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Update by Adam Brennecke, Executive Producer and Lead Programmer

This month we are knee-deep in the Vertical Slice phase and this will be the team's focus for the month of June. It's our way of proving that we are ready to jump forward into production and start making shippable content.

The Vertical Slice is just that, a cross section (think of it as a slice of bread cut out from the middle of a loaf) of the world of Project Eternity. At the end of this phase the game will be feature complete, and the content building portion of the team, including area designers, environment artists, and character artists can make shippable content now. Our Vertical Slice is eleven maps large; encompassing our village and dungeon from Prototype 2, and the dungeon and wilderness area from Prototype 1 (we call this area "The Valley of Hector" internally). The content from the prototypes are refactored to fit within the context of the world and overall story of the game. Feature-wise, we are targeting to have the majority of the world building tools complete and all of the character classes playable up to level five.

pe-dungeon-concept.580.jpg
A Vertical Slice dungeon concept by Polina. Her paint-over will be used as reference for the polish pass.
 
Here are our current tasks that we are working on right now:
 
Art

  • Modeling Hide Armor for Male and Females - Hide armor has been challenging to model and texture with skin tinting because there's a lot of skin shown.
  • Creating Orlan Heads - This includes modeling differences for the Wild and Hearth ethnicities.
  • Polishing Prototype 2 Areas to "Beta" - Extra shine is put into the areas to make them feel more alive and varied.

Design

  • Creating the Vertical Slice Area Design Document - The designers are adding more content to the world and fleshing out the village with additional quests.
  • Designing and Coding the Class Abilities for the Cipher and Chanter - The Cipher and his "focus" powered spells are working, and now Tim Cain is working out the Chanter phrase system.

Programming

  • Coding up the Save/Load and the Persistence System - This entails saving and loading games, and making sure the current map state is preserved across area transitions.
  • Wrapping up the Area Designer Toolbox - Doors, encounters, traps, triggers, loot, NPCs, and creatures can all be placed and manipulated through script.

Spells and Ability Audit
This morning Josh emailed me a list of working class abilities and spells. I'm excited to say that we have 54 abilities and 51 functioning spells as of today! Most of the spells are at the alpha stage, meaning another pass will be done at a later date to add visual effects and sound effects.
 
UI Version #2
Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on our UI mockups that Rob posted last week in Update #54. We loved everyone's proposed mockups and your discussions sparked some great ideas for the next iteration on the interface. We've already mocked up a new version that takes up less vertical space and is more compact overall. Once we feel it's ready to be critiqued, we will post it in a future update for more discussion.

That's it for this week. We'll be back in two weeks - we're off to E3 next week (and if you're a fan of South Park, keep an eye out for coverage on our Stick of Truth RPG)!

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OBSIDIAN ORDER OF ETERNITY - Officially sponsored most generously by Pierre and SD!

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Thanks for the update, love the dungeon concept! Also can't wait to finally read more about the actual Cipher-abilities.

 

I will definitely keep an eye out for any Stick of Truth updates... got it preordered on amazon for ages now... still remember the initial release date placeholder,

3/5/13, my birthday. :D

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Ooo... an evil underground lair for a mad natural philosopher. :)

 

Looks very nice. Thank you for the update.


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Great update. Quite exciting to see the process (you guys are busting it out with the progress). 

 

Excited to see the UI!

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Looks great.  You folks have really captured an IE/ ToEE feel early in the process!  I like the sconces/urns; once there is animation that should look great.  I also like the various portals, and of course, the sinister doohickey.  

 

I hope that it is possible to animate the sconce lights because that would really make environments of this sort feel  alive .

 

Cheers

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Update by Adam Brennecke, Executive Producer and Lead Programmer

 

...

...

UI Version #2

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on our UI mockups that Rob posted last week in Update #54. We loved everyone's proposed mockups and your discussions sparked some great ideas for the next iteration on the interface. We've already mocked up a new version that takes up less vertical space and is more compact overall. Once we feel it's ready to be critiqued, we will post it in a future update for more discussion.

 

That's it for this week. We'll be back in two weeks - we're off to E3 next week (and if you're a fan of South Park, keep an eye out for coverage on our Stick of Truth RPG)!

