New Years 2015 Update
Happy New Years, everyone!
May all of your game development and indie gaming dreams come true this year! 2015 is going to be a huge year for Elysian Shadows and our friend projects here on Kickstarter.
While we were fairly silent during Q4 of last year, this did not mean we weren't literally working our asses off day and night in our indie dev caves. We decided to take a brief respite from the spotlight to recharge and focus on our product for awhile before reemerging... That time has finally come, and we have all kinds of awesome progress to show you. You're going to be seeing quite a bit more of us this year, especially on YouTube, where we're continuing our "Adventures in Game Development" series, giving you guys a behind-the-scene look at the ongoing development of Elysian Shadows.
Art, Music, and Design
We decided it was wise to sketch out our entire world, finalize character designs, and solidify the look and feel of our environments to build a cohesive, contiguous world that fits together seamlessly before blindly jumping into pixel art and level design.
We've had our artist (slave) working nonstop on various concepts for each biome, town, NPC, and enemy in the world of Elysian Shadows. This has been the result of many hours of design discussions and video game research to design environments up to the standards of each one of us here on the team.
Here are some miscellaneous concepts from the design document:
ESTk and Tech Update
(warning, lots of code and engineering talk!)
The magic behind the look, feel, and uniqueneess of Elysian Shadows is our Toolkit, ESTk, which was written from the ground-up to create 2D games with advanced lighting effects in full 3D space. We know many of you backed Elysian Shadows for ESTk access, and we're looking forward to providing you with a platform to create your own content within the world of Elysian Shadows on various platforms, including the Sega Dreamcast and OUYA.
As our development has progressed, more and more functionality has been demanded of ESTk from our artists, who wanted to see their sprites being dynamically lit by various light sources at runtime (bastards). We decided to solve this problem of providing an in-game graphical representation of their pixel art by merging ESTk with our engine, and actually making the editor itself fully in-game.
This has opened up endless possibilities to us (and eventually you guys), as you can now play through your levels as you edit them, pick up and drag players, NPCs, and enemies for placement, stop and play through the game and engine on a frame-by-frame basis while investigating and modifying Lua run-time variables for debugging purposes, and even dynamically script the game as you play it! We've essentially built a cross between Unity2D and a Lua Visual Studio environment. Our Lua inspector widgets allow artists and level designers to modify any Lua table or attribute to configure scripts through a user-friendly GUI without ever modifying a line of code!
For those of you who are software engineers, engine developers, or nerds, ESTk will be the topic of Falco's master's thesis, where its architecture will be discussed in full. The thesis will be posted for your reading pleasure upon its completion... Totally legit for some light bedtime reading...
TL;DR: We're coming for you, Game Maker!
Beta Backer Forum Access
While we are not quite to the point where we can start handing out builds of Elysian Shadows, we wanted to go ahead and give our beta backers access to a private development forum where they can weigh in on our design decisions and we can keep them closely updated with our work. For those of you interested, we should probably have Toolkit builds available for beta testing much sooner, if you want to play around with building your own environments. Hell, maybe we'll like them enough to include them in the release! Those of you who backed us for custom items, characters, enemies, and quests can also start topics for your ideas, and we can begin discussing getting your creative visions into the game.
To join the beta forum (beta backers only):
1) Go to http://www.forums.elysianshadows.com
2) Register to create an account
3) Go to the User Control Panel
4) Go to the Usergroups tab
5) Select the "ES Beta Backers" usergroup
6) Select "Join Selected" and push Submit!
One of us will approve your join request as soon as possible!
Adventures in Game Development and Social Media
As we mentioned before, we will be resurrecting our AiGD series on YouTube, so please subscribe for regular behind-the-scenes video updates!
We have also decided to begin our own Game Development blogs where we post useful information and rants on anything and everything game development related. Falco's first blog post on "When to Start Promoting Your Indie Game" may be found here: http://elysianshadows.com/updates/when-to-start-promoting-your-indie-game/
We also update other social media pages nearly every day with new content.
Looking forward to seeing a lot more of you guys!