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Messages - abraksil

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Early Dev / Re: Soulblight
« on: November 20, 2017, 09:15:44 PM »
Today we have another extensive topic - Character’s Conditions :) Let’s just jump straight into it :)

One of the early design challenges during the development of Soulblight was creating a context for all the action the player would have to take in order express his characters. To solve that we’ve decided to add a survival aspect to our game. We’ve done it by allowing the character to be a subject of various conditions. To avoid confusion and allow the player to easily compare buffs he receives we’ve created a special state called synergy. What it does is it represents the character’s overall well being (both physical and psychic) and greatly increases damage and resistance. To systemize the mechanics even further we’ve also divided the conditions into 4 categories:

  • Positive Conditions - Simple buffs meant to make you stronger by temporarily increasing the synergy. Example: Rage
  • Negative Conditions -Simple debuffs that won’t kill you but make you weaker by decreasing your synergy. Example: Hunger
  • Injuries - Serious wounds. With every one of these you get closer and closer to death. You can sustain up to 4 Injuries at the same time. Example: Bleeding wound
  • Taints - The personality traits you acquire during your journey besides giving you a passive synergy buff also unlock a new mechanics. Example: Greed

Now the fun part starts when the different conditions start to intertwine. Let’s look at hunger example:

The hunger builds up with the time you play. It starts as a small harmless debuf but can build up to enormous proportion. That’s why It is important to eat regularly especially when you have a concussion injury (it will speed up the healing process). Saving candies for later might be a good idea but their nutritional value isn’t too high. This means that a piece of candy will nullify the hunger just for a short time. It is good thing to have one of these when hunger pins you down before the boss fight. When you run out of food and you’re very hungry you might also consider eating some bad berries. They will give you a food poisoning but sometimes it is better to suffer through it then allow for the hunger to build up even more. If you bump into this dilemma often it might be worth going with Glutton taint. One of it’s secondary mechanics is food poisoning immunity.

As you can see each mechanics condition is pretty simple. Put them tougher though and a deep gameplay full of interesting choices emerges :)

Cya Around,

Early Dev / Re: Soulblight
« on: November 13, 2017, 04:03:11 PM »
Top-down perspective has multiple advantages. It allows to represent battlefield precisely, players can clearly see obstacles arrangement and distance from enemies. This view emphasizes tactical oriented combat and supports sneaking mechanics.

Despite all that, top-down is rarely used in video games. The reason is a difficulty in presenting the in-game world. There are many objects that don’t look presentable in top-down. Their geometry doesn’t allow to give us much chance to properly display them. In front view a simple wall is like a canvas on which we literally can put an intriguing painting on, but in top-down - it comes out as a line. To make things even more difficult there is also an issue with a lack of depth.

From the very beginning we were dedicated to solving those problems. We didn’t want to give up on all the benefits of top-down just because it was hard. We subconsciously started to design assets with interesting appearance in our perspective. Bridges rather than gates. Pits of pipes in place of columns. Flowery shrubs instead of walls. All of this led us to the unique art style of our game.

There still was a problem with sense of depth thought. We solved it with parallaxing effect you’ve all seen on backgrounds in platform games. Assets are constructed from multiple layers which are slightly displaced depending of the camera position. Combined together they create an illusion of convexity like on the gif below

Hope you enjoyed our update!

Cya Around,

Early Dev / Re: Soulblight
« on: November 05, 2017, 03:50:49 PM »
What we’re often asked is:

“Why did you choose pure top-down perspective instead of for example an isometric view?”

Answer to this question is quite complex :) But here's a short take on the thought process behind our decision:

Creating a game in which you can express states of character psyche requires designing many different interactions and mechanic through which you can do it. To be able to do everything we want in isometric view we basically would have to create everything in 3D. Unfortunately this takes much more time. The level of gameplay depth we strived for would be very hard to achieve in 3D by the small team like ours. We knew it would most likely mean that we have to either simplify the game or compromise the quality of our art.

