Loreday! #5 – Midwinter is Coming

It is almost christmas, parts of our team has already left the island to go home to their families. With this we will take a break from our regular updates and take some time off for the holidays. When we get back early next year we will kick off by releasing a new build to our signed up playtesters, so if you have not signed up yet, go to tamarriongame.com!

On behalf of the team behind Tamarrion, those of us that are still at the office would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy new year with this tale of Tamarrion’s midwinter!

christmas

The snow lay heavy on the ground and the stars were glistening in the dark sky. Tamarrion could hear her horse calmly chewing its hay. It was almost midwinter. She sipped at the warmed spiced wine that she had bought earlier that day. The cold air and the smell of the wine that was tradition in her homelands this time of year brought back the memory of past midwinters. Midwinter feasts that she had spent with her family, in her father’s castle.

She remembered the very first time that she had been allowed to stay up all night with the adults and taste that spiced wine, she had been twelve years old and her younger brother had protested loudly that she was allowed to stay up while he had to go to bed. Tamarrion laughed silently to herself while thinking of her mischievous little brother. She loved him dearly and was sure that he would make a good king in her place.

She thought of all the villagers who came to the castle to join the feast. There were many guests arriving even from outlying villages and everyone was welcome in the castle. All children of the village had joined Tamarrion and her brother in snowball fights and other games in the snow. Sometimes even the King and Queen had joined in the snowball fights, though they had to surrender quickly as the children teamed up against them. They had laughed and played until they were completely worn out. Then all of them had been welcomed into the kitchen for rich warm soup and pastries for dessert before being sent out to play again.

In the evening there was always the great banquet that lasted until late at night, with dish after dish being served. Tamarrion thought of her favourite dish, which always had its place on the menu, beef and red wine stew. If there was one thing she missed, other than her family, it was the beef and red wine stew. She felt her mouth watering and tried to think if she would pass a village large enough to have an inn where she could buy some.

Before midnight they would drink more of the spiced wine while singing the ancient songs to the High Lord and thank him for bringing back the sun, after which the children who were still awake would be sent off to bed. After midnight everyone were silent, praying on their own to the High Lord and whichever other gods they followed. For the first time Tamarrion realised that at every midwinter she had not only thought of the High Lord during those prayers. Deep in her mind she had asked Eir to protect her family and people, Aiana to bring prosperity to the kingdom, Verristien to protect them from dark magic and Revenna to guide her sword. She felt warmth in her as she wondered if they had always been with her, guiding her path.

She felt her horse’s breath as it muffled her neck; she knew that she was not alone, although she did not know where the High Lord would take her this midwinter. With a last look at the stars above her before falling asleep she prayed to the gods that they would bring peace and prosperity to her family and her people and that they would find joy in this midwinter even though she was not there.

Art Time! #11

Greetings!

Prepare yourselves for some screenshots! In this week’s Art Time! we will take a look at Valac’s new room. There are still some tweaks to be done, but we’ve reached a point where we would like to show you what has been going on with the environment. And soon you’ll also be able to play test in this new environment!

A short but image heavy Art Time! this week. Thank you for your time!

Have a good one!

Lore Day! #4 – The Origin of Paladins

It is said that in the beginning of memory, evil roamed the world. Demons tormented the minds of humans, elves and dwarves alike by spreading fear and turning them against each other, while dragons set the sky on fire. This diminished the power of the gods, as the people lost their faith and stopped praying to them, leaving the people feeling they had been abandoned.

The High Lord, the creator of all and the highest in the Hall of the Gods, used the last of his powers to send light into the hearts of the people, showing them that there is still hope if they only have faith. It was this light that made it possible for them to see the webs that the demons had spun and stand together. All of the known world was at war, when the humans tribes started to ally with each other after centuries of fighting, and were joined by the other races, in order to fight back against wicked creatures that were on the side of evil. Feeling the light made people start praying to the High Lord again as they knew there was no chance for them without his aid.

Through these prayers the High Lord gained the strength to call upon a champion to be his sword. His choice fell upon a self-assured young heir to one of the human tribes who showed a love for fighting but had a compassionate heart.

The High Lord called upon him to seek out and protect those in need, guiding his way and lighting his path. Ascildan was reluctant, he did not understand what the High Lord wanted from him and had only a spark of faith left, but he was afraid not to heed his call. He felt the urge from the High Lord to pledge himself to the light, although he supressed that as he did not fully trust in the High Lord and never took a vow.

After spending some time fighting alone at the High Lord’s requests he realised that he was close to his home. He had missed his family that he loved dearly as he had not seen them since he left. He could feel the resistance in his chest as the High Lord warned him, but he could not resist going there to just see them once again.

His father, mother and siblings were so happy to see him again and they held a great feast in his honour. They sang songs and ate until late at night, before falling asleep, exhausted and happy. The next morning Ascildan’s horse stood waiting for him; he could no longer disobey the call to move on.

