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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What on Earth are we up to?

We've been busy little bees! Like we've been telling you, we've been working on re-writing the overworld. Where does that stand? Well, we're here to show you.

It's been a very stepped out, laborious process to be totally honest with you, but we're determined to do it right this time, which means baby steps.

First, we had to get the biome system working nicely, so we did up this simulation:

Then, once we had a local world area working nicely, we made our little roguelike simulation, which you've also seen:

But then, once we had perfected that (we got biomes working in the roguelike simulation. Sorry, no video of that one... We were slack...) we needed to get back into the world of 3D. Only problem was, we didn't have all of the 3D models and textures ready yet! Oh noes!

So we started building the 3D version anyway. We basically re-created the roguelike into 3D cubes and put textures on them telling us what they were representing (kind of comical, really):

If you watch closely you can see all of the biome information flashing up for a frame or two as it gets processed. That'll be taken out eventually. It's just us working on the game as we're putting up videos.
But anyway, the objects in the game aren't much without the terrain to put them on, so we tried our hand at re-writing the heightmap generator into the advanced lighting code that we had worked out in previous versions. With no foliage or anything it's really quite spooky... The entire of Ahkranox was just one, big, infinite desert, blackened by the heat of the sun...

While the water looks the way we wanted it to, pretty much nothing else existed in the world. It felt very lonely to walk around in (and still a little buggy) so we decided to combine this with our cubic representation of the game and populated it with the temporary models of what would be found in the world!

Now we're getting somewhere! If you can imagine it, those cubes are all of the trees, grass, houses, pigs, rocks, etc, that you're going to find in the world! They're also being recognized by the lighting engine (as you can see with the water effects) which is pretty cool. Just imagine... Going down below the surface of a lake and seeing the ruins of an ancient temple in the depths with the ripples of light through the water, lapping over the old stone archways... Oh yes... It excites us, too!

So basically, we know we still have a lot of tweaking to do. Just watch, there will be at least one comment saying "too much bloom!!!" below, but it's all untweaked as yet. We're just focusing on getting it working for now. Once we're happy with how it's looking we'll start our tweaking.

Then, in a couple of weeks, I'm taking a solid week off my day job to just pump out dozens and dozens of 3D models and textures to populate the world with. It'll be like nothing you've ever seen. I'll of course show off all of the creations as they're being done....


In case you didn't see it in the previous post, we're doing a bit of a fundraiser for the game. We can't get KickStarter here in Australia, so we've gone with IndieGoGo for the campaign, but we'd love to have you either contribute, or, if you can't contribute, share the link around as MUCH as you possibly can! The more the link gets out there, the better!

Keep in mind, if you contribute, it's not for nothing! We have some very tasty goodies for people who want to help us reach our goal! Head on over to the site to check out what you can get.

One main thing to note is that this is your first chance to pre-order the game before the demo is launched on Desura later in the year (Desura will be taking pre-orders as well, but think of this as a 'get in early' card) plus we've got posters and t-shirts and art books and more for you if you contribute. So head on over there and share the link until it hurts!

That's all for now, but we hope you enjoyed seeing the progress on the countryside exploration. Be sure to stay tuned to hear more about that!

Also remember to stay tuned on the social networks!


  1. Any chance you could add a purely digital option for funding? Like just a downloadable copy of the game, or game plus MP3 soundtrack?

    I would love to support the game, but I'm trying to stop acquiring things that end up in boxes. So I don't mean any offense, but I don't need a poster.

  2. Hi TheGuitarizt! Well, when the game comes out it'll be retailing for $25, so on the $25 perk the poster is just a freebie. If you leave a comment on the IndieGoGo page saying you just want the game, I can make sure that the poster isn't sent out :)

  3. What are the system requirements looking like right now?
    I remember a previous blog post said "A Dual-Core 2.4GHz machine with a decent speed 1GB video card and 2GB of ram should run it just dandy", does that still stand?
    My graphics card is pretty old, and I have to play Skyrim on low-medium settings if I want a framerate above 20.

    1. For now it still stands, yeah :) the main thing you'll want to have for this game is a decent video card. Due to the procedural nature of the game, we can't make it run as super fast as we'd like it to, but we've had it running very well on a machine of the specs you listed :)