Epsylon - The Guardians Of Xendron


Epsylon is a game project based on the good old detective stories but taking it a step forward mixing it with an unconventional cast and a new game engine technology. Detective stories are in general static narratives with limited set of interaction and little replay value once the story is done. The player has next to no influence on the way the story unfolds. Here the Epsylon project hooks in and expands the game mechanics to allow the player to conduct investigation his own way. How the player conducts the investigation influences the world and people around him. An AI in the background reacts to the moves of the player potentially altering the course of actions. Besides the basic detective moves the player has access to some "characters" providing some special abilities that can be of help.

You are Georgo Valentino, a private eye. On your way looking to solve one of your longest standing unresolved cases you end up with a hunch leading to the parallel world Alpha-10. In this universe multiple worlds exist next to each other. Very little people know about this though. One of your friends, a scientist, does know. and he most certainly knows more than that. He has a special "friend" himself that he met while researching what is called the "Xendron", the multidimensional space. Arriving at Alpha-10 Georgo is quite surprised finding his "friend" having dropped off his little girl at his side as he has "own business" to take care off. You should learn soon that this little girl (Sean) has some special abilities that can be of help to you. And if that is not enough the organisation you end up with has two special "agents" (Odjin and Bahatos) at their disposal that have their own set of abilities to bring to the table. The interesting part? The little girl and these two special agents are dragons of different kinds. As it looks like they play an important role in the case to unfold.

Will you be able to solve the biggest case you ever had?


All your actions have large influence on the events in the world. It is better to conduct your investigation without force if possible. As you are a stranger in this world people tend to not tell you all they know so you have to find your own ways to gather the informations you need to crack the case. There are multiple ways to solve the case depending on how you approach the investigation and with whom. Be careful though with whome you talk and what you do. The underworld is watching you and will react to your snooping around. Counter measures can range from making "vanish" information you seek all the way to trying to silence you or people you got in contact with. Various features can help you on your way:

  • The Dynamic Investigation System allows the story to adapt to your investigation style. Information can be dynamically created and destroyed. If you are not careful certain information can become hard to find.
  • The extended conversation system prevents boring multi-line selection conversations. Furthermore topics can be talked about from the pool of information you know. Some people don't tell you all they know unless they trust you enough. Some don't tell you in fear of something in their past. Sean has unique abilities helping you to break through these mental chains. Or you can try to confront them with evidence or flaws to throw them off balance.
  • The past holds the clue to the current events. In certain situations Sean can use her abilities to catch a glimpse into the past. While this won't solve a case it could yield the puzzle piece you need to fit all together.
  • The interactive environment allows you to use objects in various ways including computers to snoop around emails and documents. Be careful though that the AI can notice changes in their surroundings.
  • Different camera perspectives including the Dragon-View mode allow you to play the game the way you like it.
  • Implant systems are useful to get throught tight and deadly spots where other characters have troubles. Odjin and Bahatos are equipped with two kinds of augmentation systems. Infiltration and stealth or assault, for every situation there is the right man (or dragon). Some puzzle pieces can not be retrieved without taking a risk.
  • The investigation system helps you solve your cases. Keep track of information about various entities in the world as well as the progress on your investigation. Most of the time you are not told where the information is you are looking for so use the entity informations as well as snooping around to find it. You have to find "a" way... "your" way... you don't follow a predefined way.

One of the key points is that the story is part of the game mechanics. It is not told to the player by hitting NPCs. The story is the main case in the investigation. So to learn the story solve the investigation. Depending on how you solve it you can learn more or less about the story. It is therefore useful to look sometimes deeper than requested. And who knows what influence your choices have on the outcome... or members in your team.

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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: NPC Simulation and Engine Features

2 comments by Dragonlord on Dec 7th, 2014

NPC Simulation and AI

Lots of work has been done in the recent weeks so let's keep it short. Most of it are engine internal modifications required for the NPC simulation system to work as intended but this comes below (techincal, so you can skip it if you want).

