Dev Update #8

Welcome to Dev Update #8. In case you missed the last Dev Update #7, you can find it here. Today I will talk a bit about my GMTK Game Jam entry the swamp area.

GMTK Game Jam 2021

First I wanted to tell you, that I took part in this year’s GMTK Game Jam with a small little game. You can play it here for free if you are interested. The GMTK Game Jam is a 48-hour game jam with great little games and awesome ideas. I encourage you to check out some of the games, there are some really good ones in the mix.

Guardian of the Synthwave is a small puzzler with a good old synthwave track. The game is nothing too fancy, and definitely not perfect, but I think it is good for some quick fun for a 48-hour project.

Swamp area

But back to Timeless Adventure. I reworked the Swamp area quite a bit. It should now feel more swamp-like with old ruins scattered in (remains from the age of the dwarfs). I also want to rework the sky, which obviously doesn’t fit into this rainy swamp area yet.

Vegetation Shader

I also worked some more on the vegetation shader, which is now more versatile and can be applied to different plants, so that they can all swing in the wind.

Other than that, there was just some under-the-hood stuff going on, where I can’t really show much, since it was mostly code. But in case you wondered, the code is written in GDScript, the native Godot Engine script language, which I really like. It may not be the fastest language, but it is super convenient and not too hard to get the hang of.

I hope you liked this short Dev Update #8. Check out Dev Update #7 in case you missed it and please consider wishlisting the game (big Steam button below).

If you want to learn more you can also follow me on various social media platforms (find all of them here on my website). Thank you and see you next time.

Dev Update #7

Hi to Dev Update #7. If you missed the Dev Update #6, you can find it here. In this Dev Update I will talk a bit about the sound in the game, as well as the updated Wilderness area.

Insight into the development process

I got some feedback, that some of you enjoy the insight into the development process. So, I will try to incorporate it more in the future.

Godot Engine

Godot is the game engine of my choice. Now, I won’t go into too many details here. I will just say, that the way one works with Godot is quite unique and I really like it. Plus it is completely open-source with an awesome community which is also a major advantage in my books. It is a really powerful tool, that gives you unmatched flexibility, even compared to the top dogs on the market, since 100% of the game engine itself is customizable. If you yourself are a dev and hear about Godot the first time, make sure that you check it out here!

Godot - Dev Update #7

Sound Design

Sound Design plays a major role in every game, even more than most people think. Ever played a horror game without sound? Pff, suddenly it is for babies. Some epic boss battle without sound? Well, it is not really epic anymore, is it? No matter the game, the sound is very important. Still don’t believe me? Well just think of a game you used to play a lot in the past. Now go and look at some screenshots. Does the nostalgia hit? Well maybe a little, but not so much. Probably looks kinda outdated at this point. Then go and play that title screen music or some other iconic track. What about now? Chances are, you would want to stop reading this Dev Update and start up the game right now.

So, I don’t consider myself to be an expert, but I understand how important sound is, and I give it extra attention. I have a few different sound sources at any given point in the game. For example here in the harbor: These colored sound sources are 3D sounds, and depending on how close you are, they will change in intensity. Green would be Seagulls doing their thing, red is the jarring of the ship and blue would be waves in this example. Then there is also the background music, where every area has its own (hopefully fitting) track. Additionally, there will be smaller sound effects, as you interact with the world, objects, and characters in the game.

You can check out this video, to see how it works together in this scene:

Now, it is not perfect nor final yet and I still plan to polish it up, but I think is not too shabby either.

Wilderness overhaul

I also made a general overhaul of the Wilderness area. It got a lot tenser in terms of trees and bushes and starts to look like a deep forest, which is what I am going for.

Dev Update #7

As I said in the last Dev Update, don’t mind the rainbow, I don’t plan to keep it in the game.

Dev Update #7

Most details are still missing, I will add them later down the road.


Well, hopefully, you liked Dev Update #7. Check out Dev Update #6 in case you missed it and please consider wishlisting the game (big Steam button below), it would help me out a lot.

If you want to hear more you can also follow me on various social media platforms (find all of them here on my website).

