Update #51: Prototype 2 Update
Update by Adam Brennecke, Executive Producer and Lead Programmer
Last month we finished our prototype 1 build. In Update #47, Josh outlined our goals for the first prototype, which focused on establishing "that IE feel". Not only did we hit that mark with the look of our characters and environments, but we also hit our target with movement, combat, and gameplay systems. Core basics that you all expect from Project Eternity such as party movement, melee and ranged combat attacks, containers (with loot!), doors, using special class abilities and spell casting, area transitions, inventory and equipment are all in the game and functioning. We also established working character and environment pipelines - the art team is now able to create beautiful rendered areas, and we can model armor sets for all of our uniquely proportioned races. Additionally, we've established that we can efficiently concept, model and animate creatures for our soon to be growing bestiary.
The creature we built for the first prototype is the Skuldr.
Skuldr have poor vision, but they use a form of echolocation to perceive the spirit world. This allows them to “see” souls, making it difficult to use stealth to avoid them.
After the prototype 1 audit meeting, Josh and I came up with a plan for what we would like to see the team tackle in prototype 2. Josh has previously mentioned a few of the goals for prototype 2 which include fog of war, character voice sets, crafting, stores, AI patrols, and the melee engagement system. Besides the expanded feature implementation, we are going to put our pipelines to the test on another set of new environments and creatures before moving into production.
The plan for prototype 2 is to create a small village with a handful of buildings to enter, including a shop and inn. To the east of the village is a medium sized wilderness area with access to a small cave dungeon interior. The prototype also includes a large dungeon (I won't spoil the contents of the dungeon, because some of the ideas in the prototype will eventually make their way into the shipped game). All of these areas are connected by a complex multi-stage quest with several objectives (some optional) and with many different ways of completing it.
The team has been working on a second prototype for the past two weeks now. Here's a sample on what each department has been working on.
- Dynamic Cloth - We are doing further research into character dynamism, and are creating capes for our characters to equip.
- Dungeon - Our goal for the dungeon is to make an interior area that lives up to the IE games. The dungeon has a variety of rooms that are unique and organic.
- New Monster - One of the new monsters we are creating for prototype 2 is an Ogre. He has already gone through the concept and modeling stage and now is off to be animated.
- Complete Bestiary - The bestiary list has been worked over a few times by the area and narrative designers. We are now pretty close to having a complete creature list!
- Class Abilities for the Monk and Ranger - The Monk's "wounds" resource is in, and next up is the mechanics for the Ranger's animal companion. The class progression for the Monk and Ranger has been designed out to level 12.
- Town Guard A.I. - How do guards protect the village when you start casting fireballs in the town square? They beat you down... or at least try to. The guards will hook into the reputation and faction mechanics, which tells guards when they turn hostile towards the party.
- Fancy Material Shaders - We now have fancy materials for creating shiny armor and translucent ghost skin. Another set of shaders are "Tint maps" materials that enable the customization of skin and clothing colors just like in the IE games.
In the future we will go into details into the design and implementation of the systems and features. Is there a particular feature that you would like to know more about? Tell us what you would like to see us talk about in future updates on our forums. We will be taking an update break next week so the team can focus on prototype 2 work. Thanks for reading and see you in two weeks!