As I mentioned before, I wanted to drop more screenshots and game information here before anywhere else. I value what you all have to say about projects, and I feel that this place is largely the reason I'm even into game development, so I want to keep in in the family, so to speak.
So, here's some screenshots showing off more of the project I've been working on, along with some info about what you're seeing. Keep in mind, these are pre-alpha, so you're gonna see a lot of unfinished stuff and repeating assets. I've been mainly focusing on systems and game design, though I'm finally tipping over the edge into actual content development.
The game is a top-down open world RPG focused on real-time combat and exploration. The primary inspirations for this game are Diablo, Dota and to some degree, Hotline Miami. Though, nowhere near the pace of Hotline.
Above you see the player hovering over an NPC as she fishes. That NPC runs a shop in the first town where she sells fish. I've been putting a lot of focus into making things feel alive to some degree, so NPCs go about their daily business with or without you. She heads to the river during the day, and to home at night. Her stock refills over time, giving you a chance to get more of that sweet sweet fish for a nice health boost.
The dots in the river animate to show the flow of water. Water flow is taken into account in multiple ways, one of which can be seen if an item falls into a river. The item will flow down the river, unless it hits some blocker.
As I posted previously, speech is a big deal in this game. Complex speech trees allow for a less static feeling world. Here, an NPC named Daniel is trying to convince the player to join in a heist of sorts. This is actually one of the few quests built out so far. The player has conversation options to request more information before agreeing or declining.
The speech view is also used for reading books, which are heavily relied on for giving a sense of history to the world. One of the main themes in the game is literature. More on that soon.
Can't have a fighting system without abilities. In the game, you play as an "arcane," a wizard of sorts that can study across four schools of magic: Elemental, Light, Dark and Psychic. This screen is the opening screen of your spellbook, allowing you to choose which school's spells to browse.
When you kill an enemy, they will drop experience shards based on the school of magic you used to kill them. Collecting these shards levels up that school of magic, but subsequently makes it more difficult to learn the other schools. This forces you to choose: do you want to go full on in one school? Split your time across two? You can't have it all. What kind of mage will you be?
As you level up a school, you unlock spells, both active and passive. You can equip up to 4 active spells, and as many passives as you have passive slots. Passive slots unlock as you progress through the main game as a reward for progress.
Elemental spells control things like fire, water and earth. They are largely projectile based and straightforward. Light spells invoke the heavens, allowing you to target specific points, though the spells tend to have a delay. Psychic spells are generally closer combat, and focus on controlling the forces around you and the minds of enemies. Dark spells call upon the forces of demons and spirits. If you misuse them, you'll pay with your health. Luckily, a dark passive allows you to heal as long as you collect dark experience.
Here, I have equipped one of the Psychic passives, which lets me read the minds of NPCs and enemies to find weaknesses. This man in town is "afraid of the dark." Loser.
Also to note here, he is the town historian, and thus the place where I can save. As I mentioned before, literature is a big theme here. Saving the game involves making your mark in history. Being written about, carving your name into a tree, impressing scholars who are writing dissertations, and more. When you die, you'll be told what the last known writing about you was, giving you a chance to start again from that point.
Here is an example of the player under attack from an enemy called "drones." These are bee-like enemies who buzz around you, shooting projectiles now and then.
In this screenshot, I'm on the verge of death. Turns out I actually did die after taking it. Woops.
Finally, a shot of the game at "night." As I mentioned earlier, NPCs go about their daily activities. In this world, days are 20 hours long. After sunset, the world begins to go dark, save for anywhere that has a light source. At midnight, it is completely black besides light sources. This makes it very dangerous to be out in the fields at this time.
The lighting system is very basic on purpose. I originally put effort into making walls block light and everything, but it felt too "advanced" for how the rest of the game works. Maybe I'll go back on that sometime, but I like the old-school feel of placing down a torch somewhere (an item you can take with you for adventuring at night) and seeing something beyond a wall or trees that piques my interest. It happened by accident with the old system, and I loved it, so I just let it ride.
You'll notice in the top left corner, a clock and calendar date. As the game progresses, the days go on. The calendar is unique to this world, a 3-season, 9-month calendar based on the trends of farmers.
I'm very excited about how all of this is coming along. There's so much more I could talk about, but I'll save that for when I actually get the game's website up and running, which I'm targeting for getting up in the next couple of months. It's been really busy for me recently, so I haven't gotten a lot done, but I'm excited to get back at it.
Looking forward to hearing what y'all think. I may be reaching out for playtesters down the line, so feeling for interest there as well.