Monthly Archives: September 2013

Fact and Fantasy, Shaken, Not Stirred

Today we’d like to talk a bit about the in-game journal in EDGAR.

When we set out to make this game, one of the most important things for us was that the game be able to serve as a launching point for exploring the literature, people, places, and themes of the Victorian Era. To that end, we are implementing an in game journal that players can use to dive into the world.

The least spoilerific screenshot we could get

The least spoilerific screenshot we could get

Early in the adventure Poe comes across a mysterious, magical book with the ability to generate new entries about the beings that Poe encounters and the events that transpire. So after defeating a new enemy type for the first time, or after initiating a conversation with a character, a notification will drop down on screen, letting the player know the journal has been updated. These notifications can be turned off if desired, however, the unread entries will still be marked as “NEW” within the journal until they’ve been viewed.

Optional dropdown notification.

Optional dropdown notification.

What we are most excited about, in all this, is that we will be mixing both fact and fiction indiscriminately throughout the entries. One entry may talk about the behavioral patterns of gargoyles while another talks about Lewis Carroll’s passion for photography. The blend continues down into individual entries even, as the stories of real people and places are twisted into alternate, pseudo-accurate tales. Not only will this add some coherence and “believably” (as far as fantasy stories are concerned) to our world, but it will hopefully instill a sense of wonder and curiosity within players that leads to them going out and learning more on their own.

Ultimately, the journal serves as just another way to expand the alternative world of our game, and how far players dive into it is completely up to them. We are just doing our part to make sure there’s good stuff waiting for those who want it.

– Wrought Iron Games

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A Preview of Some Levels and Creatures which Inhabit Them

Pub Close Up

You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.

In our last devblog update we showed a compilation image of some of the levels from the game. Today, we’d like to go into a little more depth on some of them. Keep in mind, this is only a sampling of the planned levels. There are some we will probably show later, and even a few we’re not going to show at all. This isn’t out of some innate need to be mysterious (though it is fun) but because Poe’s journeys will have several twists and turns and some things just need to be experienced in the context of the whole story.

Hold your breath.

Hold your breath.

The Brighton Sewers are one of the early levels of the game, and give us a chance to explore the grimy, filthy side of the Victorian Era. Human waste, pollution from machines, and increasing city density, among other things, all contributed to a huge sanitary issue in London. In 1858, an offensively unpleasant summer was dubbed as “The Great Stink” and pushed towards a more efficient and more interconnected, underground sewer system.

In the sewer level, players can expect to face filthy, toxic creatures like the Sludge, which do damage over time whenever Poe touches them, as well as stranger, more mysterious enemies like light-sensitive, subterranean mole-people.

Psychedelic.

Psychedelic.

The Witching Woods are a level from the middle of the game, and has been a great place for us to let our imaginations run wild. Once surrounded by the tall trees, Poe finds that the woods are home to all sorts of magical things, from fairies and ghosts to humanoid mushrooms and sentient plants.

In the picture above is a foe we’re calling the Weeping Moose. This creature is passive, and will never attack Poe, but the blood flowing from its eyes pools up on the ground as the moose walks aimlessly around. The blood will make Poe slide, and if he doesn’t have full health, it will deal continuous damage for as long as he is standing in it.

I'm so hot for her and she's so cold.

I’m so hot for her and she’s so cold.

The last level we’ll talk about today is the Ice Cavern. It’s a level from the later part of the story, and contains some of the most difficult enemies in the game. Snow monsters, falling icicles, and crystalline beasts are only some of the obstacles Poe will have to face during his adventure through the caverns.

Featured in the image above are a seductive Frost Nymph, and an Ice Wasp. The Ice Wasp is an evolution of some flying monsters from the earlier levels, but they are faster, harder to dodge, and their “frostbite sting” does increasingly more damage with every successful hit.

There is still much for us to do, both for levels and enemies, but we hope that this tiny bit of information gives you a good idea of the variety the levels will have.

If you have any questions or comments on any of this, let us know, either here, or on twitter.

Until next time.

– Wrought Iron Games

Jumpstart

A sample of some of the game's levels.

A sample of some of the game’s levels.

Apparently, one ability of solar panels, in addition to generating extra electricity that the energy department can add back on to their grid, is the ability to create surges that fry your computer. Thankfully our programmer had daily backups of his work, so he only had to wait for his new computer to keep pressing on with development.

Despite all of that, our programmer has been able to make improvements on the AI and how they handle platforms, and make some changes to the character controllers so that we can have a lot more enemies on screen without slow down. Both of these things are important for our next objective, which is playtesting one of our early levels.

Near the beginning of the game Poe sets out on the streets of London on a foggy night (pictured second in the header). We’ll be setting up this level, populating it with baddies, and then running it and tweaking it and running it and tweaking it, until we are happy with it, and then we’ll be tweaking it some more. Its a big step towards actually creating the experience we want for the players. A lot of the basic coding and art has been done, stuff that I would say gives the game a sturdy foundation, but we’ve reached the point where we are able to start building on that foundation, and it’s pretty exciting.

Keep checking in either here, on Twitter, on our Facebook page, or on Screenshot Saturday on r/Gamedev, for more updates as we continue.

– Wrought Iron Games