Hello everyone and welcome to this new Ghost of a Tale update!
Development is progressing at a very brisk pace. Which is in part why there hasn’t been any update since the last time. As you all know I’m very hard at work on multiple aspects of the game and I always prefer ironing out new features before mentioning them publicly.
To start, here’s a new picture for you:
And here is a summary of things that are either new or improved (in no particular order):
- AI: I’ve implemented a new detection system for the enemies. Before it was a binary system which wasn’t entirely satisfying: you were either detected (and attacked right away) or you were not. The new detection system is much more organic and takes into account the player’s position, distance, speed, stance and whether you are hiding or not. There’s also a visual feedback icon on the enemy to let you know his level of suspicion (a little like in the Assassin’s Creed games). So now the whole thing is much more skill-based: it’s about how you balance the act of reaching a certain location without getting detected. Bottom line: it’s more fun!
- Music: A while ago Jeremiah composed an excellent “combat” cue (actually several) which is triggered when you get detected by an enemy and I finally got around integrating it to the new detection system. Needless to say it adds a tremendous amount of tension and drama to the experience.
- Animation: I mentioned before the “awareness system” in place for the player character; I’ve now added something similar for the enemies so that when they go somewhere (eg: patrolling from A to B) they actually look where they’re going. I know it may sound trivial but for me (as an animator) it really makes a difference.
- Story: Paul and I worked a great deal on the story. It has grown in depth and scope and we’re focused on making sure we can explore it for all its worth. We’re also working on game design and we are now at a point where we’re testing individual mechanics to make sure everything is working as it should.
- Interface: We now have a first pass on the inventory and the song system. It feels nice being able to actually see what you picked up at last (icon and description). Still a lot of work to be done in that area but it’s starting to take shape. We also have a new dialog system in place (thanks to Tony for the support on his Dialoguer asset) which works really well.
- Visuals: All the game’s shaders have been converted to Physically Based Shaders using the new Shader Forge tool (thanks to Joachim for the support). What does it mean in plain English? Surfaces now look much more realistic in the way they react to lighting: stone, metal and wood actually “feel” like distinct materials.
And of course in addition to the fine people I just mentioned let me thank again Stephane, David and Cyrille for their ongoing help in this mighty endeavor.
The next update I’ll post will focus more on story and the main character…