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Devlog of an Indie Open World RPG

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Dancing, Drone Designs, Item Crafting, Animation & More

Dance Now NPC, for Tomorrow You Will Die
Well, a long day & night of animation is done. In the end, all NPCs have 100 different blend intensities of dancing (among more practical game animations.) Dance today dear NPC, for soon players will be blowing your brains out for no good reason :(


Drone Designs & Item Crafting on "Item Test Level"
This is the Item testing level, where I create new items, integrate them into the game, and test out to make sure they work and craft correctly. Yesterday, I created some drones that can repair your ship's hull if gets damaged, among many drone variations.

Recapping the #screenshotsaturday and the #soundtracksunday I did last weekend on the Daath Galaxy Facebook page, and the Black Lodge Games Twitter.

Here's the song "Beast" from Daath Galaxy: https://soundcloud.com/madchenkraft/daath-galaxy-ost-beast

Here's the outside of the scene of I've been working on all week:




5 Months Into the New Engine - Before & After Screenshots

It's been awhile since I've made an announcement here on GameDev.net, and that's because I've been too busy working overtime literally 7 days a week programming and extending Daath Galaxy. During that time, I've successfully implemented the following features into Daath Galaxy:
Lock picking (both for containers like chests, as well as for doors)
Visual waypoints for quests and destinations
Visual feedback on where to look when you're being attacked from behind or the sides
Item system is done, 500 items are live in game, and crafting system is also done
All elements in periodic table have been implemented as crafting items, as well as many other crafting recipes
Quest system and journal is live
Saving/Loading system fully implemented (with reinitializing problems for some scene specific events)
Terrain workflow and graphics majorly upgraded
Hundreds of little tiny things too numerous and specific for a general list like this

Here's a screenshot with elements in view, as well as a waypoint showing the location of the exit. This is all in the Unity editor itself, as I didn't feel like recompiling the game for one screenshot:

I've been working my butt off 7 days a week, every week for months, working over time hours, eating ramen and just barely scraping by (thanks to the generosity and patience of my landlord.) I'm approaching the 2 year anniversary since I started working on Daath Galaxy full time. 2 years of (self-induced) suffering for what I love. 2 years of being completely broke because I made a decision, a commitment to my desired profession regardless of what it costs me, be it health, sleep, sanity, relationships, and/or money. In fact, I've lost more of those things due to this game than anything else in my life, which is saying a lot (I've had an eventful, crazy first half to my life.) Taking on a project of this scope is not realistic for most people, but given my dedication and skill-set, the game is moving at a breakneck pace (actually much faster than my revised August 2014 roadmap.) I can't do it alone though, so I'm going to need your help. For now, you can really help me out by just taking a few moments to vote for Daath Galaxy on Steam Greenlight please!

I have a list of about 50 things left to do before I can ship out a playable tech demo of the first galaxy. My goal is to run a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign using the live playable tech demo as a free download. That will also be my first actual marketing campaign, and I intend to switch over to full time promotion during that time period, to try and secure funding to keep development rolling smoothly through the rest of 2015.

So here are some comparison shots of progress on previously featured screenshots:

The intro title sequence has undergone many revisions (it's my testing scene for new animation effects) and currently looks something like this:

Anyway, I just wanted to push an update out to this site because it's been awhile. I want to let everyone know that development is going better than expected, is constantly progressing, and that I will be back in the near future with more substantial updates showcasing some of these specific implementations within the game. Please subscribe/follow on Facebook, Twitter, Steam, or where ever else I have a presence where you'll be able to follow along. Thanks for reading.




23 New FPS/RPG Screenshots

23 pre-alpha Daath Galaxy gameplay screenshots.

This is from an unfinished cave on Ardius Prime in the Maffai Galaxy

The HUD is now partially functional, experience and leveling is implemented, and character stats now influence your health, attack, dodge, speed and other appropriate gameplay characteristics.

DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-35-02-29
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-35-08-56
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-35-10-06
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-35-15-71
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-35-36-63
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-35-40-78
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-36-13-80
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-36-33-66
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-37-15-82
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-37-22-84
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-37-37-15
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-39-02-40
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-39-13-10
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-39-13-33
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-39-13-72
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-39-14-30
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-39-27-44
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-39-42-25
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-39-58-87
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-40-08-86
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-40-22-79
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-40-28-27
DaathGalaxyX64_DX11 2014-11-08 13-40-30-14




Initial Voice Casting Nets Experienced Industry Veterans, Including John Dick

Working on my game today was awesome because it meant going to the bar and drinking beer with the legendary voice of Serious Sam, the multi-talented John Dick. It was a fruitful & enjoyable experience, with the end result being that he is on board to lend his talented voice to my game. The conversation itself helped me in a lot of ways, and I can say for certain that Daath Galaxy is already a better game based off of his observations and advice than it was the day before. John is not the only voice actor I've been trying to connect with, but he is the first established veteran to get on board the team. I personally couldn't be happier!

