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, September 28, 2011

Like Lightning!

So the new magic system is almost complete. Only thing left to do is to add the impact effects for when a spell hits something, then it's ready to roll!
Sorry about the video lag. I'm having some troubles with my screen capture software, but you get the idea!

The player voice pack you can hear in this recording was done by the talented Mr Samuel Drake!

Sorry it's only a quick update, but we've been very busy! We should hopefully have a decent one for you by the end of the week!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What we've been up to...

So we've been pretty busy! (yep, too busy to update this blog even!)

Lots has been happening, so I figure I'll just list it all out:

- Developing some point of sale for the upcoming convention. I have a life-sized elven ranger in my living room!
- Working hard to finish adding the magic system into the new advanced lighting engine, with some pretty awesome looking results (better than the early demo I posted earlier in the week)
- Added a new spell, Lightning Bolt! It's more powerful than Fireball but sucks more mana to cast.
- Almost totally reconfigured the game to be able to be played in HD widescreen mode! Looks very sexy!
- Generating some new assets that you'll get to see later in the development cycle.
- Started adding in some of the fantastic new sound effects being produced by Roland Shaw.
- Added an intro sequence to introduce the teams responsible for the game.
- Incorporated some of the new music
- Finalised the alpha tester list.

Through all of this I've been pretty damn ill given that it's flu season where I am, so that has slowed me down much more than I'd like.

So what's coming next? Well, my trusty whiteboard keeps track of that for me:

- Add some extra weapon types to the game ready for the demo
- Finish the new trap system (waiting on some sound assets)
- Make armour functional in the game
- Add the slimline U.I option (for the non-old school players)
- Finish adding the magic system into the advanced lighting engine (almost done!)
- Add in the extra armour types (waiting on some art assets)

So my dance card is pretty full, as is some other members of the team. We're pretty excited about the upcoming convention, and also the fact that the alpha build is VERY close to being ready to send to the testers! It's just been a bit hard to polish off the last few little things that need doing, but it will happen, and hopefully the testers don't find too many problems with the build so that the demo can be delivered to you fine people as soon as possible!

One last thing: in case you didn't know about one or more of them, we're making use of all of the major social networking services to gain attention to the game. Please help support the project by visiting and, more importantly, sharing these links to all of your friends! The more people we get joining us on these services, the bigger our game launch can be!

I can't describe enough how awesome it would be to have these links shared around! And of course don't forget the official site!

Until next time!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Magic and tweeting!

So we've finally started getting around to incorporating the magic system into the new advanced lighting engine, with pretty smashing results! This is still an early-days kind of video, but check it out:

And I have to say, it is disgustingly fun to run around the dungeons lighting them up with fireballs. When it's done, you'll see fireballs impact things with a big explosion (and corresponding sound effect) Still a work in progress, but it's looking great.

Also, it has been brought to our attention that we should start tweeting again. Well, you ask and we give! So follow us on twitter if you're a tweeter!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sounds good!

We've considered ourselves extremely lucky lately in getting two very, VERY talented new team members on the Malevolence project. The first is the music composer Nicolas Lee, who has taken up the position of Lead Composer on the team. He's been hard at work developing the musical score for the game. His latest creation is actually the official theme music for the game, which REALLY sounds amazing! It really sends shivers down our spines when we hear it on the game's main menu!

So it's been really awesome to have an official sort of sound for the game. He's currently working on a more percussive, war-like version of the theme for more dramatic parts of the game. It's not done yet, but it's sounding AMAZING. Welcome aboard, Nicolas!

The second new team member has been a real bonus! We've had the luck to have the very talented Roland Shaw from Spicy Horse Games (American McGee's games company) offer his services to the project. Even though he has only done up a handful of new sounds, they have already COMPLETELY revolutionized the atmosphere of the game. From the sizzling crackle of hot coals to the creaking grate of the rusty iron portcullises, everything seems so much more alive. Every new lot of sounds he produces ups the quality of the game massively, so we are all VERY grateful for his attention. I can't show you a video with his new sounds just yet, but there will be one coming very soon!

Finally, lots of work has been lately by myself and the art team perfecting the lighting of dungeons in the game. The outdoor environments are easy to light. You have the sun, and... Well... That's it... But in the dungeons, we want it to be scary and disorientingly dark, but at the same time feel alive, and lived in. And we've finally gotten it to a point where we're happy with it! So take a look!

So that's coming along well, I think. In the last post you read about the trap system that is being implemented, which has been making a little progress, and is turning out to be as fun as it is scary in the game! We've also been doing quite a bit of work on the magic system. In past videos you will have seen the temporary fireball graphic we put in place to get it working, well now there's a fully-fledged particle system in the game, and when you hurl a fireball down a corridor, you see a burning orb of fire shoot away from you, illuminating the corridors as it flies! It's very exciting and we'll have a video for you very soon!

Until then!

Oh, and please join our Facebook fan page if you haven't already! We'd love to see you there!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

It's a TRAP!!!

