Update #05 - Progress Screens
I incredibly embarrassing, but I really do not have time to publish content in network. We late with official screenshots of PSF this year. Not everything happened as we want. Nevertheless, we want to introduce you to the intermediate screenshots. This is a cut from current build of game and half the quality of the isometric view, we want to do.
After some time, we published in the net three screenshots. This is a test of the evening and night lighting. Do not worry - the game will be and black night. We do not believe that for a gameplay well when the night and day brightness have a same intensity with clearly visible, and that the day of the night is distinguished only by the blue light.
We are not ready yet to show really dark "extremely night" locations, because currently we still work with free-version of the engine Unity3D (it imposes certain restrictions on the functionality of the engine). Yes, ashamed to admit, but we do not have money to buy the full version of the engine.
Special note for lovers to write us notations: Do not send, please, letters where you spoke that - it's a shame if developer have no opportunity to have two thousand dollars, or not to have oportunity to bought $ 60 monthly subscription. I understand that this can looks strange. But lot of indie developers cannot boast of success Marcus Person, Tim Schafer & etc. If you want to help, instead of letter with notations - help financially (wink).
However, you can see that even with a free, demo version of the Unity3D engine, we can create high-quality images, leaving far behind such masterpieces as, for example, Wasteland 2.
In the development of art image of PSF game we do not focus on popular games or popular trends. We do not follow fashion. We follow ancient traditions of game industry. Old two-dimensional isometric games were able to convey information about the object by two or three pixels on the game screen - we also do it. We believe in the truth of this path, and we believe that the game industry, in case of three-dimensional graphics, chose the wrong way, in case of isometric genres, absolutely wrong way. Where necessary to doing isometric with good quality, the developers chose simplification of image, use the way of the clones.
Isometric games, isometric RPG it's a special caste of games. You cannot made design by army of cloned objects. Isometric games deserve attention to detail. We ready say - 3D already ready revive indrebible quality of old 2D games of the past time. So ... you can go to Brian Fargo and tell - «3D ready. We want - beautiful games». 3D is ready. Unity3D is ready. Enough to be a lazy.
We not need in this words. We know what you want. We know what we want. We know how to look good games and we are ready to work on this. I was glad to see you here. See ya.
Happy New Year!
Team of Lionwood Studios.
Update #04 - Scotty Gas Station
This is a great day for us. We make another one step in creation of Project Serenity: Finder. Another one step through the dark to the light. Today we want to show you first intermediate screens of our first game location. It is Scotty service. Old gas station. Brian Fargo start the story of Wasteland 2 with screen of gas station. And we too want to start from gas station. And we hope you can see the difference between our two gas stations.
We do not want to start comparisons between two games. Because who is we and who is a legendary star of Brian Fargo? Very skilled, old and professional game developer with a huge work experience, and who made a ton of old good games. But we want just a show you our work progress. And assure you - we are closely following this ideal-reference-game (and of course we following the good old games from gaming past like Fallout, Arcanum, Commandos & etc.)
And we try to do something better than do this legendary developer, at least in few little details. Because, of course, after meeting with Wasteland 2, we of course understand that we cannot compete with such high standards of quality.
We said about this screens - intermediate. Why? Because it's only sketch. Few textures of ground and one building with a sign. Our next station is - first official screens where all details you can see will lie on the right places.
Update #03 - Artwork, additional info, models
Work moving on. Not so fast as we want to see, but with normal speed. Today we want present you additional head-art. It is mutant. Not a popular the vision of mutants. Have no white eyes, have no aggressive mode, it is not evil creature of post-apocalyptic world. First of all mutants is unlucky people, sick people. And mutation it is not a way to enlarge size of creature. Mutation it is human defect. Sick in first primarily, and only after something other.
"Normal people" afraid the mutants. Stereotypical thinking tells the people - it is a disease, and we can get infected. It is not true, but who can care about it? So, in most of all cases "normal" avoid contacts with the mutants. In most of all cases - mutants settles in side towns. In many towns mutants have a restrict to settle near humans. And only few towns have a democratic principles in question of mutants.
Of course mutants is a large theme for talking. But today we extremely want to work with environments. And we have a good progress, in next update you can see what we can do with level design. Today we touch a little this theme. Here sketch of foundation for structures and buildings. We do not accidentally doing the sketches. With importance to foundation. Foundation as well as any ground in an isometric game is - everything. Most often, the player looks at the ground. At the roof. At the floor. And each piece of this must looks good. That is why we think about ground in special key.
At last, but not least - vehicles. Cars. We can't do many of cars and vehicles. Because we very limited by time and the budget. As you remember all of our budget is zero. More over we invest into the development of game PSF our own funds. That is why we cant do many of models, can't do many of different models. But we want to show you how can looks good game, and maybe after this some of you want to help us.
This is a folk-car. We take a real model, made little redesign, and give this car name Stanford Classic. This mean that this car is base for other variation of car. We planned made also medical, fire and cargo versions of this car. To enlarge our car park. To make illusion of dead traffic on the road. Of course traffic its a very noise word for one model. But when we done - you can see what we mean when say "traffic".
