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Posts Tagged ‘Shadow of a Second Sun’

The world grows

February 23, 2012 1 comment

Well, its been an interesting week. After a tentative start, we completed the tutorial, the main character’s home town, and four overworld levels that connect to it. Currently we are working on Cascade, the first major city, and its become clear that such levels are more time consuming than ‘combat’ levels, due to the amount of content in them. Cascade still needs tiling, NPCs and interior levels.

We also have a new member on the team, an artist by the name of Jackson. He is responsible for the new tiles and sprites we’ll need to illustrate the world and polish it.

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Start line

February 14, 2012 Leave a comment

With the implementation of allied units, neutrals, sentries, checkpoints, shopkeepers and stealth, it looks like most of the programming work is out of the way. As far as worldbuilding goes, the only piece of planning that remains are the faction quests, and these are not immediately required.

With this in mind, we are now beginning implementation of the actual levels used in game. We are dividing this task up into sectors geographically, and chapters chronologically. Following from the start points, we will cover a certain amount of ground and then work on bringing that area up to our standard. In this way, we will proceed leaving playable levels in our wake; levels which should be ‘what you see is what you get’ to allow us to evaluate them effectively as we go.

We begin with the tutorial.

Chronic Backstabbing Disorder

January 22, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve been programming for the past two weeks; trying to get a range of things done relating to the different factions in the game; and the things they will do if you make them your enemy. Basically, there are 3 types of factions; allied, neutral and hostile. Hostile factions will shoot on sight, allied factions will help you fight and let you through their territory. Neutral factions don’t shoot on sight, but they usually don’t let you through their territory either.

To control their unusual behaviour I have implemented checkpoints, lines on the ground that are guarded by neutrals. If you put your toe over the line… Their rage will be as lethal as it is disproportionate. The units that see you (and only those units) will immediately turn hostile. Unless a Sentry sees you. These units have radio antennae and a limited field of view. If they see you, they will call in a dropship and everyone they can contact on the level will turn hostile. Pretty much the same rules apply if you bump off a member of this faction before the eyes of their comrades.

In addition to this, there are sliding scales of Influence for each faction. Piss people off enough and their influence will drop so low that the faction will become hostile. You can usually pay blood money and settle accounts, but it’s expensive.

 

In the course of the game you can do quests for seven of the factions. This will enable you to bring them from neutral to allied, and get some kind of perk. However in the course of your duties as a mercenary you may be called upon to do unto a faction you are ALSO doing quests for. To cover this eventuality, if you are spotted by a sentry somewhere you shouldn’t be, red handed stealing from a faction’s inner sanctum, you get one chance to destroy the evidence (currently a large, boxy ’60s magnetic tape drive). If you exit the level without doing this, you will be blacklisted and the faction you pissed off will be permanently hostile.

I still have to actually produce copies of neutrals for all the enemy types, but the mechanics described above are working correctly.

Game development in the new year

We’re making excellent progress. All mainland sectors have now been mapped out on paper. We are going to double-check them, of course, and do the island sectors. In this revisiting process we are going to finalize the placement of weapons and other hidden goodies and determine where to place fast travel, healing, shops etc…

In addition to this, we have the faction questlines to write, and this is likely to spice up certain areas that are wanting at the moment.

The sectors that we have done since the last post are the Ferrite sector and the Academy sector. The former includes the rust-covered Ferrite Zone, home of the nasty House Gumrak. It also includes a coast road which is patrolled heavily by troop carriers. The Academy sector contains the isolationist House Anvil, who control a large, old impact crater which has been heavily fortified. They are constantly at odds with smugglers coming in from the islands to the south. Then there is Academy itself, a coastal city dedicated to the pursuit of high technology and skyship building.

As for the programming side of things, I’ve created a template neutral trooper. These neutrals will join sides if certain conditions are met, the most important one being if they witness the shooting of a comrade. If the player kills a neutral in side of others of his faction, they will break off and attack, and the player will lose influence with the faction.

A bit of maintenance

Those of you trying to download the demo from the sidebar recently will have noticed that the hosting site dropped the file. It has been re-uploaded with the new frontend graphic and the sum of all the bugfixing that happened in the past half a year or so.

The demo has 22 levels in it and all the weapons in the game are hidden somewhere.  It also has a small miniature dungeon. Why not give it a shot?

 

Here’s a revised poster/title-screen/logo to celebrate having finally come up with a real title.