“If not isometric, then how about side-view”

The problem here was a combat mechanic we’ve chosen for Soulblight. We didn’t want for our game to be about button mashing. What we wanted is for the player to always think one step ahead while fighting. Because battlefield positioning was supposed to be a big part of tactics we felt that “Platformer” view limited a bit too much what we could do.

And so we’ve decided to go with a top-down view. It is the best way to present to player situation on the battlefield. On top of that top-down perspective works well with sneaking mechanic that we wanted to include in the game. This didn’t mean there were no challenges ahead. On a contrary there are reasons why this perspective isn’t a popular choice among the developers. We had a few ideas how to tackle those problems though. What were they and how we solved them? Well... this is a topic for another update :)

Cya Around,

P.S Don't forget to visit our kickstarter page:

Early Dev / Re: Soulblight
« on: October 29, 2017, 07:14:11 PM »
After an update on combat it’s time for the one about sneaking. We design stealth in Soulblight to be complementary to fighting. This means that when properly used in combination with fighting it will give you a huge advantage.

Let’s start with how exactly Stealth mode works. By holding a button you enter the sneaking mode. What it does is it lowers your speed of movement making your steps silent and at the same time it enables you to see the enemies cones of vision. Now all you need to do is get behind your enemy and snap its neck.

The challenge starts when you bump into squeaking terrain like old wooden footbridge - here every step will make a noise. To mitigate that you will have to move even slower with gentle use of the analog stick.

To upgrade your sneaking capabilities you can use special equipment that increases your speed or allows you to ignore the loud terrain. There are also the Chrono Inhibitors capable of bending the time itself slowing it down for a moment when you most need it.

That would be all for today - hope you like it.

Cya Around,

Early Dev / Re: Soulblight
« on: October 22, 2017, 06:37:07 PM »
Hey Everybody!
It's time for our first Kickstarter update. Today I would like to talk in more detail about combat in Soulblight. Before we go any further you need to know one thing about me. I’m a martial art enthusiast :) As a programmer and game designer I spend most of my days in a dark room in front of the screen :P This way of life isn’t too healthy so to balance things out I train Judo. You don't believe me? Here's a gif of me (barely) performing a throw :P

The thing I love the most about fighting is the fact that what matters the most is not the strength but tactics. This is a different kind of tactics than you know from strategy game though. It’s more like thinking about the plan under the pressure of things happening right here and now. This is what I wanted for our combat mechanic to be all about. In my experience tactics in martial arts consists of the following elements:
  • Management of Strength
  • Distance Control
  • Balance Control
Now let’s talk in more detail about those elements and see how they are represented in our game mechanics.

Management of Strength
You have to be careful not to use use all of your strength during the fight. If you do, you will run out of steam very fast and will be easy overwhelmed. The tactics here is about finding the right moment to catch your breath. This element of fighting has been pretty well represented in gaming through the years by the stamina mechanics. I’ve decided for it to be a base of combat in Soulblight

Distance Control
Though stamina management was a relatively obvious thing the same couldn’t be said about the distance control. Video games often do away with clinch combat. This results in removing a lot of tactical depth. Suddenly everything boils down to your attack speed and power. Meanwhile in reality a double handed sword isn’t nearly as useful up close as from afar. When you engage an enemy wielding a heavy weapon he cannot keep swinging while in clinch - he needs to find a way to disengage. To represent this I’ve decided to create a grip mechanic.

During combat each character is surrounded by a circle which represent its position on the battlefield. By pressing the button you can light up a front part of it and activate what we call “the grip”. When your grip touches your opponents circle the characters become engaged in clinch combat. This maneuver, besides linking the characters together, also forces them to use a secondary attack. Depending on the weapon this attack might be less or more powerful than the main one. The one who wields a more cumbersome weapon now will be forced to find a way to disengage. The easiest way to do it is by performing a special “slam” action. But be careful this maneuver burns a lot of stamina.

