Aug 27, 2009

So much to do with so little effort...

I am definitely going to release a VFX override after this campaign for general use. Just to override the boring same old every day spells. There is so much that can be done in little 10 minute efforts.

Picture the earthquake spell for examble (or any AOE knock down spell). You could have the bigbys fist graphic show up, do its open handed down ward slam animation. Except you could have two fists appear and slam the ground as the initiation of the earthquake.

I've already reenvisioned popular low level effects and here is some more visuals:

Mage Armor - The key here is to update the spell without making it look too fantastic and therefore more powerful than it is. I've opted for rotating columns to give the impression of magical defenses at work.

Fireball - Everyone knows magic fire is green. If you don't you need to watch more obscure 80's tv shows. Either way there are way too many stock orange fire explosion vfx in game. It needed a change.

Bull's Strength - pour that sugar on me mr giant fist!

As a more concrete statement on where Islander stands; I am in the final area (3 of 3) of the final dungeon of chapter 2. I have to put in some landscaping and some interactions and one big cutscene and well... it's done. Polish and two optional quests will be added later but it will be a stand alone, playable 2 chapter campaign at that point and the testing calls will begin.

Aug 26, 2009

Alpha close in sight...

(click image for high res - full size view)

Well it looks like I might actually have enough "game" to make a late alpha test of both chapters 1 and 2. Some optional content will be missing, but there should be more than enough to qualify as a functioning stand alone campaign.

I've been keeping with the spell effects touch ups as promised, and am still learning more things that can be done. Check out the new bull strength vfx! I'll half to flip the other fist over somehow, but I think you can get the idea.

Aug 20, 2009

More sizzle, less fizzle

It occurred to me that the whole of the game, both in original expansions and other provided modules, is relatively repetitive and with little variety. Talk, fight, buy stuff, fight, fight, talk.

And frankly that was perfect, if done just exactly right, like in Infinity engine games. However, despite the temptation to skip all scripting and lay down some mundane time absorbing dungeons to fill out my campaign, I have had good success with quick and easy scripting that didn't require outside help. And with it, a change from the standard options of "fight or die". Indeed, for some areas in the 2nd chapter, fighting is an option that cannot succeed (although still provided :) ).

Picture if you will, running your party across narrow planks as a plague of insects runs hot at your heels, and should they catch you, you will be covered in an instant and devoured. Too numerous to fireball into oblivion (and well, before you even have fireball powers), your other option is to jump into a whirlpool in a dark, seemingly shallow water pool, wi th the full weight of your armor pinning you for certain under the water...

If you can't picture it, it's here.
It doesn't do the area justice, but that just saves more for the game.

God willing this project will be ready for testing by September, since I certainly won't have time after.