The main focus is on a dynamic investigation and this requires the world to keep turning while you are busy snooping around. In particular NPCs (good and bad) are kept simulating while offline (out of player area or even a different game zone). This forces the player to re-think his investigation practices since bad things can go down while you are at the wrong end of the city. The video contains a little bit about this system.

Also included in the video a quick peek at the conversation mock-up system. You might know the typical way to mock-up conversations in a text editor. It goes similar like "A: i'm saying this" and "B: i'm saying that". Using this simple system you can now quickly mock up conversations.

So where is this heading?
What will support if you press that little green button below?

You will be not following a pre-written script as in other detective games,
you are going to take on a criminal mind AI.
That's right.
You are on the trail of an ongoing case and the AI is trying to foil with your investigation while you try to foil with it's plans.

Do you have what it takes to beat the AI?

Indie of the Year Awards

Engine Features

The technical side of the show. Lots of work went into optimizing engine speed especially in physics and collision detection (like down from 300ms to 1ms or below). This took a lot of time including wrestling with Bullet Physics not playing nicely with the kids. What's new in the engine (and shown in the video):

  • Tesselation support using 'height' texture property
  • NavMesh debug display (grid/mesh, face normals, non-matching faces, path-debugging and so forth)
  • Added support to load/save navigation test cases in world editor
  • Improving blender nav-space export scripts
  • Improving navigation path calculation especially over longer distances and across multiple spaces
  • Added configurable navigation space snapping for easier and more robust workflow
  • Paste conversation snippet in text form into conversation editor to quickly mock up conversations (see above)
  • Module versioning (work with multiple module versions on the same installation, for example to safely test module updates/betas or dealing with bugs/incompatibilities)
  • Explosion push type for rig editor
  • Collider constraint breaking
  • Adding support to load/save navigation test files (world editor)
  • Massively improving physics calculation speed in bullet physics module
  • Slowmotion support in the rig editor
  • Optimize animator module animation calculation speed
  • Added bone mass from volume action to rig editor
  • Added select all bones with shapes action to rig editor
  • Adding bone import dialog and improving bone importing
  • Added breaking threshold support to constraints
  • Added navigation blocker support

This has been all a large step forward towards the first release. Still a few things to tackle but this one here had been a larger task to finish. So here the technical video and up until next time.

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Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 109)
Guest Aug 15 2014, 12:01pm says:

Where can i find the download for this game?

+1 vote     reply to comment
HeadClot Dec 4 2013, 3:45am says:

DragonLord - Do you need an Artist. I would be more than willing to help out where needs be. :)

P.S. - Where can I find the Binary version of the Dragon[En]gine? If there is one. I would like to mess around with the Physically based rendering pipeline.

+1 vote     reply to comment
TheDebonairNomad Oct 7 2013, 2:35am says:

Sweet Chocolate Christ mun. I remember you working on this way back when. You have some serious drive, keep at it man. Good work as always.

+1 vote     reply to comment
SkitZaY Aug 3 2010, 7:15pm says:

Woah, you've been going on this for ages.

+6 votes     reply to comment
SkitZaY Jun 13 2014, 6:26pm replied:

... and continues to. It's nice to come back after years and see updates. Keep going strong, guy.

+1 vote     reply to comment
CD_TOASTER Jul 13 2010, 8:42am says:

i've been watching this for years (i dont mean this to say you should be working faster), good to see things happening

+2 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord Creator
Dragonlord Jul 13 2010, 10:37am replied:

Yeah I know it's not the fastest. But if you are forced to do all on your own things don't go fast. I'll though implement in the time to come some stuff which should help me to get things done faster. Not optimal but it should allow this project to get somewhere in a reasonable time.

+5 votes   reply to comment
Savci Aug 17 2010, 6:07pm replied:

I'm sure you know the 0 A.D. team a bit, that game's Alpha took 9 years I heard.
But yeah, we look forward to updates till then!

+2 votes     reply to comment
SinKing Feb 27 2010, 5:24pm says:

you have to include some pretty pics in your updates, not just user interface pictures :)

good job though, still on course. Respect!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord Creator
Dragonlord Feb 27 2010, 7:12pm replied:

Sorry, don't have an artist. I'm limited in what I can do.

+3 votes   reply to comment
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