Balance Control
Ok this part of the mechanics is explicitly linked to the martial art I’m training :). Judo is focusing on the clinch combat and can be translated as “The path of the least resistance”. The idea is that while engaged you need to move in a way to throw your enemy of balance so you can use much less strength to defeat him. How this idea is implemented in Soulblight? - you ask. When engaged you cannot move away from the enemy but you can move around him. By implementing certain level of inertia depending on how well armored your character is we’ve allowed the faster character to be able to outmaneuver the heavier foes. This way you can get on the back of the heavier opponents and gain a massive advantage. Although it isn’t easy it greatly increases your damage as well as prevents the enemy from hitting you with his attacks.

The combat in Soulblight might look a bit Hack & Slashy at first glance but the truth is button mashing won’t get you far. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in a comment section :) And don't forget to visit our kickstarter page:

Cya around,

Early Dev / Re: Soulblight
« on: October 17, 2017, 09:22:41 PM »
Soulblight Live on Kickstarter

And so it's finally October 17th. Just a moment ago I clicked the button to activate our Campaining :) Now Soulblight is Live on Kickstarter

Here's the link:

Keep your fingers crossed everybody! :)

Cya Around,

Early Dev / Re: Soulblight
« on: October 12, 2017, 01:05:40 PM »

Hey Everybody!
As you know last month we’ve decided to delay our Kickstarter campaign in order to spend more time polishing it. Since then we’ve been working very hard and this time I’ve decided not to mention anything about it until we were 100% satisfied with our pitch. And now, since we are, the time has come to finally announce it - Soulblight Kickstarter campaign will go live on October 17th ( btw it just so happens that it’s just one day after my birthday ;) )

Now let's talk a bit about some of the improvements we’ve made to the campaign:

First of all to reward you for waiting we've decided to add a demo access as an additional Kickstarter reward! :) We will send out the demo keys just after the end of the campaign! So if you decide to become our backer you will be able to try out Soulblight really soon!

New Main Message
One of the main reasons for postponing Kickstarter was the fact that our “More literal approach to RPG” pitch was a bit too abstract to get across without at least two paragraphs of text. However removing this aspect from the game to make it more “promotable” was absolutely out of the question. The only solution was finding a new way of talking about our game. The answer came to us at PAX West. While chatting with all the people visiting our stand we’ve realized that we’ve been focusing on a wrong thing in our pitch. Instead of talking about game’s mechanics we should be emphasizing what we’re actually trying to say with it.

Probably some of you already know what I’m talking about :). The question: “Why the personalities you can acquire in the game are always negative?” was popping out quite regularly. It was natural as all the little signs were already there:
  • The name of the game - “Soulblight” suggest that it’s about the sickness of the soul
  • The quote form “The Divine Comedy” in the trailer pointed in this direction as well
  • Our main art presenting that the greatest danger in the game will come “from behind you”
  • The fact that we chose to call progression system in the game “Taining Mechanic” was also a hint
All this was already there. What was lacking were three sentences with which we could explain all that to the person that knows absolutely nothing about the game. (btw never thought writing 3 sentences can be that hard) And so here it is:

Soulblight is a dark, top-down roguelike luring you to cross the thin line between good and evil. Embrace your flaws to survive a journey through an unforgiving Sanctuary. Gluttony, Lust, Cannibalism - how far are you willing to go?

New Main Art
Another thing we’ve addressed was our main art. It wasn’t that we weren't satisfied with the one we had. On the contrary we really liked how straightforward it presented the top down perspective and at the same time shown the danger of Soulblight lurking behind the character. The thing that we considered a problem was the fact that once you scaled it down its readability dropped drastically. This unfortunately was a deal breaker as most of the time the art will be viewed in a crowded social media feed. And so we’ve decided to prepare a new one. This time focusing on the character and it’s transformation into something evil.

Social goals
To make our campaign more fun we’ve decided to gamify it a little bit and set up some social goals. Have a look at these three “vaults” we have created.

