We got a lot done this week! Just in time for the new build and our 1 Year Steam Early Access Anniversary.
- New Ability - Celem’s Blade: A new Class skill for the Celea, Celem’s Blade will increase the range of the spear attack. Skara’s Design guys (both of them) implemented the distances of the collision “box” (the area in which an attack happens). The programmers used blueprints to separate the different character states, with either the skill activated, or not. The final part was for VFX. Our master VFX artist, Sergi, created a fire particle system which is activated in two parts. The initial part begins when the character summons the skill. It emits a special trail for every impact once Celem’s Blade is active. Here’s how it is looking so far!
- Decal R&D 1st iteration: We detected a huge problem when using area-based skills: if the floor is not regular - like in the border of the Coliseum - the decal graphic “floats” in the air and loses credibility. Since we plan to add several special abilities based on areas, we needed to create a solution for all of them. David, one of our programmers department lead a R+D testing to investigate the possibilties that Unreal Engine has to solve this problem. Once this testing is finished it will be time to apply the results with playable skills. We are preparing an extensive dev diary post to explain how we do it - so stay tuned!
- Camera effects: for Kharn, Shinse and Celea to feel more a part of the battle from the third-person perspective. Cameras were animated by Albert - our only 3D animator -to reinforce the feeling of being inside the battle.
- Tamvaasa concept art study: Our next character in Skara is ready for full modelling. You have seen several concept art tests in which we tried to recreate this culture, the different tribes who inhabit the northern lands of Skara and the different types of armor, weapons and helmets for different Tamvaasa factions.
- Rage vortex VFX: An abilty which was available for the last two versions was lacking some VFX and visual feedback, so we decided to give it a twist and implement new visual effects. It. is. Awesome.
- Rock Rampage VFX & Rock modelling: We created a new 3D model for the giant metal/stone rock that the Khärn throw at their enemies in the brand new range special skill.
- Character balancing: This is an ongoing task: Of course balancing is crucial in multiplayer and team-based action games, so the main job of our Game Design guys is to be aware of any situations where one player has a distinct advantage, so we can nerf skills and stats as needed. We discovered in previous versions that the Celea were overpowered, as well as some of Khärn special skills. The Shinse, the favorite character for most players (including me!), were comparatively underpowered. We tweaked some of the values, collision boxes and skills to make them all match. Your help in this has been essential, so thanks for the feedback and keep it up!
- Build 0.5.5 bug detection and polishing of new features: This is a routine task, but it becomes much easier when players give us feedback. So send it in!
- Unreal Clothes R&D: The Unreal Engine has some cool new features that deal with the way clothes move with characters. We are playing around with this for multiplayer (It’s a AAA problem for an indie studio, so don’t expect too much too soon :)
- Final rig for Khärn: We will finalize the state and make sure it looks good and feels ferocious. We have high standards, and want to keep them that way!
- Jotheim BSP’s + second arena test: The new arena is perhaps the highlight of our work-week. Can’t wait to show this off in a gamedev stream. We had some difficulties pulling this off last time, maybe we will be able to do it this time.
- New Khärn skins will look cool, have you seen the last one?
- Celea concept art study: We will be putting together all the art we have and expanding it, just like we did for the Shinse. Prepare to be astounded.