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Indie Dev Blog: Folk Tale

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#1 gamesfoundry   Members   


Posted 18 August 2011 - 05:27 AM

After reading and seeing what everyone else is working on, we thought it was time to share some early screenshots of our team's first project together: Bumpkins. You can also watch the latest dev update video on YouTube.

If you are a talented 3D, texture or concept artist, and are looking to get involved in an established project in exchange for a share of net profits based on the hours you contribute, please get in touch. We are currently five strong, aiming to develop a single-level playable demo by November 1st 2011, after which we'll be contacting publishers.






#2 Monkan   Members   

Posted 18 August 2011 - 07:52 AM


This game looks amazing, good work. I just watch a few of the videos on youtube and you've got some really nice stuff in there.
How long has this been in development? And did you use an engine(s), if so which one(s)?

"To know the road ahead, ask those coming back."

#3 gamesfoundry   Members   


Posted 18 August 2011 - 08:11 AM

Thanks. The project kicked off in May, with the other four team members joining June onwards. We're using Unity 3.4.

#4 gamesfoundry   Members   


Posted 29 August 2011 - 06:18 PM

Two new ambient zones added to the map this week. Here's a first peek of a mostly unpopulated volcanic environment. The next dev video will feature a first pass paint/sculpt of the complete level terrain including the yet to be revealed snow mountains.

We're recruiting talented artists across a range of disciplines (3D, UI, concept, texture). So if you can dedicate 20+ hours per week between now and November (share of profits), please get in touch.


#5 gamesfoundry   Members   


Posted 20 September 2011 - 09:50 PM

We kicked off a busy month with a title change to "Folk Tale" to reflect the divergence away from a sequel, develop the project as a new line of intellectual property, and to better capture a feeling of fantasy, adventure and storytelling. A new concept logo aims to portray the simple lives of some of the games main characters: the villagers.


The focus remained on production of prerequisite assets to support the implementation of gameplay, namely the essential buildings. The warehouse (far left), smelt (to be reworked from scratch), and barracks all make their first appearance. The lumberjack occupation, with it's own model can now be assigned by selecting a villager and sending him to the logging camp (see video). The miner occupation model is nearly ready, and will be making an appearance in next month's dev video. Other additions in the village include the chicken coup, and the cartoon cow with associated milking animations.


The style of the original barracks was a little too evil looking, and so it was relocated to the dwarf-themed lava area, which now includes four runic buttons that will act as the precursor to triggering an iron golem, which the player must defeat to secure an important quest item.


The goblin swamp has some new defenses, and patrolling slavers and archers. The AI Pathfinding hasn't had nearly enough attention, so characters are still prone to a little invisible wall climbing and spinning, but nothing that can't be sorted out. The multi-threading added in A*Path 3.0 certainly helps, and a little thanks to Aron for supporting us in ironing out the initial release bugs.


Using the limited system profile data available in Unity (including the out-dated GPU fill-rate stat), the game now takes a reasonable guess at graphics settings, as well as persisting user settings. These eye-candy screenshots have nearly all the image effects enabled, and my poor iMac with it's mediocre GPU just about copes for capturing video on full settings. Those real-time Water4 reflections are FPS killers due to the additional cameras required to draw the render textures, halfing the frame rate. Still, better that players with decent GPUs get to enjoy their investments than not at all.


And finally, here's the latest dev video on the Games Foundry YouTube Channel.

God I hope UT implement hardware custom cursor support in 3.5, otherwise our project will be missing an essential RTS element. If you haven't already, please vote for it. Can't wait for the new GC and GUI implementations, because the current ones suck ass.

#6 Serapth   Members   

Posted 21 September 2011 - 12:00 PM

Thanks. The project kicked off in May, with the other four team members joining June onwards. We're using Unity 3.4.

It's funny, whenever I see a game from an Indy team that has a professional quality look to it, it's always being developed in Unity. Maybe the roll-your-own folks are too busy rolling their own to actually create a game. :)

Impressive accomplishments so far, keep it up!

#7 gamesfoundry   Members   


Posted 10 November 2011 - 05:52 AM

2 months since our last update. Boy where does the time go?!

Here's Folk Tale Dev Update 2 on YouTube.

The dev video begins with a placeholder start screen. As this will be a single-level playable demo to pitch to publishers and investors, the only option will be to start the game which triggers the intro cutscene.

Moored at the new docks area is our migrant galleon, the key mechanism for population control. When your village has spare housing capacity, new villagers periodically arrive from far off lands. On the flip side, if you are a tyrannical leader, unhappy villagers will pack up and leave on the next boat off the island.


