Improved Spell Rune Screen
Our rune screen is a pretty important one in our game—it’s where the player can select the spell runes that are available for spell shaping, which allows the player to dynamically enhance properties of their base spell. The screen was pretty uninteresting before this week, and—with our in-game shaping being pretty fantastic—this screen was disappointing in comparison. Using some new art assets, Chip gave the window an overhaul that not only added a fair amount of flash, but also made the screen more intuitive.
We’re really happy with the improvements to this critical part of our UI, which is a massive boon to our shaping system.
Character Starting Titles
We’ve already talked about our history system and how a player can gain titles as they progress through the game; we’ve taken it a little bit further this week. When a new game is started, the player may choose a starting title for their character. This title tells the world that the Fictorum is already strong, particularly in the school of magic that the player selects, and they will begin with items and runes that correspond.
In the video below, I select a starting character title and show some of the items that I’ll have to start out the game.
Improved Melee & Corrupted Attack Animations
Last week, we noticed something that we’d overlooked from being used our the game: The melee attacks in-game were ridiculously easy to avoid. Enemies would move at a constant speed towards you, often stopping completely to swing their weapon, and a simple well-timed backstep would avoid their attack completely. It made melee fighters irrelevant unless you were slowed or caught by surprise.
Our most important change to this was varying the enemy’s speed based on the timing of their weapon swing. If you imagine that you’re closing the distance on a particularly bothersome wizard with your melee weapon of choice, you wouldn’t maintain the same movement speed throughout the entire process. You’d speed up to close the distance during the set, maintain some of that speed into the swing, and taper off during the follow-through. That’s exactly what we’ve been working to do in-game.
The result is melee opponents that move much more realistically and aggressively, and therefore are much more challenging to evade.
Gradual Status Effect Changes
We’ve enhanced our status effect system, specifically when handling slowing and freezing, so that as a character repeatedly hits an enemy (or the player) with cold spells, the cumulative effect is greater. Here’s a quick test on an unfortunate enemy (notice how much slower he moves after each hit).
Deadlier Corrupted Lich
The Corrupted Lich, a powerful corrupted mage, has had its AI improved. The Lich will blink out of the way of incoming projectiles, summon corrupted warriors, and shoot balls of corrupted lightning at you.
- Implemented a new keybinding window
- Wrote several new text-based events
- Created a new level
Unreal 4.11 Problems
We should eat some crow here, and admit that we upgraded to the brand new version of Unreal Engine 4 a little too early, and the stream last week was a bit of a trainwreck because of that as we discovered some game-breaking bugs while playing. We’ve since resolved the majority of them, but there is one important issue remaining that is highly dependent on Epic’s upcoming hotfix (we hope). Our Twitch stream may need to adjust accordingly.
We’d like to change some things up this month. Chip is going to be visiting Greg out in Minnesota next week, so that they can catch up on all the drinking and video gaming they’ve missed while being game devs. (Oh, right, and maybe record a Kickstarter video.) Since this is a rare opportunity to have both developers playing Fictorum in the same room, we’ll adjust our Twitch stream to occur during Chip’s visit. We’ll let you know the specifics as that time draws closer, but we can tell you it will most likely be on Friday, 4/22, or Saturday, 4/23 (assuming that we can work out the 4.11 bugs).
- New Main Character Model
- Rune Rarity
- Bug Fixes