ThoughtSpike’s 2017 in Review

A wizard stands in a temple of fire.

A quick look at all we’ve been up to in the year of surprises.

Work, unlike blog posts, has not ceased. While I juggle my day job, development, and existential horror, Reinan is a wizard who has mastered the “doesn’t sleep” potion recipe so, due mostly to his eldritch efforts, we have accomplished some wonderful things.

Stroll past the roll for a list of what’s online, fully functional and playable, with pictures!

Come on in!
Come on in!

Wizard’s Tower Checklist of Happiness

— Plus four to saves VS. the blues.

Quandry

  • About 8 hours of puzzle, platform and combat driven game-play.
    • About 2 hours of handcrafted environments.
    • About 6 hours of semi-procedurally generated (highly destructible and re-playable) levels.
    • Exploration based narrative throughout.

Fire

  • Fluid and responsive third person character controller with animations, idles etc.
  • Magic system in which every magic effect seen in the tower can be learned and used.
  • Twenty-eight unique spell effects and more to come.
  • Beta user interface for spell-casting and inventory of spells.
  • Environment destruction utilizing multiple damage types (fire & force for now, maybe more later.)

Battle

  • Beta sound-track with open source music.
  • Two playable characters with more to come.
  • Moderately polished look and feel, with custom shaders, mesh assets, lighting design and post-process effects.
  • Story content is about 40% complete.

TeamUp

Basically, the game is playable. For the first five hours or so it feels pretty finished! But big things remain to be done, so we keep another, more terrifying list of things we’ve yet to do:

Nemesis List

Pin to forehead to declare independence from the tyranny of sleep.

  • Come up with a better name.
  • Save-system. (Currently we have a pretty excellent player-driven teleport system that does almost all the work of a save system in a game that’s largely about getting places, but it doesn’t persist between play sessions).
  • More levels for our tower. Over the last year we’ve leveled up our level-up skills so each new level is literally and figuratively up.
  • Opening sequence. I don’t like to call it a ‘cinematic’ because I prefer prescriptive game-play over passive “watch me” sequences, but one way or the other the game has to set up its premise and hook the player to care. We have something working but I’m not satisfied.
  • The story climax and conclusion, which are second in importance only to the opening.
  • Original soundtrack.
  • More environmental design – this is flushing out the world with neat details like snow particles, moonbeams, and amusingly placed turds.
  • Optimization. This is on our white board as ‘Optimus-ation Prime.’ We’re a two person team, so this is a little bit of a never-ending story. There must always be an Optimus-ation Prime.
  • Reinan always wants to work on the spell system. What can I say? He’s a wizard. He likes magic. It’s a cool system. There’s always more to do.

Onward

We’re feeling pretty good with the road so far and looking forward to an ambitious target for a possible early 2019 release. Thanks for sticking with us and cheers to the journey. Up and up and away!

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