Cairn has grown. The game now includes over 20 types of units, a huge variety of attack types with fully working combat mechanics, almost 9 different Landmarks can be built, destroyed, and taken over, and dozens of doodads that have to be navigated around or destroyed for resources. All of these pieces coming together in the most recent builds has created some unique problems, mostly with the management of memory.
All of these different pieces create other objects within the game. Landmarks create projectiles that are thrown at enemies, Units create blood splatters as they take damage, and doodads break apart as they are destroyed. Everything in the game has it’s time to be removed from the game, a blood splatter is only there for a second, as it fades away after the initial hit. This spawning and destroying of game objects was really starting to hurt performance. Lets look at some figures & performance charts to better explain the problem.
Updating the blog is hard!. So here’s a bunch of small updates, because we have A LOT of loose files going around, specially images that we can’t really place in a full blown, dignified blog post, but that will give our fanbase (our moms?) something to check.
Because there’s nothing worst than an indie studio that doesnt update often.
We’ve been hard at work defining the look of the terrain and buildings for the game. The video below is a quick example of how all of the terrain is going to be destructible and you get a long look at the Tavern Landmarks for all of our current factions.
We have decided to showcase some of the music that will be included in Cairn. When we started talking about which way to go with the music, lots of different ideas and concepts were brought up. We wanted the music to have the epic and catchy elements of a soundtracks like Warcraft 2, but we also wanted it to have a more aggressive, militaristic, feeling like Command and Conquer.
After some arguing, brain storming and a few sound tests we decided to go for an orchestral score with a heavy dose of metal guitar. Here are a few tracks and I hope you enjoy them!
I finally got around to upload some work in progress videos.
First off is our grunt combat. These are a few of our finished sprites smashing each other to bits and just showing our combat engine off. I walk through our different stances that a unit can be placed into also. Youtube thought it would be a good idea to add some extra light to this video so it’s a little bright.
The second video shows off the special attacks of two of our Slayers. They are not finished sprites, but the special abilities are fully functional. We have some buffing abilities, a summoning ability, a charge attack, a ranged area of effect, an instant area of effect, and one that adds special damage to the slayers weapon.
I started working in the game since last April. When I first had contact with the team and we discussed about the musical direction of the project, I was very pleased to hear that I was going to be able to freely mix two of my all time favorite music styles: Orchestral Music and Metal!
I hope to be sharing some of the music I’ve made for the game very soon, I would also be telling you more about the process of writing the music.
Last night I spent 6 hours coding the layout of buttons and the logic associated with level ups, ability points, and managing them, and then decided that the path I was taking needs to be thrown away completely and re-factor the rest. This isn’t the first time something seems brilliant on paper, but begins to fall apart when it’s out of the gate. This one was especially annoying though and it really made me think about whether all the sacrifice is worth it. All the late nights, frustrating bugs, and slow progress adds up.
Today thoughts of condensed unit descriptions and more detailed special abilities dance in my head as the advantages of my gut wrenching decision settles in. We have been working on Cairn for just over a year, we have hopes for beta testing this month, and we have almost another year of development ahead of us. Sometimes it feels like trying to empty a lake with a spoon. Yet here I am editing descriptions, writing pseudo code, and preparing to get back in and knock it out.
I want the game to succeed and I want to make money, but I know that both of those things may not be in our future. All I know for sure is that we are going to release an amazing strategy game and it will stand as a love letter to all the real time strategy games of old. The idea of having a game that can stand along side Myth: The Fallen Lords, Warcraft 2 and 3, and somanyothergreat RTS games that have kept me entertained when I was young and keep me inspired today.
Hey everyone, Petunio here for another Art Update on Cairn.
So one thing is the units we are making for the game, another is the tiling that will go under the units. Originally we were working with another artist on the tiles, and for the most part his tiling skills were pretty good, but the contrast between what he did and the units in the game was a bit lacking, partially because he was working the terrain tiles without knowing how the units would look like.
I offered to do the tiles since I thought I could do a much better worklooking for the right contrast between units and terrain since they would both be developed by the same person (The Petunio, that is).