I'm not say - farewell or goodbye. I say - see ya. I sure we see you soon.
Update #02 - Historical Almanac
First of all I want bring apologize about frequency of our future updates. From the viewpoint of promotion of game was be a better, publish updates often as possible. But we work with a hard limitation in questions of crew and time for develope. Only two developers on board. Coder (tech advisor). And painter (multi-functional guy). And it's all. So... better for a game - focus our resources on the work, but not an on game promotion.
If you are interested - this update about geography of game world. What's the place, where we start and etc. I can named this like historical almanac. Because in our current update we're talking about geography Boise-city, and even about the geological processes that lead us in the world of Idaho state, as we know it now ("now" - alternative history where Carribean crisis of 1962th happen, and our current time stopped on mark 2000~2020-th years of our century). Player is descendant of refugees. Which leave Boise after drop bombs.
Little remark. In Project Serenity, in real 2009th when we start write design-document for the game - Boise was one of the potential point of start. We planned to make three different point of start in different regions of Idaho state. But this was a difficult task. When time is go on, we return to our favorite idea to make post-apocalyptic game, and get from our pants giant knifes. To cut all difficult task and find a part of game-mechanics which can be rise up in the new page of development of Project Serenity. After some week of paper work I find it, cut from docs, and transform into the Project Serenity: Finder (PSF). PSF is game about searching and surviving.
For me personally, is very important to make real and informed design of the world. Reliable game locations, places & etc. I'm sure I'll find the target auditory, which love attention to these details, love to explore world and love dig in the history events. In shadows of pedantism often lies realism, which many prefer a more than beautiful but very empty world of present games. In my opinion realism is not quantity of bolts on the plumbing pipe or precise replica of real house on the real street or precise replica of historical object. Nope. Realism is when you feel that all that happen now around you in the game – can be happen. When you look at this house and this item in your hands and understand – it’s can be. In our case realism it's a need to eat, drink, rest, sleep (include impact of this actions on the condition of hero) and search food, water, supplies, place to hide, places to sleep. In the entourage of dead state of Idaho.
Realism in my opinion, when you can’t kill all around, like a Rambo or Terminator. Ask yourself - what you doing in this world? Answer is - trying to survive. Terminator is not need to eat. He needs in nuclear battery. Rambo needs machinegun and lot of bullets. Both of these items is very rare thing. Even if you find nuclear battery (i doubt that you understand that this object is battery, even if you find them) - you must know how you can use it. You are savage which was born on the ruins of former United States of America. What you can know about batteries and about machineguns? What you can know about world around you if you live so many years in isolation? If your primary needs in long-long years was attempt to survive, care about village and citizens?
Come back with me to main theme. History. One of potential point of start (Boise) transform into main location of game. In the main story of PS one of the three characters can come down from the mountains, where he with family hiding long time ago. In PSF we take this idea and made little village in mountains near Lucky Peak place. You - exactly from this village. Many years this village lived as hideout from big and danger world. Of course you don’t know many things happening in open world, behind the «wall» of mountains. What you need to know? What you will hear from those who live in the foothills?
Before start work with game location or game objects i'm jump in to the cold water of history, where under surface of information i'm search the photo and info-references to better understanding of places of future world and objects of future world.
Any archaeologist can work like crazy under his subject , forgeting about world around . Such luxury I can not afford. Although at times, if be honest, I can day and night collecting information about the future area. In last time instead of working - I tree days readin about dam near Boise and about soldiers who built a dam in time of WW2. Boise, as place for game start, the long time "clouding" in my head. I love this place. Mountains, rivers and canyons. Photos, maps, satellite photos and historical materials - all of this helped to start with a dam not far from Happy Peak (Lucky Peak). Today we talking about Boise, Lucky Peak dam and about future of this place.
Geography of Boise-City
Lucky Peak Dam
This is one of the places, the way which refugees use to leave Boise-City. When all started, - many people trying to escape in different sides from the densely populated settlements. Radiation and diseases that inevitably begins some time after the first bombing, crashed systems of communications, broken and sewerage - all of this, born the wave of panic.
Some people tried to leave the mountains in the other settlements in the direction of Garden Walley , some people retreated from 84 highway to Mountain Home. It is not known exactly how many bombs fell in the state of Idaho, but it is known that some of them fell into the territory of Nampa, Caldwell and Meridian.
BOS, in past Boise-City
After a few months later, through what was left of Boise-City walked a few column of refuges. People who hide in the mountains which concluded that all was happen with Boise - also happen anywhere . All column which moving forward of 84th highway to Mountain Home is never come back.
In 1960 be popularly create hand made vaults under houses to protect families from «Red Alert». One of the memorable aspects of Cold War was a civilian vaults in each street of each cityes, underground shelters with a food, ammunition and supplies and social program also known as «Project Serenity». This program lead the one goal - decrease level of panic between civilians.
