Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Great(est) Exposition

Today we’d like to share some information about one of our levels: The Great Exposition.

Crystal Palace

Imagine the damage one rock could do.

In 1851 the first of the World’s Fairs was held in London. Called “The Great Exposition”, this huge event was held in a newly constructed building – the Crystal Palace. Filling the booths within this greenhouse-like space were musical instruments and steam machines, precious jewels and ornate chandeliers. There were also booths for over a dozen foreign countries, each one doing their best to represent their homeland in the confines of the allocated space. The whole affair was a celebration of progress, innovation, and the entire human race.

This level is near the beginning of the game, and its bright, positive atmosphere serves as a contrast to the dark, Gothic levels that make up the majority of the game. Keeping this in mind, our artist composed the scene with a more washed out palette, one that gives the impression of light streaming through every inch of the tall, glass structure.

A fountain fit for frolicking in.

A fountain fit for frolicking in.

We wont go into too much of the story behind why Poe is at the World’s Fair, or what he is trying to do there, but we will say that we are really excited with where this level is going. Players who take the time to explore every inch of the fairgrounds will be rewarded for doing so, and even just stopping and looking through the numerous details we’ve tucked away throughout all the booths will lead to a more enjoyable experience.

Pixel Pattern Rugs

Pixel Pattern Rugs

We have ambitious plans for the Great Exposition level, and there’s still much to do before it’s complete. We just wanted to share what we have because it was important to show that the levels in EDGAR will be unique and varied. Not all of them will take place at night (though most of them will) and each one will be visually and thematically different. The journey Poe embarks on is as founded in history and emotion as it is in imagination and old-fashioned fun.

We can’t wait for you all to experience it!

- Wrought Iron Games

Fountains and Feedback

We’ve been quite busy this week and so our weekly update is a day late. We hope you can find it in the dark recesses of your heart to forgive us. Feel free to go search for it if you need to. Go dig down deep in there. We’ll wait.

The main thing we’d like to share this week is a quick video showing the water particles we’ve been working on for a beautiful tiered fountain. It was very interesting getting the particles, which are flowing in a 3D space, to interact (and look good) on a single plane, but we think we’ve figured it out. We still want to tweak the way water interacts with Poe, but that will be pretty easy to do. We have a handful of ideas on neat things we can do with water that go above and beyond stately fountains, but this will have to quench your thirst for now.

We also threw together a simple webplayer where people can test out and tweak Poe’s movement physics (found here). There are 3 presets currently in the build, but you can change the values of several different settings to get the movement just how you would like it. When you do find settings you like, please let us know! You can tweet us your preferences, leave them in a comment below, or go to our Feedback Friday post on r/gamedev, and let us know there! However you do it, we’d love to hear what sort of movement EDGAR should have. Like floaty, precision platforming, or simple sidescrolling bliss? Let us know!

- Wrought Iron Games

Audible Caramel Chocolate

Poe at work

Poe at work

This week we’d like to share with everyone one of our original pieces of music for EDGAR. It is the same piece featured in our gameplay trailer, but now you can listen to it without the death rattles of tiny bats sprinkled over it. Our composer, John J. Harvey, has done an excellent job of creating music that is not only dark, brooding, and Gothic, but has undertones of charm and energy. It’s like shoving a piece of caramel chocolate in your ears, though not nearly as messy. He has composed quite a bit more for the game already, but we’re keeping those a little closer to the chest for the time being. For now, enjoy the track below.

While you’re here, we might as well show you our updated inventory screen. Last week we showed off the concept which had the inventory contained within a journal that Poe carries around. We fleshed out the idea, and here you can see what it will look like when filled with loot. The photo on the right page will update to show Poe’s appearance with whatever gear he currently has equipped.

You know it's old because it's in sepia

You know it’s old because it’s in sepia

That’s about all for now, though I will say that we are working on something quite fantastic at the moment. We’re all very excited about it and we know that you will be as well! You’ll just have to pick up a good book to pass the time until then. May we recommend “20,000 Leagues Under the Seas”?

- Wrought Iron Games

Whiskey, Loot, and Other Such Things

Why is a raven like a collection of pixels?

The new year is upon us, and now that all of us are back from our respective vacations, we are doubling down on work with EDGAR. Our goal is to get the game into the next stage (whatever that may turn out to be) by February. So we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us!

We had a slight delay in progress as the Unity plugin we were using became suddenly unstable. This happened a few weeks apart on two separate machines, and we knew that by continuing to use it, we would risk wiping our spritesheets every time we made a change. The plugin was very helpful, and insightful, but was just no longer support by the creator, and so we’ve adopted 2DToolkit. The good news is the scripts were able to carry over for the most part, and all of the art has already been re-added to the game using this plugin.

There are two things I’d like to talk about in this post that I think may be of interest: pickups and inventory.

Go on then, pick them up.

At the moment we have three pickups that will be strewn across the world (shown above). Coins will be gathered for purchasing weapons from NAME REDACTED and can even be used for upgrading some items. They will come in a variety of values including half-pennies, farthings, sovereigns and more. We are playing around with the idea of making a handful of coins spill out occasionally if you take damage (ala Sonic) because there’s nothing like scrambling around like a London vagrant, frantically gathering enough coins to buy another swig of whiskey. Which brings me to the next pickup.

There is a surprising amount of debate surrounding Edgar Allan Poe and alcohol. Many believe that, due to the nature of his death, Poe was an alcoholic, while others believe that he was actually allergic to the stuff altogether. We thought long and hard about whether to include alcohol in the game, eventually deciding to go for it, and here’s why: Whether Poe drank or not is ultimately irrelevant when it comes to telling a Gothic, Poe-esque tale. Many of Poe’s characters drink, and intoxication fits superbly with the surreal content that fills his stories as well as our game. So scattered across the game world will be bottles of whiskey that will replenish varying amounts of Poe’s health on contact.

The last pickup are inkwells. As a writer, ink is to Poe as bullets are to a soldier. They are a form of ammo that is spent on every single attack. Our aim is for this to add a frantic, fast paced feel to the game as players run around, killing baddies and collecting ink. Inkwells will be found throughout the levels to refill some of the bar, but ink will also spill out like blood from defeated Foes. In order to prevent situations where players are fresh out of ink and face a plethora of Foes, Poe will always be able to put away his weapons and get down and dirty with an old fashioned scrapping. While unarmed attacks will be weaker, they do not require ink, and will allow players a means of getting back into the inky flow of things.

Dear diary, today I killed rats and found a gas mask.

The last thing I want to show is our work in progress for the inventory screen. Here you can see our thoughts on how loot will stored and equipped. The loot icons will be stored in the grid on the left page, and there will be an option to filter them by hats, outfits, accessories, special, or all. A mouse over on each of the items will pop up with the items info. Items can be dragged to the equipment spots on the right side and will change the stats below accordingly. The top of the right page will be a Victorian style black and white photograph which will show Poe wearing the currently equipped items.

That’s all for now, but we’d love to hear your thoughts on everything so far. What do you think of the pickups? Does the inventory seem intuitive so far? As always, you can talk with us here or on our twitter @EdgarAllanPwnd.

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