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Son of Nor

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#21 ChrisPolus   Members   -  Reputation: 322

Posted 16 September 2012 - 04:35 PM

We have a new Developer Diary up on our site. As we think sound is very important in a game, we spend much time trying to get the right mood to a place. Dev Diary #2 is about the ambient sound setup for our first game chapter. I hope you'll like it.
http://stillalive-studios.com/2012/dev-diary-2-ambient-sound-setup/
http://about.me/ChrisPolus - my website, music, sound design, videos and services.

I'm the
- producer of Son of Nor (devlog on gamedev.net)
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles

Sponsor:

#22 ChrisPolus   Members   -  Reputation: 322

Posted 24 September 2012 - 07:44 AM

Hello, fellow game developers. I wanted to give you a quick update on our progress this week. This week, we:
  • tweaked our dynamic water system
  • added some vegetation
  • played with vegetation settings for wind movement
  • played around with modular rock formations to save time building levels
  • there was some level blockout happening for other parts of this chapter
  • drew concept art for character clothing in the game (interested in seeing the concepts? add a comment and I'll ask if I can publish them)
You can watch the latest Dev Diary #3 video, where our programmer Gauthier talks about his implementation of the dynamic water system in the game.

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Please keep in mind that we're still looking for 3D environment modelers! Do you know somebody who'd be interested joining us? Go here: Join Us
http://about.me/ChrisPolus - my website, music, sound design, videos and services.

I'm the
- producer of Son of Nor (devlog on gamedev.net)
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles

#23 ChrisPolus   Members   -  Reputation: 322

Posted 29 September 2012 - 02:58 AM

Hey dear folks on the gamedev forum. It's been a busy week.

We've been working on a lot of things and some agenda items we've been discussing for a long time finally resolved. Particularly this week this is what happened:
  • we had to adapt our texture / visual style because of limited resources
  • we're experimenting with modular rock formations instead of one giant level mesh
  • the main character model and textures are nearly finished, even though it might look strange in the video, that's because the rigging is still playing finny tricks on the mesh
  • integrated Sarahul models and animations
  • we integrated the new sand shield
You can see a video of all the updates here.
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I can't seem to figure out what's important when creating modular rock meshes so you can mix and match them to build a greater structure that still looks good. Any of you got some advice? It would be greatly appreciated. You'll see that my first attempts in the video still look very "arbitrarily put together". What to look for regarding the shape of a mesh, UV mapping and placement?

Thanks!
Chris

Edited by ChrisPolus, 29 September 2012 - 03:10 AM.

http://about.me/ChrisPolus - my website, music, sound design, videos and services.

I'm the
- producer of Son of Nor (devlog on gamedev.net)
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles

#24 ChrisPolus   Members   -  Reputation: 322

Posted 17 October 2012 - 03:46 PM

Oh! It seems I missed to post a Dev Diary. Just came back from well-deserved holidays in the Swiss mountains this week. So here's our DevDiary #5.

Our game designer Ricardo talks a little bit about general considerations when designing levels. Probably nothing too interesting for you pros here, but you can see some interesting progress hidden in the video: You can see the Sarahul (lizardfolk) I showed last time spawning funnily and running around, so this has been done, too. We had some requests on Facebook to do some level design videos and this is part 1 of 2. Enjoy.
We actually use Google Docs to exchange maps and comment on them and link to them from Basecamp. Our process for maps is: doodle them on paper, discuss, make an elaborated Illustrator version and add a description of things, block it out roughly in 3D, insert it into the game, playtest to see if scales feel right.

Dev Diary #5 - Designing A Level
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Also last week, we made some really cool progress in the programming part of our game. When throwing rocks, it's possible now that they break apart. It's a lot of fun breaking things, hehe. We also implemented a new 3D shader that needs no UV mapping which we use for rock formations. Just create some random rocks and the shader will do the rest. Very handy if you need to produce lots of rocks to build modular walls. I hope I'll get a video up next week that shows some of that!
Until we really have something implemented that I can show, we released a new video of our level design workflow. Carlos shows some paper sketches, illustrator vector maps and finally rough, clean 3D blockouts to test levels and challenges. I hope you like it.

DevDiary #6 - Level Design Workflow
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Speak to you later,
Chris

PS: We're still looking for 3D env artists. So if you know somebody, we'd appreciate if you told them of this project. If you are a 3D artist, let us know, contact us Posted Image Maybe you'd like to work on Son of Nor?
http://about.me/ChrisPolus - my website, music, sound design, videos and services.

