Prove that you are the world's greatest swordsman in Blade Symphony: a slash-em-up featuring a highly detailed and in-depth sword fighting system. Face down other players in skill-based tactical swordplay, in 2vs2 team duels, or participate in sandbox FFA game modes.

Report article RSS Feed Project Berimbau Environments Update

News update! State of the engine address. The Environments report. New weapons too.

Posted by Jkupo on Jul 1st, 2008

Another set of updates. As most of our loyal watchers have seen, we did a ridiculous update on content today, at least screenshot and video wise. We're pretty excited about how things are going and so hopefully these fruits of our labor will be enough to satiate til the next update. And random press release:

First interview with the design team, Flux and Kupo

The update is relatively large, at least from the news standpoint so I'll be breaking it down in sections. We'll start with:

Aesthetics and World

The game environment has been significantly changing with the addition of our genius mapper Ztormi. With the pair comes a fresh set of eyes and talent for the project. As seen in the screenshots below you can see we've added quite a few new levels to the roster.

The levels are, in order are the Airship, Terminus Square, Village, and Temple. The four are being developed constantly, so even at this moment the screens may not be completely up to date. The airship level is designed with a heavy final fantasy influence in mind, an art direction we're still not quite sure of yet, so don't get completely attached. Its hard not to imagine some fear of falling while dueling on the deck of a floating ship. Terminus Square is one of our prototypical Greater Wing maps, with huge sweeping gestures and imperial looking decor inside of an ultraurban city. The Village tries to capture the essence of the rural townships ruled by the Greater Wing and frequented by the Vagrant elements of the game. The Temple is plainly asian in influence and is designed to show the extremely distant and almost isolated nature of the intense training that the duelists go through. We're very proud of what we have so far, and look for these new maps in the alpha.

Another fun thing added in was the creation of a new sword. We all were getting a little sick of the rectangular stick like creation, so Flux went ahead and made this vicious looking guy for everyone to enjoy. Given, its being held by one of the resistance fighters, but it looks painful. Expect to see it in more upcoming playtests.


Engine and Gameplay

If you've gotten to see the playtest video, quite a bit has changed. Flux has been hard at work modifying, implementing, and fine tuning all the various features in the game. As of this writing the game has been adjusted again so don't take what you see in the below playtest as gospel when it comes to the game design.


Among the features currently implemented on this particular playtest are the standard fair, directional sword attacks and blocking. Jump has been reduced due to the strangeness of floating swordsman though. One of the larger changes is the inclusion of counterattacks, which gives the blocking ability some real usefulness on the battlefield other than turtling. The counterattack, as seen in the video, is thrown after a successful block, launching the player toward the attacker and coming down with a pretty forceful cut. It still needs a bit of tweaking but the fact that we can pull it off is a huge step.

Another feature shown in the video but is being heavily modified is the ability to "jump", which basically catapults the player at an alarming rate toward their opponent. It's a form of dash but can be aimed directionally. Its a pretty jarring feeling and leaves a scar in space similar to when the strider cannons fire in HL2. How to implement this without giving the player an epileptic seizure is anyones guess. The jury is still out on it currently. Flux has been doing a lot of work to the engine so its hard to type it all out here. Various glitches and bugs have been fixed, so hopefully we'll have a (relatively) bug free system at alpha. Which brings me to my next point...

We are still in need of Alpha Testers! For everyone that has currently applied, sit tight, we'll be in contact shortly. There is some footage of our first set of alpha testers hosted at the last meeting, however this will be posted a bit later when I get the footage from my camera at home.

Please see the listing below. As always we encourage any comments or critiques you have, so please feel free to leave us a note here on the site or on our email at TeamBerimbau at Gmail dot Com.


Positions Still Open:
The following positions are available. While we do look for people with particular skills, a mix of many skills is even more valued than one niche. We definitely want people who are multi-talented. New listings are listed in red.

  • Alpha Tester. Responsible for helping in testing out early builds of the game and taking down notes and recordings of gameplay or experience in game in order to help with balancing and connectivity issues.

