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  1. Venatus Games

    Nightfall - DevBlog #1

    New DevBlog is live!
  2. Venatus Games

    Nightfall - DevBlog #2

    NIGHTFALL DEVBLOG #2 I'd like to start this post by saying - This week has been absolutely insane! In just over a week's time since the last DevBlog, we've reached over 100 members in our Discord community, added three new team members to our team at Venatus, and broke ground on terrain generation... successfully. Yup! You read that correctly. We have actual world generation, in Nightfall, in less than two weeks and this time we'll have actual gameplay to share with you! In a big part, this is due to some of our additions to the team and the hard work that the entire team has been putting in for all of you in the past couple of weeks. Combined through Discord, our posts here on GameDev.net, Twitter, and Patreon, there are over 1.5 thousand people who are interested in Nightfall. This is an insane number, especially after the short amount of time that we've been at this... and it's going up every day. This is a driving force for us and the support people have shown us is inspiring! We are super motivated by the engagement we've had with you guys and are loving hearing your suggestions and answering your questions on the Discord! Now with all that said, I'm sure you're all looking forward to hearing more about how Nightfall is coming along, and we can't WAIT to share it with you. In today's DevBlog, we'll take a look at some more concept art for features and biomes, discuss terrain generation, take a look at some of the new models and art for Nightfall, learn more about all of us over here in the Dev Team, and get a first look at the Nightfall pre-pre-alpha gameplay! Wow! That was a mouthful. That's enough of an introduction, let's get started! What is Nightfall? We discussed this last DevBlog, and we'll keep it brief, but in case you aren't coming from our Discord or our previous DevBlog on GameDev.net, here's the gist of what Nightfall is all about. "Nightfall is a block/voxel type game being developed by Venatus with influence from Minecraft, Castle Miner Z, and other predecessors. It is a base-defense open world sandbox game that pits you against dynamic and dangerous enemies along with other players. You can work together or go it alone to try and survive the harsh nights of Nightfall. The game is an open world sandbox where Players can do whatever they want. To survive, players will need to gather resources and construct a shelter. However, when night falls, things get much more difficult. Players will need to defend against difficult dynamic enemies and survive to the next morning." Yes, that's the same blurb as last time, and if you want more information than that, click here to head over to our Discord or here to read last week's post for more information. I don't want to bog you down with repeat information, so this is the last time we'll add this basic description of the game to the post. Yay! Biome Concept Art The Badlands Take a look at this beauty. Another incredible concept piece by Crimmy. These are the badlands, and yes, they're bad to the bone. No literally... You'll actually find large skeletons here of creatures that may have roamed the land. This is a pretty unforgiving biome, but the terrain generation here will be miles different from anything you've seen before. We're aiming to have huge spikes (as seen above), large skeletal remains, and sheer cliffs that drop far below. The consistency of the rock/stone you'd find making up these spikes would be that of volcanic rock. A good way to picture this biome is to take a look at this scene from the Lion King, and add some more pointy outcroppings of rock. Unique biomes like the Badlands are something we are working hard to implement into our world generation. We have a LOT of new mechanics to our world generation that you probably won't be expecting, and we can't wait to share more of them here. Our goal is that exploring the world of Nightfall will not feel monotonous or empty, and that you'll be rewarded with fantastic sights and new materials for your travel. This applies to our surface world, but also the depths below... but that's for a future DevBlog! Door and Entrances Who doesn't like to make a dramatic entrance? Say goodbye to the days of doors that are two blocks tall and one block wide (although, we will have those as well) and hello to the grand entrances of Nightfall. We're currently working on a concept feature for larger doors and entrances in the game. This means doors, hatches, and gates that are not just you usual proportions. Crimmy took some time this week to concept out a bunch of possible entrances you may see in Nightfall. We want to allow for you to not have to limit your doorways to be a certain size. This will make allowing creatures larger than the average human into a building easier, but also make for more impressive builds. We're also planning on incorporating it into our dungeon system to allow for epic entryways into the horrors of Nightfall. Barn Doors (Sliding) Still don't understand what I mean? Take a look at these sliding barn door options. If you have a barn for your livestock, it may be smart to use these doors to seal the barn up during the winter, but still allow for animals to pass through easily when it's time to take them back out for the warmer weather. These doors not only look good, but they'll actually have functionality as well. And just like in real life, these barn doors may be higher than your head compared to the average sized door. Speaking of average sized doors... Other Door Types Nightfall is not without those either. Here's a concept for a more reinforced door and even a jail door in case you want to lock up your friends or even your enemies. We're open to suggestions for all of these doors or even individual features for each method of entrance. Should the jail door require a key? Can the flaps on the reinforced door be opened to pass items through or take a peek at who is there? You tell us! We want to have unique options for the player that provide both use and visual appeal. Take this garage type door as another example. A player might be able to grab this door and pull it up for a vertical entryway. This might take up less space and would be a good way to take or move larger things out of your base. It also looks pretty reinforced. Imagine gearing up with your squad and popping out of one of these babies to take on the approaching horde. Don't worry, we didn't forget dungeon doors either. We want to have unique entrances to some of the larger non-player built structures as well. These could be harvested by the player after completing the dungeon to be used in builds or as decoration, but would also provide a certain vibe to the entrances of a crypt or a foreboding castle. We have a lot of plans for our dungeons, but that's something we'll touch more on in a later DevBlog. In the image above you can see some concepts for fences (A, B, D) and fence gates (C, E). Obviously there's still a lot more ways we plan to take these structures, but this is another example of the variability we want to provide for you in the world of Nightfall. Trapdoors, Hatches, and Other Entrances Coming in last but certainly not least for our entrance concepts, we have hatches, trapdoors, and other cool entrances. In image A, and B, we've got some concepts for a different kind of hatch -- traps. These could consist of spikes or launch pads and be used on players, enemies, or maybe even other things. The player would be able to conceal these in a hatch similar to some of our trapdoors which is why we included them here. In Images C, D, and E, you can seem some examples of wooden hatches/trapdoors, and in F, G, and H, you can see something similar done with stone. Specifically if you look at image G, you can see that we're currently tossing around the idea of doing some more hidden entrances as well, like the fake rock. Once again, these fantastic pieces of concept art were done by our very own, Crimmy. We actually worked on these while answering questions on our brand new Developer Twitch, which you can check out here. I'll talk more about this at the end of the DevBlog, but we'll be doing more live streams here in the future where we work on Nightfall, answer questions, and hang out with the community! Tools/Weapons This week, Alde spent some time working on some placeholder tools and weapons for us. Unlike your typical block game, Nightfall has a lot of unique tools. While Nightfall does have your basic four (Shovel, Axe, Pickaxe, Sword), don't limit your thinking to just the generic set. We're working on some concepts for other weapons, tools, and equipment that can be used for various purposes. We will have various tiers for the tools/weapons depending on the type of material it is made with, and ways to increase their strength, efficiency, and ability. This is something we'll talk about more in a future blog post. Pictured above from left to right, you can see our placeholder model for a; Shield, Spear, Sword, Knife, Hoe, Pickaxe, Hatchet, and Shovel. Keep in mind that these are just placeholder models that we'll be using while we develop the functionality of these weapons and tools and that eventually the actual model will reflect what tier you are using. What this means is that basic tools will app ear more primitive while higher tier tools will be much more refined. Take a look at some of these placeholders closer up below; Gameplay Well, well, well... the moment I'm sure you've all been waiting for is here! How far along is the gameplay in Nightfall? Let's take a look. (Pre-Pre-Alpha) But first, an important disclaimer. What you're about to see is a pre-PRE-alpha version. There's plenty of bugs and a lot to be done, but we're showing you this now for two reasons. The first reason is the initial promise we made to ourselves and to you of being honest developers. This is truly where we are at in the development process, and we want to show you. The second is -- we're proud of what we've accomplished in such a short time and want to share it with you all who have been asking us every day for the past two weeks how much progress we've made. Is this the complete game? No. Is it a start? Hell yes. In less than two weeks we've created a fairly robust world generation system that's getting better every day, and are already able to do so much of what we thought would take us months to accomplish. This is a good sign and this is the foundation for us to create Nightfall on. Back to the disclaimer, however. Please remember that anything you see here is subject to change and is NOT A PUBLIC build. No, you can not yet play the game, and when a build is ready for public testing we will first release it to our Patrons over on Patreon. With all of that out of the way, here is what we've been working on. World Generation For starters, we've been tackling arguably the largest beast first, world generation. This past week, Jacob and Owen spent time on implementing the world generation system into Nightfall. Right now, we're focused on the basics, which is making the world appear, be modifiable, and save the modifications that players make. We're making sizable progress with this and getting closer and closer to being able to implement complex biomes and terrain. Right now, we've got a few basic blocks like grass, dirt, stone, and sand implemented into our generation engine. We also have a rudimentary form of water, but there is still quite a lot of work to be done in fluid physics. The world generation system is already nearly infinite in the same sense that Minecraft is, which is an impressive feat in itself. Over the weekend, Jacob and Shelby really cracked down on getting our current gameplay builds and world generation builds merged together. At this point we've successfully implemented both of those and are working on stabilizing everything and making the terrain and player flow smoothly. We did have some issues with terrain clipping and weird generation at the start though that ended up being quite... interesting. (This GIF is from a very early build that is now vastly out-dated. Textures in this video are not ours and were purely for testing, we now have our own textures as shown previously) Overall, the entire system is built to be heavily expandable and within the next few DevBlogs we're hoping to share more biomes and world generation both surface and underground! We have some custom textures on the blocks in our world now which you can see in some screenshots or below, although they're very tiny here. We're currently deciding what size our textures will be (16x16, 64x64, etc) so if you have any opinions or suggestions, let us know! The Player Our original alpha player you might have seen pictures or clips of is now dead. Long live alpha blue... He is now a Discord emote! His replacement who is still unnamed is now being implemented into the game. We're not entirely sure the direction we want to take character creation in yet, but we've fallen in love with this goofy blockhead made by Trevor! He's making his way into our current build and we're working on some new animations for him. POV We're working on a First Person Perspective AND a Third Person Perspective for Nightfall. You can check out the basic implementations of both of those below. Our Player's arms are still a bit goofy in first person, but we'll eventually have them nicely swing into view when you're walking or running! Alex is working on some new forms of movement for our character which we'll get into in a future DevBlog. Multiplayer Yup! You heard that right. We have basic Multiplayer functionality already working pretty smoothly! (Ignore my terrible apartment WiFi ping.) You can do quite a bit already as the heart system and breaking and placing blocks are both implemented in their early forms. Here is the first ever... uh... "special" statue built in Multiplayer