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Alternate-E

Son of Nor

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Alternate-E    215

Son of Nor

StillAlive-Studios



  phoca_thumb_l_Szene1.jpg
 

Short game description

"Son of Nor" (SON) is a 3rd person Fantasy RPG. It’s a mage-only RPG, which plays mainly in the desert and its main focus lies on being as dynamic as possible. You cannot just move objects arbitrarily around, but you can alter your environment. You can change the terrain via terraforming magic, and you can summon spells that can be combined in a very intuitive, innovative way. It’s easy to learn and simple to control, however there are so many things you can do that it can be quite difficult to master.


The game itself supports single and multiplayer modes. You can play via LAN, Internet or locally on splitscreen using controllers. There will be a variety of different play modes, from simple death-matches to cooperative invasion which can be thought of as a tower-defense-like-mode.
The first version of Son of Nor is going to be released around Q4 2012 supporting both the single and multiplayer arena modes described above. Afterwards an addon to the game is planned, which will add a singleplayer and coop-storyline. The story itself and the entire universe of SON are mostly done already.

 

[VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNLUxwj7dZ8[/VIDEO]

 

 

Key features

- Revolutionary and innovative magic system
- Terraforming (levels can be modified in-game[permanently])
- No HUD: all relevant information is provided in an intuitive and "natural" way
- Variety of arena-modes (coop-modes inclusive!)

 

 

- Split-screen for up to 4 players on a single PC

- Multiplayer-mode via LAN and internet up to 8 players

- Multiplayer coop "campaign"

 

Release

Q4 2012 via Steam, Desura, etc.

 


Platform

Windows and MacOS.


Price

Between 10€ and 15€

 

 

 

Contact Us

If you want to get in touch with us send an email to info@stillalive-studios.com
and be sure to keep up with us for regular news and updates via

[twitter]sasGames[/twitter]

OR
on facebook

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darkdesigns    100
I like the ability to terraform using telekinesis! Will make for fun deathmatches, I can imagine myself raising a mound of sand in front of me and then throwing a boulder as a combo! And maybe casting a quick burn spell somewhere after that.

Does telekinesis work for other environmental objects like trees and thin walls?

Also, given that the hurricane can lift small rocks, can it also uproot trees or tear down weak buildings?

Cheers
~dd~

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Black-Panther    157
Hi there!
Just to introduce myself: I'm the lead programmer of SON.

Regarding your question about tearing out trees. We thought of it, but currently it's not possible. We have to investigate the topic further, to see if it can be done in a good way. Regarding buildings: there will be some buildings which are destroyable, and therefore can be affected by telekinesis, and others which are not. For instance we are currently planning a map, where the big defensive walls can be destroyed completely, which should be quite fun ;-)

At the moment we are implementing new spells as well and just finished with our first implementation of the death-magic. Here a short video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YjbKxJt17U

Note: The violet rays do quite hurt ;-)
What do u think about it? Do u like it?

We'll keep u up to date!

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Alternate-E    215
If you like what you see so far you should check out our new implementation of force magic. The video demonstrates the use of force orb, force shield and compression field.

[VIDEO]http://youtu.be/DU0eE3XrsWM[/VIDEO]

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Black-Panther    157
We are currently working a lot on the magic system and AI. At the same time our modelers prepare models for our next map and some variations of Sarahuls (which are the opponent race). Here some preview of the wip:
[img]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2856708/SON%20images/Sarahul%20Warrior%20CharStrip%200328.jpg[/img]


We are still in need for a level designer and an animator. If you are interested in joining us, feel free to contact us at:
[email="application@stillalive-studios.com"]application@stillalive-studios.com[/email]
More information can be found on our website: [url="http://www.stillalive-studios.com/index.php/join-us"]Join us![/url]

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Alternate-E    215
Thank you everyone for taking interest in our project. The team is very eager to turn SON into a finished title later on this year. We are publishing detailed updates and information more frequently at [url="http://www.son-of-nor.com"]http://www.son-of-nor.com[/url] but of course there will be periodic updates here involving major changes to the game itself. Now, what would this post be without some eye-candy? Here is a taste of something we have been working on:

[img]http://i1268.photobucket.com/albums/jj579/Chrislejohn/Wall_final.jpg[/img]


Above is what we call the Sarahul Wall. It is a map in progress that places emphasis on the players ability to alter the environment. As always we look forward to any feedback so don't be shy. Thank you, we promise you will be hearing from us again soon.

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Alternate-E    215
The SAS team has been laying more ground work for[i] Son of Nor[/i]. Finding ways to make the levels more interesting and/or dangerous for your pleasure. Krystian has been in the lab working hard on a map and we are looking forward to letting you all get a real peek at that soon.

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cpolus    345
[font=tahoma,geneva,sans-serif]Hi, my name is Chris Polus and I'm the lead sound designer for Son of Nor. I also worked on the new website we just launched today so I'm happy to bring you some updates of what happened the past few weeks. There have been so many changes that I even don't know where to begin [/font]

[font=tahoma,geneva,sans-serif]The most significant change that's visible from the outside is our newly launched website. We hope to provide more content, images, videos, and development diaries now that we have a system that works for us. Check it out: [url="http://stillalive-studios.com"]http://stillalive-studios.com[/url][/font]

[font=tahoma,geneva,sans-serif]We also have a new dev blog section where we would like to provide more insight articles about the history and development of the game. There's an article about where the game started a few months ago and the next parts will be about game decisions, visuals, GDKs and how far we've come to date. Later, we'll talk more about in-depth dev and 3D stuff.[/font]

[font=tahoma,geneva,sans-serif]We were quite busy talking to people interested in joining the project. And we got a great team together. It's so important having people that take the lead and the responsibility in their area and then deliver.[/font]

[font=tahoma,geneva,sans-serif]After extensive playtesting we mostly refined the controls and are still tweaking it. It's hard coming up with a system that allows to control telekinesis, terraforming, spell combinations and other things without having a GUI and dozens of buttons. It's one of the goals we set for the game: no UI. I don't know if we can really pull this through, but we try. I think we changed the controls a dozen times in the last couple of weeks and every time we think we have something, we need to change it because it doesn't work out in the long run. But I think we're getting there step by step.[/font]

[font=tahoma,geneva,sans-serif]After very cool artists joined our team we finally kicked off an internal project to define the visual style of the game. Being mostly a programmer and an audio guy, visuals weren't our strong suit. I'm curious what they come up with. Basically we're blocking out a level and trying different styles on it. Different textures, textures blended with real photographs, or purely hand-painted textures. We'll see what we decide on.[/font]

[font=tahoma,geneva,sans-serif]So I guess there will be more news coming now that we established an internal team, defined a workflow, priorities and especially responsibilities. This took up most of the time of the past weeks. And I close this update with some new concept art we did for the game.[/font]

[font=tahoma,geneva,sans-serif][background=rgb(254, 254, 254)][img]http://stillalive-studios.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/son-gallery5.jpg[/img][/background][/font] Edited by ChrisPolus

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cpolus    345
And the second concept art from the same series, done by our environmental modeler and concept artist Krystian ?lusarz.

[img]http://stillalive-studios.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/son-gallery6.jpg[/img]

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farcodev    160
That's one of the most original project here, by the setting and the gameplay.

As you said on your blog, assets are the most time-consuming part... but keep it up !

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cpolus    345
Thanks a lot farcodev.

Yeah, that was really a learning for me personally. With all the indie hits coming out and Indie Game documentary basically showing 1 or 2 guys doing a whole game by themselves I realize this probably only works for 2D games. As soon as you enter the 3rd dimension, complexity and effort explode. We'll keep on it :)

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cpolus    345
We had some great motivational boosts in our team during the past few weeks. One of them was being featured on awesome online sites like:

[b]PixelProspector:[/b] [url="http://www.pixelprospector.com/son-of-nor/"]http://www.pixelpros...com/son-of-nor/[/url]
[b]Indie Games:[/b] [url="http://indiegames.com/2012/06/upcoming_action-rpg_son_of_nor.html"]http://indiegames.co...son_of_nor.html[/url]
[b]Kotaku:[/b] [url="http://kotaku.com/5917984/this-game-might-actually-get-force-powers-right"]http://kotaku.com/59...ce-powers-right[/url]
[b]Rock, Paper, Shotgun:[/b] [url="http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/06/14/ooooo-son-of-nor-has-terraforming-fire-tornadoes/"]http://www.rockpaper...fire-tornadoes/[/url]

Most people complained about the very mediocre visuals. And they were right, visuals sucked. We just completed our internal project to find THE visual style for Son of Nor and we began creating the first assets in that style. Our concept artist Krystian came up with this really cool hand-painted texture style.

Wall concept rendered in Unity
[img]https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/561451_209444555847592_1631631471_n.jpg[/img]

Pillar
[img]https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/531318_209444862514228_265608333_n.jpg[/img]

Wall Light
[img]https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/582157_209445079180873_1359687364_n.jpg[/img]

But ... it's not easy coordinating an international team and there's still lots to be done for the game. If you'd like to take part in this endeavor or know somebody who would like to contribute to an ambitious project, [b]WE'RE LOOKING FOR ADDITIONAL HANDS.[/b]
[b]More specifically, we're looking for:[/b][list]
[*]Unity FX Artist
[*]Unity Level Designer
[*]3D Animator
[*]Programmer
[/list]
Go here to learn everything about it: [url="http://stillalive-studios.com/join-us/"]http://stillalive-studios.com/join-us/[/url]

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cpolus    345
We extended our list :)
[b]We're looking for:[/b][list]
[*]Additional Concept Artist
[*]3D Environment Artist (for hand-painted textures)
[*]FX Artist (Unity 3D)
[*]Level Designer (Unity 3D)
[*]3D Human / Creature Animator
[*]Programmer
[/list]
Care to have a look? Go here to learn everything about it: http://stillalive-studios.com/join-us/

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cpolus    345
Our last update was some time ago. We were busy since making our next milestone.

The focus of this milestone was to create the first part of our first chapter of the game and implement the new visual style we defined. Our artists created beautiful hand-painted textures as you'll see in the trailer.

On a technical side-note: There's some vertex painting involved for the big level mesh, we created a system for spawning dynamic light and shadow rays. There's a cool, new magic shield, the fire tornado was updated a little but actually not much was done on the FX side. Many props are still in the works. So, yeah, the focus was really the new level and textures.

Next up will be the main character and new animations, as well as new areas of our first chapter of the game.

Enjoy and we appreciate any feedback.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNLUxwj7dZ8[/media] Edited by ChrisPolus

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cpolus    345
We start posting behind the scenes videos where we talk about the development of Son of Nor. If you're interested, watch our first developer diary on YouTube where our lead programmer talks about a light shaft generator we developed in Unity.


[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzQv8AeP-MM[/media] Edited by ChrisPolus

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cpolus    345
While we're just about to finish our next dev diary, I wrote a comprehensive blog post about a topic that is super essential: [b]communication[/b].

We're telling the inside story about the challenges we face with 16 distributed people and try to show solutions that worked for us so far: what collaboration tools do we use, what have we learned from working together over a distance. I you plan on adding people to your team as a dev, this is definitely worth a read!

Share your experience. What worked for you so far? Have you made a similar experience? This is so important that talking about it helps every indie dev not make the same mistakes over and over again.

[url="http://stillalive-studios.com/2012/essential-indie-lessons-team-communication/"][img]http://stillalive-studios.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/blog-indielessons1.jpg[/img][/url]

[url="http://stillalive-studios.com/2012/essential-indie-lessons-team-communication/"]http://stillalive-st...-communication/[/url] Edited by ChrisPolus

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cpolus    345
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/

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cpolus    345
Hello, fellow game developers. I wanted to give you a quick update on our progress this week. This week, we:[list]
[*]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)
[/list]
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.

[url="http://stillalive-studios.com/2012/dev-diary-3-water-system/"][img]http://stillalive-studios.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/blog-devdiary3.jpg[/img][/url]

Please keep in mind that we're still [b]looking for 3D environment modelers[/b]! Do you know somebody who'd be interested joining us? Go here: [url="http://stillalive-studios.com/join-us/"]Join Us[/url]

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cpolus    345
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:[list]
[*]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
[/list]
You can see a video of all the updates [url="http://stillalive-studios.com/2012/dev-diary-4-this-weeks-updates/"]here[/url].
[url="http://stillalive-studios.com/2012/dev-diary-4-this-weeks-updates/"][img]http://stillalive-studios.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/blog-devdiary4.jpg[/img][/url]

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

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cpolus    345
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.

[url="http://stillalive-studios.com/2012/dev-diary-5-designing-a-level/"]Dev Diary #5 - Designing A Level[/url]
[url="http://stillalive-studios.com/2012/dev-diary-5-designing-a-level/"][img]http://stillalive-studios.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/blog-devdiary5.jpg[/img][/url]

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.

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AjUZUGDBdr8"]DevDiary #6 - Level Design Workflow[/url]
[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AjUZUGDBdr8"][img]http://stillalive-studios.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/blog-devdiary6.jpg[/img][/url]

Speak to you later,
Chris

[color=#a52a2a][size=5]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 [b]you[/b] are a 3D artist, let us know, contact us [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] Maybe you'd like to work on Son of Nor?[/size][/color]

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cpolus    345
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.[list]
[*]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
[/list]
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).
[url="http://youtu.be/rzQ4lVZqlrk"][img]http://stillalive-studios.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/blog-devdiary7.jpg[/img][/url]

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