(just realised how daft some of this all might sound, but I’ve taken a double dose of my painkillers today and I’m a bit spacey, so forgive this post for sounding totally stupid, if it does)
So, putting the Colonist Alpha out nice and early turned out to be a smashing success, despite its many flaws. A lot of people have given substantial feedback, both covering known issues and things that I’ve utterly just overlooked with the ole’ tunnel vision. Some of these problems will be tricky to fix or have some fundamental problems (such as a problem with getting the ABS to refresh upon stamina depletion) but fortunately most of the problems so far will be easy to fix and should lead to a far improved game. By the time the game is polished up enough to have a “proper” demo released it should be a much sharper and more flowing game.
One thing that will be getting largely improved is the dialogue, as right now it’s dead basic (as we punched it in just so we could get all the eventing done) and with that, the instructions and story to the game suffered greatly, leaving a large tutorial gap for players, with much of it expecting the player to already know what to do. The instructions, at least, will be redone completely to allow players to know completely how to play; the game itself is quite simple, but at a first glance it’s a bit complicated and requires some better tutorials. Hopefully the caves will be improved with this as well.
Also, on top of this we have a new team member, Levi W, who is drawing up some music for us (damn good music at that) and is firing down the right path very fast, so the demo should also sound vastly improved as well, with getting rid of the RTP in favour of some pretty ideal new soundtracks!
Colonist Alpha Demo!
Right, so after switching between playing TSW and working on Dance and Colonist, we’ve finally got an Alpha Demo put together for testing to see how people find it, so we know what to do to improve it before we go too far.
The demo isn’t that long, probably a half hour if you just get straight to everything. It will end after you’ve built the forge, but you’ll be able to still run around if you want, you just won’t be able to craft anything yet or build anything else.
The demo includes the new Fog of War script as it’s final version, although not all the features of it are shown within the demo; there’s more to come!
Not much to say about it, hopefully all the instructions are clear enough and the game is understood enough for me to not need to explain much, but I’ll be checking to see if anyone reports any problems.
Build your village from scratch!
Fog of war obscures your dungeon crawling, but lets you always know where you’ve been!
Open exploration where you can fish, hunt, collect materials or just go for a wander
Equip all the best tools you can get as well as modifications for your tools and ammo charges. All stats are used within the game!
Small update before the main post: have come up with a newer look for the dungeons. It keeps the 3/4 cross-section view, but now far better allows for deeper dungeon appearances, to prevent it just looking like some really long, weird shaped cave.
So we realised that a key problem with the style of gameplay we’re going for with Colonist is that the entire dungeon can be viewed easily, without making it worthlessly massive, which kind of kills much of the exploration aspect of the game; you can already see which path has the good ore, so why even bother going down the other?
What we needed was Fog of War (a term well known to fans of Age of Empires, Dungeon Keeper etc) so that the dungeon is “blacked out” when you first enter; you’ve no idea what or where anything is, but as you explore you clear the fog (which will remain permanently cleared thereafter) and you can see. This allows dungeons to be quite small (which is needed for Colonist) without just revealing all the secrets straight away; it also means that coming back for repeat runs (as will be expected of many caves) you’ll also immediately know where hasn’t been explored.
So, since there’s no such VXA script that I’ve ever seen or heard of, I got TDS involved, who promptly turned a problem into an interesting game gimmick. For anyone needing scripting works, my recommendation falls to TDS, who is not only professional in his work, but to the point and even explains the script both before it’s written and commented on the script itself. Fantastic stuff!
So now the game has back that dungeon cave excitement for exploration and in the doing so, have a nice unique feature for the game that not many others have. Looking good so far, am excited to get the demo out! Screenies will be up soon!
Ahh, how the concept has advanced from a mini-project as it was. We’ve come up with a few new innovations to put towards the game and plan on giving the story a bit more depth, since it’ll be focussed around the few characters involved and lack of combat. As well as this, we’ve introduced a new section in the levels; between the Village and Dungeons, there’ll be a small “Exploration Map” which will have little real purpose other than to just give a bit of a break between the village and your caves, but will also provide some things such as materials to be collected and secrets, so it won’t be purely aesthetic. The region map has been redone and animated and the characters improved upon, with new sprites specially made for them (and hopefully there’s some portraits in the works with them!) and a couple of cutscene-tutorials at the beginning instead of the to-the-point crap that was there before.
The overall flow of the first section feels a lot smoother now, really getting you in the idea that it’s a chilled out look-around game, but with stuff to do. We’re constantly in the works to find out more extra stuff to add in to keep it full and exciting!
As well as this, DotI is still coming along, albeit slower than before. The first section of the Swamp has been completed after at least three failures that have been wiped.. It’s quite fun to go through now and try to suss the maze, but it’s a matter of having to balance off the monsters in it so they don’t become impossible to manage. There’s also been a new story-based+useful-NPC introduced near the new Refugee base-the Storytrader! Finally, a couple of mini-tasks have been put in, with one of them having an effect on the main boss of the chapter, of bringing this Drug Lord Stirling to justice!
Recruitment details are below! If you’d like to be a part of Colonist, just drop a post here and we’ll talk!
Colonist is an exploration/simulation game. There’s no combat, no gory battles and wars and no villain to combat. Sound boring? Well you’re stuck in the wilderness of a new region with a small group of people ready to set up a new colony in the name of their kingdom far away and they’re relying on you to find somewhere safe, they’re relying on you to go out into the world and find the materials they need to build, they’re relying on you to develop this small group of people into a sustainable village and eventually, a thriving city!
The story is that you are, as stated above, colonising a new region. Once your Town Hall is settled, it will be up to you to explore the lands around the village and find materials and supplies. You have forests and caves to delve into in a search to find wood, ores, minerals and even lost treasures, with which you can return to the village and supply whatever construction you wish, whether it be a shop for more advanced drills or scouting post to help you find better caves to explore. It’s your choice! You’ll have plenty of responsibility to build up the town, but once it’s done, you may well be deserving a promotion, to take on some more tasks to help your village develop to its fullest!
What does it feature?
- Relaxed, combat-free gameplay with a focus on exploration, simulation and discovery
- A pixel-movement ABS with options to dig freehand with tools and shovels or to fire fancy Drill Guns at the rocks and destroy them from afar!
- Your decisions are what matters in the development of the village, build what you want first. If you have the materials, you have the choice!
- Update-based game releases. A base game will be released and extra quests and expansions will be released thereafter to keep playing regular
- Randomly generated ores and materials, so repeating caves can give different results each time!
Who do we need?
- Artistic Troops - We need pretty new tilesets made up for the game, but artists can do anything graphically they like; characters, tiles, parallaxes, maps etc
- Scripting Soldiers - So far no one in the crew knows anything about scripting, so any scripter at all is a champion. We are using some scripts in game already.
- Other Contributing Champs - I don’t think anything else is essential right now, but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t use the help. Any and all help is appreciated and we’ll gladly take on anyone who’s enthusiastic and think they can make a contribution!
Who do we have?
- Pixel Brady - Events, Art, Concept