Nightfall. We've made quite a bit of progress here and all of this is synced up between players. Overall, Multiplayer is doing very well in early testing and we are super excited for what's to come! Health System Check out this graphic to learn more about our health system. We've taken inspiration from some of our favorite ways of doing health and combined them to make our own unique form of health. Hearts are measured in half heart increments and you can go down to one half of a heart before dying. You may have noticed some hearts in the top left of some of the screenshots we've shared. This is the basic implementation of our Heart System which you can read more about above. We've actually changed the way these hearts look from the screenshots and the placeholder to be a new design by Trevor. Here you can see a normal heart, Golden Heart, and a poisoned heart. Profiles and Friends Profiles In Nightfall, we're working on a non-gameplay related system for you to show off your stuff. We're planning to have an in-game area to view your profile and see all of your statistics and achievements all in one place. We will also have some cool collectibles called profile tags that you'll be able to showcase here. Profile Tags Profile tags are basically badges for your profile page. Imagine Pin Collecting at Disney world -- yeah, that. You'll be able to earn them through in-game achievements, reaching statistical milestones, events in-game and on Discord, and other ways like supporting us on Patreon. These are purely cosmetic and are more for collecting than anything else. They have NO effect on gameplay. You can actually earn one of these future profile tags right now through our Pioneer program on Discord. Go check out our community server on Discord to learn more about it! Congrats to those of you who have already earned your Pioneer title! Friends Another thing we would like to incorporate into the profile system is friends. This mechanic would allow you to add people you know in real life or friends you meet in game for ease of access in joining their games and seeing their profile pages! This is a great way to keep track of all of the people you meet and check out other people's profile tag collections! Dev Spotlight A new segment in the DevBlogs! Each blog we'll be spotlighting a different member of our Dev Team here at Venatus! This will give you a chance to learn more about us and see that yes, we're human too! This week's spotlight is... Jacob Jacob is a new addition to our team this past week! We're super excited to be working with him. Jacob has really spear-headed out terrain generation over the past week and came onto the team with a lot of world generation experience. If it was not for his previous hundreds of hours of hard work, Nightfall would not be as far along as it is today. Jacob is 22 years old and has been working in Unity for over four years. Before that, he was active in the Minecraft Modding community and developed multiple modifications to Minecraft. This is where he initially started his programming journey as a middle school student. He enjoys playing Minecraft, in which he has thousands of hours, and also likes to hop into the world of Dark Souls. Currently, Jacob is working on a system of layering chunks that will allow us to do some pretty nifty stuff with our terrain generation vertically! If Jacob could add anything to Nightfall, he would like to dive more into the complexity of chaotic bosses in the game. Development Streams (Twitch) Some of you may have caught our previous development stream on Friday, which you can re-watch most of here. We're planning on doing a lot more of these Development streams in the future so you can watch us model, program, draw, and create the world of Nightfall. We'll do lots of Q+A sessions where we answer your questions about the game, and in the future we hope to do streams of actual gameplay showcasing new features or updates. We might even do streams where we play with the community some day! Here's hoping! If you're interested in watching these streams, go ahead over to our twitch by clicking the link below and give us a follow so you're notified when we go live! Discord, Patreon, and Social Media Discord https://discord.gg/2BKtNks Use the link above to head on over to our Discord. This is the absolute BEST way to communicate with myself, any of the Developers, and the community. We have dedicated areas for you to suggest features, give feedback, learn more, and most importantly - ASK QUESTIONS (and get an answer too!) This is the easiest (and free!) way of supporting us and we are so happy to see so many of you already taking advantage of this by joining, talking to each other, suggesting features, and grilling us with questions! It's been great! We already have over 100 members in our Discord community! Incredible! Patreon https://www.patreon.com/vgnightfall Honestly, we're new to the whole Patreon scene, but you can pledge to monetarily support us monthly here. We do have various tiers of support that each provide unique rewards like special roles on our Discord server, access to even more direct communication with Developers, and of course, eventual early access to the game to help us test. You'll also get bonus development content and an even closer peek into our development process directly through Patreon and Discord when you subscribe! We've already posted a lot of extra content on our Patreon! Thank you to our current Patreon supporters: Patreon - Nedac16 Twitter https://twitter.com/venatus_games This one is pretty simple. It's just Twitter. If you click the link, it'll take you to our page and let you follow along with what we do there. We'll share similar content updates there along with more information or if we're ever looking for help. Click the link and give us a follow if you're feeling generous and help support Nightfall! (Closing) And night is upon us... As you can see it's been an absolutely bonkers week since our last post. We are through the roof with the progress that's been made in our short time working on this project and are looking forward to the next few DevBlogs where we'll really begin to show off what Nightfall has to offer. However, a word of caution there. This upcoming week is a very busy one for the team outside of developing Nightfall, so there's no promises on a DevBlog post next week. We'll let you know what our schedule for the next post is looking like over on our Discord, so come join us and keep your eyes on the announcement channel for more information. We have a brief survey and would really appreciate if you took the time to fill it out! Click the link below to check it out! It won't take longer than a minute! Thanks! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1-XHJUX57RvUxOfJQDS122Ffg4B5FQqIsITWlejDcAOw/edit Well, it's getting dark and night is falling, so we better get going, but we'll see you sooner than you think! Thanks for reading! Humbly, VG Jack and the Venatus Team
  3. Venatus Games

    Nightfall - DevBlog #1

    We're aiming to get it out today. Here's the projections from the team. About a 50% chance it'll be out today. About a 90% chance it'll be out tomorrow. 100% chance by the end of this week.
  4. Venatus Games

    Nightfall - DevBlog #1

    You're epic! We've got another Dev Blog coming for you super soon!
  5. Venatus Games

    Nightfall - DevBlog #1

    NIGHTFALL DEVBLOG #1 Foreword... The first and most important question of course -- What is Nightfall? Nightfall is, for us, the game we've always wanted to play for ourselves that no one has delivered. Nightfall has been a concept in our heads and on paper for years, but it was something we never seriously attempted. We'd brush it off hoping someone would create this experience for us or that eventually a game would be modded to fit this gap, but we were let down time and time again. We've reached a point where we're tired of waiting around for our dream game to come to us - we're going to make it ourselves. Some of you may remember a previous game we posted about here called Crazy Seas. We had a fairly successful blog here for awhile and had received some great responses from the community, of which we're still pretty grateful for. We ended up eventually axing the project due to the size of our team, budget constraints, and in honesty - inexperience for the MMO scale we were aiming for. I tell you this because something we STRONGLY believe in at Venatus is honest development. This is a passion project for us and that said, we want to play it as badly as you do. I speak of our previous failures so that they are out there, but also so that it is clear of our growth. Crazy Seas helped us grow and was more of a stepping stone in our learning, which is not what we intend for Nightfall. With the boring stuff out of the way, let's talk Nightfall. As I said, Nightfall is a passion project for us. What does that mean? Simply put it means that this game is near and dear to our hearts and is not something we're taking lightly. We will develop this game. The questions are of course; our time frame, our budget, and the content of the game itself, ALL of which I will address in our DevBlog post here. So without further ado, lets get into this and officially begin Nightfall's first DevBlog post. What is Nightfall? If you're not coming from our Discord, (or heck, even if you are) I'm sure this is the question at the forefront of your mind. What is Nightfall? What is this game and why should I care about it. Here's a quick excerpt from our Discord which I'm going to stick here and then I'm going to break it down in more detail. "Nightfall is a block/voxel type game being developed by Venatus with influence from Minecraft, Castle Miner Z, and other predecessors. It is a base-defense open world sandbox game that pits you against dynamic and dangerous enemies along with other players. You can work together or go it alone to try and survive the harsh nights of Nightfall. The game is an open world sandbox where Players can do whatever they want. To survive, players will need to gather resources and construct a shelter. However, when night falls, things get much more difficult. The players will need to defend against difficult dynamic enemies and survive to the next morning." So what does all of that stuff mean? Well, Nightfall is the game we've been looking for in other games of this genre that we think have failed in producing the content we want to for Nightfall. It is obvious without a doubt that Minecraft is the pioneer of the Block-Type genre. No one is arguing that here. But Minecraft has it's limitations. We like to think that this is where Nightfall will pick up the slack. No, Nightfall is not a Mineclone. Is the world/terrain going to be made of blocks/voxels? Yes. Are some of the most core mechanics of a block game going to exist in Nightfall too? Undoubtedly. But that's where the similarities will begin to thin. Minecraft opened doors in sandbox games that were monumental. We want to take that open-world sandbox freedom and put it to the test in new applications. Our game is about survival in a much more difficult sense but it aims to retain the creative aspects of the sandbox of a block game. Do you remember spending your first night in Minecraft? Way back in 2009? The fear you had of the night and rudimentary dirt house you built to keep yourself alive? If you play Minecraft, this feeling is something that is probably long gone by now. When the sun sets, nothing is different. You probably just hop in a bed and don't even give it a second thought. This changes in Nightfall. Our goal is to replicate that feeling of unknown you had when you survived your first night again... and again... and again. Not only that, but we aim to have weapon variety, a plethora of enemies - each with unique AI, and harsh survival mechanics. Seasons? Check. Weather? Check. Scary shit that's going to try to eat you? Check. We want every play-through to have a uniqueness to it but at the same time have a core survival instinct that you need to rely on. If you're still looking for some more information, here's some other games and mod-packs we've enjoyed that have helped to inspire the need for Nightfall. Why now? Okay, okay, you caught me. I did say we've had this idea for ages. Why did we wait so long? There's a few reasons for that. If you don't care then this is definitely a section you can skip! First of all, timing for ourselves. This is a time where we have enough of our own time to dedicate to creating this game. This is also a time where we have the resources AND the people to pull it off. Our team currently consists of 11 people, three of which are artists, two of which are composers, some with game design experience, six of which are programmers, etc, etc, you get the gist. Almost all of us are pursuing a career in software or game development (no exaggeration, literally 10/11 people on the team.) and this is what we want to do. We are dedicated to this. With that said though, we are students or full time-workers elsewhere. This is not our main job and this circles back to the honesty we were talking about. This is another reason why we've decided now is the time. We're sick of being mistreated by other developers and disgusted by the precedent that's being set in development. Blatant cash grabs, under-age gambling, pure lies coming from development teams being swept under the rug and forgiven without explanation -- you know who you are --, we're done with that. So we're trying to make a positive change here and be open to you. If we need help, we'll ask for it. If we're struggling, we'll tell you. What we won't do is give up. If we need something we'll make sure to let you know and if we're thriving, we'll let you know too. (FYI, we're doing pretty well right now thanks for asking). This is why we've decided we're ready to bring you Nightfall. But who? Okay I'm picking up on the who, what, why, where theme here. Another section you can skip if this totally bores you, but here's a little bit more about us. We are Venatus Games. Our team began sometime back in 2013 and has changed a lot since then. There are now 11 of us who are committed to bringing you a product we're proud of and that we ourselves want to play. A cool thing about our team is that most of us grew up together. We know each other well and are a tight knit group which helps to avoid any unforeseen development crises. But as I mentioned previously, we're also college students, workers, and adults. By this I mean we have lives to live, bills to pay, and in some cases, others to take care of. While Nightfall is important to us, we do have other priorities as I'm sure you do too. We're funding this game out of pocket and from generous community supporters, (shoutout to Nedac!) and that's something we plan to stick to. If you want to learn more about that you can click here or scroll to the end of this Blog. When will the game be released? Tomorrow... just kidding, I wish. This is of course a common question and although this is sadly a common answer - when. it's. ready. We're working our butts off to get to a playable build and will share ways to play and test the game with our Backers/Patreons as soon as they become available. In the meantime we'll continue to overload you with information and eventually game play footage but we PROMISE to be as open and honest with you on the process and where we are in it as we develop the game. Alright, alright, give me the good stuff already! I think we've talked enough and it's time to start showing off some of what we've got in store for you over the next few months but before we do that I'm going to tell you my life story starting from conception. On January 2nd, I emerged from my mother's- just kidding, here's Nightfall... The Basics So what the heck do you do in this game? Well you can start by checking out our FIRST official piece of concept art by one of our own, Crimmy. It features a player standing on a cliff overlooking a valley where a player(s) has built a settlement. An important part of Nightfall is Survival. That is blatantly obvious. You'll need to eat and probably drink, as well as make shelter to survive the harsh reality of the world. But we want you to survive in environments you are not used to. The choices we made when designing this concept are purposeful. Notice the towering mountains in the background, or the trees that are more than a few blocks larger than a player. This is intentional. We want to provide an environment that feels real and not just pre-defined within measly constraints. Our terrain will be unique and provide new sights to see each time you load up a world. The uniqueness of the terrain will definitely be a big factor of where you choose to survive. Each biome will come with different elements to it's landmass and all of them won't be plain, simple, and flat. Some will come with large spikes, some will come with deep valleys, and some might look so alien you think you might have walked onto the set of a Sci-Fi movie. But this is purposeful. Our world will have a flow to it but will also reward exploring. You might find different resources in different biomes, new ores and locations under the surface, or even different creatures. You won't know what's around the corner and this is one of the things that makes Nightfall great. We won't recycle the same four biomes you see everywhere (forest, desert, tundra, oh look another forest, desert, forest, etc, you get the point) over and over. We'll give you a palette. Do with it what you want. Now, I'd like to unveil one of the first elements that players will have to learn how to survive in Nightfall... Seasons Nightfall has four seasons. These seasons have a different effect depending on the biome you are in, which we'll talk about here, but the basics are the same. Seasons change the length of the day/night cycle, the growth of crops, the enemies you'll see, and even the temperature. They are not something to mess around with but there are plenty of ways to counteract them. Check out this conceptual GIF of seasons in Nightfall and the graphic below to learn more about what seasons effect. giphy.mp4 Spring Oh, I've got a spring in my step when it's spring (Cheesy, I'm done I promise). The flowers are blooming, the weather is nicer, albeit there's some rain, but things are better in the Spring. It's the season right after Winter so I'd sure hope so. Spring is the time to plant your crops and emerge from your winter hidey-holes. Spring is the time to gather plentiful food and enjoy the warm sun as the days get longer again. Overall although, Spring is one of the two more mild seasons for sure. This is your time to not really have to worry about anything being too different from a biome's defaults. Check out a more detailed list of Spring's effects in the graphic below. Summer Oh boy, oh boy, it's Summer! Summer is warm, summer is bright, but you do need to be careful. If you're in the wrong place Summer can be intense. During the Summer, you'll want to avoid generically hot places and bring along ways to cool yourself off if you do choose to visit during this season. Summer also bring's out a lot of our cold-blooded friends who no longer need to hide during the Winter. They'll want to bask in the heat too ya know! Summer is a great time to grow your crops as there's not too much effecting them, just make sure to keep them watered! However, thunderstorms will probably do that quite nicely as well, just watch that you don't get stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time. You can check out the graphic below to learn a bit more about how Summer effects the environment. Fall Fall is another pretty average season... it is harvest season though! This is your time to finish stockpiling your winter food supply and watch certain trees turn pretty colors. But, no, seriously, don't spend all your time watching trees, you'll need to gather food to make sure you're ready to go. Of course the days are beginning to get shorter, and Winter is around the corner. There will also be some seasonal creatures to face off against during this time as well. You can learn more about the effects fall has on the environment in the graphic below. Winter To put it simply, Winter is f*#$^%g terrifying. If you don't move to a warmer climate, you're probably going to have a hard time in the Winter. First of all, you'll have to stay warm, the opposite of what you had to do during the summer. Winter will kill your crops, or at least almost all of them, as it will be too cold to grow anything. You'll have to move your livestock indoors to keep them warm and find ways to keep your belly full if you didn't stockpile. You'll also face off against unique Winter enemies and face intense weather conditions from light snowfall to thick coatings and even Blizzards. In the case of serious snow, it's probably best to hole up and avoid the outdoors entirely. Winter is a good time to go underground and hunt for resources there as Nightfall has an extensive underground system with unique generation and- you know what, let's save that for another time. If you'd like to learn more about the effects Winter has on the environment, check out the graphic below. Wow! That was a lot of information! Gee, thanks! No, but seriously, this is only the beginning of what we have to share with you. We're actually limiting what we ARE sharing right now as there's so much that we've finished conceptualizing but what to process more before we're ready to present it to make sure that we can pull it off for you. We hope you enjoyed your first real look at some concept art for the game in it's seasons, weather, and enviornment and you betcha there's more to come. Where are you in the development process? Ah! Our first directly programming related information in this DevBlog and it only took an hour and a half of writing to get to. As we've said many (probably obnoxiously many) times in this DevBlog so far, we plan to be totally honest with you in our development and that means down to the nitty-gritty of where we currently are in development. This section of the logs might not always be interesting as we may end up going into too much detail, so you're welcome to skip it, but I would suggest reading today's as it's rather simple and provides answers to a lot of commonly asked questions. Yes, we've decided to go the Unity route. Yes, we are aware there are few to no successful block games in Unity. Yes, we have Unity experience. No, I personally do not like tacos but other people on the team enjoy them a bit too much. As I said previously, we've really been in the more formal part of conceptualization for the better part of a month and only this past week sat down to begin what you'd consider the true development of the game -- even though I'm hesitant to word it like that. We have a very clear picture and a very clear goal in mind right now. This week was spent setting up all of our collaboration tools and specifically outlining the three major hurdles right now for us to tackle before we can begin to break down the content of the game and really flesh it out. These three prongs are; 1. Terrain Generation 2. Network Integration/Multiplayer Functionality 3. Rendering System These three prongs, ESPECIALLY, the first one, are our main priority right now. While this may not mean much to the larger part of the audience reading this blog post, this is the most crucial groundwork to the game and will take the most time. We've already more or less worked out Multiplayer Functionality, but Terrain Generation is a beast in itself and will take us the better part of the next month or more to figure out the exact right way to do it -- and that's being optimistic. The reason why this will take so much time is because we don't want to screw ourselves for later. It is important that we lay this framework with the future in mind so we are able to provide new features down the road without having to overcome difficult or impossible limits we set on ourselves in the past. We are confident that we will be able to work out these three prongs -- and are already doing so -- and lay the groundwork for Nightfall, but will need your patience while we do so. In return, we promise to keep you entertained and interested with these Dev Blogs and other content on our Discord, while being one hundred percent honest with you where we are in the process. Discord, Patreon, and Social Media We would like to take the time right here to again shout out our incredible community. It astounds us to already be able to say that but in reality we are not surprised to see such an interest in a game we ourselves so badly wanted. Our Discord, which was created less than 72 hours ago, is already almost to 100 members and we've already had our first Patron on Patreon. This is incredible. The support you guys have shown makes us want to create this game even more. We're going to leave some links here and tell you a bit about each one of these things but if you've already joined or aren't interested, go right ahead and skip this part of the DevBlog. Don't worry, we won't be offended... (although we'll make Winter harder by 1% for every person who does ) Discord https://discord.gg/2BKtNks Use the link above to head on over to our Discord. This is the absolute BEST way to communicate with myself, any of the Developers, and the community. We have dedicated areas for you to suggest features, give feedback, learn more, and most importantly - ASK QUESTIONS (and get an answer too!) This is the easiest (and free!) way of supporting us and we are so happy to see so many of you already taking advantage of this by joining, talking to each other, suggesting features, and grilling us with questions! It's been great! I've already heard the argument from one person that this is preemptive and too early to be doing - but we wholeheartedly disagree. We WANT to hear from YOU from the BEGINNING. It's the best way to create a game that we'll all love. The only way this works though is if you participate and if we are honest with you, which is something we value you. We won't embellish things in order to get you to contribute or become over-hyped for the game. We'll simply lay things out how they are and go from there. Patreon https://www.patreon.com/vgnightfall Honestly, we're new to the whole Patreon scene, but you can pledge to monetarily support us monthly here. We do have various tiers of support that each provide unique rewards like special roles on our Discord server, access to even more direct communication with Developers, and of course, eventual early access to the game to help us test. You'll also get bonus development content and an even closer peek into our development process directly through Patreon and Discord when you subscribe! After three days of the Patreon existing, we've already had someone pledge to us! This was on the first day too before we've shared anything! We truly do appreciate the support! Thanks Nedac16! Twitter https://twitter.com/venatus_games This one is pretty simple. It's just Twitter. If you click the link, it'll take you to our page and let you follow along with what we do there. We'll share similar content updates there along with more information or if we're ever looking for help. Click the link and give us a follow if you're feeling generous and help support Nightfall! What's next? Coming up... In the next DevBlog, we'll have some more information/content for you on building mechanics, unique structural items, player survival (health and hunger), and some more concepts in both art and features! We'll also have more environmental concept art and we'll have an update on where we are in the development process! (Closing) And night is upon us... Well if you've made it this far and truly read every word... Thank you! From the bottom of our hearts the entire development team over at Venatus appreciates you! We're looking forward to Nightfall as much as you are and can't wait to share more content with you here, on Discord, and through Nightfall itself. In the next few months, we'll be sharing oodles of information with you and interacting with you on Discord so you can help shape the game while it's in its early stages. This first DevBlog is monumental for us as it means that Nightfall and what it represents will finally be a reality... and we promise to work hard until it is. We ask that you're patient and understanding with us as we take these first clumsy steps until we reach a point where we can not only walk -- but run. It will be here sooner than you think and we hope you're around to see it. But with that said, night is upon us and we better get inside before it's dark. Thanks again for reading! Humbly, VG Jack and the Venatus Team
  6. Venatus Games

