Saturday, 26 October 2013

Screenshot Saturday!

Seems like Saturday updates are becoming a bit of a scheduled habit! In the Indie gaming circles we have what we call a Screenshot Saturday, well in this case here's more than one...
This week we now have dungeon entrances:


And exits!


Ambient Lighting Schemes

I've also been working on different lighting schemes for a variety of environments that I have planned for the game (prison/dungeon, fiery hell, organic forest area, pitch black caverns). These environments will all be using different models and textures, but just changing the lighting makes a huge difference to the feel of it all. None of the following are photoshopped, these are all rendered by the engine.
Starting from the top-left:


1. For the prison area, we're using neutral ambient lighting. Wood looks like wood. The stone walls and floors are cold and grey, and the only respite is from the warm glow of the fire pit.
2. Our cavern levels will be pretty dark, so the only way to navigate through these is with a torch, or by following luminous crystals and glow-in-the-dark creatures. So for this environment, we use no ambient lighting at all.
3. Our fiery hell levels will be constantly lit by the red glow of flowing lava. The air is hot and dry, walls are scalding to the touch, and there is lava, fire and smoke everywhere. I wanted it to feel like we were inside a volcano, so the ambient light here is a highly saturated red.
4. Finally our organic forest level will have vines, ivy, moss, underground trees and waterfalls tearing apart the dungeon walls as nature reclaims its territory. I wanted to go for a Zelda-esque feel with floating spores, falling leaves and lots of sun shafts/god rays coming through the tree canopy. The ambient light has a green tinge to it, as the sun light filters through the green leaves.
You can see what I mean about the forest lighting from these reference images here and here
For now you'll need to use your imagination as to what the actual environment models and textures will look like, but for this exercise I was just focusing purely on the lighting!

Torture Chamber

I had some extra time this week to add my first furnished room, a torture chamber complete with hanging gibbet cages and dead skeletons....


 And X-shaped stocks inspired by Theon Greyjoy's experience with the Boltons...


All objects are physics enabled, so if you push hard enough... (Whoops!)


Camera Zoom

If you remember our AI demos from back in the Kickstarter days, the action is intended to be quite fast paced, with a certain sort of flow to it. There will be no standing around exchanging blows, you will be constantly on the move dodging, avoiding, strafing and slicing. Using your peripheral vision will be very important, so at any time you'll be able to zoom out and get a clearer view of the surrounding area.


For the Technically Inclined...

In addition to these updates, I've also been writing about TinyKeep from a programmer's perspective on the hugely popular TIGSource forums. I know some of you here are in the game development biz, so if you're interested in the process our thread is here:
There I talk about my strategies for performance optimization with the Unity engine.
Thanks very much for reading, and see you again next time!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Ramping up to our first Monthly Build

As usual I've been hard at work in my little office plugging away at TinyKeep mostly in isolation. Recently though, we've been ramping up for an exciting milestone, and that is getting the first monthly build out to our small group of focus testers. Here are some screenshots for our progress this week:


More UI stuff implemented, this time the in-game pause menu, because some sad people out there will probably want to quit playing this game at some point...
More UI stuff implemented, this time the in-game pause menu, because some sad people out there will probably want to quit playing this game at some point...

Everybody, at some time or another, must drop their ego and stop and ask for directions (yes, even men!). But in TinyKeep that might be a deadly mistake, so we're going to provide you with an automap...
Everybody, at some time or another, must drop their ego and stop and ask for directions (yes, even men!). But in TinyKeep that might be a deadly mistake, so we're going to provide you with an automap...

Unless you played video games in the '80s, we're pretty sure most of you would prefer not to map out their dungeon experiences on graph paper. Especially for one of this size!
Unless you played video games in the '80s, we're pretty sure most of you would prefer not to map out their dungeon experiences on graph paper. Especially for one of this size!

Every dungeon needs a healthy amount of torch light. Here I'm experimenting with HDR bloom post-processing effects, which gives the fire particles an intense glow and blur. It's a nice effect, but it'll be an option you can turn off for performance
Every dungeon needs a healthy amount of torch light. Here I'm experimenting with HDR bloom post-processing effects, which gives the fire particles an intense glow and blur. It's a nice effect, but it'll be an option you can turn off for performance.

What lies at the end of this corridor?
What lies at the end of this corridor?
 That's it for this week, see you next time!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

TinyKeep's UI Implementation

At the end of October I'll be sending our first build to the monthly focus group users. These are a few "lucky" people who for some reason decided to give me a lot of money just for the privilege of finding bugs! Just kidding, you lovely people will get to test and be involved in the gameplay decisions nice and early :)  
As part of this first release I wanted to focus a bit on cleaning up the UI so that it's a little more polished to look at. The work I'm doing will also help me get a handle on the different UI solutions available for Unity, which will form the foundation of all the UI work in the future.

Title screen, with fully scaleable buttons and parchment for future UI elements
Title screen, with fully scaleable buttons and parchment for future UI elements

Implemented a few other UI controls such as dropdown boxes and text inputs
Implemented a few other UI controls such as dropdown boxes and text inputs

Nice to see progress bars finally integrated into all the dungeon generation work I've been doing for the past few months. Some of the larger dungeons do take a few seconds to load!
Nice to see progress bars finally integrated into all the dungeon generation work I've been doing for the past few months. Some of the larger dungeons do take a few seconds to load!

Finally, just for fun - a screenshot showing one of our glowing imp monsters. This one has a self-illuminated head, I like the lighting on this shot! :)
Finally, just for fun - a screenshot showing one of our glowing imp monsters. This one has a self-illuminated head, I like the lighting on this shot! :)
Next week I'll be implementing the game HUD, ready for gameplay testing with our focus group users :)

Friday, 4 October 2013

Disco Light Dungeon

So this week I decided to stop messing around with the 2D debug visualizations and give you guys a bit more meat. Here's our progress on the zoning system discussed last week so far, rendered in lovely 3D.
Note that these coloured cubes won't actually be in the final game, they are there simply to help us test which rooms are being zoned off. However, the lighting was just so pretty I had to take some screenshots!
The exit room indicated by 2 red cubes.
A "birds eye" view of the zoning system in action. Pretty disco lights!
Vanity shot of our very own "red light district".
Ominous blue zones...
The green zone locked away by the 2 wooden doors at the bottom. You'll need the correct key to access this area and all of its treasures within...
That about wraps it up for our lock and key puzzles!