Development Update: November

Welcome back everyone!

It’s been a while since we updated the blog, so we figured we’d give you a quick insight into what we’re currently working on during these snow-stormy, rain ridden, windy and cold last weeks.

Art

Our artists are currently mapping out new areas in the game, as well as creating Concept Art for both characters and environment alike. It has been a busy period for our producer slash character artist, but she’s making steady progress. It’s beginning to look quite magical.

Programming & Design

Our programmers have been updating old code that was left-overs from the beginning of the project, when the game was just a proof of concept. Unnecessary code-snippets and convoluted code has been reworked and made smoother. We’ve also been working on getting the progression system, as well as the spell system in place – and it’s coming along quite well.

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Work in progress of the Magic Selector and Favor system. Placeholder graphics.

As mentioned in the last development diary, there’s a whole lot of balancing between spells, spell-costs and progression tied points (favor) to be done, and we’re in the final stages of implementing the system itself – so that said balancing can commence.

Other then that, our producer has been busy with Sting, the startup incubator (which we announced earlier this fall)  which will conclude soon.

That’s it for now! Have a great week.

//Tamarrion Development Team

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GameConnection Paris 2016

Hi everyone!

Last week I was in Paris for GameConnection, where our former school Uppsala University provided us with a booth in the business area which we shared with two other projects. It has been a lot of fun and I have met a lot of awesome people! It feels good to be home though, and I am pretty tired from six very long days on the road.

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Most of my time was spent in our booth or mingling with people from the industry from all over the world, but I did manage to squeeze in a 30 minute walk in the public area of Paris Games Week. In the other end of the hall I found a little Pikachu whom we took out for dinner that night.

 

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Would have been nice to stay another day and experience the beauty of Paris, but all in all I am very happy with my trip and would like to thank all of the people who made our GameConnection experience amazing!
(As far as touristing goes, I got to see the Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, half of the Eiffel Tower and the inside of an undergroundish club called Duplex)

 

 

Now its time go get back to business, contact people and keep working so that you will be able to play Tamarrion in the not too far future!

Love
Cobrabird

 

Art Time! #20 – Icon Polish

It is our 20th Art Time-versary and would like to celebrate with giving you a closer look at our icons!
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The icons that are currently in the prototype were originally developed during the first 8 weeks of prototyping the demo that we showed at Gotland Game Conference (GGC) in May 2015. As our art style has developed and we have studied more references we decided that these icons (which were a bit rushed) were a bit too rough and messy. We wanted to clean up the icon style a bit to make them look a bit more polished, as if a bit more care and effort was put into them.

To define the new style I started with updating the already existing icons, spending no more than 20-30 minutes on each. Since they were already readable, just a bit rough. So right now I am in the middle of cleaning them up and giving them some more bazazz. I feel that they look much better now, what do you think?

If you want to see more, you are welcome to join in on our second official art stream on Thursday at around 13 CET! Hope to see you there!

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Love
Cobrabird

Development Diary #12: Favour

Hi and welcome back to another installment of Development Diary!

Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about Favour – the “currency” that the player utilize in Tamarrion.

First off, in Tamarrion there’s no levels. There’s no levels, because we don’t want to lock our content behind level walls; but there is however issues in not having any barriers of entry at all. That’s where items and Favour comes into play.

Items allow the player to defeat higher tiers of bosses. But, Favour is directly linked with the progress of the game.

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Flowchart of the favour-system

In essence, favour acts as currency that allows the player to spend, hoard and recycle their favour in order to build their character.

Different spells, costs different amount of Favour. And this is where a lot of balancing comes in. We can directly balance the amount of favour a player can earn within a set amount of progression, as to not create unbalanced ability builds early on in the game, and also create a – hopefully – interesting red line of progression.

That’s it for today, we’ll be back with more information about favour and magic sooner than later. Have a great evening!

//Perkulatorn, Lead Game Designer

Art Time #19 – Axe Modeling

Welcome to this week’s dev blog! It is art time again and this time I will show you the process of modeling a weapon for Tamarrion.

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The first step is of course actually designing the weapon, this is a concept for an axe that will be used by one of the characters in the game. It is supposed to belong to a strong and heavy character in the undead wing where Nihteana and Valac belongs, so it needs to be coherent to both its owner and the rest of the wing. Therefore (and to make it more interesting and cool) I have chosen to add runes on the blade, which will be the same ones that were used on Valac’s sword. I also incorporated the edged swirly pattern that Nihteana has on her clothing and spikes from Valac’s armour. Since all characters have some kind of skull as part of their design, I also wanted to incorporate it on this axe.

After creating a base mesh using the concept as a reference, it was time to start working on some high poly sculpting! I started adding basic details and testing placement, before going further and adding more. I like to work on all pieces of a model simultaneously, so that they are always at the same level of detail, starting general and then going more and more into details.

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In the previous picture I felt that the runes were just too cautiously placed and needed to be stronger and deeper into the blade to give it a harder and more menacing look. Simply more readable as well. I wanted the axe to look as if it had been well used in battle so I gave it dents and scratches and made sure that the edges were not perfectly smooth as if it was brand new.