After saying goodbye to his family he rode north, towards the mountains. He had just reached the first pass when it seemed as if it started snowing, he soon realised that it was not snow but ashes. As he looked over his shoulder he saw that the sky was black from smoke. He reared his horse around and galloped back as fast as he could.

Once he reached the rubble that used to be his father’s keep, he saw burned bodies scattered on the ground. Now he understood the High Lord’s warning and hated himself for showing his weakness to the very evil he had been chosen to fight. He had not realised that evil had its eyes on him and that he had led it straight to his loved ones, who were helpless without the High Lord’s protection. For the first time Ascildan saw the ways that evil worked and knew that this was meant to break him and leave the High Lord without a champion.

That night, after burying the bodies of his family, he vowed his life to the service of the High Lord and to fight evil wherever he went, in order to protect those who could not defend themselves. His pledge gave the High Lord strength enough to grant him gifts that would make him able to stand against the challenges that he would have to face.

Ascildan was given the power to heal himself and others at the High Lord’s will, the strength to withstand the blows of dragons and the protection from the darkness of demons. He could hear the voice of the High Lord calling; “Be my champion, Paladin”.

Wherever he went, he fought evil and brought hope back to the people, giving them back their faith in the High Lord. Eventually other warriors joined his path, vowing their lives to the High Lord to become paladins. Although most of them perished, they managed to unite the fragmented human tribes and the other races and defeat evil in a series of great battles.

After victory had been won, Ascildan joined the remaining paladins that had been called to fight with him, and formed the very first order of paladins. Their purpose was to train new paladins and aid the helpless wherever and whenever necessary in the name of the High Lord. In memory of what had happened to Ascildan’s family, paladins swore to forsake their names and heritage, pledging their lives to the High Lord’s service.

Development Diary #7: Update 2

devdiary7

Hello, my name is Oskar Lidh Frykmark, also known as Perkulatorn, and I’m the lead designer on Tamarrion. Today we’re going to have another look at where we are in our production cycle and what has been implemented since the last development diary

Progress

Since last time, we’ve worked a lot with the spell system, as well as a complete overhaul of the implemented boss.

We’ve  completed one spell, which I’ll get into later in this post, and implemented in into the game and started working on another (which is basically just lacking graphics and balancing right now).

On top of that, we’ve received a lot of feedback regarding the boss combats per se, so we’ve overhauled and taken a new approach when it comes to how we balance the boss. I’m not going to go too deep into this topic, but basically, this means that the mechanics are more geared towards all types of combat, and does not favor one type of attack (melee vs magic).

We’ve also overhauled the way we calculate ability damage in tandem with equipment, it’s a little bit technical, but I’ll touch on this topic as well.

So, with that said, let’s take a look at the new spell(s)!

Charge and Teleportation

tamarrion_freeshot_skillsystem_03_charge_3

Note that some graphical feedback is still missing

 

“Charge of Revenna” – Spelltype: Physical

Straight-Line Skill Shot

Cast time/Windup: Instant

Damage: 200% Physical Power/ 0% Magical Power

Description: Charges straight forward, damaging any/all enemies in its path. CoR does not collide with enemies, but rather goes through them.

We’ve added a charge. This one’s a bit different from the other Spells. As I’ve mentioned before the spells are being designed around the idea that there’s more than one mechanic tied into the spell. CoR (Charge of Revenna) is being looked at as 1) A way to quickly burst a bunch of enemies, and 2) A way to get away from danger if a dash just won’t suffice.

We liked the Teleportation mechanic from the first build we had. But, it wasn’t up to date with the way we want to design our new spells. So we decided to recreate it completely and this is the result:

“Natures Teleportation” – Spelltype: Magic

Cast on Ground

Cast time/Windup: Instant

Duration: Until used. (See Desc.)

Damage: N/A

Description: The player may create a Natures Teleportation at the feet of the player. If there are two NT up at once, the player may stand in the field for a three consecutive seconds, which will teleport the player to the other field. The player may have a maximum of two NT bases created at a time. If a new NT is cast, it refreshes the oldest NT base. If the teleportation is triggered, both NT bases are removed. If an enemy stands in the NT base for three seconds, it will be teleported to the other NT base, and the NT bases will be removed.

This is a tricky mechanic. Basically, it allows the player to create a maximum of two “fields” that are connected to one and another. If the player steps into the field and stand there for three seconds (subject to change obviously), the player is teleported to the other field. If the player casts a third field, the oldest field is removed.

It also allows the player to teleport enemies away from themselves, with the added danger of having to stall the enemy at one place for X amounts of seconds.

Boss Overhaul

Since most of you don’t know how the boss works, I’ll mostly talk about how we’re designing the boss in general.

