Continuing last month’s expose on the many good and bad monstrosities in the eastern lands of Thea, we’ll talk about some more demons and the scourge of the unliving.
The un-living are those poor wretched beings who’s soul was destroyed/torn out or taken, yet the bodies remain animated by dark, gruesome magics. Unlike demons, who can also be born out of death, the unliving were made by necromancers, twisted warlocks or wicked witches. Such magic is deadly, dangerous and forbidden by the gods, yet its scourge remains a constant threat in Thea. While last month we gave an account of varied creatures who may or may not wish you harm, today’s selection is rather more keen on human demise.
During the long century of darkness, it has been recorded that the unliving gained strength and numbers and while the sun has awakened more than two centuries ago now, the shattering has once again de-balanced our world and brought out yet another wave of the unliving plague.
A sample of monsters, both natural and unnatural – although the distinction is often foggy at best.
Skeletons and unliving corpses – the two main types of the unliving are skeletons and corpses. Scholars argue to whether the two forms are separate in type: do they require different rituals to raise? Are they different in nature? Some insist that the two are simply raised at different stages of the body’s decomposition cycle, thus some will be mere skeletons and others will still carry flesh. But some experts suggest that unliving corpses have been known to bite and even devour the flesh of the living, while skeletons seem to work more as bodyguards or fighters, and seem rather uninterested in any form of sustenance. There are few written accounts to draw a single conclusion, but the latter carries more weight.
Today I wanted to share one bit I’ve been working on recently – day/night cycles.
Those of you who have played Thea: The Awakening surely remember that one of the game’s features was a day/night cycle that affected visibility and difficulty. We’ve decided to keep this element in Thea 2: The Shattering as well. An opportunity to work on this bit appeared after Khash has added handling of specular maps into his terrain and water shaders this week. So to test how things work, I played a while with different light setups and thought it would be cool to put together a switchable animation with a set of lights that would show the day/night cycle. After two days of trying to get the light and shadows right (being fairly new to different lighting settings), here’s a short video showing the progress:
Other terrain elements also got an upgrade – water got an improved normal map, can now bounce off light and also blends with the shore much better. Also terrains can now use emissive maps, so I can add a nice glow to lava tiles on the volcanic island (yet to be done). And KIhash is improving terrain blending as I type this post. Of course there’s still much work needed – rivers are a bit buggy, fog of war is missing, etc. – but I do hope we’re going in the right direction.
Below are a three more screens from different biomes.
Thea is a vast land split into many continents and cultures, and now, after the shattering, it is even more fractured and diverse. Slavya was once a continent where the Cosmic Tree grew and the battle with the Darkness took place. Despite the earth being torn to pieces, the floating islands remain steeped in Slavyan folklore and infested by the so called demons.
In a world filled with ghosts, risen dead, magic and unhumans, it is often unclear how the Slavyans distinguish one to be a demon, but the general definition stands as follows:
Since a number of people asked, we’ve set up a Newsletter!
You all know what is it for, so just go and sign up if you want the news delivered to your e-mail.
On the development front – works are progressing and Khash has begun coding a first pass of the card minigame (and things related to it, such as networking). Having it in playable state will be a great help for event writers. We have no new screens to show just yet but when we do, we’ll definitely share them with you.
It’s no secret that Thea: The Awakening turned out quite well for us. But it’s been a while since our last news entry (and I have to admit I neglected our website a bit…) so people were wondering what exactly are we doing at the moment. We kept our head down for a while and since autumn promised to announce our next title “soon”, but the time has finally come!
In the dawn of the success of CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3 and their welcomed, arguably innovative, or perhaps retro attitude towards free content, it is easy to see why even the little guys may want to follow those giant footsteps. But is it viable for indie developers to do so? And more to the point, why do it at all?
The second big DLC has just hit the stores! The main focus of this DLC is a co-op mode for 2 players, where you’ll be able to play with your buddy and overcome the dangers of Thea together! Continue reading
I have no idea how many games get released each year, but I it’s more every year. Gamers have a good choice of titles, but only some titles are worth the time and money. This is where reviews come in, either in the form of written text in a big magazine, or store page reviews. But there are no truly impartial reviews and a reviewer may like different things in games than we do, right? Different things annoy or give joy to different people so the best idea of what a game is like is to watch someone play it. YouTube has gained a massive popularity among gamers in the recent years, there are tons of content makers spitting out various video material. But from the dawn of game development, the custom is that reviewers don’t buy the games they review. They get it from developers. Continue reading
Today a couple words about returns and refunds.
As you know, some time ago Steam has introduced refunds, which I think in general is a great idea. People are less afraid to try out new games and if something doesn’t go right, whether it is a hardware problem or the game just turns out to be something else they anticipated – they have no feeling of being cheated.
On the other hand… Continue reading