Owls, Moles, …and Rocks

As developers and designers of Everend, we have made many design decisions throughout Everend’s development. Deciding that we wanted the main character to be an owl was one of the first and biggest decisions we had to make, and that decision held true throughout the whole development of the game. But the thing is, there are many decisions made that were either scrapped or changed  throughout the development process as well.  Some of the biggest changes we have made have even involved some of our core game-play mechanics. For example the mole and the push-able rock have gone through plenty of these changes, both of which I will touch on below.

When we were figuring out what kind of puzzles we wanted to add to Everend, we came up with the idea of using a simple mechanic like pushing around a rock. We then added other mechanics to it in order to make those puzzles more complex. Simple right? Well, that didn’t turn out to be the case. The functionality that a rock was able to be pushed was never really the issue that we dealt with though, the issue that was dealt with was that we never really liked how it felt when pushing the rock. What I mean by this is that we changed how the controls worked while pushing the rock several times, but we kept the basic functionality of pushing the rock the same.

GoodRock
Kaia is determined to push this rock.

 

It may not always be easy to make a decision that changes the development process, but sometimes these decisions are necessary in order to make the game better overall. I know that we all are happy with results of all the iterations of the pushing rock controls, so it was all worth it in the end.

As mentioned before though, the pushing rock was not the only thing that changed through our development process. An even bigger decision that we made was changing how the mole would react to the player. As the pushing rock was more of a controls change, the decision to change the mole was a complete game-play change.

GoodMole
Uh Oh… Kaia, I think you should run!!

Originally the mole was designed to run away from the player when they would have a lit torch and it would move towards the player when the they didn’t have a torch. After creating the prototype of the mole we realized that there just wasn’t enough game-play involved with the current version of the mole so we decided to make a change. The new mole was designed to perform a charging attack when it is angered by a torch. The mole will then stay on the attack until the player figures out how to defeat it. And that is for you the players to figure out. 🙂

Overall, many decisions have been made and changed throughout the whole development process. Whether these decisions were made to cut, add or change things in the game, we have almost reached the end of the development process and it has been full of hard decisions that have shaped Everend in many different ways. We can’t wait to let these decisions be shown in full to everyone when Everend is released.

 

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Status Update #1 Making Progress

The whole team is hard at work on Everend as we enter into our fourth week of development. Coming out of the first sprint, which ended earlier this week, we have made a lot of progress on Everend as a whole. We created a prototype showcasing some of the mechanics that we have already implemented into the game, including character movement, water physics, lighting, sound, simple AI, and the way the in-game camera moves. .

Shown is a prototype light-box showing how light will be handled in game. Also shown is an example of a waterfall.
Shown is a prototype light-box showing how light will be handled in game. Also shown is an example of a waterfall.

Although the prototype was a big part of the sprint, there was still plenty other work that was done during this time. This included:

  • Expanding on the narrative
  • Refining the game-play
  • Figuring out how the animations will look
  • Design of the first level
  • Art concepts for other NPC characters
  • Deciding on an art style that everyone is comfortable with
Concepts for how the final game environment will look like
Concepts for how the final game environment will look like

Aside from just making the game itself, we also would like to spread the word of Everend for everyone to follow and watch our progress as we create this adventure. That is why during these last couple weeks, a multitude of social media sites have been created to help expand the amount of people exposed to Everend.

Screenshots of the different social media sites we have created
Screenshots of the different social media sites we have created

We want people to look forward to playing our game as it is very rewarding to see how everyone reacts to it. We hope you keep following us as we make this journey and we hope that you will enjoy Everend as much as we already do.

-Tyler, Strix Game Studio