Once the high poly model was complete I had to create a low poly model to retarget it to and then UV-map it. This part was pretty easy and straightforwards, since a non-animated object does not need very complex edge flow. The biggest issue faced here was having to go back to high poly sculpting as the wrapped grip had intentionally been meant to be reused from a different weapon. When unwrapping the UVs I soon realised however, that because of the size of this weapon, the stretching of the texture would be quite extreme and too visible for it to work.

The final step of the modeling process, while waiting for normal maps to be baked, was to

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piece it together and merge it into a single mesh and send it on its way to Unity (how it turned out you can see below). Now it just needs a texture to add some colour and it will be ready to hack away!

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Check in next week for another dev blog and in two weeks we will be back with more art!

Love
Cobrabird

Development Diary #11: Builders and Spenders.

Hello again, and welcome back to the 10th (!) development diary. Today we’re going to have a little chat about how God Powers correspond to the “second to second” game play decisions.

God Powers

Each time the player casts a spell from a school of spells (there’s five of them), a percentage of the god power bar is filled up. Let’s say for example you cast the Holy field spell, the High Lord’s correspondent rune would will up 20%. If and when a God Power bar hits 100%, a literal God Power is unleashed; in the case of the High Lord your melee attacks gives you health each time you hit an enemy based on the damage you performed.

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Each of these bars fills up each time a spell that is not a “Spender” ability is cast.

Now, that’s all good and well, but there has to be some kind of reasoning behind using spells tactically. Which is why we’re going to introduce the concept of Builders and Spenders.

Builders and Spenders

Like in most MMORPGs or RPGs in general, there’s a concept of “Do Ability1 X amount of  times until you can do Ability2” – and in Tamarrion it’s not a whole lot different, we’re just experimenting with a little twist on the concept.

Most spells generate GP (God Power). Some spells and abilities generate more (and often have a longer cooldown), and some less. God Power is also drained if not used over time, meaning that you’ll be losing x% amount of god power when it is not being consumed or used. Also, hitting 100% god power means you unleash the ultimate god power (UGP) and all of your GP percentage is reset to 0 (and you can not generate GP while under a UGP). This creates an incentive for the player to build, spend and hoard GP as efficiently as possible.

Let’s look at an example, as we so often do (note: names are just examples):

Builders:

Holy Field: Generates 20% GP. Cooldown: 5s.

High lords Blade: Generates 5% GP. Cooldown 2s.

Now this is where it gets interesting. Since the GP decays over time, the player has to learn and time their GP spenders accordingly.

Spender:

Heavenly call: For each (rounded up) % of Holy GP, heal the player for 0.025 * (Devotion Power) and damage the surrounding enemies for 0.5 x (Devotion Power + Physical Power). Cooldown: 0s.

Notice how the Spender does not have any cooldown, and is thus only connected (and able to be used) when there’s GP in the corresponding gods favor. The numbers are just made up on the spot, but they’re indicative to how the spell would work. In short, the more GP you’ve built, the stronger the Spender – but the player has to be vary of using up all of your GP, in case you really really need that strong UGP buff.

That’s all for this week, I’ll be back talking about more design decisions in two weeks.

//Oskar “Perkulatorn” Lidh Frykmark, Lead Designer

Art Time! #18 – Spell Effects

Greetings!

For this week’s Art Time! I, Mossicus, will give you some insight into the different components of spell effects in Tamarrion.

To start off, this is the FX Playground, the birth place of almost all effects in Tamarrion.  It is a colorful place, often filled with lights and explosions. The scene exists for the sole purpose of testing new effects, lighting conditions, and shaders.

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While there are many interesting particle systems, shaders, and similar effects to look at, today I will focus on the Holy Field spell. The Holy Field spell is used to place a circle of holy power on the ground, healing the player and hurting enemies standing in it.

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When creating an effect for a spell, I try to follow the three steps I’ve set for myself: shape, characteristic, and detail.

  • Shape should be the broad silhouette of the spell, the area of effect.
  • Characteristic is often controlled by the school of magic the spell uses, such as using the High Lord’s rune in a holy spell or ravens in a spell cast by Nihteana.
  • Detail is the cream on top, the minor particle systems that are added last to add a bit more flare to the effect.

The Holy Field spell specifically consists of five different components, all of which are particle systems. At first it was considered using a spherical mesh and depth data in the shader, allowing for more dynamic placing of the glow effect. But this was quickly scratched as a better looking effect was created through a simple particle system.

These are the different particle systems of the Holy Field spell:

  • A ring of power containing writing in magical runes is used to show the area of effect for the spell.
  • Rays of light extend upwards from the ring of power to further display the effective field of the spell.
  • The High Lord’s rune is set in the middle of the effect to easily declare the school of the spell.
  • Smaller versions of the High Lord’s runes are used to again declare the school of the spell. (This is used consistently throughout all Tamarrion’s spells.)
  • And finally, large soft particles are created towards the center of the effect to create a pleasant glow.

The color of the effect is then changed based on if there is an enemy or if the player is standing in it, switching between damage and heal mode.

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That was a quick look at the thought process I use when creating a spell effect, and a breakdown of the Holy Field spell. Perhaps in the future I will explain my process more in depth, we will have to wait and see. For now I thank you for your time.

Have a good one!