    • The alpha testers will work closely with the development team in finding bugs and issues in game. Once the Alpha version is issued, several playtests will be scheduled, however unscheduled playtests are encouraged to be arrange between the alpha tester community.
  • Prop Modeler. Responsible for designing environment details that go with our maps. Must have some experience building game maps with Hammer. Must know either 3D Studio Max or Maya, and have some prior game engine model export experience.

    • You'll have the opportunity of modeling the world if Berimbau, its locales, props and details. Ancient statues, cobbled roads, fountains are part of this game.
  • Texture Artist. Responsible for designing the look and feel for surfaces of all types in the game. Must be able to sketch out rough ideas and communicate these effectively with our lead charcter artists.
    • The texture artist will work on both character models and prop models (with UV maps completed) and will work on environment textures for maps.
  • Programmer. Must have experience in C++ and the Source SDK engine, knows how to author entities and edit network prediction code. Responsible for editing game rules, modifying combat, animation behavior, and author particle effects.
    • You'll have the chance to play an integral role in deciding the combat mechanics of the game, how sword attacks are handled, special attacks, combos, etc.
  • Sound Designer. Responsible for creating sounds of sword swings, blade hits, and other combat sounds. Also responsible for authoring ambient sound effects.

The people we look for should also bring some fresh ideas to the table. We definitely don't want to be slave drivers, telling you to make our mod for us. If you have an interesting idea to contribute to Berimbau, you'll be free to present it to the team where we make decisions as a group. The people have their ideas implemented the most often are the ones who are also able to do that themselves, so if you are both skilled and have many new ideas, here's your chance to try them out.

When you apply be ready to show work, portfolio, or examples of what you can do. A CV would also be required.

Post comment Comments
FJS
FJS Jul 1 2008, 5:53pm says:

Great news!

+2 votes     reply to comment
DOLBYdigital
DOLBYdigital Jul 1 2008, 7:01pm says:

Great update team, this is one of my top mods that I am looking forward to. I love sword fighting games that add complexity to the controls instead of just clicking on the enemy or whatnot. So far pvkII is my favority sword mod but I am hoping this one rules them all ;)
Keep up the great work!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Klight
Klight Jul 2 2008, 1:01am says:

Nice update. I see you are walking forward. Keep walking :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
BRKNnode
BRKNnode Jul 2 2008, 3:34am says:

Very interesting...Im watching
This mod is..getting more and more interesting

+1 vote     reply to comment
stevealmighty
stevealmighty Jul 2 2008, 5:35am says:

wouldnt it be easier to put the alpha on moddb and have people download it, play it and leave you comments?

+2 votes     reply to comment
mflux
mflux Jul 2 2008, 5:55am replied:

Duly noted. It's a private Alpha, so we are not releasing a download.

When we get to a Beta, we will release for everyone to try.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Xenogenetics
Xenogenetics Jul 2 2008, 9:50am says:

The mod looks awesome!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ray-
Ray- Jul 2 2008, 12:41pm says:

looks good so far, are there plans for a lock on system?

+1 vote     reply to comment
mflux
mflux Jul 2 2008, 10:31pm replied:

We're debating it... :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Blandr3ws
Blandr3ws Jul 3 2008, 4:58am replied:

I think a lock on system would create a much better flow. (e.g. you won't be running round in circles and running past the other player just trying to hit them)
It should be optional though, like a server variable for hardcore play.

Keep up the good work :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Ray-
Ray- Jul 3 2008, 2:10pm replied:

exactly what i was thinking.

+1 vote     reply to comment
mflux
mflux Jul 3 2008, 10:05pm replied:

Yeah.. we're definitely debating this. For alpha and maybe part of beta we'll experiment with this mode of playing as a server setting, but for release we'll definitely want only one camera type (for balance, stats and ranking reasons).

I think for duels something like a lock-on makes the most sense. We'll simply have to try it out.

+2 votes     reply to comment
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Blade Symphony
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Puny Human
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Released May 7, 2014
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