Dev Update #6

Welcome to Dev Update #6. Not too long ago, I released a demo. I got some very good feedback, and so my focus was on implementing most of the points mentioned in the feedback. I am currently revamping all of the areas. Also, if you missed the Dev Update #5, you can find it here.

Demo

If you haven’t already, feel free to check out the demo. I got some very useful suggestions (thanks to anyone, who submitted feedback) and already implemented some of them. At some point in the future, I plan to also update the demo with the changes of course.

Check out the demo trailer if you haven’t and you can download the demo here:

Some of the Changes

Controls

One of the main criticism was the controls. So I reworked and improved them. You can now play the game with just the left hand on the keyboard. But, if you don’t like that, you will be able to assign your own custom input keys for any given action in the future.

Gameplay

Some feedback pointed gameplay improvements out (like starting to walk after animation, when a button is pressed during animation, and such things), which I also implemented (most of them). Still a lot of room for improvement, but anyways.

Options

I also implemented more settings in the options menu. For example, you can now choose to use V-Sync, which also fixes the frame rate to the frame rate of your monitor.

I also added far distance blur to the game, which looks nice in my opinion, but if you don’t like it, you will be able to turn it off or tweak the strength of it. And anti-aliasing is also added to the game

The audio options still need some tweaking, though.

Options

Sound

I at some point have to rework how the sound fades between the areas since it is a bit buggy at the moment. For now, I added some new tracks and effects to the game. Check out the Harbour area:

Intro

I made the first version of the intro cutscene. Even though I don’t want to let too many cutscenes interfere with the gameplay, I plan to make a couple of cutscenes throughout the game to set and progress the story.

Area overhaul

Most of the areas still need some work, but they are getting there. I currently focus on improving the general look and feel of the different areas, and also how they differentiate themselves from each other. Have a look:

Harbor

Some minor changes to the harbor with a few of the characters added in. Also, the ships are now moving and jarring in the water.

Dev Update #6

City

A lot of work went into the city, with a lot revamped and details added. I also added some of the characters. It is not finished, but I like where this is going.

Dev Update #6

Slums

The slums / outer city got a completely new look. Still not finished though, characters and the details are missing as well as some rearrangements will be made in the future. I hope you prefer it over the old style though (you can find a screenshot of the old style here).

Dev Update #6

Farms

The farm area got minor tweaks, also I might remove the rainbow at some point since the kingdom is not such a happy place after all ;).

Dev Update #6

Posting time schedule

One thing I want to mention is that I plan to make updates and posts more regular. Not necessarily more frequent, since it takes a lot of time away from development to do this stuff, but at least more regularly. So, I want to make a Dev Update every month and post on social media once a week.


OK, I hope you liked Dev Update #6 and until next time. Check out Dev Update #5 if you missed it and please consider wishlisting the game (big Steam button below), it would mean a lot to me.

You can follow me here or on TwitterInstagram, or various other social media platforms (find all of them here on my website).

Timeless Adventure: A Journey to Begin Demo

The past weeks I worked on finishing the Demo for Timeless Adventure: A Journey to Begin. I am happy to let you know, that the Demo is now live and you can download and play it for free!

I also made a little trailer for the demo:

Play the first three areas in Timeless Adventure: A Journey to Begin Demo

Puzzle your way through the first three areas.

You start your journey in the deep prisons of the Kind Queen…

Timeless Adventure: A Journey to Begin Demo

Search a path out of the old caves…

Timeless Adventure: A Journey to Begin Demo

And check out the smuggler camp on the beach.

Timeless Adventure: A Journey to Begin Demo

If you like it, please wishlist the game and follow me on social media for future updates.

Download the Demo on the Steam store page:

Dev Update #5

For Dev Update #5 the focus was on optimization, a new area, the water shader, and some minor (but nonetheless important) improvements.

Optimization

So there was quite some stuff going on under the hood this time around. Even though the game should not be too taxing anyway, now stuff only gets drawn, whenever it can be visible to the player. Everything else will not be drawn, which results in a much better performance.
Also, there were lots and lots of code optimization, which should help going forward.

