Wednesday 21 September 2011

Folk Tale WIP Update 1

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.

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.