New phase – new look!

Things have been pretty quiet from us since QuakeCon. What’s the deal with that? Were we all wiped out in a cataclysmic rain of fire? Were we enslaved and working in the coal mines? Are we all too busy playing Halo 3: ODST (hint: no)? Actually, the answer is none of the above! We’ve been hard at work on the next phase of Project Vega (it’s still a codename, remember?)!

While the first phase primarily had to do with getting the basic technology off the ground (building the editor, getting the scripting system working, getting map basics working, etc.), and the next phase further developed that into a playable demo (lightmapping, basic working monsters, basic working weapons. etc.), this third phase is geared towards developing a small slice of what the game will actually be like. This means we’re finialing the overall look of the game (more on that in a minute), determining what visual technology we’ll need to do this (and implementing this), and developing a few maps that fully reflect the final look of the game, as well as the final gameplay of the game.

Concerning the look of the game, we’ve chosen to take it in the direction of cel-shading. This means that the game will be bright and colorful, looking something like an anime. Meshes will have banded lighting (while still allowing the full spectrum of color), and be outlined. Overall, it looks very cool so far! We’re moving away from a more realistic look to something more interesting, I think. Currently, Mechadon and Esselfortium are working on figuring out how the maps should look under this new rendering system. Once we’ve got it all ironed out, I’ll be sure to post share some screenshots of it!

I’ve also been working extensively on the gameplay side of things. After fixing several bugs/issues noticed at QuakeCon, I’ve added several new elements including powerups and an extensive customizeable skill setting system similar to what’s found in ZDoom. This allows you to define your own skill levels and properties, such as speeds for objects (in some skills you may want missiles to travel faster), player damage factor (so the player can take more/less damage under certain skill levels), and whether or not the monsters should attack more frequently. I’ve been updating the monster scripts to reflect these new properties, and so far I’m very pleased with the results.

We’re well on our way to completing this next phase – a small slice of what the real game will be like, in terms of visuals and gameplay. When this phase is complete, we’ll finally be ready to find ourselves a publisher, and get this game finished!

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