Farmlands

This area will be another one you will visit in your adventures. The quiet farmlands are located right outside of the city and due to the very good soil, a lot of the food for the city is produced here. The land itself of course is owned by the Kind Family. Only selected families are allowed to rent the land, and the farmers are hardly more than the necessary workforce, needed to harvest the crop. Still, one can be far worse off, so most of them are actually quite happy.

Farmlands - Dev Update #5

Water Shader

Unlike the sea-water shader (which still needs some tweaking), I am really happy with how this water shader turned out.

Minor improvements

Some of the minor improvements are improved camera panning and overall camera smoothness. Also, light dimming between areas was improved

Release Date

Unfortunately, the release date will be moved back to 2021. There is still too much work to do.

All right, hope you liked Dev Update #5 and to see you next time. Check out Dev Update #4 if you missed it!
Don’t forget to wishlist and follow me on Twitter or Instagram.

Dev Update #4

For this Dev Update #4, I wanted to talk a little about the input methods I implemented, how interactions work in the game, and introduce one more area to you. In case you missed the last one, here is the Dev Update #3.

Input

For Timeless Adventure I plan to support a wide array of input methods. The primary input method will be the keyboard. Even though it is a Point&Click-like adventure game, I want the player to slip into the role of the protagonist. So you will control the protagonist directly like for example in Grim Fandango, rather than indirectly via mouse-clicks like in Monkey Island for example. Due to that, input via a gamepad will be also very good supported. But I also implemented support for mouse-only input.

It will not be Point&Click, but rather clicking to the left will move the protagonist to the left, clicking to the right will move him to the right. For interactions there will be buttons on the bottom of the screen, which will be there anyway, to show the player the possible interactions with the character/item. I might consider a more Point & Click-like approach for mouse input if people really want that. But for now, I think it works very well.

Dev Update #4

Interactions

So the protagonist can interact with a variety of different characters, items, and generally things in the environment. If you come across something you can interact with, up to 3 interactions will be available to you. Most of the time you will be able to inspect the current object, to learn more about it. Or if you stand in front of a character, for example, you will be able to possess that character. Or you may be able to open a door, pick up an item, cast a spell on a dragon, etc.

Dev Update #4

Possible interactions show up like this:

The Slums

The Slums are situated at the edge of the city. This is where mostly two types of people end up: has-been adventurers, who blew all their found loot on Crystals Tears and fancy ladies and so-called Outcasts, whom the permission to make any kind of transactions in the city was taken from by the Kind Queen, because of something they did, or something they said.

Dev Update #4

Well then, Until next time, and don’t forget to wishlist and follow me on Twitter or Instagram

The Slums

The Slums are situated at the edge of the city. This is where mostly two types of people end up: has-been adventurers, who blew all their found loot on Crystals Tears and fancy ladies and so-called Outcasts, whom the permission to make any kind of transactions in the city was taken from by the Kind Queen, because of something they did, or something they said.

Dev Update #3

This is the Dev Update #3 for Timeless Adventure: A Journey to Begin. In case you missed it, here is the Dev Update #2.

My focus was still on implementing and coming up with more Puzzles. The negative part about this is, that there is not much to show you. The positive part is, that the puzzles are the meat and bones of the game, and I better put some work into them.

Different Actions

I also implemented a few more actions.
So far the available actions are:

  • Possess characters and animals
  • interact with the world
  • pick up, place, and craft items
  • combine items in your inventory
  • use items in your inventory
  • examine items in your inventory
  • take items from containers

City

Another area in the game will be the City: A vibrant hub for adventurers and merchants. And, of course, the main export destination for pulverized Crystal Tears. In order to ensure a frictionless distribution of the officially illegal substance, bribe money is allocated generously.

Timeless Adventure: The City, Dev Update #3

Fire shader

Even though I made the fire shader already some time ago, I wanted to share it again here in this Dev Update:

It is simple, efficient, and I think it fits the style quite well, so I am pretty happy with the fire. (In the video it seems to flicker, but that is just because I was/am bad at recording videos). It is more fluid irl ;).

What’s next

The puzzles will take some more time to implement and also a lot more time to polish. But at the moment I want to focus on implementing more areas in the following weeks and on fleshing them out.

I hope you liked the Dev Update #3 and check back for the next one.
In the meantime, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter or Instagram, and wishlist here: