I decided to record me painting a cloud that'll be used in Rainswept. Also, I love painting clouds.
Here's a couple of new screenshots from the game. Can't say much more without giving away spoilers!
It's been a while since the last devlog, mainly because I've been working on the final scenes of the game. I wouldn't want to show anything related to the climax! Something I can show is the new artwork for the interrogation/ interview room. The original art was basically a conference room being used for interviews, but it didn't suit the atmosphere of the game. It was too... clean, and I wasn't satisfied with it. The perspective type view also didn't fit very well:
You might have read that the game is, in part, inspired by Korean thriller/ murder films, the biggest influence being Memories of Murders (which is also my all time favorite film) One of the things these films have influenced is the atmosphere. And I feel the new interrogation room (which is a store room being used for interviews) fits this influence, and the atmosphere of the game a lot better. The color palette is also very inspired by what is usually seen in those films, especially when it comes to scenes in police stations. I'm also happy with how damp, grungy and cluttered it looks.
I feel this blends well with the rest of the art style of the game as well, and I'm quite satisfied with it!
You can see a lot of those elements in this shot from the opening minutes of Memories of Murders:
It's been a while since the last devlog, but development is moving along smoothly. Almost 80% of the game's content has been created, which will then be followed by UI improvements, QA, polishing, bug fixing, localisation and admin tasks. That should give a decent idea of a possible release date! (Which could be anywhere between August this year to Feb 2019)
Here's a few shots of what's new:
Painterly skies from a specific scene in the game. Making this has inspired me to add cool clouds throughout the game. I might just!
The motel at night. Still a work in progress, but it's coming together well, I think.
A shot of the detective from one of the cutscenes. The trees in the background had just been imported and yet to be scaled up, which made the shot look quite surreal. Wish I could show more!
That's all for this week, thanks for reading these and supporting the game!
The past few weeks I've been working on adding new locations, story bits and new systems to play with. I've been playing around with ideas to allow players to do a bit more gameplay wise, and this involves the ability to pick and move objects about. Here's a preview of this using puppies as placeholders (cause, why not?)
Yes the puppy(s) will feature in the game as well.
As for new locations, here's where the detective will stay for the duration of the investigation. It's still a work in progress, and I can't wait to get it done!
Plotting out the surrounding areas
Added some color!
The woods around Pineview are a major part of the town's identity, so here's a look at the atmosphere within them:
We're making speedy progress, let's keep moving!
See you next time
After taking a break for a few days, this week’s been witness to hardcore development! The first couple of days were spent on restructuring the game and creating most of the systems that will allow players to move freely between locations using the main market street as a “hub” between investigations. This mostly meant creating a lot of variables to keep in check if a player has completed a certain investigation, and how the world state of the hub/ market street should react to that (stop the player from re-doing the same investigation, open up a new scene, change time/ weather etc)
Of course, there’s not much to show when it comes to that. But other than that, the next few days have been a bit more visually appealing, so here’s some screenshots!
The first is a concept art that I made in a couple of minutes while listening to some shoegaze :) The song in question is “Finland” by Vet Trip. Give it a listen, it’s as beautiful, shimmering and dreamy as you’d imagine.
I also spent some time creating lightning effects for the church interiors (the quality of the gif isn’t the greatest, but it looks fine in-game!)
See you next time!
This week, I'm taking a break from development in order to sort out the admin side of things. There isn't much to show this week, so I thought would be great to turn around and look back at how far we've come. The perspective gained by this should also help plan ahead for the final months.
To start with, here's some concept art created between October-December 2016:
It's also worth discussing the phases of development over the past year or so:
October - December 2016: Planning development, creating the idea, story and concept for the game
January - May 2017: Creating gameplay prototypes, learning how to work with Unity, fleshing out the story and creating foundations
May - December 2017: "Development" begins - The game consists of about 60 "scenes", 12 scenes were created and polished for the demo that was released in January 2018. A huge number of graphical assets (trees, vegetation, characters, skies, furniture, vehicles, coffee mugs, random clutter etc) were also created during this time, reducing development time for the upcoming months. Many other things, like particle effects animations etc also had to be created from the ground up, and can be reused throughout the game.
January - February 2018 : Demo release! A major highlight during the development that gave me a lot of valuable feedback, proved the viability of the game idea, connected me to an interested audience and gave me a LOT of encouragement. This month was spent on making improvements to the demo and fixing bugs according to player feedback.
February - March 2018: Next 13 "scenes" completed. It's interesting to note that the first 12 scenes took about 6 months to finish, and the next 13 took only about a month. This is, as mentioned before, because a huge number of assets were already created in the previous months. I also gained experience and became much quicker with the engine. With these two chunks of 12 and 13 scenes done, there were 35 scenes more of the total 60 to go - 40% of the way there in terms of "making the game" at least!
March - April 2018: Staying solidly on track and not falling behind schedule, chunk no. 3 is finished. 36 scenes done, 24 to go. Crossed the halfway mark and made it to 60%!
Future plans and schedule-
April - May 2018: Finish chunk number 4 (48 out of 60 scenes) to make it 80% of the scenes.
May - June 2018: Finish the final chunk and have the complete game ready and playable in terms of all content!
June, July, August 2018: Polish the game, add localisations, bug test, bug test, bug test. Make the game cooler in all areas, add some pending features and prepare for release.
End August 2018 - early September - hopefully: Release! This is the ideal scenario, but of course there could be delays. Fortunately, development is completely on track as of now and hopefully that continues!
It's crazy to realize that more than 15 months have gone by, and if things go according to plan, there are only 5 more months of development to go. It's been a lot of fun.
What's also crazy (And fun) is to look back on all the improvements that were made to some of the art for the game. For instance, here's how the first level (crime scene exterior) of the game looked before:
And here's the new one, which was seen in the demo:
The detective's coat also received an update:
Here's another one. First feeble, terrible attempts at creating the crime scene interior level, before I'd found the groove and discovered the art style for the game:
And a few months later:
A few months can make a big difference!
See you next time? :)
As the name suggests, weather plays a major role in creating the atmosphere for Rainswept. It's usually raining in Pineview (obviously) but there are times when the sun manages to break through and bathe the hills and valleys in a magical orange glow. Not only is it pretty to look at, but the contrast between the weather conditions makes the player more aware of when it does rain. Here's a comparison between an overcast day and a clear evening, during sunset:
You'd be surprised to learn how easily this effect is achieved! It basically just consists of putting a blue gradient over the scene, and setting its blend mode to "divide" - which is a built in feature in photoshop but requires a custom shader in Unity to implement (or an asset that does it for you - I use "Blend Mode Shader 2D") I'm not sure if this is pretty much how lighting effects have always been done for 2D games, but it's been exciting working this out on my own!
A similar method is used for creating the interior lighting affected by the stained glass in the church as seen here:
There are multiple layers at work here, but the main red and blue effect is created by using the following gradients (Red set to "Linear Dodge" and blue set to "Pin Light" blend modes)
Pretty simple, yet effective, right? This method is used across the whole game to create a whole variety of effects, including the glare from the sun. Just a circular gradient can be used instead of creating dynamic light effects for a 2D game. It's a huge time saver, but looks pretty decent too!
In this scene, multiple layers of lighting have been stacked (and given parallax) to create the glare from an early morning sun shining through the windows.
If we separate the layers out, this is what is seen:
To show in greater detail how the layers are stacked on top of each other (and what blend modes have been used for each of them) you can take a look at this image:
Using this method successfully comes down to trial and error, and a lot of experimentation. Multiple combinations of base color for the gradient, combined with one of the many (25 total) blend modes end up creating scenes and effects that I didn't even have in mind before starting out. It's a really exciting process, and I can't wait to see the different ways it'll continue to affect the visual style of Rainswept!
See you next week :)
There’s been a lot of progress made in recent days on the visual polish front, one of them being adding some life to one of the character’s hair!
The animation for Rainswept is being done using Anima2D - a skeletal animation plugin for Unity - and the hair has been animated through the use of spring bones. The same technique will be used for things like the Detective’s tie/ clothing and other characters’ hair as well. Should be fun!
I’ve also been working on creating multiple weather/ lighting conditions for each scene, which I’ll talk about next week.
One of the other things that received an improvement last week was the motel room that Detective Anderson lives in during his stay in Pineview. With the results of the experiments I talked about in the previous devlog, I was able to make this room look nicer as well.
Here is the old version:
And this is the improved version:
Also, I created the morning scene for the motel:
I’m particularly happy with how the sun, the glare and the sky turned out! I still need to do some more work to differentiate between the day and night lighting within the room, which I shall get to later.
This week there's been a bunch of work done in terms of more dialogue and story related stuff for the new scenes. At this moment, almost half the total amount of scenes have been created and scripted! The momentum is good, and development is on track.
It's hard to talk a lot about all those things without spoiling the story, but luckily there's a bit of good art stuff to share this week as well. I've been trying to make improvements to the art, and have been experimenting with adding gradients and patterns to the walls for the interior scenes. Here's an example. I'm especially happy with how the frosty window and the rainy scene outside it turned out, it gives a really cozy feeling to the interiors - especially with the lamp, pizzas and coffees!
I also attempted to improve the character art for the game, with mixed results. Inspired by the character art style in Broken Age, I tried creating more detailed faces for the characters. Through polls on instagram and twitter, I realized that majority prefer the original character art style. What do you think? (New style is on the left, old on the right)
See you next week!
Hi, I'm Armaan, the creator of Rainswept. On this blog, I post weekly updates about the game's development (or as often as possible!)