Wrack: Exoverse Development Update for the Month of July, Twenty Sixteen
… I really have to work on making these titles less wordy.
Anyway, we’ve done another month of work on Exoverse, and wow, what a difference it’s made! The game is really taking shape, and that’s pretty exciting. I really love the way things are going.
So let’s talk about some of what we’ve been doing. First, we’ve be been working on giving you a sense of progression as you go through the game. We want you to feel like you’re learning and progressing – instead of being just tossed into the wilderness alone, naked and confused (well, hopefully not naked). Even though the game is procedurally generated, we still want you to have an early-game, mid-game, and late-game experience with it.
How have we done that? First, with a tutorial. Obviously it’d be great if the game didn’t need it, but with a game as rich and complex (and new!) as Exoverse, it can’t really be avoided. That’s okay though, because we’re making it short, sweet, and informative. Plus, we want the idea behind the game to click in people’s minds right away. We want you to have an “Ooo, I get it! Cool!” moment from the get go.
Second, even if you die at the end of your playthrough, you’re still making progress! How so? We’ve added an XP system. Now, when you die, your money on hand is awarded back to you in the form of XP. With that XP, you level up and unlock new game mechanics, new characters, new locations and so on.
We’ve also made a ton of progress in terms of modeling, texturing, and animating the various monsters, pickups, artifacts, etc. In June, we started getting in a system for making objects both shiny, reflective, and bumped. In July, we perfected it.
So, what’s going on here? Normally, somebody makes a model for a monster or gun or something, and somebody puts a texture on top of it. Here, we’ve done this, plus added a second texture called a normal map, which marks areas as facing a slightly different direction, so that light hits it differently. This is what makes the skin look so much bumpier where the dark band of lighting comes in. Finally, we’ve added a third texture called an SGR map, which marks how much shine, glow, and reflection (SGR) a particular area of the model should have. The combined result is this:
All in all, very productive month, and the best is yet to come!
So, what’s next for us? QuakeCon! We’re headed there later this week for a very informal showing of the game. Not ready for any big time public showing just yet (we really need more level work done first), but that time is fast approaching. We can’t wait to really show you guys what we’ve been up to.