Swinging past the beach and flying by the new windmill building that we'll mention later, there's a birds-eye view of your village, where the first 20 minutes of the game focuses on resource gathering, construction and economy. Breaking a wide angle shot down, we have a single camera doing all the work, rendering the skybox, low-detail mountain geometry which responds to fog and lighting, a margin of ocean around a central island , and the main level map. The far clipping plane is at a whopping 4500 to render the far mountains. Unity's frustum culling removes objects off-camera, with our own distance culling system removing far objects that would otherwise be on camera due to the huge far clip plane. We've played a little with the occlusion culling, but given it's buggy state, we're leaving this until Unity 3.5 is released. A Preferences Manager handles the selection of default graphics settings, managing post render effects, terrain detail and culling distance based on the capabilities of the GPU combined with the screen resolution to ensure a decent range of machine specifications can be supported.

Back at the docks, and the migrant galleon rings it's bell to depart with an unhappy villager up on deck. Boats use a Taxi Manager that allow villagers to buy tickets and wait for the boat to arrive. It also runs the Goblin Ferry in the Stinking Swamp. Boats currently use UnitySteer but for some reason the galleon is really jerky. Something to investigate at a later stage.

As night time descends, several pesky goblins find their way into your village. Nothing that a few Knights trained at the barracks and a wizard can't cope with. As the battle begins, the sound track changes to reflect the heightened threat level. You might recognise the Knight and Wizard models as purchased stand-ins, and not the work of our team. Our Knight replacement is still being animated and just missed the cut-off for this build.

Quite a bit of work has been done to improve battles, but there's still a long way to go. Melee combat is a challenge to implement well, especially when one unit is outnumbered and needs to be surrounded by opponents. We're getting there, but more refinement is needed.

One more birds-eye view, this time at night time. The day-night cycle uses the same system as our ambient zones which controls pretty much everything: fog, ambient light, sunlight, water, and soundtrack. One problem we have is during the transition from day to night. If you don't rotate the camera, the terrain billboards fail to update their lighting colour, which means you get daylight lit billboard trees at night time. Other people have this problem, but as yet we've not found a fix. We hope UT fix this in 3.5, otherwise we'll have to ditch the Unity tree system.


Our first new character introduction is the Lumberjack. Villagers perform a number of menial jobs around your village, or can be assigned to specialist occupations by sending them to their respective occupational buildings for training. Once trained, they diligently go about their task. Here you can see our old crappy looking trees, which we're slowly improving and replacing as we go. One thing we need to do is ensure the positioning of the lumberjack when he fells a tree, so that he's not obscured by the tree foliage. To enable interactive trees, we built a Terrain Manager that hooks in to the Unity Terrain Trees, and replaces each one on demand with a mesh tree that can be chopped down. That way the majority of trees benefit from distance billboarding.

Farming has featured before, so we'll not dwell on this other than to mention that the animations need revising, and animation events adding to trigger the sfx on cue instead of the current looped sample that don't sync. The farmer plants, grows and harvests wheat before taking it to the windmill to be ground in to flour.

Our second character introduction is the female villager, seen in the video milking a cow, which also makes its first appearance. Milk will be taken in churns to the yet to be modelled farm, where it will then either be sold, or we might expand the economy to include cheese making.

Finally we have the Miner. Currently he hacks away at a pile of iron ore, but ideally we want him to go into the iron mine. Once he's collected the ore, he'll return to his yet to be modelled occupational home of the Smelt, where it will be turned in to iron bars for use in construction.

Entering the lava pools of the Old Forge, we have the makings of our first simple puzzle. I don't want to talk too much about this, saving it instead for a future update when we've got the voice over recorded and can show the whole piece in context. We're using Boxman's arc lightning effect from the Muse-games Fabricator contest. We hope you enjoy the eye candy, and the moody soundtrack.


Wading into the Stinking Swamp, the goblins have built a new palisade fortification, with watchtowers patrolled by archers. The walkways have been widened to work better with the resolution of the AI Pathfinding grid. As the camera pans around, we catch our first glimpse of one of Slavemaster Urzal's ogre bodyguards, wielding a hefty looking spiked club.


Our final location of the day is the Ogre Mines which we only introduced earlier this week. Our little band of adventurers has gained some experience by now, and is ready to tackle one of these brutes. The Knights take up positions around the ogre, while the wizard remains at range to lob off a few fireballs. Hovering over an enemy will show a red health bar, and the monster's level. We didn't want to clutter the screen with UI.


Most of the segments in this dev video were produced using our CutScene Manager, giving us control over iTween camera paths, image effects, actors, sound effects, voice over, and world events.

Well, that's it for another month or two. Next update we should be able to unveil the snow mountains, and possibly the coolest characters yet.

#8 Virion   Members   


Posted 10 November 2011 - 12:21 PM

Beautiful graphics. Posted Image

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