Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Folk Tale Dev Blog 15

by Simon Dean, Project Lead

The last fortnight has been all about the graveyard content kit and starting the work of integrating all the component parts that make up the Sandbox Foundation Layer. For the sandbox tower-defense mini-game ( designed to test siege mechanics ) we wanted an area of the map to coax players out from behind their walls to seek out useful treasure that would help extend survival. The mini-game makes extensive use of the Grassland Kit, so we needed a Point Of Interest that could use most of that kit while feeling quite a bit different with the addition of new props, ambient lighting tweaks, and monsters. With Undead monsters trending in the Favorite Monsters forum topic, graveyards being a human construction with a good fit to the human village that you'll be protecting, and finally Halloween approaching, a Graveyard Kit made a lot of sense.

Content Kit - Graveyard

The Graveyard Kit adds a set of props designed to work well with the Grassland Kit. With a little creativity and a handful of props ( see image below ), it will be easy to create a great looking location.

Graveyard Kit Sample


Characters

While environment props set the picture, what really brings a location alive and tells a story are characters and monsters. With both the Necromancer and Skeleton trending in the favorite monster forum topic, we promoted them into production and brought them to life.

Necromancer



Undead Skeleton Warrior


Visual Effects - Special Abilities

Necromancers use dark magic to bind the dead to their will. Developing visual effects for special abilities begins with a concept illustration and notes of what we want to achieve. Effects need to sit within a consistent fx theme for the character that includes color, matter, and props. Undead visual effects make use of a haunting green color. It's not vibrant green because we've reserved that for poison effects; nor is it blue/purple to avoid being lost in the blue of night time. The Necromancer animates the dead, so we make extensive use of skulls and bones, as well as unholy flames.

Moving into production, we break down the effect composition into parts and create grayscale textures that will be color tinted and animated at run-time. Many effects can be setup as a one-shot time-based effect without needing additional scripting. For more advanced effects we can write custom scripts to introduce paths and object spawning, or write custom shaders to achieve certain effects like warping the screen to achieve a blastwave effect. After a lot of tweaking and performance testing to make sure the effect doesn't kill the frame rate, we record a video to use as a reference during sound design.

Sound Design


Sound effects are created by layering individual sounds that contribute distinct aspects to the final sound. For example a low frequency reverse-swooshing sound can provide the build up to an explosion of energy sound. Being spells, we can hint at the magical nature with high frequency sparkling sounds, and add in a dash of the skeletons that are being summoned by replicating bone snapping and movement. Individual sounds are either licensed from larger commercial libraries, or recorded from scratch using an assortment of strange sources. For example, the sound of snapping bones can be replicated by breaking sticks of celery close to the microphone.

The final effect can be seen in the cinematic video below starting at 0'28".

Bringing It All Together - Our Mini Cinematic

With our environment designed, characters positioned, ambient lighting setup, and visual effects at the ready, we can record a couple of video snippets to combine together into a short sequence. Other than cross-fading between clips, no other editing has been done to the visuals; it's raw footage captured straight out of the engine running on ultra graphics.









Featured Icon



Non-Halloween Work

Additional work has been done on sandbox code and content. The Human Smelt building is now finished and work started on the three tiers of the Human Cottage, and in programming we're busy pulling all the code together for update 0.2 which will be the Location Editor Preview.

27 comments:

  1. Its great to see you guys keeping us posted. Can't wait for the next update!!

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  2. Love it, keep it up guys!!

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  3. Will this game have any sore of multiplayer?

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    1. Folk Tale is a 100% single player game.

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    2. Is this set in stone, or will multiplayer be a possibility if requested by enough of the community?

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    3. It's something we'll be considering post-release depending on how commercially successful the game is.

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    4. I would love to see the necromancer as a hero and villain with starting abilities ranging from conjuring skeletons, to even turning villagers into werewolves or other underworld type creatures, and creating devious plagues to make those poor monks work even harder, it would also be unique if the necromancer as a villain didn't just attack the village but other monsters and factions around region which brought about hordes of undead with unique loot and harder larger creatures with a chance for epic loot.

      As necromancers are my favourite class in many games I am interested in seeing how this develops in folktale.

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    5. necromancers create undead. werewolves, and other "were" species, are not undead.

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  4. Lovely update, nice to see you guys working on different elements. Sounds are coming along well too! Awesome colour palette too on that graveyard.

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  5. cant wait for the next update

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  6. Kavista

    Looks fantastic! Amazing job as always. Will necro be a character we can play or just a monster to kill?

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    1. We've made the Necro as a human so that we have the option to make them a hero that you can hire.

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    2. That'd be fantastic - Necromancers are a class I really enjoy being able to "play".

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    3. Phew, I was just about to go to the forums and write paragraphs upon paragraphs(length being extremely dramatized) as to why this should be a controllable hero. Glad you guys are doing that :)!

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  7. i hope you all unlock part of the sand box for tho have pre bought the game soon :D

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  8. This looks amazing guys, can't wait for the 0.2 update

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  9. Very nice work.. Cant wait for new update and for whole game to be ready.. So hard to just sit and wait for new content for game :P. Again nice job.

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  10. Very Nice. Did you happen to fix the part where attempting to save locks up game and requires a restart? Maybe that would be better than new updates that can't be played because we can't get to it all in one session.
    Still, I like the game, such as it is.
    Regards.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Robert. If you haven't already can you raise a bug in the Bug Reporting sub-forum at http://steamcommunity.com/app/224440/discussions/1/ please? And then email your save game that is causing the problem to techsupport@gamesfoundry.com so that we can try to recreate the problem. Cheers.

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  11. I think a multiplayer option is very needed (eventually, as you said post-release, or maybe just before the release). Cause if there is one village on the map, there can be another and the clash between them can as well be done. (I don't think it's that hard to place 2 villages on one map). But that would need more space to build villages (To have clashes more epic than 5 on 5). Hope you'll consider it. As for everything else, hope you continue your efforts and forge it into a really nice game.

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  12. I personally don't like to nag and annoy people who are working hard on something, but any new news on the game? You guys are doing a great job, cheers.

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  13. Well... Many Blogs and Promises but no Update of the Game yet. I hope really that this Game will be as good as the Developer say it will be. Because everytime i see "Folk Tale" in my Steam-List i see a Dead Game at the moment. Stay crunchy.

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  14. I purchased the early access to this game and yet since the purchase I can only play the tutorial portion. Am I missing something???

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    Replies
    1. Thats cause thats all thats ready. Read the description and notes on steam ;)

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  15. I think its great idea you to have necromancers and dark theme heroes and maybe dark theme towns later.

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