I'm the
- producer of Son of Nor (devlog on gamedev.net)
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles

#25 ChrisPolus   Members   -  Reputation: 322

Posted 21 October 2012 - 12:08 PM

Aaah, a new week, a new dev diary!

There's a lot going on behind the scenes again. Some of our artists have gotten new jobs and are busy making good impressions there, which is good for them but it's also hard for us as we need to again look for people who'd like to join the team, which costs time.

There were a few interesting things though this week.
  • Parametric rock destruction improved
  • Some new tweaks for our new 3D shader that doesn't need any UV maps
  • Stabilized terraforming algorithm for the Unity terrain
The terraforming feature was great and looked good when we only had small amounts of sand in a level. Also, it needed to be one piece of coherent terrain. Which really was not practical to distribute in a level. As soon as we started putting sand in more places, we ended up with basically 2fps max.
We managed to improve the terraforming and make it much much faster using some tweaks. Also, there can now be many small sand terrains that don't need to be in one piece and thus saving lots of unnecessary terraforming terrain computing power.

As always, there's a little dev diary about it. This one shows what the sand can do and how it behaves. All in color and 3D (at least in the game, not with glasses).
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Attached Thumbnails

  • son.png

http://about.me/ChrisPolus - my website, music, sound design, videos and services.

I'm the
- producer of Son of Nor (devlog on gamedev.net)
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles

#26 ChrisPolus   Members   -  Reputation: 322

Posted 29 October 2012 - 04:34 PM

We managed to add new stuff to our game build this week. One of the new things makes you feel like you ate magic mushrooms, hehe. So, here's what we managed to do:
  • Implementation of a triplanar shader (I call it the magic mushroom effect - watch the video to see what I mean). It's a projection technique that projects textures from two sides and from the top. No UV mapping is needed for the geometry so we can freely scale and stretch things and it always looks good. I'll try and build some rock formations now for our first chapter using rocks with the triplanar shader applied. If I don't have to puke from looking at it, that is...
  • Sarahul enhancements. The main enemy of the game got a relaxed idle, attack idle and run animation implemented. They also know basic pathfinding and can attack the player, although the attack animation is not yet implemented.
  • Parametric object destruction. This is a pretty cool one and I like playing around with it. Basically this is destructible environment. Rocks can be thrown and they break when hitting a wall. Pieces can be thrown again and break again until the pieces are too small and cannot be picked up anymore. Throwing stones just got much more fun ;)
There's a dev diary video showing all this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t44vn4k4MoY

On the negative side, one of our two animators mostly had to leave the team as he got a freelance job and is too busy to continue. We hoped to finally get the main character's animations in. So I'm out in the cold again having to look out for an animator that can take over.

Ah, and, my coffee machine that broke last week works again, btw. I thought that was important enough to mention.

Edited by ChrisPolus, 29 October 2012 - 04:35 PM.

http://about.me/ChrisPolus - my website, music, sound design, videos and services.

I'm the
- producer of Son of Nor (devlog on gamedev.net)
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles

#27 ChrisPolus   Members   -  Reputation: 322

Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:46 PM

I just added some pictures of the features. Click on them for bigger versions.

Parametric Object Destruction
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Sarahul
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Mushroom Shader™
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http://about.me/ChrisPolus - my website, music, sound design, videos and services.

I'm the
- producer of Son of Nor (devlog on gamedev.net)
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles

#28 ChrisPolus   Members   -  Reputation: 322

Posted 04 November 2012 - 01:23 PM

After last weeks dev diary, where we could not yet show a Sarahul's attack animation, we managed to finish a basic attack animation for this week. What's new...
  • Radir Construction Site: The place where you start off your game, the place where you learn about your magical abilities, is being constructed as we speak. But currently, there's not much to see except a few very rough blockouts.
  • New Spell Effect Visuals: We improved the Windpush and Tornado spell effects to make them look better. They're still being tweaked, but I think we're pretty much there with these 2 effects. Finally new effects to look at.
  • Sarahul Enhancements: As already stated, Sarahul finally got their most basic attack animation.
  • Also in this video: I don't know if you've already seen the Sand Shield. But have a look and see what's the difference between the Sand and the Magic Shield.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bonkqXOwUIw

Happy developing and have a great start into your new week!
http://about.me/ChrisPolus - my website, music, sound design, videos and services.

