2018 So Far
The Winter Playtest is long past and I've since addressed most of the feedback. Since then, there has been a focus on total overhauls of older core systems to give them a more dynamic feel. This includes movement, physics and the inventory system. Because of these changes, the emergent gameplay and feeling of growth throughout the game feels (in one developer's opinion) much more satisfying.
Additionally, the inventory now supports stacking items for things like torches. The dialogue system has a configurable output speed (including instant). There is now a system for randomly generated items, and you can access the first endless dunegon.
So, a lot of work all around. In this post, I'll go through these things more specifically, and touch on what's next in the roadmap.
While the world of Evenfall will be large, sometimes you need some grindy challenges. Enter: Endless Dungeons. You will be able to find groups around the world tasked with entering the Outworld to fight back against the torrent of enemies. Enlist with them to help fight this threat, and see how far down into the Outworld you can make it.
The deeper into the Outworld you go, the better the rewards when you come back out. Beat some big bosses down there to significantly increase the bounty. The video above shows the very first take at dungeon generation. I look forward to improving the generation algorithm and visuals of the dungeons, as well as designing a few staple set pieces you'll encounter in every run (unless you die too early)!
Improved Dialogue View
The original dialogue view centered at the top of the screen, and could cover up you and who you're talking to if there were too many response options. In the revised version, the camera zooms in on the conversation and off to the side to allow the dialogue box to take up more vertical space. Additionally, a little green circle shows who is currently talking. This is likely to go under a few revisions to make it all feel "right."
A hallmark of the genre, randomized item generation is now a part of Evenfall! In your journeys, you'll find unidentified jewlery and items, which can be identified by someone in town to reveal equip bonuses. The system for identifying items and item bonuses is in place, and the current work here is to add more types of item bonuses.
Currently, you can find damage boosts, damage shields, school-specific buffs, light radius bonuses, critical hit chances and more. Different types of items can yield different bonuses, and your level is taken into account when rolling item stats. In some cases, items can be found with stats rolled far above your level, perhaps when defeating a particularly hard boss, or maybe quest rewards or based on how far you make it in the endless dungeons.
This does mean that most existing items will need to be re-balanced around the dynamic generation. Some item effects will still target specific spells, or schools of magic. Rare and Legendary items will still have unique effects, and in some cases, an item can be identified as a unique Legendary item.
Continuing with item updates, you can now stack more common items, such as torches. This frees up some space for all the fancy new dynamic items you can get.
There is also a new category of item called "dust" which can drop from enemies of a given type of magic. There is one color of dust per school of magic. The dust will be able to roll dynamic items with specific bonuses for the related school of magic. There may be other uses for dust in the future as well.
In addition to updating some older spells, a few new ones have been added since the playtest. Here's a few examples:
Cast "Storm" to create a concentrated storm cell which deals Elemental damage to enemies caught up in it. The storm usually creeps along in the direction you cast it, but when upgraded, it follows you around!
Taking advantage of the new movement and physics in Evenfall, "Gust" creates a channel of wind to blow away smaller enemies and projectiles.
Misc Other Work
In addition to all the content and engine work, I've been boosting up the developer tooling, upgrading some artwork and doing a whole lot of miscellaneous UI work. Equipped spells are spaced out a bit, the healthbar has been moved to the middle of the screen, and there is now an indicator for inventory slot usage. A few new GUI animations and visual stingers have been added, and you get some information about what has unlocked when you level up a school of magic. Additionally, spell descriptions now show actual computed numbers where it makes sense, instead of just saying that damage "scales with" a school of magic.
All in all, work is going very well, and I'm hoping to begin working on world expansion and fleshing out the quests and storytelling. I'll be trying to push for a Spring playtest to test out all this new stuff before expanding too quickly, then the goal is to work on content buildout after that.
Thank you for reading, and please consider following Evenfall on Twitter and sharing with your friends!
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