If believe a rumors - in the center of Boise-City was large underground system. She used by emigrants for a contraband when the city was just starting to build. Much later government enlarge and converted this tonnels into the underground railway system. So... some people heard about government vaults and way to escape from the city in case of disasters or war actions.
This is a rumors. The truth was more unpleasant. Civilian shelters and vaults can't save many people. Most of this shelters - failed to fulfill their task. Until now, nothing is known about government shelters. «Project Serenity» was working well - people overly relaxed, and when all happening, was sitting in awaiting of help from government. This program dulled people's minds and made illusion that - all be fine.
Most people which stay in the city and awaiting for help from the government is died. They failed to deal with outbreaks of various diseases later transform into pandemic. For many years, the city became a dead zone, large graveyard, which frighten humans and animals.
In the past, Boise called the City of Trees. Today Boise - city of forests. Contrary to fears of ecologists the nature pretty quickly start to lick their wounds. Dead city, large grave so dangerous to people became tidbit for nature. Manmade erosion due to human activities, deforestation and mining operations is stopping in results of their disappearance.
NAMPA Lake, in past Lowell, part of Snake river
Earthquakes in districts of Meridian and Nampa what happen in next few years do not brought serious damage, but it was a harbingers of another geological process. Geological relief of Idaho state began to change. Large region of state beginning to descend. Less than 4 centimeters per year. But it was enough to forty years lake Lowell combined with Snake river basins and other smaller river channels into one giant lake. It was a long process.
Forty years after the bombs fell, in case of need to get 95 highway, or rather what was left of it, Boise citizens have only one way to reach point - swim to this point on the boat at least 60 kilometers from the old Capitol. A new body of giant Nampa lake full of little islands. This is high building structures and the elements of landscape which was not lowered after the series of earthquake which was start giant geological deformations.
Remotely similar geological processes have already taken place in world history. Snake River has come out of its banks and cover surrounding plains. Earthquakes creating natural dams which led to the emergence of large lakes. The presence of a dam in the town of Lucky Peak has also contributed to the formation of the new lake. Within ten years, the rains and the water itself gradually exuding dam, which sprang a leak .
Over time, the water washed part of the dam and turned into a turbulent river, which covered former channel of Boise-river. The road to the dead city downstream. Citizens of the dam had to reconstruct damaged fragment of the dam , because by this time in its place grew a small settlement . The presence of uncontrolled turbulent river was born two problems. Partial destruction of villages (downstream) and flooding farmlands in the river delta near Riverland East.
Dry continental climate does not allow of new lake turn into a swamp, and on the sun day you can see underwater fragments of roofs of houses and fragments of streets. The resulting of born of new lake microclimate of former Boise increased average temperature around the lake. It making possible the emergence of plants and trees are not typical for this region of Idaho state. South of the new lake was swamped as earlier (in 1962th) was swamped southern end of original Lowell lake.
Citizens of Idaho
I think that people of Boise-City, in case if they stay alive, can be appreciate the irony of situation. After the process which went into the history of new world as great Escape, Idaho state territory again began to settle the native of, who at the time of Carribean crisis lives in reservations. The traditional owners of mountains, steppes, lakes and rivers. Indians.
Being from birth "closer to the ground" indians quickly adapted to the new world . Much faster than the whites-faces. In our time, these peoples were on the verge of extinction. Constant pressure from the pale-faced, discrimination and self tradition to preserve the purity of blood. All this led to the isolation of lifestyle and lack of sharp demographic shocks. Tribal population on the 1960th year ranged in size from five hundred to one and a half to two thousand people. After the disaster situation has not changed. To save the thinning population Indians went to the notrh and the east in areas of mountain ranges of west of Boise-City.
Native citizen of Boise-City in the territory of Idaho is almost gone. Dark years carried away millions of lives , and the Lasts ( one of the names of people who remembered the last war ) hard to find so easy . Knowledge that could be transferred by inheritance is almost lost. Save konwledge electronics, engineering and other applied disciplines did not seemed like something important on the background of the battle for survival of the species, a constant battle for clean water, food and supplies.
The knowledge of ancient technologies is a powerful weapon. And many wise and cunning people who can and want to become the rulers of the new world doing all to "protect" the future peasants from the temptation to simplify their life.
In any city man who knew how to read, knew the mechanics, for example - became respectable member of society. As in the Middle Ages the cities with blacksmiths, carpenters and other artisans people survived better and had better perspectives for future development . However, in many cases, knowledge at all was better to hide. Old saying " the less you know - better sleep " has not lost its relevance in the new world.
Now in the central Idaho live the descendants of Indians who have retained ancestral knowledge and preserving the clan structure, the descendants of the farmers and surviving citizens. And also "aliens". Outsiders called wanderers or aliens who like tumbleweed moved from one state to second state driven by hunger, disease, and bandits in search of a better place.
Update #01 - First Screens
This is a first environment screens. We prepared only "cuts" from environment works and demonstrate couple models from many models which we plan to use. Currently we work with a logical demo. Demo is not for public, because "colored box" and "test-objects" is most common object. And colored boxes is not so funny how environment sample screens. We care about Yours feeling of perception.