Each of the vaults contains a special piece of in-game equipment. When opened the item will be revealed and added to the final game. How to unlock them? By reaching our social goals. The number on top of the vault shows how many are needed. Here’s the complete list of our social goals:

If you want you can already help us reaching the social goals :) Here are all the links:
That would be all for today folks :) I would like to once more thank you for all your support and patience. Especially thank you for all the words of encouragement you sent our way after we were forced to delay our Kickstarter campaign. It meant a lot to us!

Cya Around,

P.S If you would like to help us with the announcement of the Kickstarter campaign, and you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to support our Thunderclap!

Early Dev / Re: Soulblight
« on: October 09, 2017, 02:30:44 PM »
Hey Everybody!
Some of you might have noticed that our steam page has undergo some changes. Yes :) recently we've been working on increasing #Soulblight visibility on a Steam. We've added gifs, upgrading description and prepared new banner art work. If you have a moment please help us out and add some tags to our game. Just go to our store page, press "+" button and add all the key wards you think are relevant to our game :)

Here's the Steam​ page link:

Thank you all in advance - Your support means a lot to us

Early Dev / Re: Soulblight
« on: October 02, 2017, 02:34:21 PM »

Rip their hearts out and charge in! ;)

Early Dev / Re: Soulblight
« on: September 24, 2017, 07:55:33 PM »

Almost finished dual wielding this week. All what's left is fixing few minor bugs. There is one thing I'm still considering thought. Adding ability to combo the attacks like on the gif below. What do you think?

Early Dev / Re: Soulblight
« on: September 18, 2017, 03:23:25 PM »

This week we've been slowly going back to our routine after PAX West. To jump straight into the development we've took on the feature we've been excited to implement for a while now - Dual Wielding

Early Dev / Re: Soulblight
« on: September 10, 2017, 06:29:08 PM »
Hey Everybody
PAX West is over and I’m finally back home. It was one hell of an adventure so after sleeping it off it’s time to write a recap of the event :) Before we go any further there is one thing you need to know. The gaming events from the point of view of a developer are a bit different. You spend at least 10h a day at the show but sadly you don’t get to play too many games. However the events from this perspective have their own unique charm. I personally really love it and I would like to share some of my feelings with you today :)
Let’s start with how we got there. For a tiny indie studio like ours showcasing a game at PAX West wouldn't be possible if not for the Indie Games Poland Foundation (IGP - Every year IGP chooses best indie games from Poland to showcase at PAX West. Soulblight was one of those games this year :).
Couple of my indie friends also got accepted so we’ve decided to team up together and rent a house. There were 7 of us: Piotrek & Paweł form Digital Melodies (Timber Tenis) Tom from Crunching Koalas (Mouse Craft), Sebastian from Transhuman Design (Butcher), Rafał & Bartek from Licht Hunt (Lichtspeer) and me (Kuba - Soulblight). Here’s a photo of our crew (I’m the short guy in the middle :) )
I got to Seattle around noon of AUG 30th and the first thing was to meet up with the rest of the crew. The airport’s Starbucks was our meeting point. After almost 15 hours in the air we really needed a cup of coffee :D Now we were ready to get to our place. I have to admit Tom who organized it really outdone himself. Just look at the view!
Next day started with a visit to Valve’s headquarters organized by IGP. Each of us got a few minutes to present their game. After that we had an opportunity to speak with people responsible for running Steam Store about its current state and about store’s future. By the way there is this huge Dark Souls statue in the middle of Valve’s HQ - a real treat for a souls-fan like me :)
After our visit at Valve we went to the PAX West convention center. The rest of the day was spent setting up our stands for the event. When the work was done Maciek Miąsik invited us to chill out at his place. Maciek is one of the most experienced Polish game developers. He used to work in CD-Projekt Red as head of production department during the development of witcher 1 & 2. Now he’s an indie developer (his game Beat Cop was released this year). We all like to refer to him as “The Pope of Polish Gamedev” as he always has a word of wisdom to share with us :) We were all really tired after all days work at the stand but how could we say “No” to an invitation from “The Pope” :) It was definitely a good decision though. The view itself was worth the trip :)
On the next day it was time to start the festival. During the event our daily routine was pretty much the same. We woke up early it the morning, went to the convention center, worked at the stand and then when the day was over we ran off to some new party :) As I said not much time to check out any new games :) There was a ton of other attraction though. When else can you get a chance to chat with people from team 17 (I was raised on their games) party with guys from 11 Bit Studios or just bump into the developers of that game you’ve been waiting for (Moonlighter).
A really unforgettable adventure :)