Basically, the boss was too easy to kite (attack from a distance without being in danger), and did not reward melee combat, which is the main staple of the game. So, we decided to rethink some of the mechanics, which punishes kiting to a certain extent, and give the player more of a chance to get up and personal with the boss by, for example, adding stuns to the boss after certain attacks.

This, after a lot of internal discussion, also show-cased the need for melee attacks to be stronger in general, which were solved by altering the way we calculate damage from gear to spells and attacks.

Physical/Spell Power and you

Physical power

Physical power is a flat number that defines damage with physical melee attacks and physical skills.

Spell power

Spell power is a flat number that defines damage with magic ranged attacks, spell-like skills and healing skills.

Item power bonuses

Some items have bonuses to physical power and/or spell power.

Example: Magus Blade, +20 physical power, +100 spell power.

Skill damage calculations

Skills deal damage, heal or effects become more powerful using a percentages of total bonuses to physical power and spell power from items. Note: Regular melee attacks has a base bonus of 100% Physical Power.

1st example:

Charge skill

Damage: 200% physical power, 0% spell power.

2nd example:

Sacred ground skill

Damage: 20% physical power, 20% spell power.

Healing: 0% physical power, 15% spell power.

That’s it for this time

Hope this installment of the development diary has been interesting, and I’ll see you all soon again!

 

//Oskar “Perkulatorn” Lidh Frykmark, Lead Designer

Art Time #10 – Lighting

Greetings!

This week I, Vincent, bring you some updates to the environment. The last couple weeks have been spent putting together the scene to compose light and color. Beware as I might use some technical terms, but I will try to refrain from using them as I’m not so technical in my language normally.

Working with the GI (Global Illumination) system that Unity provides has been an experience. At first I had no idea of what things meant, how they effected the lighting of the scene. I had to read a lot of different guides and just test things over and over. The choice was mainly between Baked GI and Precomputed Realtime GI. The first, integrating the lighting in the models UV maps to display a light that is not effected by moving object and dynamic shadows. Precomputed Realtime GI is dynamic and realtime, simply using a precomputed method that communicates to the engine how to render the light that bounces off of surfaces onto another surface. Seeing as we utilize many torches as well as candle light I thought that going with the precomputed GI to be the best choice. It was also something that was new to Unity 5 and seemed to be a fun thing to play around with.

After that decision had been made I placed the lights, baked the lightmap that determines the bounce light path, and played around with values to get the feeling we wanted. One thing to consider was the use of ambient light together with a moon light, as I had to keep a close eye on both the outside and the inside of the mausoleum to keep a nice balance between the two.

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Light probes are also used to project the light onto moving objects so they fit in better with the overall lighting as they are not calculated in the lightmap. One thing I noticed was that they like to project the bounce light in a very intense manner, so I had to keep a close eye on how the light bounced on Tamarrion’s model to not make her completely blue when standing in blue bounce light.

When all the lights where in place and their values correct, I had a go with the atmosphere. I started to toy with the use of particle effect to create a mood in the scene. The use of the grand windows was also a big factor to play with. While it had previously been done using Unity’s projectors I knew we could not use those this time around. The projectors do not use bounce light, and projects the image on both the front side of the object as well as the back side. In the end I settled with a spotlight using a light cookie to display the correct shape; restricting the light to match the shape of the window.

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Thanks for reading. Sorry for the lack of pictures to show our work, saving those for the big reveal incoming soon!

Have a good one!

Art Time! #9 – Tamarrion’s Facelift

When starting up the production again after creating the very first prototype of the game, we were aware that there were a few problem with Tamarrion’s model. This was mainly situated in the shoulder area and the problems were a combination of the topology not being optimal and having adjusted the rig to fit the poor topology.

In order to fix this I went back to her model and reworked the topology on her shoulders to make it more organic and letting the edge flow follow the muscular structure better. As I was already busy re-working the model I decided to make some adjustments to her arms as well based on feedback that we had been given. When designing the characters of the game we had an idea of creating contrast by using big and small shapes next to each other, but some players mentioned that her arms just looked too skinny, which probably meant that our idea did not shine through to the players.

Since I also raised her arms slightly to get them closer to her idle position and less of an A-pose I also had to go back to the high-poly model and adjust the armpit. While I was working on that I also experimented  with adding some muscles to her arms in order to work towards the feedback of our play testers.

Skärmklipp 2015-10-21 21.23.49

The team decided that we preferred the new version better than the old thinner arms which meant that these adjustments were also made to the ingame low-poly model.

The final step in this part of the process was adjusting the rig in order to achieve the best result when animating Tamarrion and redoing the skinning before being able to test the updated model in MotionBuilder to see how it all worked with Tamarrion’s animations. A few minor adjustments were made but the result was tremendously better than what we had before. At least that is what we think and we are excited to see what you play testers will have to say about the new model in our upcoming release!

That is it from us this week!

Love
Cobrabird