 

I hope you guys are still following the UI thread because somebody only recently posted what I'd consider the best mock of the thread so far: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/63851-update-54-art-update-work-is-in-progress/page-21?do=findComment&comment=1337002

 

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I can't come anywhere even REMOTELY close to expressing my approval and enthusiasm for this update as that Robert Downey Jr. GIF does. Well played.

 

(Seriously, keep up the good work! GO TEAM! Literally... 'cause you guys are a team... of developers... and you should go... figuratively... o_o)

 

 

Do you guys have a large version of that dungeon pics? its still a little small.

sorry, not at this time.

 

No worries. It's not the size that counts. Don't feel like you need to change your image just to meet others' expectations. 8)

 

"Image"... *hearty chuckle*

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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And so it begins...  Vertical slice of PE, yum! Here goes!

 

Munch, munch, munch... *RPG crumbs all over face*

 

That was one tasty dungeon! :)

Love the creepy and pleasantly magical atmosphere. For a while, I've been fearing PE was turning into some a turn-based isometric Ivanhoe-game.

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Creating Orlan Heads - This includes modeling differences for the Wild and Hearth ethnicities.
What are these differences?

 

 

Physically these differences are where hair grows on them. Wild Orlans are covered with a coat of hair on every inch of their bodies, including the face. On the other hand Hearth Orlans have tufts of hair the ears, but otherwise the face is covered with hair much like a typical human. The Orlan detective concept depicts a Hearth Orlan.

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Follow me on twitter - @adam_brennecke

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Physically these differences are where hair grows on them. Wild Orlans are covered with a coat of hair on every inch of their bodies, including the face. On the other hand Hearth Orlans have tufts of hair the ears, but otherwise the face is covered with hair much like a typical human. The Orlan detective concept depicts a Hearth Orlan.

 

 

Every time I look at an Orlan concept, I get a certain "Asura" vibe... which is by no means a negative comment, as they are my favorite player race in GW2.

Still, just sayin'... pleasantly reminded somehow.

Edited by Homer Morisson

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I hope when you enter that dungeon the sconces are not already lit without a valid in game reason. I can suspend disbelief only so much. Plus it would look cool to light sconces as you go with dynamic lighting that this engine is capable of. It would be cool, if your party enters a crypt/dungeon you expect to be unoccupied, to make a companion comment if it looks like someone else has been living there.

 

The dungeon looks occupied; but by who I wonder? Perhaps some cursed creature seeking refuge in a tomb; or could it be someone seeking some artifact of unknown power.

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I approve of the Chateau Irenicus vibe and think Polina should be given a pat on the back for nailing that BG feel.

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sonsofgygax.JPG

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"Vertical slice" ... it's such a sexy sounding phrase, and I came in expecting some goodness. I was not disappointed. Kudos to Polina, indeed. Very nice concept.

 

Have fun at E3!


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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Creating Orlan Heads - This includes modeling differences for the Wild and Hearth ethnicities.
What are these differences?

 

 

Physically these differences are where hair grows on them. Wild Orlans are covered with a coat of hair on every inch of their bodies, including the face. On the other hand Hearth Orlans have tufts of hair the ears, but otherwise the face is covered with hair much like a typical human. The Orlan detective concept depicts a Hearth Orlan.

 

PLEASE have the Orlan Detective be a character in the game. Preferably with associated fantasy-film-noir quest.

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Wow, that dungeon concept looks so..Infinity Engine-y. I love it. Keep up the good work, devs!

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Really, really like the dungeon. Nails the IE feel and looks beautiful to boot. Hopefully the concepts for these areas will just get crazier and crazier and more and more visually interesting as the game goes on (yeah, I'm greedy). And I agree with Tuckey that dark dungeons are a perfect opportunity to show off your work on dynamic lighting. Obviously they'd have to be used sparingly, because having to go around lighting torches in every single dungeon will get annoying quickly.

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Not even exaggerating guys, this is shaping up to be one of the prettiest games ever.

 

When the vertical slice is done, can we expect another video demo?

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