Getting into Icewatergames’ Eidolon, a post-human survival game with no explanation, just exploration. The hunger for finding diary entries on character accounts to this lonely paradise drives you through a solitary adventure as you hunt and collect food for survival, tinder to build fires to warm yourself, and discover a strange tale behind it all. If you thought finding evidence of human life would comfort you, you’ll find that it’s an entirely strange and archaic experience altogether.
If you haven’t already purchased your copy, here’s the link. The lands are vast and the soundtrack plays well over your lonesome trek through this stylistically minimalist world.
New area art from the game Even the Ocean. More info, design philosophy, windows demo - eventheocean.com ask.fm/eventheocean
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Dynamic platforming and exploration come together in Even the Ocean. You are Aliph the Repairwoman, moving through beautifully designed platformer-style landscapes. Hit up their website for the demo and get immersed in this unique 2D platformer!
Gloomwood is a first-person adventure game set in a dark, procedural Victorian city. The game has some rogue-like elements (death will reset the city and all its inhabitants), but is altogether more focused on atmospheric/narrative elements than purely goal-based.
The cloaked denizens of Gloomwood wander the streets in various masks. Each type reflects the kind of behavior the denizens exhibits: the constable searches for criminal activity (but can be bribed), the doctor sells various apothecarial solutions, the priest heals those who have done no evil (and sometimes can also be bribed). Some denizens of the same type are non-hostile, others not so much.
When combat does happen, it’s quick and dangerous. A knife drawn from a cloak to cut your throat. Games can end quickly by venturing into the wrong crowd.
My intention has always been to create places that are interesting to explore for their own sake - without the need of quest objectives or markers. From the start, I’m just dropping the player off on a dock and letting them explore the city in its entirety, without any form of gating or key-hunting.
This looks insanely fun. As the industry moves forward, procedurally-generated level design (and sometimes other modular elements) becomes more prominent. We’re telling a story about a time we played a game that perhaps no one else in the world experienced when playing due to the randomly generated game content. We anxiously await a chance to play Gloomworld!
Stardust — A 3D top-down sci-fi space exploration game by Pascal and me. It is a small two man side project for now. The game is in early state and will be released in late 2015. While working on Proven Lands, I’ve been in touch with Pascal who backed our Kickstarter campaign. After a few tons of crazy mails exchanges about sci-fi, space exploration and influences like Alien and Outland, we became friends and decided to do a small space exploration game together. We just love Alien, Starflight and games with a sense of exploration, danger and wonder. Check Pascal’s Patreon page where he’s showing some Stardust art too.
This project has some incredible art so far. However just a side project set to be released further into the future, you can check out their current project Proven Lands, a sci-fi sandbox survival game that’s been Greenlit on Steam!
A couple of WIP screenshots and concept art for Beacon, showing our protagonist and a couple of the environments we’re currently working on.
Beacon [Working Title]
An upcoming top-down action-adventure game set in a randomly-generated level structure consisting of planet surfaces and synthetic structures. The style alone speaks volumes for the abilities of this brilliant team, and glimmers with same dark charisma of Dan McPharlin’s moody sci-fi art.
You will be stranded on a dangerous planet, stuck looking for parts to restore the distress beacon as your only hope of leaving this place. Should you die in this game, your consequence is beginning from the start, losing your weapons and items. Though this isn’t entirely a punishment because the team has included a system of consistency to preserve the continuity of the game. When you die, the DNA of your character is stored in your downed ship and then spliced with your respawned self, resulting in potential mutations or altered character stats. An absolutely brilliant twist to player death consequence in gaming, another element of forward thinking in game development.
Final polish, pickup & testing of the AI begins today.
Near everything is in place, but now we go through it with a fine comb. Making sure that it is as robust as can be, adding in some flair on top of the core functionality.
The heart of the AI is a hybrid state/modular system. A rigid state machine defines the core awareness states - unaware, suspicious, searching and aware. Surrounding that, we have a fluid system of modules handling input and output. How things are interpreted based upon context, how states are put into practice.
If a door opens, who do we think is opening it? Does the AI know that there’s an intruder, or do they assume that it’s just another guard?
We’re doing a task. How many of us are doing the task? Would I be better placed elsewhere? Should I tell someone to do the task in place of me?
Is my patrol path the best one? Based upon what has happened, should I alter it to guard other areas? The door that was left open, I should probably keep an eye on it.
It’s a somewhat complicated & semi-intricate system, but the general holistic approach was to define intended reactions. What must definitely happen under this circumstance, what must definitely happen under that circumstance. Then allow the system to interpolate & incorporate other reactions, behavior and knowledge in to that.
This is the kind of next generation thinking we need in game development. The developers have a firm grasp on the concepts of bridging the gap between game elements and real life interfacing with the player. There’s a dark seed that’s been planted here and there’s no doubt that it will grow into something deeply disturbing, yet awesome altogether.