Please note that all screen shots displayed in this blog are works in progress and in no way represent the appearance of the final game. Check out the main site here.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

More Pretties!

The lighting engine is nearly ready thanks to some help from a couple of very cool dudes, Pincho Paxton and Revenant Chaos. I bow to their superior math skills!

Anyway, It's about ready to start applying to the game proper, but I thought I'd show you what is in store first! And here it is!

More soon!

Monday, August 29, 2011


So if you've been keeping up with the blog you'll know that I've been spending time working on making the game prettier. I thought you might like a quick preview of what it's looking like.

The normal mapping and parallax mapping is working nicely, but shadows still need some work. But regardless, it's looking great, so I thought I'd do a mini blog post to show it off:

Shiny, huh? More soon!

Countryside Generation

Not sure what you're looking at here? This is the countryside heightmap generation of Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox, in it's early stages. Basically, this is the engine generating the infinite countryside that the player will be able to explore.
In it's simplest form, when a heightmap is applied to a flat plane, the brighter areas turn into hills, and the darker areas turn into valleys. So what you're seeing is the creation of mountains! The finished version will also be generating rivers and oceans, but we thought we'd show off a bit of what it's doing so far. Just a few more levels that the computer is creating without the help of a level designer!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

This and that...

Well I'd love to tell you all that substantial progress has been made on the game this weekend, but the truth is, everything that I've been working on has been small bug fixes ready for the demo launch at Christmas. As a whole, the entire game is working from A to B. Someone can sit down and play through it as it was intended to be played. They wake up in a procedurally generated dungeon, fight their way to the surface, come out on the outskirts of a town, go in and the demo ends. That's what the whole demo is going to be.

However, there are several bugs in the software as it stands at the moment. Nothing massively corrupting or crashing, just little annoyances and unnecessary options that I haven't fixed or put into the game yet.

There is another thing though, that I feel the need to talk about. For those of you who are casual readers this may be new news, but for those who have been following this game's development from the beginning, this will be old news.

All of the graphics you're seeing in the screenshots and videos to date are temporary. Textures, models, lighting, etc, it's all temporary while we get the - very intricate - technology that drives the game running. The final game, that you will get to try out for yourself at the end of the year, will look MUCH better than it does now. We will be applying high definition normal mapped textures, proper vertex lighting systems making use of shadow, volumetric lighting, specular bloom, etc. It's all going to be in there, but it's not being worked on quite yet as we want to get the game working first. But it seems that people are curious, so here's an early example of the comparison between the engine without normal mapping and vertex lighting and the engine with normal mapping and vertex lighting. It's only a very early test, but soon it will be being applied to the game on all of its assets:

The reason I bring this up is due to a few sites comparing our game to another indie game in development, called Legend of Grimrock. First of all, I'd like to say that we're all REALLY looking forward to playing that game. It looks incredible, and the people working on it are legends in the games industry and have started working on something that looks like it's going to be VERY fun!
Legend of Grimrock is played in the same style as Malevolence, in that it is a turn-based first person game making use of modern graphics, and has also been heavily influenced by classics such as Might & Magic and Eye of the Beholder, however, that's where the likeness between the games stops. Keep in mind that Malevolence is going to have an infinite game world comprised of not only dungeons, but endless fields, mountains, forests, cities and more. Its item and magic generation system are also infinite, as well as many other portions of the game. No part of the in-game world has been touched by a level designer of any kind, and has been generated from the ground up via our custom procedural engine.
Grimrock at the moment looks much prettier than Malevolence, but their team have obviously done work on their visuals first - which is perfectly fine, and often happens in game development - and we most definitely congratulate them for making an exquisite looking game (and we will all be buying copies when it's finished, trust me) but to compare Malevolence to Grimrock would be like comparing Crash Bandicoot to R-Type just because they're both side-scrollers.

If it's pretty graphics you're after, then have no fear, as Malevolence has got them coming. We've merely been getting the intricate procedural world generation system working flawlessly before making it look pretty.

By the way, if you haven't looked at Legend of Grimrock yet, please go and visit their website and check out the game. As I said before, we'll all be buying it, as it looks like it's going to be absolutely incredible. Well done to them for keeping the old-school RPG dream alive!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Updated Forestation

So we've spent a few more hours working at perfecting the procedural forest generation, with the following result:

The engine creates this world segment by first generating a height map based on the co-ordinates of the player that looks a little something like this:

Then, based on the height information it receives, it creates a texture file based around the current biome that the player is in:

Once this has been done, it creates the 3D ground and textures it underneath the player. Once this has been done, the players co-ordinates are used to generate the trees, shrubs, etc, around the player and you get the end result:

Looking good, don't you agree? More soon!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


So even though all you've been seeing lately is dungeons, dungeons and more dungeons, don't forget that this game has an infinite world! It's not just dungeons. Once you leave the dungeons there are infinite plains, forests, oceans, cities and more to explore! So to remind you of that, here is the latest in the experimentation with the procedural forest and sky generation. Notice that we don't just use a skybox like most games! We're actually procedurally generating clouds and moving them across the sky while they re-shape and re-form!
No lighting yet, and the 3D models and textures are still fairly temporary, but this 20x20 section of forest has been generated by the game engine and not by a level designer!

Enjoy! You'll be seeing more of this soon!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Waking Up

So with the official demo being launched just before Christmas, I've been doing some work to "pretty up" the game, and make it more game-like. One notable thing that is missing so far is any in-game reference to the INCREDIBLY elaborate back-story that was written over the course of several months.
This video teaser, however, will give you your first hint at what the in-game story will be like! Check it out!

It adds an extra bit of pizazz to the game, I think!

Other achievements lately are as follows:

- The minimap is now fully functional
- All of the A.I bugs have now been sorted out
- All the new weapons work wonderfully
- The current floor number can now be seen on the map
- New blood effects
- New sound effects throughout the game
- A couple of technical glitches that have been bugging me
and slowing me down for ages have now been fixed

So yeah, heaps done! Tomorrow I'm sorting out more little things, but most of the problems of late have been little, left over things that need to be fixed before the demo ships off to the alpha testers. Remember that it's not too late to sign up to be an alpha tester! Just join up on our Facebook page, look for the post about it and leave us a comment there!

Talk again soon!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Kit!

So now that the weapons system is working perfectly, I've taken a slight break from programming to add in some new weapons for players to find. As a result of my efforts, there are now 6 weapons as opposed to two.

In the demo (coming this Christmas) there will be many more than 6 weapons since the weapon system will be linked into the procedural generation system, meaning the weapons will be infinite! Yay!

Stay tuned for more updates!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Things!

So we have now introduced our latest voice actor to the team! Benjamin Irvine is providing one of the player voice packs for the game!

When you select your player, you will be able to select the voice that your player has throughout the game. There are 5 male and 5 female voice options to choose from. Benjamin Irvine, the newest member of the team, has just finished providing the 5th male voice option. Here's a video showing off a bit of it!

The character that he plays is a little... Unhinged... A little crazy... With a big thirst for the blood of his foes! It was lots of fun to record with him and we look forward to recording with him again!

Also today, we broke the top 100 on IndieDB! It's such a great feeling to have a game that isn't even out yet being received so well, so thank you to everyone who's given supportive feedback to us!

More soon!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


This is a non-tech-related post, but it's something we'd really like to say, so sorry for the plugging...

So we've become a member of the IndieDB and ModDB communities to help garner some attention for the project. You can check out the profile by clicking this button:

Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox PC game

When it comes to indie games, we really rely on members of the community (such as you, reading this) to help promote the game. So have a look at the profile, join us on facebook, share the trailer and please tell people about us! The only way we'll get noticed is by being talked about! If you're on Facebook and you like the game (or are involved somehow) please share the Facebook page with your friends and help us get noticed!

Finally! Weapons!

So all of my work lately has gone into working on the weapon system in the game. Until now, all weapons had to be hard-coded in and it was quite a pain. But now, I have re-written the whole system so that you can find weapons, equip them and use them. Some of the weapons are normal weapons, yes, but I have also put in the ability for weapons to carry magical properties! Here's a quick video showing it all off:

I haven't yet linked up the weapons to the procedural item generator, but that isn't far away! Then there's no telling what sorts of weapons the player might be able to find!

And don't forget to watch the official trailer!

And please, if you're a Facebook user, please favourite the official Facebook page!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Trailer time!

Hi all! The official trailer for the game is finally done, after 3 months work! check it out!

I hope you all enjoy it. While the trailer IS post-rendered, everything you see in there is using in-game assets and systems. So if you see it in the trailer, it'll be there in the game!


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Gulp gulp gulp

So I've been spending my time working on a procedural potion generator for the game. Now you get items like these:

When you find them in chests and whatnot, they come up as "unidentified potion" and may harm you, help you or a mix of the two. You never know! Later on in the game you'll be able to get them identified, or, if you're in a pinch, you can just drink one and see what happens.

If you keep up to date with the bug fixes column, though, you'll notice that I've been having quite a bit of trouble getting them to work properly... It's been a very blargh kind of weekend and I haven't been overly well, as well as having to do some work on side-projects, etc, so the game hasn't really had my full attention (much as I'd like it to) but you should see a new video of these working properly within a few days! There have been a couple of other new things thrown into the game lately, too, and I should mention that the trailer is coming along swimmingly. About 3/4 done, I'd say, so you'll get to see that soon, too!

But for now I am insanely tired and very worn out, so I'll update you all again soon!