I'm the
- producer of Son of Nor (devlog on gamedev.net)
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles

#29 DpakoH   Members   -  Reputation: 1029

Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:13 AM

is there a bulgarian connection to this awesome indie project ? :)

#30 MackNeumann   Members   -  Reputation: 157

Posted 05 November 2012 - 12:00 PM

This game is epic! I can't wait to see the final release!
Media Composer Mackenzie Neumann

#31 ChrisPolus   Members   -  Reputation: 322

Posted 05 November 2012 - 04:46 PM

Thanks a lot guys :) We're fighting for every inch currently. It seems many in our team have not well paid jobs and have to take on more work to get their bills paid, which of course takes time away from the project. But you need to live from something. We're always looking for people so if you know 3D artists, concept artists, programmers, let us know or tell them to visit our website :)

@DpakoH: What do you mean by Bulgarian connection? We have a Bulgarian team member in Sofia :)
http://about.me/ChrisPolus - my website, music, sound design, videos and services.

I'm the
- producer of Son of Nor (devlog on gamedev.net)
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles

#32 MackNeumann   Members   -  Reputation: 157

Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:34 AM

I just wanted to say that this is one of the most amazing games i've ever witnessed! I would love to buy a copy of this game when it is complete! Great Work!
Media Composer Mackenzie Neumann

#33 MackNeumann   Members   -  Reputation: 157

Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:36 AM

If you ever need music, I'd love to submit a song to this epic game!
Media Composer Mackenzie Neumann

#34 ChrisPolus   Members   -  Reputation: 322

Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:13 AM

Thanks for your support, Mack :) I'm sorry to say we already have a composer for the game. But if you want to submit a song, we could always use tracks for the trailers we release once we have significant milestones reached, like with our GDC trailer. Contact me if you're interested.
http://about.me/ChrisPolus - my website, music, sound design, videos and services.

I'm the
- producer of Son of Nor (devlog on gamedev.net)
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles

#35 ChrisPolus   Members   -  Reputation: 322

Posted 13 November 2012 - 05:18 AM

New weekly update: The construction site lives! It's only a short update though.
  • The Radir construction site got an update. Instead of blank walls the Radir is now built. It needs texture updates and decorations.
  • Statue of Nor: We added the statue of Nor to the Radir. Lighting is missing though.
  • And I do what I like doing most. In fact I do this all day long...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kA1pNAoGqCM
http://about.me/ChrisPolus - my website, music, sound design, videos and services.

I'm the
- producer of Son of Nor (devlog on gamedev.net)
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles

#36 ShiftyKake   Members   -  Reputation: 118

Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:25 AM

Very nice. I've always theorized about proper player-environment actions, and am glad a game is created where it is being implemented. I also love the idea of our creativity being the limits of our magic abilities and if you're designing it how I think you are, your power will be less focused on levels and more on individual skill ( as in, you can have two basic spells and be better then a person with an arsenal of spells).

#37 ChrisPolus   Members   -  Reputation: 322

Posted 14 November 2012 - 06:15 AM

That is the idea ShiftyKake. We have no inventory, no item hunting, no stats, no levels. It's all about the story and the creative combination of powers. :)
http://about.me/ChrisPolus - my website, music, sound design, videos and services.

I'm the
- producer of Son of Nor (devlog on gamedev.net)
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles

#38 ChrisPolus   Members   -  Reputation: 322

Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:46 AM

So, for your visual pleasure. A new dev diary is out. About TORNADOS: The winds of change.
  • I think we finally nailed the tornado effect and finalized it after some final tweaks. What do you think? Death animations are missing though and so tornados disappear with a big, unsatisfying *PLOP*.
  • Lots of concepts to model. We modeled praying benches.
  • Also, decorations and wall paintings for the Radir.
  • And the entrance to the Sand Temple.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvMWXHdOkWk
And here's a nice picture with a tornado made to look good (click for big version). Look at the tiny character on the right ;)
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http://about.me/ChrisPolus - my website, music, sound design, videos and services.

I'm the
- producer of Son of Nor (devlog on gamedev.net)
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles

#39 kuramayoko10   Members   -  Reputation: 386

Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:15 AM

The game is looking Awesome!!
Thank you for the diaries as well, I love to watch and hear developers showing the behind the scenes! :)
Programming is an art. Game programming is a masterpiece!

#40 ChrisPolus   Members   -  Reputation: 322

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:47 PM

Thanks kuramayoko10! It's very encouraging, we'll keep at it!
http://about.me/ChrisPolus - my website, music, sound design, videos and services.

I'm the
- producer of Son of Nor (devlog on gamedev.net)
- sound designer of the Arcan Chronicles





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