[size=2]Photo Courtesy of John J Dick

Over the course of a pitcher of Mac & Jack, we introduced ourselves and got down to business. Early into the conversation John asked me for my elevator pitch for the game... you know, to sum up and sell the concept of the game in a sentence or two. It had been 3 months since I had wrote and memorized an elevator pitch for a gaming conference I attended, but being put on the spot I couldn't think of it. Desperate to not look like an idiot, I struggled to quickly come up with an answer... which didn't work out so well. Luckily, John is an industry veteran and as our conversation progressed, I found myself benefiting from his advice immediately, not just regarding my elevator pitch, but in a lot of critical gamedev areas including pacing, story telling, and game distribution.

After we had a couple of drinks, I showed John the game in it's current state at the time, which was quite barebones considering it was about 2 weeks into a complete rewrite of the game in Unity then (August 20, 2014 was the exact date.) In the end, I think what sold John most on Daath Galaxy was my conviction, passion, and dedication to finishing and releasing this game. From my end, I feel extremely fortunate to have found John, and even more fortunate to have him in my game! Getting a great voice actor like John Dick to work on my game is an honor.

Luckily, John isn't the only amazing voice artist I've been lucky enough to have involved in the project. So far, the following voice actors or their agents have agreed to tentatively lend their voice to my game:
John Dick[www.imdb.com] (Best known as the voice of Serious Sam, among his many roles)
Tamara Ryan[www.tamararyanvo.com] (In a ton of video games & more)
David Liebe Hart[www.imdb.com] (Best known for his work on Tim & Eric Awesome Show! Great Job!)
Redd Horrocks[www.imdb.com]
(fantastic voice, already completed a few conversations worth of in-game dialog which can be heard in this pre-alpha gameplay video)
Colin Marcus Jackson (another fantastic voice, he recorded his work on the game in 2013)

So I've also been talking to Jacob Rolfe, best known as Jacob from Trailer Park Boys, about providing a voice for my game. He is super nice, and was very interested, but unfortunately I would have to make my game under the umbrella of the Screen Actor's Guild/ACTRA, which could add thousands of dollars of cost and a lot of red tape to this project. I do support SAG/ACTRA, and would love to utilize their services and members like Jacob Rolfe in a later game, but for now it's been fun playing the role of casting director. (P.S. Jacob Wolfe does some amazing artwork which you should check out here: http://www.thefloatingworld.net )

Finding good voice over artists can be extremely difficult, so I feel extremely lucky to have the current voice crew. I'm about to launch another IndieGoGo to help me pay these talented voice artist for their time and effort, and hope to get the bulk of the voice work done this winter. Stay tuned for more Daath Galaxy news as it happens, and keep your eyes peeled for news regarding a playable tech demo version of Daath Galaxy coming at some point soonish......




First Combat Gameplay Video + 2 Galaxy Maps

FPS meets sci-fi open ended RPG. Here's a first look at the FPS combat side of things featuring the new Pulse Gun I've been working on for my game Daath Galaxy?:

In addition, you can now take a look at 2 out of the 6 playable galaxies in Daath Galaxy. These maps are zoomable and scrollable. Check them out here:




Gameplay Video + Historical Database + New Screenshots

Almost 5 minutes of pre-alpha game play video here:

Here are some screenshots from the latest build of Daath Galaxy. Notice the switch to FPS as the main camera mode, as well as switching away from anime style to a more realistic group of models (done mainly so I can have hundreds of NPC characters on screen sharing a single atlas.) If you haven't done so, please vote yes on Steam for Daath Galaxy. I've recently begun the Historical Archives, so be sure to check those out as well to get a first look at some of the game's content and back story.

Latest Pre-Alpha Screenshots




6 New Daath Galaxy Screenshots

Latest Alpha Screenshots
Here's some updated screenshots from the current alpha build of Daath Galaxy. Here, we're flying around on a planet. You can hop out of your vehicle at any time (careful!) The rest of the pictures show the player exploring the planet. Still much work to be done, but thought I'd share the progress!




Daath Galaxy Trailer, Greenlight & IndieGoGo Launched!

[media] [/media]

Indie developer Black Lodge Games has spent the last 6 years working on an epic science fiction role playing game called Daath Galaxy. Now with IndieGoGo, the developer is trying to find funding to do full voice acting for the entire game. The first trailer of the game was recently unveiled to not only make people aware of the game itself, but also to make people aware that Daath Galaxy is now on both Steam Greenlight as well as IndieGoGo.com.

