Funding Canceled Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on December 3, 2012.

Update #5

Engine details finalized and a new pledge reward

As you will probably recall, we have been deliberating whether we should implement the game as a fully sprite-based 2D game, as a 2.5D mix or a complete 3D implementation.

I have covered some aspects of the respective implementations in my update An Overview from a few days ago, and today we have come to a final decision.

I’ve been a champion of the 2D approach because I love the level of detail that 2D sprites allow you to implement. Always have been. They can be beautifully crafted and every frame can be tweaked to perfection. The big drawback is, however, that sprites take a lot of time to do and are by their very nature very costly because you need a lot of highly specialized artists to create the assets. In addition, the sheer amount of data can be overwhelming and most importantly perhaps, the fact that everything has to be prepared in advance, limits what you can do in terms of to movements and actions, since every single frame that makes it onto the screen has to have been prepared by an artist during the development. 2D sprites are extremely memory hungry on top of things, making them sadly unfeasible for high resolution desktop games of the scale we are trying to create. Therefore, the 2D approach has been abandoned.

Instead, Thorvalla will be implemented as a 2.5D hybrid. Backgrounds will be pre-rendered and polished by the artists in an isometric view to make sure we can add a high level of detail to these graphics. Characters and monsters will then be layered on top of these backgrounds as 3D models. While perhaps not as perfectly crafted and polished as 2D sprites, the benefits of this approach are undeniable.

Animation data are small by comparison and as a result of this approach we can have large amounts of individual and customized animations for these creatures without the need to create tens of thousands of bitmapped sprites that blow up the footprint of the game, cost a fortune to create and will be hard on the required memory specs.

In addition, this approach allows us to easily customize characters—something that is, while not impossible, inherently difficult and costly using sprites. Not only can we give the player more freedom to create his dream characters this way, but it will also allow us to show changes in armor, clothing and even damage. So, overall it is clearly the better approach and I am saying this not because I have been overruled by the team, but because after careful evaluation of both the technical specs and the implementations, I do feel that it is the approach that gives us the flexibility we need while maintaining a high level of visual quality.

Below you can see one of the first in-game assets that have been finished. It shows nicely the level of detail and quality that the game will offer up. Soon I should be able to show you graphics running inside the game engine.

For the project as a whole this means that we can now think down very specific lines. We now know that we will be using Unity3D as the core technology to drive Thorvalla, and because we now have a clear outline as to what we can and cannot do. The battle-lines are drawn, so to speak.

In addition, I wanted to announce another new pledge reward. At the $200 and above pledge level we are now adding an exclusive Thorvalla novel written by best-selling author Steven Savile. Many of you may know Steven not only from his own novels, but also as the writer of numerous novels for Paizo’s Pathfinder RPG world, as well as Warhammer, Guild Wars and Fantasy Flight Games, and his storyline in Battlefield 3. Our material is in very good hands, as you can see, and you can expect an exciting action- and drama-packed story there. Note that this novel will only be available to Thorvalla backers and will not be sold outside of our funding campaign.

Comments

    1. Missing_small

      Creator zack_the_backer on November 27, 2012

      You´ll not know where to place it because it wasn´t missing - my fault and my apologies.
      @Kickstarter: why can´t i correct or delete a post?

    2. Missing_small

      Creator zack_the_backer on November 27, 2012

      There´s a "started" missing in my last post.
      You´ll know where to place it ;-)

    3. Missing_small

      Creator zack_the_backer on November 27, 2012

      It is mentioned that Unity is cheaper than hand drawn sprites - this decision wasn´t made before the campaign that asked for a million launched.
      So my question is - now that the cheaper route was chosen - wouldm´t it be possible to finish the game for less than the initial goal?

    4. Black-billed-magpie-01_13652_600x450.small

      Creator ekster on November 25, 2012

      Great update! Hopefully the news of using Unity in 2.5D, with support for Linux and Mac will give this a boost!

    5. Missing_small

      Creator sunburnedpenguin on November 25, 2012

      Bravo on the Linux support! Now you will have penguins swarming to your aid!

      Now it's time to begin announcing stretch goals. :)

    6. Missing_small

      Creator zack_the_backer on November 25, 2012

      A digital $90- or $100-pledge-level would be nice including everything above plus a second game license.
      My brother wouldn´t pledge this project but i could give him his very own edition as a gift.

    7. Missing_small

      Creator jeanpaulrichter on November 25, 2012

      I really appreciate these regular and interesting updates. Sadly the kickstarter must be quite frustrating for you up to this point. I still very much hope this game will be funded some way or the other :/
      ps: unlike other people i really like the new ideas for tactical combat etc. to be honest i'm still not quite sure how it will work, but repeating old concepts ad nauseam in the name of nostalgia is surely not the right way to produce great games. therefore i'm quite thankful for the risk you took with this interesting combination of old (travelmap! :) and new, even though it might have hurt the kickstarter-campaign :(

    8. G3logo.small

      Creator G3 Studios on November 25, 2012

      Yes, indeed. We have adjusted the main page already. The game will be available under Windows, OSX and Linux. :-)

    9. Turtle80x80.small

      Creator Evgueni Baldin on November 24, 2012

      If you are using Unity3D now then what about Linux support? Unity3D v.4 support Linux out of the box.

    10. Paladin_and_lady_of_the_manor_by_azazel1944.small

      Creator Storm Blade on November 24, 2012

      Is it a selllor house or commoner, what you guys think ?

    11. Missing_small

      Creator zack_the_backer on November 24, 2012

      My fault for pledging there immediatly - now that typo is carved into stone forever ;-)

    12. G3logo.small

      Creator G3 Studios on November 24, 2012

      Sadly, Kickstarter does not allow us to correct that. Once a pledge has been made in a reward category, it is locked and can no longer be changed. Makes sense, of course, otherwise people could easily dial down rewards without telling people.

    13. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Stephan Hammes on November 24, 2012

      in the 60$ tier description is a double "and" ^^

      You could also let everyone add the digital Novel as an Add-On to whatever tier they have selected, for additionally 15$ or so.

    14. Missing_small

      Creator zack_the_backer on November 24, 2012

      Ha!
      You added the ebook while i was upping my pledge...i always think it´ll help more pleding for digital tiers (and adding some additional $) because you won´t have any material costs.

      Since my HD backup-system is working flawlessly back to 1993 (still have my first Amiga HD and a working backup of it) i stopped being a material guy...

    15. Missing_small

      Creator zack_the_backer on November 24, 2012

      Another good update including a nice picture of a house, the first thing that really shows how the game might look.
      Hopefully anybody sees this. Maybe it helps increasing funds a bit. The 2.5D decision sounds absolutely logical, should´ve been decided a bit earlier (maybe a day before the kickstarter...).

      Keep on developing everything the way you do.
      The vision grows.

    16. G3logo.small

      Creator G3 Studios on November 24, 2012

      done. The eBook version is available at the $60 pledge level.

    17. G3logo.small

      Creator G3 Studios on November 24, 2012

      Doh! I completely forgot about that. Yes, I guess I should have an eBook version of the novel as well as a pledge reward. Silly me.

    18. Avatar158_4.gif.small

      Creator gandalf.nho - Huntress OOoE/WoOS/Torment on November 24, 2012

      What about a PDF version of the novel for the digital-only backers?

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