CHRISTMAS MEGA-UPDATE!

Ho ho ho! Welcome to the Druidstone development MEGA-UPDATE! As they say, time flies when you’re having fun, but it’s still hard to believe three months(!) have passed since the last blog update. So what have been up to lately? Well, many things, glad you asked!

Druidstone Editor

For instance, we now have a full fledged level editor, which allows us to make much more detailed levels. A year ago, when the game design was more heavily oriented towards procedurally generated content, we thought that we would not need a level editor at all. The levels were supposed to be mostly generated with some manually crafted rooms thrown in. But as development progressed, we felt the need to make more and more hand crafted locations and the need for a proper level editor arose. We will still keep adding new features to the editor, but as it is now, it’s ready for some prime time and we can start making new content with it.

Druidstone editor

Some highlights of the Druidstone editor:

– Seamless integration to the game, so we can start playing the edited level immediately by pressing a button, and also summon up the editor whenever we’re playing the game.

– Tools for quickly painting objects, e.g. trees, plants, grass, on the ground with mouse strokes.

– Heightmap and texture painting tools, including configurable brushes and smoothing.

– Compared to the editor we made for Legend of Grimrock, everything is now much more wysiwyg (what-you-see-is-what-you-get). For example, with the Grimrock editor you couldn’t see the effect of painting dungeon walls on the grid unless you hit the play button. Now we can just paint the walls and you immediately see them.

– Multi-level undo/redo. Pretty basic thing but nonetheless crucial to have.

More monsters!

Apart from the editor we also have made a bunch of new monsters, some of which have been featured in our Twitter feed. Here’s the screenshot of the Basilisk and some others behind the scenes material, in case you have missed them. We’ll probably keep updating Facebook and Twitter more frequently than this blog, so if you’re not already following us on social media and have been missing our updates, you know what to do ūüôā

Basilisk monster concept

The Basilisk in game. Good luck fellas!

Eoten tribesmen

The winter has come to the Menhir Forest!

Oh, and talking about the new content, check out that new location and environment set above that we have been working on. It brings to the game much needed variation to the summery forests and dungeons you have been so far. And as I write this, Juho is already working on yet another completely new environment, which we’ll feature later as the work progresses. As you can probably guess from the screenshot, the world of Druidstone, the Menhir Forest is a magical place with several different kinds of areas with unique feel to them.

Battle music teaser

Some other highlights of development lately are the new outstanding musical masterpieces we have received from Scoring Helsinki. When done properly, the music really is at least half of the soul of any game, and the guys at Scoring Helsinki really know how to pull the right strings (pun intended!) and constantly surprise us with new awesome pieces. Receiving a new music drop from them feel always like opening a christmas present, so we thought it would be proper to share some of the fun with you guys! So enjoy this small glimpse into the musical side of Druidstone. It’s still work in progress, i.e. not fully mastered to the quality of the final version, but here it is, a small teaser of the battle music:

Druidstone battle music teaser

We also have added fourth playable character to the game and it’s unlike any of the other characters we have. But this MEGA-UPDATE is already getting long and the holidays are luring us in with the promises of feasts, winter wonderlands, red fat bearded men, presents and all…

So there you have it! The Druidstone team wishes you an awesome new year and merry winter solstice! See you next year!

Dev update #3

Summer vacations are over and we are working hard on Druidstone!

Before the summer vacation we had quite a productive week. Some of the contributions were already mentioned in the last blog update, but a couple of things did not quite make it to the blog post.

First: we implemented grass rendering. What a difference does it make! My desk is facing away from the window, and of course we keep the window blinds closed like proper geeks do. To calm my nerves and induce lucid dreams of childhood summers in the Finnish forests, I can just stare at the wind blowing through the Menhir forest. Aah, lovely, I can feel my blood pressure dropping!

Second: Petri tweaked the camera angle a bit. It’s not exactly isometric (or axonometric), as it has perspective projection, but the world is now rotated 45 degrees around the vertical axis. This makes it possible to move the camera a bit closer by default, which brings out the detail in our models, making everything look great. But don’t trust just my word for it, see the screenshot down below.

After the vacation, we have introduced a bunch of new monsters, restructured the whole game – acts are gone – and rewritten artificial intelligence. But more about this later!

Cheers,
Jussi

Druidstone Art Pipeline

This is the first post of our of behind the scenes series, where we take a closer look how games are made and what happens under the hood of a game engine.

In game industry art pipeline is the process where an art asset is designed and produced in certain ways and tools so that it is compatible with the game engine and design. I’ll be walking you through the art pipeline we have created for Druidstone and show how the Dark Knight, one of the enemies facing the player was created.

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Introducing Druidstone

All is dark. Your mind is floating in the endless reaches of the great void. Barely visible, mist and dim fading stars in the far distance are the only things you can discern. Then, suddenly something in the darkness stirs… “Your time has not yet come” a deep resonating voice booms. A bright light flashes so intensely that it pierces your mind!

You hear the rustling of autumn leaves. You open your eyes and see an ancient pillar of stone covered in pulsating runes. You are standing in the center of a stone circle in the middle of a clearing somewhere in the Menhir Forest. A woman with skin of purest white steps forward and smiles at you. Her eyes glow blue, like distant galaxies. “What took you so long?”

Welcome to the Druidstone dev blog! This blog is about the development of a fantasy roleplaying game called “Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest” which we have been working on since fall 2016.

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