So one big thing has been on my mind lately, and that is the in-game trap system. Dungeon delving needs to involve way more than killing monsters and looting. It also needs to take some brains... So that means traps. Dungeons will be full of them! Some of them will be physical traps (think Indiana Jones sort of nonsense) but others will be magical. Now, this won't always be just limited to the Dungeons. Players will also be able to lay down traps of their own for monsters to step on :D

It's only early days with the work on them, however, here's a bit of a quick preview of a magical fire-trap that the player may encounter:

So yeah, pretty hey! If they were working yet I definitely wouldn't be standing inside one, but you get the idea. If you step on a fire trap, it goes off, and you get roasted. Nasty way to go, too. However, all is not lost! The player will be able to find trap disarm spell books and scrolls that will eliminate magical traps in adjacent squares to them! If you don't have the spell though you'll either have to avoid them, or, if you can't avoid them, bear the brunt of their fury!

There will also be other magical trap types such as mana drain, poison, etc, which you will see later, as well as physical traps like falling rocks, dart launchers, spikes, pits, etc. Those will require special skills to either disarm or set off from a safe distance!

So yeah, this should make dungeon exploration just that little bit more... Deadly...

More soon!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Hey all, very exciting news!

We've been invited to present Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox at the GAME event at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia!

We're very excited to be going, and if you come along you'll get a chance to meet the Creative Director, Lead Artist and Sarzee the P.R Elf! Rachel, our lead artist, will be doing live artwork at the stand, and you'll get a chance to see Malevolence in action for yourself, as well as some never-before-seen parts of the game!

We will of course post some photos of the event so you can see what it was like if you can't make it!

Talk soon!

Monday, September 12, 2011

New Arts!

So our lead artist, Rachel, has been hard at work pumping out new artwork ready for the parts of the game where the player leaves the dungeon. Towns, cities, etc, will all be available for the player to explore, and in those environments, the player will encounter many unique NPCs which they can talk with, get quests from and buy things off of. Rachel has been pumping out LOTS of new NPC artwork for the game. Here's a very small sampling of the types of characters you will meet in-game:

Not to mention the scenes she's been producing for when you talk to different proprietors. These are a bit of a throwback to the classic old RPGs from the good ol' days.

There is also going to be lots of neat imagery for people to see during the loading sequences of the game. Depending on what part of the game you're exploring, different types of loading screens will appear, indicating the type of place the player is heading into. Sometimes you'll see the types of creatures you'll be fighting, sometimes you'll see a snippet of what's inside, and sometimes you'll see rough maps of the structure - things like this:

So some really cool looking stuff has been coming through our inbox lately. Also be sure to check out this video of the new armour artwork that has been being produced by our Lead Concept Artist, Natalie:

So that about wraps up this blog post. While you're here, be sure to check out the Kotaku interview with Alex Norton, the Creative Director of the project, and join our Facebook Fan Page if you haven't already!

See you again soon!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

HDR Bloom Lighting

So as you know, we've been spending a lot of time lately making the game prettier with all sorts of advanced lighting through it.

After a solid couple of days work, the latest feature, HDR bloom lighting, is complete! With the new dungeon tilesets our team has been working on, the bloom lighting really brings out the vibrant colours that are present in the dungeons. It looks great underground, but it looks even better when you're walking around the countryside in the game, but we're not quite ready to show you that just yet... Just thought you'd like to see how it's been coming along! Here are some of the latest screens!

And to get a better idea of how the bloom lighting affects the player's weapon (which is really cool, by the way) check out this video:

Until next time!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Updated Gameplay

So in the last news post we discussed how the new lighting engine was being applied to the game, well now we have a short video to show it off.

Now, this is still very much a work in progress, so there are a couple of things to note about this video:

- The lighting system is not totally complete yet. Mainly the player's weapon has no lighting effects applied to it yet, but they ARE COMING. The weapons will be all shiny and reflective and pretty. Currently they are much brighter than they should be and have a weird ghosting effect due to the currently non-existent motion blur that will be coming.
- The dungeon tile set (models, textures, is still in development and not yet complete, so yes, the dungeon currently looks a bit repetitive, but that will change)
- For the sake of demonstrating the new lighting system, enemy AI was turned off for this video. That is why the enemies don't fight back or chase the player.

You've read those things? Alright, now you may watch the video ;-)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New screens!

Here are some new screenshots for you to enjoy! They're showing off the new lighting engine that I've been working on. Still early days, but you should get a good idea of how it's coming along!

More to come!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

And we're finally ready!

So you've all been watching the posts and videos go up about the new lighting engine tests, and probably wondering when it's going to be applied to the rest of the game...

Well... The time has come!

When it came down to it, the new lighting engine imposes new requirements on the in-game assets (models, textures, etc) and so everything in the game needed to be redesigned, re-modelled and re-textured from the ground up.

But that process is finally over! The new in-game assets are ready to go! So now I'll be starting the process of re-writing the engine to use the new assets and apply the new lighting!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

For the other Game Developers

A quick video explaining the new lighting engine in more detail for any other game devs reading this: