It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
Posted date / 12.13.17
December snuck up on us like a gnome rogue in padded leather boots. Can you believe another year is almost in the books? We've been working like crazy to bring Terminus to life as Pre-Alpha launches today. We were able to sap two hard-working devs to catch up and see what they've been focusing on recently.
First up is one of our Senior Programmers, Tod Curtis, who gives us the lowdown on how testing the game internally leads to greater insights and pushes development.
Oh, these times are exciting! After so much hard work by so many talented people, Terminus is finally coming to life. The parts have been adding up, of course, as you've seen on the streams and screenshots we've shared. But a collection of parts doesn't make a game.
Now, we are actual players, playing by the rules. We make characters. We see what we can do with them. What is leveling like? What is the progression loop like? What is fun? What is not fun?
I've had a taste of the game and I'm ready for more. I'm ready to see these towns come to life--with buildings, inhabitants, quests, perception, and everything else. Each day I see what each team member has created for our consumption. And each day I try to think of things I can do to make the world a more interesting, dynamic place.
I've primarily worked on the AI system for NPCs. For the most part I want to nail the core gameplay experience; that if you attack NPCs they should respond correctly, and when they are done kicking your corpse around that they go back to doing what they should. That has to happen again and again and again without fail. And it looks like that part of the development process is solid.
Secondarily, we want to add interesting NPC encounters. Some based on time of day, some based on disposition, some based on any sort of funny whim. And make sure those work properly. So far, we have had a lot of fun with these encounters and that system is also looking solid.
So now the emphasis is on creating tools for designers so that they can efficiently put in their own NPCs with their own desired behaviors and watch them come to life. And when they need something additional to make it happen, I'll be there to add to their pool of stimuli, actions, and dispositions.
As for me, I am a druid at heart, so I'm a jack-of-all-trades. Whatever needs to be done, I try to hop in and do. With each passing day I see what my future as a player will be inside Terminus, and I can't wait to share it with you!
Next up is our concept artist Forrest Imel, who has to be very careful when talking to us not to spill too many beans
It'll be hard to describe exactly what I'm working on without spoiling too much, so forgive me if I'm a little vague. Currently, we are finalizing our racial pillars, so to speak. For the last few months we have been refining each of the 9 races, constructing their visual design based on the lovely back stories written by Justin, and after months and months we are finally on the last one. However, these are just the pillars of each race, a basic synopsis if you will. Now we're about to embark on expanding upon each of these races even further and prep them for the world.
So, for the last few months we've been doing the following. We'll form a meeting with Chris Perkins (Creative Director), Justin Gerhart (Writer), Jared Pullen (Lead Concept Artist), Daniel Krenn (CTO--guy that tells us when we've gone too far), and myself (character guy). During these meetings we discuss the race we're about to work on anywhere from 2-3 hours, some have stretched to almost 4 hours. We discuss their lore, daily life, local environment, general temperament, etc. Based off of this meeting, Jared will then go and construct an Emblem Suite, which is basically a general shape convention and color scheme, that we base each race off of. It makes a culture really stand on its own among 9 others if it can be summarized to a simple shape and a unique color palette. Then he takes that shape and evolves it, constructs structures and flags/banners with the emblem all over, trying to find where it works and where it doesn't. On my end, I begin establishing the general look of a male and female version for each race, then eventually the anatomy/proportions, and finally a fully rendered and armored version of each gender based on an in-game class.
So for now we have a general idea of each race at its core, what they'll all generally look like, act like, live in, be surrounded by, etc. We found the unique look for all 9 races, now it's time to find the unique look within each of the races. What kind of warpaint can a Halfling have? What shades of skin should a Dwarf be able to have? How grotesque can a Skar look without an M rating? All these questions will be discussed over the next few months.