Cya Around,

During 4 days of PAX i pitched the game to more people then I can count. It was an awesome excercise and the one I really needed. I think I finaly found a way of presenting Soulbligt game idea in just few words :) Now It's time to use it while redesigning our Kickstarter campaining :)

Early Dev / Re: Soulblight
« on: August 31, 2017, 04:13:51 AM »
Soulblight - ‘ok’ is not enough
After over a month of intense work on our Kickstarter campaign last night we finally finished. We sat down to look through all the materials we've prepared. It seemed to be ready to go as everything was "ok". However deep inside we felt that "ok" was not good enough.
You see one of the things that we’ve learned while working on Soulblight is that making a good game isn’t enough this day. We live in an age of the information overflow. Usually you have only a few seconds to get someone's attention. Keeping that in mind our idea of “More literal approach to RPG” isn’t easily transferred into a single picture or a 5 second video. That is the reason we struggle when we present our me to new people. And this is also the reason our Kickstarter campaign at its current stage is just "ok".
Don’t worry. This doesn't mean we want to sacrifice our vision of the game to make it more “promotable”. The game will remain unaffected. What we need to do is find a new, more approachable way to communicate what we have to say.
We have some ideas on how to do it but now we just need some time to make them happen. This means that we have to postpone Soulblight Kickstarter campaign for a month or so Launching it without solving that problem might do more harm than good.

Once more thank you for all your support and sorry for the delay. :(


P.S Postponing the kickstarter doesn't mean we won’t be showcasing Soulblight at PAX West this year. Actually I'm writing this from the airport waiting for the plane. If you happen to be in Seattle this year drop by booth #6003 on the 6th floor and say hello :)

Early Dev / Re: Soulblight
« on: August 18, 2017, 09:16:57 PM »

One of you members of our Steam Community suggested that I would post the Alpha Update change logs here to help you all follow on the development. This is an Awesome idea. Not sure why I haven't thought about it earlier :P It happens that I just recently uploaded new update so here comes the first one:
  • The alpha build is now in the form of Kickstarter Demo. It's a bit shorter as we don't want to show the locations that still contain assets in a concept stage(like camp and chapel)
  • Chrono Inhibitor armor set added. Armor of this type allows you to use time slowing mechanic.
  • Spiked armor set added. Armor deals passive damage to the enemy when in Grip.
  • First light armor set added.
  • Items made of black steel can no longer kill you. When you equip an item with that tag while on full wounds you simply don't receive the Black Steel Curse buff until you heal.
  • 6 light shields added
  • 6 medium shields added
  • 6 heavy shields added
  • Spear primary attack speed has been increased. This weapon type seemed to be a bit under-powered.
  • The loot you receive as a taint reward is now more varied.
  • Bosses movement speed increased. You should no longer be able to infinity kite him.
  • Now when you’re sneaking through the creaking zone the range in which the sound is heard depends on how fast you're walking (You can sneak slower by gently moving the analog stick)

Early Dev / Re: Soulblight
« on: August 12, 2017, 06:25:32 PM »
Soulblight beta on the horizon as kickstarter reward

As I mentioned couple days ago our alpha test program will come to an end with our visit at Pax West 2017. This doesn’t mean though the game needs no more tests. Soon after the kickstarter campaign we will be beginning the beta test. The beta build will include much bigger part of the game. You will be able to face all 3 bosses we’ve prepared as well as acquire up to four taints. The access to the beta tests will be one of the kickstarter rewards.

Soulblight kickstarter will go live next Thursday (AUG 17th)

Don’t forget to support our thunderclap :)

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