    Crazy Seas DevBlog #3

    For now, that's the mechanic. I like the idea of being able to hide behind objects but there is potential abuse there. We might have to make them a little transparent when someone is behind them, but this would be something we'd find out in play testing or later on. Currently there's a team of 4 of us! Thanks!
  7. Venatus Games

    Crazy Seas DevBlog #3

    Thank you! The next update is going to be huge, I hope!
  8. Venatus Games

    Crazy Seas DevBlog #2

    The next DevBlog is up! Thanks for your previous support!
  9. Venatus Games

    Crazy Seas DevBlog #3

    Here we go! DevBlog #3! Wow! It's crazy how far we've come in the past three months or so. The support from everyone here and through Reddit has been awesome! Since the last post so much has changed with the game. It's hard to even know where to start talking about the changes to 'Crazy Seas'. The whole team has been working their butts off since the last blog, and we had a very productive Easter vacation. Before I go any further, I am going to do a shameless self promotion. As some of you know from previous posts, we have a twitter which you can find here! We try to post updates on the Twitter as well, so if you want to see progress before it reaches the DevBlog, that's the place to go. As the game progresses and we reach a public play-testing stage, we'll be revealing a lot more on there and you'll be able to see when and how you can get your hands on the game. This week we also started a sub-reddit. You can find it here. The sub-reddit is a really important place for you if you want to stay updated on news and be able to actively help shape the game. If you have questions or suggestions, the sub is the place to go for that. We are looking for some community moderators, so if you have experience please let us know! Anyways with that said... back to what you've all been waiting for; News! Starting with some Art Alright lets talk art. Over vacation we lost our artist. They moved on to try and make a living through solo gigs so we've been back to lacking in the art department, HOWEVER, I tried to pick up some of the slack. I've been trying to teach myself some art programs over the past couple of weeks and I finally have some things to show for it. I did a lot of GUI work. It's a little rough, but we have the starts of some menus and systems that are coming to the game soon! The first one is the Log Book. This is the menu where a lot of things are accessed. The symbols pictured above don't represent everything, but some of the things you'll find here are your Inventory, Mail, Friends, Announcements, Skills, the World Map, your Crew, your Glossary, and more. All (or most) of these things will also be accessible through hotkeys, so its kind of user preference whether or not you want to use the book. Below are some close ups on some of the symbols. Again, these are rough and were my first ever go at some real art so things can only get better from here! Something felt wrong with my mail icon originally, but I figured it out now... I think! I also did a temporary make over for the inventory just so we didn't have to look at the Unity placeholder eye-sore anymore. Now we can look at a slightly less eye-sore of an eye-sore. And of course, we've been working on a chat system, so I did the art for that as well. As you can see, we've made lots and lots of progress even without an artist. Being totally honest, I think we're even better off now because we realized we could do what they were doing without them anyways. However, we are looking for a much more artistically talented artist than myself so if anyone is interested, feel free to hit us up! Oh and we have an indicator for combat tagging, but I didn't make this one all by myself. Transitions I'm excited for this one. In a previous post, we finished off changing the water color depending on where you were in the world. It's finally implemented into the build now and well, I'll just let these GIFs speak for themselves. Look how seamless and pretty that is. You may have noticed the big yellowish thing on the top of the screen as well. That's our new transition scroll! It went through a couple of phases before it got to where it is now, and it's still using a placeholder, but this notification pops up whenever you transition from an area so that you can see where you are. It's going to need some modifying, but our eventual plan is for it to tell you what Crew has control of the area and whether or not it's PvP or PvE. But overall, the scroll is looking really good and I'm very excited for the prospective things that could come from it. Weapons I was going to make you wait till the end to hear about the weapon additions but I figured you wouldn't want to wait that long. This post comes with two brand new weapons, and I'm very excited to introduce them both. I also made a TON of placeholder cannon skins for the test build so that we can start messing around with skins. I don't really have any ready to show off yet, but take my word for it, they're coming. The first new weapon is the Sniper Cannon! For now, it's just looks like a longer version of the Regular Cannon. It shoots a faster, smaller, cannonball that has medium range. The speed of the cannonball allows for a higher hit chance as it has less travel time than any other cannon. The reload speed of this cannon is faster than the others, but it deals much lower damage. The aim of this cannon is so that you can hit your target and know your shot will land. It's useful for enemies who are on the run and need one last hit to finish them off. (This GIF has the old assets... sorry) The next new weapon, and my favorite addition so far, is the Harpoon! (Harpoon Cannon? Not really sure what to call it...) The harpoon is a weapon that fires, well, a harpoon, at an enemy ship. The harpoon attaches that ship to yours and drags them toward you for a brief period of time before breaking. You'll be able to extend this time depending on the type of Harpoon you find and with your perk tree. The rope length is also a variable that can change depending on the stats of the weapon. It's not perfect and still needs a little adjusting, but it totally changes ship combat. Since implementing it, we've decided its probably better in a front slot than on a side slot, so it will probably go where the Ram goes. And speaking of Rams, I guess we technically have three weapons being added because the Ram is now in game as well. I've mentioned it in previous posts, but its in game and fully functioning now. It will Here's a GIF. There's no indicator of damage or damage particles because that's not an actual player I'm testing it on. But normally it will produce particles and the enemy ship will take damage. You can ram an enemy ship without a ram, however you'll need a ram to negate the damage that it would cause to your ship. If you ram a ship at a higher speed, you'll do more damage to it, but it will also do more damage to you. There is a falloff/recoil if you're not using a ram, so it's best to only be charging into your battles with a ram equipped. Inventory The inventory system is coming along nicely since the last post. We now have separate player and ship inventories, and different tabs for the various things you'll be carrying. It's currently in active development, so I took some sneaky screenshots, but a lot of things are missing from it still. It'll probably be done by the time this post is actually out. Hopefully the new GUI art will be implemented for the next Blog post so you can see how pretty the inventory will actually look. Anyways, enough rambling, here's a GIF. (The things you see in the player inventory are just testing.. ignore them... seriously, don't read into them.) Ocean Objects Here's a rock. I'ts not very pretty, but it does its job. Rocks, and other sea objects, can be found out in the ocean. They help break up the boring ocean and also provide cool places to have fights around. As of right now, you can also hide behind them. I'm not sure if this mechanic will stay in game, but for right now it's kind of cool to not know when a ship could pop out. Ocean Locations (Hotspots!) Some ocean locations have been added to the game as well in preparation for the fishing mechanics. These locations provide two useful services. For one thing, they help to keep the ocean interesting and make it so you don't have to sail across plain sea for hours on end. Consider them to be "mini-biomes" if you will. The second thing they do is house different fish. At these fishing 'hotspots' you can find different species or harder to catch fish that you might not find in other places. As of right now there isn't anything to show for fishing, but work is starting on that soon. I'll go into more detail on the fishing mechanic in a future post. Here's two of the three locations currently in the game. The have terribly awful placeholder art (I can say that because I made it) but they serve their purpose. This is the Coral Reef and the Bone Graveyard. There's also a ravine but that placeholder is not worth showing. In Conclusion... It's been a very successful past couple of weeks. We're still working hard on features and will have a lot to show off in the next DevBlog. We have been working on a ton of back end and server side stuff behind the scenes so that we can start having people join in the game. Account creation, User IDs, and a lot of other systems are already in place, which is really good. We need to get a few more things done with the inventory and the markets before we can start to allow people to come into the game world as well. I didn't show it off, but we have started to build a town on the island. If you're an eagle-eyed reader, you may have even caught the name of our first island hidden somewhere in this DevBlog. Anyways to feed your interest, the next entry will probably feature some new weapons, fishing basics, and the finishing of the UI. I'll try to throw in some stuff about the islands as well. That's all I'm willing to tease as I want it to remain a surprise as to what else I'm going to share. Thanks again for all your support and for taking this journey with us! - Jack from VG As a reminder, you can follow us on Twitter here, and can stay up to date and participate in the community by exploring our sub-reddit here. And one more extra reminder, we are looking to expand the team and add another artist. If you're interested you can add me on Discord at Jack#2228, or you can reach out to us in the comments or from one of the social medias listed above.
  10. Venatus Games

    Crazy Seas DevBlog #2

  11. Venatus Games

    Crazy Seas DevBlog #2

    Thanks so much! Hope you stick around!
  12. Venatus Games

    Crazy Seas DevBlog #2

    And we're back! It's been just about two weeks since our last development post here, and I'd like to start by saying I've been blown away by the reactions from all of you. Between the first post getting featured in the first few hours, the messages and comments we received, and all of the applications to join the team, let me just say, thank you! I'm so glad that everyone here is just as excited about this game as we are even though its still in the very early stages of development. So like I said, it's been about two weeks since the last post, and a lot has changed since then. I won't bother you much longer with the boring introduction stuff, but as a basic reminder, please keep in mind that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, you see is subject to change. A lot of the stuff you'll see here are placeholders, so don't get too caught up in the art style or lack thereof. There will probably be another blog sometime in the next two weeks while we all have Easter break, so stay tuned for that as well. Let's start with some art... Right so since the last post we've had a ton of applications to fill the slots I listed at the end of the first blog. I'm happy to say that we have officially added two members to the team, one being an artist! Our artist has been hard at work since the moment he joined the team, and there's already good things to show from it. We've started to take the similar style of the placeholder ships we were using and break them into our own similar aesthetic. We wanted to keep the cartoon-y feel but to also start to clean up the assets a little. Above is a concept of one of the new ships built more in the style we're looking for. We're officially starting to break away from the placeholder art we started with and starting to see our own art in game is a really good feeling. The first week since the last blog post was spent mostly working on sails. We have plans for three sail types in the game: Symbol Sails - These ones just have a random color and a random symbol assigned. Some of the symbols we're working on/completed/or have ideas for so far are: - Skull - Squid - Parrot - 'Shark' - Chest - Anchor - Heart - Cross - Hermit Crab - Fish - Shell - Smiley Face with X eyes As you can see, we've already made sizable progress on the Symbol Sails. Pattern Sails - Similar to symbol sails, they'll be assigned a random full sail pattern, and then a random color as well. Special Sails -These have full sail pictures or pre-assigned textures for special events like Christmas or New Years. They are a rarer type of sail to find but can still be found from looting/exploring. The second half of the last two weeks was spent mostly on creating our own world pieces. We have some concepts for world objects, but I'm going to save those for another week. We have, however, finally reached a point where we can hopefully start building a more permanent world with some of our own art. We'll keep you posted on art in the coming weeks, but the best place to stay updated on the fly is our Twitter, @venatus_games. Weapon Disabling Something our early play testers and feedback have asked for the most was a way to turn on and off certain weapons so that all of your cannons weren't firing at once. As of this week's build, you can do just that. We're still messing around with exactly how we want this to work, but for now it resides on your number keys. "1" disables the first slot, "2" disables the second, and so on. We're thinking a max of ten since that's probably the most weapons a ship will be able to hold. We're looking to add support for just clicking on the slot on the UI as well, so that will most likely be in the next build. Ports I'm not even really sure where to begin with ports. So much as changed since the last post. First and foremost, you can now exit your ship and re-enter it from the port. There's some wonky stuff going on with the character model, but you can see the basic functionality is there. For now, you enter and exit with a button, but that's just for testing. You'll exit and enter the boat with your interact key in normal circumstances. We're also playing around with how ports work. We want you to see other player's boats docked in the port, but we don't want the port to be filled to the point where you can't enter. To combat this, we're doing a couple of things. The first is making it so your ship vanishes after a couple of seconds if you walk away from it. This opens up the port slot and allows for another boat to dock. You can easily call your boat back from the port, and there will be plenty of slots, so this should allow players to use the docking system fairly seamlessly. Were also putting in measures to stop players from AFKing in the dock as the boat will only vanish once you exit it. We also have early integrations of a Port Shop added, along with our first look at currencies. Just a brief reminder, the shop is 100% a WIP. We're just messing around with systems and stock right now, and I don't really want to spoil too much of what we have planned just yet, as there isn't much to show for it. I can talk about the currency though. Our game is planning to use a Copper, Silver, Gold method. One hundred copper coins equate to one silver, and one hundred silver equate to one gold. As of now, this is the method we're looking to use, but it's subject to change. This is something we will mess around with in play testing. If you notice in the first image, the currency is just chilling below the map. This is temporary and just for testing purposes as it will find its new home sometime soon. Water Water had some cool changes since the last post as well. First off, the normal world area water got its own fancy new look, and is not as much a placeholder anymore! Congratulations on becoming a man, Water! Anyways, we worked on implementing a system for water to change colors depending on where you are in the world. If you're closer to the shore, obviously the water should change colors as its more shallow, just as if you're deeper in the water in should do the opposite. Below is a GIF of this system.. As you can see, we can use this for all sorts of cool things, and it's all tracked client-side as your water color might be different from someone else's. Ship's also now have a (temporary placeholder) wake sprite behind them when they're moving in the water! Anchoring This is probably the part of the DevBlog I'm most excited for, but it is also the most Work In Progress. There is still a lot to be done here, but we've implemented the basics of anchoring to shore. Once you come in range of an island, you can toss your anchor with the anchor key, and throw your anchor to shore. From there, you can hop out of the boat just as you would at a port and go and explore the island. You can hop right back into your boat by interacting with the anchor and then you're good to sail away. This poses a lot of questions about despawning the ship, PvP protection, Anchor Customization, and all sorts of stuff we need to work on. But I'll save all that for later. Instead, here's a GIF. Don't mind the size of the rope or the anchor, as we're still messing around with the basic functionality before we worry about things like that. Wrap-Up In conclusion, a ton has happened these past two weeks. Obviously, there's still a ton of work to be done on a lot of the features I showcased this time, but it's clear that progress has been made for sure! With two new members of our team and a holiday break coming up, the next post should be full of new features for you to gawk over. For closing words, and I know I sound like a broken record, I just want to remind everyone that there's still a lot to be done. We're only coming toward the end of the second month of development, and we have a lot of time ahead of us before we're in a state where we're ready for players. However, we're growing fast and working hard and we're just as excited as you to see where the future takes us. Remember, if you want to stay updated ahead of time or even catch our artist streaming some art design, head on over to our Twitter page @venatus_games so you can stay caught up on everything we're working on! We'll have some other ways to stay connected coming soon in the next few months. Thanks again for everything, and we love hearing from you! Feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch with us through other mediums with ideas or anything else that might cross your mind! Enjoy the rest of your weekend! - Jack from VG
  13. Venatus Games

    Crazy Seas DevBlog #1

    Will do! New Blog coming soon with loads of changes!
  14. Venatus Games

    Crazy Seas DevBlog #1

    New DevBlog coming soon! Follow us on twitter @Venatus_games to stay posted!
  15. Venatus Games

    Crazy Seas DevBlog #1

    Basically yes. That was the inspiration. It's more of a mounted shotgun because we're planning some other gun type weapons. Thanks!
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