A Killer Cast and Grand Designs!
Another month, another update! The team have been incredibly busy over the last few weeks on the development of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, so much so that we've neglected our backer updates a little more than normal - sorry about that!
Adding Flesh to the Bones
We've taken on some new team members to help out in a few areas, most notably writing and level population. This has really helped us add more visual detail to the rooms and flesh out the individual character narratives, that take place once you venture into Firetop Mountain with a new digital miniature.
It's an incredible amount of work adding in these new stories into an already expanded gamebook. The original 400 page sections found in a traditional Fighting Fantasy adventure have now been well and truly left in the dust. The word count is rising daily and we plan to write an update on just what that number will be, later in development.
Each new digital figurine that enters Firetop Mountain will have their own motivations for being in there and encounters will subtly change based on who they are and what they are trying to achieve. This means that for many of the rooms in the mountain we need to create new story arcs and new choices, with their resulting outcomes also created for that character! As you can imagine, things get complex quite quickly.
To accompany all these lovely new words, our 3D map of Firetop Mountain also needs to match the text in the interactive story, whilst also visually breathing life into the locations.
Most of the rooms, caves, halls, passages and waterways in Firetop Mountain have now been crafted and our latest game build is now robust enough to start taking our digital heroes on their respective journeys.
Our Lead Artist, Ed, has been working closely with his minions to craft each of the locations, adding props and other items to give them character. Ed has also created some amazing lighting technology to give ambiance and shadows, while not hindering the running speed of the game.
Zagor's Supporting Cast
The major motivation to create The Warlock of Firetop Mountain Kickstarter was so that we could raise money to create more miniatures - and oh boy, have we done that! Raising more than we originally planned for has meant that we've been able to expand our digital miniatures range to over 100! Not only have we been scanning on Otherworld Miniatures physical models, but we have hired a number of artists to create bespoke pieces for the game.
In some cases we have created the models that exactly match Russ Nicholson's original illustrations, even going as far as to copy the infamous reverse hand on the orc chieftain!
The sheer volume and diversity of the monsters in this gamebook (yeah, thanks for that Ian and Steve!*) has meant that the creation of them has been very labour-intensive. Not only is a 3D miniature of the monster created but that monster also has a combat system that needs to be designed, implemented and tested. Not to mention other aspects such as sound effects and visual flourishes during combat - Slimebeast vomit anyone? It all adds up to a detailed tangle of features for each Allansian beastie.
In the next update (we won't leave it so long next time) we'll share some more info on our new combat system and show you exactly how we're procedurally generating Zagor's infamous maze.
Until next time. Watch out for low-swooping Winged Gremlins!
* To be fair, both ourselves and Jon Green have added a few more monsters into the mountain. Nothing like giving yourself more work to do, eh? ;)