Hello again my Glorious Dark Lords!
It has been a couple of months since the last news update we gave you, when we stated our goal of having something functioning properly from top to bottom, so that we can begin testing and showcasing what this game really is. It is time to check on our progress and see how far we have made it in the pursuit of this goal, wouldn’t you say? As always, grab a comfortable seat as this will be a big one.
To start with, it can be said that we have actually achieved nearly all of our goals at this point, with a few things still left to wrap up in the time remaining until the deadline. A fair amount of art-related improvements as well as a massive amount of functionality improvements.
The list here is quite a big one, but to begin, the biggest task facing us has been the rewriting of all AI systems to a more advanced and final state. This includes anything from the overarching opponent AI, through systems that manage worker task distribution and down to individual creature AI. This is absolutely crucial to the entire game, as goes without saying, and is needed in order for us to have a properly functioning combat system. This is extremely close to being done and we cant wait to truly round out the base of the gameplay with it, as it is among the last of all the basic features we are currently lacking. More advanced things like manufacture and research will come afterwards.
Aside from this we have worked heavily on polishing both bugs and problems as well as general usability and finalizing certain systems. To name some things we have done:
- Added the Lair Plot system. You only need to place one type of “Lair”Object, which creatures will then choose from and turn into their own personal lairs.
- Training improvements – Experience gain has been tweaked and creatures can now only train until level 5 with dummies and targets. More experience will be found in combat, either on the field or through… means not yet available.
- Mana has been added, which regenerates over time after being used.
- Workers are now summoned via a spell, which costs Mana.
- Workers now actually collect gold and deposit in the treasure piles around the Throne, instead of simply generate it as they dig.
- Created the beginning of the Clutter and Decor generation system.
- A great many smaller but none-the-less important fixes and additions such as making new gizmos for room placement and the Sell tool, making the sell tool drag, changing when the overhanging unit displays appear and so on.
Just yesterday we made a first pass on the worker’s task management system, which is a rather important aspect of their AI, allowing them to make smart decisions that minimize wasted time and prioritize things that would be most important to you. We also made a first pass at the Economy of the game, having set down and tested many of the values. Both of these things need more tweaking to get right, but we’re almost there.. Other than that we have to finish the AI system as stated above, allowing us to have combat, fix a few minor bugs and issues and do some economy balancing. With that, the core of the game will be complete and we can show you what we really intend to give you with Lords of Nether, even if a limited and basic version of it. We’re all very excited for this!
To note the most important things we have done in regards to all artistic matters in the game, we have:
- Completed the ENTIRE Lair tileset, top to bottom. It’s architecture is now fully complete and we love how it looks. In time, the right decoration and clutter will make it look even better! We can’t wait to show you a bunch of different creatures trudging about the place either, but all in due time! Goblins, however, are very happy with their arrangements right now!
- Completely remade the floor tiles into a special mesh with better materials. This will also have a few loose bricks around the sides, which we have ready and just need to implement. It will also be animated when workers first claim the tile!
- Added particle effects to many things in the game! Worker actions such as Claiming, Fortification and digging now have appropriate effects, as well as the spell that summons workers!
- Overhauled the last of the worker animations for now and tweaked and improved many other animations across the board. We have now also begun going back to previously modelled but not yet animated or implemented characters like the grindylow and the archer, and began improving their rigs so we can soon start animating them as well!
- Created some assets for the clutter system to work with, allowing it to actually work ingame!
- Gone through a lot of work on setting up and starting work on the sound design of the game. We are very happy to say that Wind Up Audio have been making some great things and we cannot wait to have them ingame! A small sample of what they’ve been doing can be found here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/11WLyf6NAYTQSPaPVyXQJ4OIxn8P34BHH/view
- Began finalisation on the Feast Hall Tileset! We cant wait to have this one done as well and we are sure it will look fantastic and distinct within the dungeon! After this one we have the Barracks and Corridor tilesets to finish. We have also begun work on some of the assets for the Library, now that the base meshes for the Workshop are all done!
So overall it has been a very busy couple of months for us and we are extremely happy with the progress we’ve made! We are nearly to the point where we feel like we can really begin showcasing the game in some form and with that we will become more active both on social media and in bringing you smaller, more regular updates on our progress!
We hope you are just as excited as us to see things finally work together the way they should, in a true semblance of what Lords of Nether will come to be!
We will bring you more news soon, as we wrap this deadline up! Until then, stay out of the light, Lords, all great evils bide their time.
– Your Loyal Overseer