stage 3

Stage 3: Azaria - Development diary 5: New level design

Hey everyone!

We have some big changes going on inside Stage 3: Azaria's development. Today we'll tell you about the changes in the level design and the main objectives of the map, which are two of the most important aspects in the game. While we are changing our level design drastically, we believe it is for the best of the game; after all, it's you who are going to play it and we want you to have thousands of hours of fun with our games!

Let's begin by sharing information about the world of Stage 3, and the location where the battle takes place.

Heorogan's Castle

The universe of Stage 3 is composed of multiple families fighting for power and respect. Each one of these send their members to endure harsh training so they can become members of one of the following factions: Heiron Alliance, Viridian Resistance and Sanctum Order. Which are the main power holders in the continent. The families are recognized by the talent of their members, so the most respectful of them have very powerful members.

The Heorogan's family is the strongest in the kingdom and they possess a castle that is strategically positioned to gain advantage of the resources on their land. While controlling Azaria you will have to face Eolica Heorogan, whose army is composed of Heiron Alliance and Sanctum Order members, while trying to protect the castle's main gate.

Level design

The battle takes place in Heorogan's Castle territory and it's surrounded by giant floating islands that connect each other via magical artifacts. Before creating the art of the game we must make sure the level design has a new flow and the player finds it engaging. Let's take a look at some of the islands the player can explore.

First island

This is a 3 layer island, with height differences, designed so the player can keep track of the lower levels of the island by going to the edges. It has multiple paths to the objective on the second layer, so enemies wont be that predictable from where they will come from and they will be able to adapt to obstacle spells.

Objectives are situated on the topmost layer with spawning knights on the lowest layer and wisps on every level. The cover has been placed on the first and second level so the player can fight on these areas better.

First island blockout map

Second island

The second island has 2 entry points for knight enemies and keeps the objectives on the middle of the map. The player will need to go to the lower levels to secure a second objective, leaving the main objectives exposed to the topmost spawned enemies, keeping the player always moving on the map.

The main area is kept mostly symmetric but with some natural cover objects to make it interesting and fun.

Second island blockout map

Third island

A bridge island, it is used by the enemies to teleport between the main islands Has 3 entry/exit points and bridges that connect them, these bridges can be disabled by the player temporaly. Allowing the player to manage the waves of enemies coming at them. It has minimun cover and its not designed to be an area to fight enemies.

Third island blockout map

Modularity in art

While the game designers are focusing on making the game and levels fun, the art team is focused on trying to tell the story by creating the characters and how the world will look. At this stage, it is important to focus on modularity and the visual language that the models will translate to the player. Different forms and silhouettes give different feelings. For instance vertical lines give a sense of stability like the pillars of Greek columns or other architecture elements; while horizontal lines give a sense of peace, just like watching the ocean when there is a sunset.

When working on games, it is important to be as efficient as possible. You never know how the assets you create are going to be used in the game so the best you can do is to create pieces that by themselves don't make much impact but together can create something interesting. This is the beauty of creating worlds in games and it's where your creativity shines!

These are some of the pieces we are using to create architecture for Stage 3:

These simple pieces may seem that they won't do much impact in the world, but these are some of the combinations that can be made if used creatively:

As you can see, just by using six 3D models we can create a wide range of architectural elements. When these combined with the power of materials in Unreal Engine, the possibilities are endless! If you want to know more about how we are using materials to create art you can check our article here

We hope you enjoyed reading the article and learned more about how we are creating our games! That's it for this week newsletter, there are more awesome content coming up soon so stay tuned. If you wish to ask anything about the game or about the development don't be shy and let us know by the comments below. Until next week!

 

 

Stage 3 - Weekly update 4

Weekly update 4 is out! There aren't big changes but it is significantly getting better little by little.

Programming

  • Improvements on the level hub.
  • Boss room layout finished.
  • Boos Room now spawns itself, the boss and the player correctly.
  • Added new type of enemy Swordsman.
  • Added parry reaction of melee enemies.
  • Implemented Item stacking inside the Inventory.
  • Modified Inventory User Interface to match the inventory size.
  • You can now obtain stacked Consumables from random loot boxes.

Visual arts

  • Added Return Portal visual effects.
  • Added Insanity mode visual style.
  • Added Hit visual effects.
  • Toned down bloom in some particles.
  • Ambient particles are now added to the environment.
  • Added a better visual representation when you open a chest.
  • Added knockback animations.
  • Added death animations for elemental attacks.

That's it for this week! Thanks for passing by, if you have any questions about development don't hesitate to post them below!

Stage 3 - Weekly update 2

This week has come with very important updates on gameplay and combat system. You are now able to switch between 3 combat stances and create your own combos!

Programming

  • The Damage that the player does to the enemies depends on the weapon and the type of animation.
  • Fixed movement behavior while attacking.
  • Now you are able to change between 3 Combat Stances.
  • You can now find chests and find new items inside them.
  • User Interface now detects if you are using a Keyboard and mouse or a Gamepad Controller and changes the UI accordingly.
  • Added random loot spawner.

Visual Arts

  • Added Item Pickup special effects.
  • Added Portal Gate that will allow you to return to your base.
  • Finished in-game versions of upcoming weapons for "Common" type.
  • Added three different types of chests.
  • Added UI mockup for the summary of the last round.
  • Added new Game Over title.
  • Added three types of death animation.

Game Design

  • The experience is now used to allocate points on the character stats.
  • You can now save gear obtained in the last round using a special chest found in the level.
  • New special titles added to the character. They give different attributes.

That's all for this week! Will come with more updates soon.

Cheers!