Latest screenshot: Action RPG When Playing Directly As Your Character

Here's an early alpha screenshot from Daath Galaxy of your character fighting a monster. Inside of ships, on planets, in cities or starbases, the game plays kind of like Secret of Mana meets Double Dragon: Neon, of course with the art style as shown in this ALPHA screenshot.

Latest Screenshot: Turned Based RPG With a Twist, When Engaged in Ship VS Ship Combat

Here's an early alpha screenshot from Daath Galaxy, so it does not reflect the final building quality of the game. In this screenshot, we see some of the ship turn based combat. It's like if you took Super Mario RPG mechanics and mixed it with FTL.

Development Overview
GAME STATUS: Early Alpha
START DATE: Full time since February 17, 2013, part time since May 2008.
GENRE: Action RPG (as character) Turned based RPG (In ship combat)

Development Progress
PROGRAMMING: 90% completed (only polishing, quest specific logic, & mini-games left)
WRITING: 75% (back story & main questlines completed, side quests in progress)
DIALOG: 1% (dialog still needs to be put into manuscript form & recorded, but waiting for writing to be at 100% before assembling the voice team)
MUSIC: 75% (30 out of the 40 songs needed are finished)
SOUND FX: 25% (a lot of basic sound effects are completed, but most battle & misc sound effects are lacking)
ART ASSETS: 60% (space scenes are 100%, but NPCs, planet surfaces, cities, & inside of ships all need a lot work)
LEVEL COMPLETION: 55% (The game world is fully defined, but not yet fully actualized.)
MINI-GAMES: 35% (Most of the mini-games are fully fleshed out, but lack assets or programming)

Are You Interested?
If this game looks cool, and you want to play it, then please considering funding us with even $1 at IndieGoGo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/daath-galaxy-fully-voiced-open-world-sci-fi-rpg/x/8262798 and bookmark http://daathgalaxy.com friend me here on Steam and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Indiedb.com. Also, join our Steam community: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/daathgalaxy or just search for "Daath Galaxy" in Groups. Anyone who shows a real interest will definitely have a beta invitation for later this winter.

40 Song Original Soundtrack!

In other news, you can listen to 5 songs from Daath Galaxy right now (out of the 40+ songs that are in the game.) You can listen to all 4 songs here now:




Daath Galaxy - Final Art & Asset Specs Finalized!

To match the anime style of the characters and the in-ship art style, I've gone through and begun the process of implementing the new shaders on the outside view of the ships and space, so that they match the anime style of the rest of the game. This means that most of the screenshots I've previously posted are now completely out of date (for other reasons aside from the art change as well!)

The finalization of the art and assets specs was necessary as I try I complete the first video trailer for Daath Galaxy by August 1st, 2014. Before the video could be complete, the art assets have to represent something closer to the final product than the hodge podge of concept art that was previously in the game. With the specs finalized, the production of the first trailer is continuing to move along nicely.

Thanks for reading about Daath Galaxy here on GameDev.net. Hope you enjoy the new & final production art specs. Let me know either way!




Daath Galaxy - Now on Greenlight Concepts with Animated Screenshots

It's been a little bit since my last update, so I wanted to let you all know that

[color=#008000] Daath Galaxy is now on Steam Greenlight Concepts. Please vote here:


I just updated my Greenlight page with these animated GIFs, and I wanted to share them here on my GameDev.net devlog:

While animated GIFs look terrible, I figured I'd show you all a little sneak peak at the game play before the big content reveal on August 1st. Keep in mind, Steam has a 2MB file size limit, meaning I had to really lower the quality of the screen capture. Everything posted so far has been direct game play screenshots.

On the Greenlight Concepts page, I've posted 1920x1080 screenshots, and then directly after 640x360 GIF animations of the same or similar content. Keep in mind the GIFs look terrible, and are only here to show what that you're not looking at concept art, but actual gameplay screenshots.

I know, why not just upload a video? Because that's what August 1st is for. Stay tuned for the real Greenlight campaign on August 1st, including a trailer with mostly in game footage. Thanks for the support everyone!




Daath Galaxy - New Platforms Announced & Soundtrack Songs To Listen To

Daath Galaxy so far has only been confirmed on PC, but after some successful tests, it appears that a Linux native version will eventually reach the light of day.

When I say "eventually" what I mean is that there is no set release date for the Linux version of Daath Galaxy. First, the Windows version needs to be competed and released. Linux support will be after launch. Luckily, a Linux version will mean a Mac OS X version will also surface. At this point, it is likely that those are the only 3 supported platforms, but we'll re-examine that after the game launches.

In other news, you can listen to 4 songs from Daath Galaxy right now (out of the 40+ songs that are in the game.) You can listen to all 4 songs here now:

Finally, here's a new screenshot:

In this screenshot we see the player targeting the enemy's Life Support systems. Future versions will provide better visual feedback. Auto-fire requires no manual control, which is great for easy enemies. For more difficult enemies, it is wise to target one or more specific systems. Doing so requires some type of (usually) timed button combo or precise aim in order to successful hit the targeted location.

Thanks for reading. We'll continue to keep you updated on our progress here at gamedev.net!




Daath Galaxy - Upcoming Open World RPG (Alpha)

Game Description
Explore the multiverse in this open ended fully voiced sci-fi epic role playing game. As a captain of a small crew, you explore the universe freely from outside and inside your ship, with in-depth starship vs starship combat mixed with fun melee combat when on away missions or when walking in ships or on planets. You are the genetically enhanced captain of humanity's last starship on an epic quest to save or destroy the entire multiverse. Use your tactical skills to disable enemy starships, send boarding parties, take over their ship and then use it to destroy their home world by igniting their star into a super nova as your ship jumps safely away.

All the artwork and music has been beautifully handcrafted in high definition with over 6 galaxies, 500+ solar systems (average 83 per galaxy), 4000+ planets & moons (average 8 per solar system), 40 original songs, 250+ quests, 12 main quest lines, 9 main quest endings (3 good, 3 neutral, and 3 evil) and much more. To keep each game play unique and interesting, there are also 250 quest recipes that create infinitely new and exciting voyages each time you captain your starship.

Development Overview
GAME STATUS: Early Alpha
START DATE: February 17, 2013
GENRE: Action RPG (as character) Turned based RPG (In ship combat)

About This Devlog
This devlog will be updated on a regular basis with all things related to the development and completion of the game. Polite feedback is certainly appreciated, but keep in mind everything posted so far is from Alpha builds of the game, and does not reflect the final quality nor the full feature set of the game.

Development Progress

PROGRAMMING: 90% completed (only polishing, quest specific logic, & mini-games left)
WRITING: 66% (back story & main questlines completed, side quests in progress)
DIALOG: 1% (dialog still needs to be put into manuscript form & recorded, but waiting for writing to be at 100% before assembling the voice team)
MUSIC: 75% (30 out of the 40 songs needed are finished)
SOUND FX: 10% (a lot of basic sound effects are completed, but most battle & misc sound effects are lacking)
ART ASSETS: 50% (space scenes are 100%, but NPCs, planet surfaces, cities, & inside of ships all need a lot work)
LEVEL COMPLETION: 50% (The game world is fully defined, but not yet fully actualized.)
MINI-GAMES: 33% (Most of the mini-games are fully fleshed out, but lack assets or programming)

Early alpha screenshot showing your character running around inside his or her ship

Early alpha screenshot of a player attempting to "land" on a gas giant planet

Early alpha screenshot of a solar system "world" map

Early alpha screenshot of space ship battling.

So here's a few details about how I've approached development.

First, I started with a notebook for concept art and inital planning.

Then, I moved onto writing actual specs for the game, which I wrote in the form of a Strategy Guide.

Since this is a full featured RPG, a strategy guide is a must. It's also a way for me to offer special bonus editions of the game that come with a box, soundtrack, and strategy guide. Since indie games are on a race to the bottom price-wise, I decided to go the opposite direction and put together value propositions that justify a real price. I refuse to do bundles or to price the game too low.

Big Yet Optional Mini-Games

Deep computer systems with bootable BIOS, multiple operating systems, the ability to hack and overclock and even to play computer games on the in game computers!
A card building game, with 4 different decks of increasingly higher power & value. Play against many NPC characters, collect or lose cards in every match. Can you collect a Master Deck, or all the Master Decks? Do you have what it takes to win the Intergalactic Tournement?
Chemistry crafting system consisting of 118 elements & 236 chemicals to craft virtually any in game item, weapon, or armor
A sneaking & stealing system along with side quests and mini-games.
An in-game RPG game playable on in-game computers...
Even more optional mini-games!

So I took one of my older tech demos and spun it into a very deep mini-game that features over 100 hand crafted levels (all from the tech demo.) I've also integrated other games I've written and not released, allowing me to recycle old code and projects, while offering new in-game distractions and entertainment. The key with mini-games is to make them optional in my opinion. Let the user decide if it's fun and worth spending time on. If they feel it's fun, then they've got a game within a game to play. If it's not fun to them, no loss, since the mini-games are totally optional.

I'll be detailing lots more stuff as I have the time. Thanks for reading!



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