Development Diary #10: Level Design!

Welcome back to another installation of development diary. Today we’re talking a bit about the level design and the reasoning, how and why around the levels in Tamarrion.

Level Design

Originally, the game was not supposed to feature “segwaying” between boss-locations in the level, neither were there any plans of creating trash monsters that roamed the halls and locations of Tamarrion. This utopian idea of the ultimate “raid instance” where there was no waiting between bosses did not bode well for the overall pacing of the game.

So, we expanded our levels, redesigned and did a complete rethinking of how our levels would look, feel and play. Since Tamarrion is all about mastering mechanics, the space between Boss A and Boss B provides ample room for mechanical improvement, and for us as designers to introduce new mechanics to the player. This gives the player a feel and understanding of upcoming mechanical situations, as well as room for improvement in both play-style and skill; as well as some breathing room between said bosses.

6_z_Hazards.png

Environmental/Mechanic Features between two bosses in Tamarrion (Credits: Måns Löf)

The picture above illustrates a hallway between two bosses in Tamarrion. There are several things to take into account when creating space in video games, especially when the game focuses heavily on a specific features – in our case Boss fights.

  • How do we introduce boss mechanics before the boss?
  • How do we generate proper pacing between two boss fights?
  • What kind of situational challenges can we create?
  • Does said challenges fit the physical room?

“Environmental Hazards”

One of the first things we introduced when we introduced larger space between bosses, was the idea of having, what we call, environmental hazards. That is, non-boss monster mechanical challenges (think platformer games) that fits the pacing of the physical 3D space.

In the example above, there are several different environmental hazards, that couples with others. Let’s have a look:

  • Zombies – A mindless zombie that pops out where you least expects you to. They’re placed in such a way as to obstruct view and distract you from other mechanics that might be lurking around a corner.
  • Fire Trap – Literal Fire spewing out of the wall in patterns.
  • Cave in – A mechanic from the upcoming boss – making the roof cave in and dropping stones all around the player.
  • Desecration – The hands of the dead rises from the ground, slowing the player down. Coupled with Zombies and Cave ins, they can become a serious issue.
  • “Ray of Death” – Another important mechanic from the upcoming boss, which creates a gauntlet event that the player has to overcome, whilst battling all other Environmental Hazards.

This is just one small area of the game; which hopefully will be enjoyable for the player to explore, defeat and overcome.

That’s it for todays Development Diary. Have a great week!

//Perkulatorn – Lead Designer

Advertisements

Art Time #17 Art Stream!

Streambanner_tamarrion

It is art time again, and this week we thought that instead of showing you pictures of what we have been up to, we would let you in on the art development of Tamarrion! We have streamed a few times before and have long thought about doing official art streams so that you can follow along and see the process, and we thought that it was time to give it a go.

So join tomorrow (Tuesday 6 Sept) at 13.00 CEST at https://www.twitch.tv/cobrabird1 for some behind the scenes fun with Cobrabird and Mossicus!

Love
Cobrabird

Development Diary #9: Magic and UI!

Hi again! Long time no see.

In this Development Diary, we’re going to talk a bit about the new magic selection system that is tied in with the game’s progression, as well as UI in general.

How UI works in Tamarrion

In Tamarrion, all changes to the character are made in the game, inside of UI and menus; just like any other RPG. Items, stats, maps and spells can all be customized, changed and sorted within these menus. As a general philosophy here at Frostfyr, we want the player to be able to take full control of the way they approach the game, so we’re working on giving the player as many options to change and customize their play style as possible. This means that changing abilities and items has to be both balanced, interesting and easy.

inventory.png

Tamarrion’s inventory system. This is a work in progress, and does not represent the final product.

The inventory system for example is divided into three sections, an inspector, a currently equipped section and the List of items. The inspector shows the Name, the lore and the stats of the items, as well as comparing the stats of the items to your currently equipped item. The list shows your hoard of loot that you’ve acquired through the game, and allows you to easily equip and change items by double clicking the item. The same design of this system is applied on our Spells and Abilities menu as well.

Magic!

So, in the same way as items are equipped, spells are also interchangeable and use the same basics of the aforementioned system, with a couple of changes.

Spells are divided into five different categories:

High lord – Holy

Revenna – War (Melee)

Eir – Defense

Verristien – Arcane Magic

Aiana – Nature (Support)

Each of these gods has their own “tree”, meaning that they are sub-categorized in different tiers of worth and power. Each tier can contain more than one spell and/or a passive ability, but can only be unlocked if connected (look at example above).

Blank Diagram - Page 1.png

Mock-up of the tiered Magic Selection Tiers

Let’s look at this made-up example of the Melee ability tree (or Revenna the god of War):

Tier 1: Charge leads to both Tier 2 abilities, whirl and slam, but is also connected to its own passive ability that makes the Charge a better ability.

Tier 2: Slam also has a Passive, but is a Tier 3 ability. The Tier 3 Ability is not connected to the rest of the tree, so it does not allow the player to chose another spell, but rather just upgrades the Slam ability from Tier 2. Whirl on the other hand leads directly to a Tier 3 ability, and does not allow the player to chose the Passive (which wouldn’t be of much use if the player had not chosen Slam anyway).

Tier 3: In tier 3, only Rampage would connect further down to a possible Tier 4.

This might look a bit complicated at first, but if you’ve ever played World of Warcraft or perhaps Grim Dawn, you’d quickly understand the system.

Progression of abilities

In order to unlock the spells of the different tier, favor of the god has to be earned. There are several ways of earning favor.

  • Defeating Bosses
  • Unlocking Achievements
  • Exploring and finding lore snippets in the world
  • And so on.

These favor points may be used to unlock abilities in the Spell trees. Each tier ups the favor cost, so the player has to chose which abilities they want to spend their hard earned favor on.

That’s it for this week! Another Development Diary will be out in two weeks!

//Perkulatorn

The new website is now live!

We have just launched our new website!

Check it out at https://tamarriongame.com/ and tell us what you think on our Facebook page or Reddit!

Since our last post the team has been working hard on not only the game, but preparing for upcoming events and redesigning the website as well. We hope that you will find it easier and smoother to navigate and find the information you want. To give you even more info on Tamarrion we will continue to add features to the website, including more screenshots of the new areas!

Soon you will be able to sign up again, so keep an eye out for more news!

Valac6_2

Art Time#16 – Sneak Peek Lord Valac

With Nihteana pretty much complete and  brand new environment assets, we felt that Lord Valac needed a little makeover to match his new room. Currently we are working on hihg poly models for both Lord Valac and the third boss which you will be able to fight in this area.

Here is a little preview of what he is going to look like… 🙂

valac2Valac1

Love
Cobrabird

Art Time! #15 – Hand Painted Wood

I wanted to pick up where we left off last week and show you some more textures which I have been painting lately.
In this week’s update I would like to show you our new wood textures. After painting all the stone assets for this wing, the wood was a welcome challenge. It was really fun and I enjoyed working with something softer for a change and playing around with the colour shifts.

 

To make this post a little less… brown… I will leave you with a new screenshot showing how the tree looks in the game. 🙂

screenshot2logo.jpg

Love
Cobrabird