The sick of Winter, what’s up Update

In our neck of the woods Winter continues to make itself comfortable. This week in particular has been nothing but snow, snow, and more snow. Weekly updates are the goal, but not every update can be super flashy.

So let’s do a bit of a progress report. Some highlights:

We are still in alpha. Combat is working as intended, testing continues.Story Scenes are working as intended, testing and integration of dialogue text continues.
HUD/GUI designs are coming together well.
Nearly all Churble animations are complete and most have tested successfully in Unity.
Puffs and elementals will be the next animation libraries to be integrated and tested.
Voice actors are locked in.
Dedicated writer is on staff cranking out materials for future episodes of the game.
Backur created content has all been designed, though a few still need to modeled/textured

So why is this all taking so long?

Well it’s big. and our team is small. Making a game in 3D requires so much more work than a 2D game. Designs are made, models built, rigs built, tested, tweaked, and attached, UV’s laid out, textures painted, shaders built, skins bound, and animations created frame by frame, tested, tweaked, and on and on. Our heroes are non standard bipeds so using a prefab animation system wouldn’t work, everything is made “from scratch.” And this isn’t a 3D platformer or brawler, it’s an RPG. The combat has numbers, crunching, everywhere. It’s massive and we are at the core a dozen crazy people doing our damndest to make this happen. Thankfully we all of you we don’t feel so alone!

Some sort of time frame?

We will be hitting up one or more conventions this summer, and our intention is to be in beta or beyond by that point. Beyond would be spectacular. We are not looking at Steam’s Early Access system, but Royal Guard backurs will essentially be enjoying that benefit once play testing (beyond our dev team) begins. While we understand excitement and frustration regarding delays, there are infinity amazing games and experiences to enjoy while you wait, and often, waiting is worth it.

Engine News:

For those keeping track, we are working in Unity 4, and Unity 5 was released this past week. Currently we do not have plans to switch over to Unity 5 despite it’s awe inspiring, mind blowing greatness, but for those of you working on your own projects or hoping to start, it’s definitely a cool engine to jump into. Or.. you could look into Unreal 4 which is now Free (in a share your profits sort of way). Anyways! Enough update for one Friday. We’ll sign off with this lovely art from J8d http://j8d.deviantart.com/

Pros and Cons of each engine from my experience:

Unreal Engine 4

+ Simple to use
+ Intuitive
+ Good layout
+ Importing is easy
+ Scripting was a breeze
+ Matinee is easy to use
+ Templates available if needed

- Graphically intensive so potential overheating and lag issues
- Have to go through two other interfaces to load up engine
-  Can sometimes feel clunky, thick yellow lines when selecting objects etc.


+ Importing is VERY easy (drag and drop)
+ Scripting was also easy once you knew the basics
+ Had the ability to select individual components of imported models

- Could not work out how to turn light off by default, couldn’t find option in settings, had to work around this by transporting the object when triggered instead of activating.
- Seems much more basic than other engines
- Despite it’s basic appearance, it appeared to take a while to load up level preview when the “play” button is pressed.

Cry Engine

+ Easy to test level at any point (ctrl+g)
+ Fantastic for natural/outdoor scenes
+ Lightweight program, no install

- Importing is complicated
- Texturing is odd, seems non-intuitive
- Crashes frequently (three times for me
- Had issue creating triggers / Program glitches
- Copy and paste is messy, strange controls after paste where the copy only follows a specific X, Y or Z.
- Movement of multiple objects is messy. Individual movement arrows for all.
- Interface more complicated than it needs to be


+ Scripting was easy once you knew where things were
+ Simple to use once you know how
+ Matinee is easy to use

- Collisions do not exist by default for imported objects
- Menus can feel cluttered and are sometimes hard to navigate
- Controls are slightly different… “F” does not focus on objects but toggles fog on/off.
- Object movement, scaling and rotation has to be activated by clicking on the buttons on the interface. No shortcut keys. 
Scaling is separated into two different tools, Uniform and Non-Uniform scaling. Is this really necessary?