Friday, 27 September 2013

Folk Tale Dev Blog 13

In the middle of September we welcomed two new artists to the team, funded directly by your support in buying the game during Early Access. Both artists have hit the ground running and we are already feeling the increase in momentum. In today's blog I'm able to share some of the new monsters being worked on. We'll save the environment art for a bigger feature in a future blog.

Save/Load System

As game players Save/Load is something we all take for granted and just expect to work. There's nothing glitzy about it. When it works, nobody talks about it. But when it doesn't, all hell breaks loose in the support forums. If you've followed development you'll know it's taking a while to deliver.

This weekend ( 28th September ) we're having a final push. If all goes well, towards the end of the weekend we'll be providing an opt-in release candidate to members of the community wishing to help test load/save. While the 300+ test cases should have caught most bugs, there's probably a few we've missed. It seems prudent with a complex function to provide a release candidate before pushing out the main update to the broader community.

I'll post instructions on how to access the release candidate build in the forum as well as posting the link here once it becomes available.

UPDATE: Instructions for accessing the test build can be found at:

UPDATE: is now available via automatic update for both PC and Mac.

Location Editor / Tower Defense Mini-Game

Work is progressing well on the mini-game ( which for those visiting the blog for the first time will be an incremental release designed to test sandbox siege mechanics ). In the video below you'll see the Trebuchet targeting system in action tied in with the animations.

I get excited watching these progress videos because of the ideas they trigger, for example wouldn't it be great to be in charge of a human castle, slogging it out with a goblin fort on an opposite hill, with a ground battle happening in the grass planes between. Perhaps when we produce more goblin environmental assets we'll improve the mini-game and use it to test larger battle mechanics to see how far we can push things. Before that though the priority will be to produce the kits for the biomes in the Tutorial so that we can migrate the tutorial to sandbox tech asap, as well as the first dungeon kits that will be used in major release 0.4.

Concept Art

While we wait for the outcome of the community poll on your favorite cannon-fodder and boss monsters ( please share your opinion! ) we're developing several to help us define the environments you'll encounter in the world.

For major release 0.4 we'll be working on the subterranean levels beneath The Old Forge found in the Tutorial. The first stage of that dungeon will be the Dwarven City, then the Mines, and into the cave networks that lead down into the darker more demonic levels.

For the caves we're introducing Morlock, a primitive subterranean dweller introduced in H.G.Wells 1895 book Time Machine. The Morlock and their Shadow Warden pets ( working title ) live in the dank and dark recesses of the world. Morlock attack with their razor-sharp claws, and are able to see in the dark ( their glowing eyes and luminescent skin spots will give them away in the shadows ).

We're also developing a couple of character concepts to help visualize the desert environment. As well as nomadic bandits ( coming in a future blog, and a popular mob in the forum questionnaire ) we are creating a race of scorpion-kin; half scorpion half mummified humanoids.

Each biome will also have animals that we are more familiar with. For the desert we have the pack hunting Hyena. Whether players choose to make these pets of the nomadic bandits, or independent hunting packs, will be totally up to you: it's your world design after all.

For the sandbox tower-defense mini-game ( designed to test siege mechanics ) we needed a monster allied to the goblins that could be used to pound on your city walls, as well as serving as a boss on the battlefield. Given the goblins in Folk Tale are most at home in swampland, we've designed a colossus Swamp Beast. It's final height is to be determined, but at this stage we hope it can be 2-3 times the height of a human. It's going to have a large pool of health, and should pose a real challenge when they appear on the battlefield. It will also enable us to test telegraphed special moves, providing you with time to move your troops out of harms way before a power attack lands.

On to buildings, we've revisited several in the tutorial that only had a single tier of advancement designed. We also need to migrate them to the architectural styling we're developing in sandbox.

Art Assets

The Stables concept art has been brought to life in 3D ( also the reason horses are making an appearance ). The Stables fill a variety of purposes, including training mounted Cavalry units, and producing manure used in the crafting of Gunpowder ( requiring the Apothecary building, night water from the Cesspit, and sulfur harvested from volcanic regions ).


Horse Riding uses the same quadruped skeleton we use for the deer featured in the previous blog. It's easy for riding to look bad in games, so we're taking extra care to get it right. We've used a male peasant placeholder until we have the mounted Cavalry unit. Cavalry wield a sword and shield and charge into combat, hacking and slashing at opponents to devastating effect. However, you'll need to choose your targets carefully. Much like goblin cavalry are best defended against with the long polearms of the City Watch, goblins will have their own equivalent unit to counter human cavalry.

Remember our Morlock concept from earlier? We've modeled, textured and animated the cannon-fodder version. Our monster character shader was been extended with emissive texture support so that luminescent eyes and skin markings can glow in the dark. Once we've completed the caves environment these guys should look great hiding in the shadows ready to ambush. We've simulated those conditions by varying the directional lighting level in the video below.

Featured Icon

Rather than post a number of small icons as before, each blog we'll choose one of the icons we've been working on and take a more detailed look at it's role in the game, how it's collected or crafted, and what it can be used for.

That concludes our latest dev blog. Thanks for following and supporting the game throughout development. There's some really great content being worked on, and it's a real pleasure to work with a supportive community that shares our excitement for the game's future. Be sure to pop back in a fortnight's time to see the Swamp Beast brought to life.