same systems move onward into the lights that are littered around the world. Something like campfires and torches also cast a beautiful light for ambience while casting shadows for the player and objects nearby.
Immersion is incredibly important to us. The Untold Legacy may not appear as a hyper realistic game but our goal is to create a living, breathing world for you guys to get lost into. That’s why weather is an intricate part of this games world. We will have the usual rain, snow and sunshine as expected but we have built additional systems on top of these to make everything feel more believable.
The world and characters will react according to the weather as well. For example if there is a heavy thunderstorm you will see the leaves in trees, and tall grass reacting accordingly to the heavy wind that normally accompanies such a storm. Npc's will be running for cover and safety as they physically react to their environment. The same can be said for when the weather is calm, the world reacts realistically to what is happening. The same can be said to for snow covered areas. The player’s breath will be visible as his cheeks will turn a pink hue and he shivers to the severe weather. We also will have moderate weather as well, whether it be a cloudy day, sunny or even if it’s just incredibly windy out.
Evolving To Ensure Success
Over the course of our journey we have had to take a look at some of the hard truths involved with creating such a vast game. The Untold Legacy has always been an incredibly ambitious title and unfortunately money is a very real issue. Trust me, I wish it wasn't. I would much prefer to just toil away with no worries and just have to focus on being creative. Adham and I are working full time with only our savings supporting us (and its dwindling) and we had to make some changes in our plans so we can deliver on our promises to you guys.
For the most part we will continue forward as planned. We will be releasing demos and eventually the full game to our backers. However to make this feasible we needed to make some earnings along the way. We have added some steps to the plan so we can have the best chance of success. To do so we had to reduce development time and release something as soon as possible without sacrificing quality or betraying those of you looking forward to the game. Thus we put together the idea to continue forward as planned and develop the core game, but instead of diving directly into developing such a full scale large game, we would first release a condensed adventure within the same universe that would enhance the entire experience.
Introducing "The Untold Legacy: Awakening"
Thus "The Untold Legacy: Awakening" was born. Many of you may be wondering what that is? Let me explain! The Untold Legacy world has always had a lot of lore and imagination put into it. There are so many stories we have wanted to explore and this is a way to tell some of those stories you guys wouldn’t have known otherwise. Let me be clear in that this game was a story that was always meant to be part of the main game. It is just something you wouldn’t have experienced first-hand. I know that may sound confusing and make zero sense but I promise it will in the long run. It is a smaller/side adventure following the same protagonist from the original Untold Legacy game/concept. It is a side adventure that will heighten and enhance the overall story of the game, answer some questions while also introducing more mysteries. Think of it as free DLC to those that have pre-ordered the game, which is available for the games release.
Below I have attached the games synopsis. I will be sharing more in depth information as we continue forward along with the demo.
“The Untold Legacy: Awakening”:
Compelled by rumors, myths and legends Ekho is driven to the outskirts of Loomia. There he seeks a way to fulfill a promise he made in “The Realm Of The Forsaken”, a place that bridges our world with another. Will Ekho be able to survive this place not meant for mortals? Or will he be able to overcome the darkness that he must face to escape.
The Untold Legacy: Awakening - Demo
The Untold Legacy: Awakening demo is going to be our very first demo which is going to initially only be available to those who have pre-ordered The Untold Legacy at the "Game Keeper +" tier. If your interested in supporting us and helping us a bit further with development you can check out our backer rewards here. Expect the demo to be sent out to our backers within the next few weeks.
We would greatly appreciate your support!