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!