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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Navigation splicing and more

After some days off this project is back on track. Here little something to get you across to the new year: Navigation Splicing. The last time I showed navigation blockers carving out form existing navigation meshes. Now the last piece is into place. Navigation spaces can now have integrated blockers. This way they do not only carve out other navigation spaces they also splice in their own into the resulting holes. While doing so edges are automatically split to allow proper snapping together. This allows to dynamically upgrade navigation meshes by not only blocking existing path but also opening up new path for the AI. It's all working automatically without extra work, especially no re-casting of nav-meshes for example.

So what will this be used for in Epsylon? Actually for two things. First it helps to speed up creation of maps. Locations can be quickly created by placing a generic nav-space like rooms in LEGO style and placing in them various other objects. Navigation is automatically calculated at run-time to produce believable AI. The second use is for dynamic story telling. For example if you have to snoop around a place (or rescue somebody) the "location" is dynamically modified before first use to give you a unique experience with every play-through. This applies also to other situations. With this the final word is spoken for the navigation system in connection with meshes.

Another little upgrade happened in the conversation system. The conversation window received some touch-ups and has been reworked. The conversation control stay now out of your view while a conversation part is running showing up only when you need them. Furthermore scripting has been modified to allow for more game mechanics to be implemented later on using the conversation system. The entity display has now colored icones so the player better finds what he's looking for. Filtering has been also experimented with but will not be finalized until later on with more content to test what is really needed.

So here is the video. It shows the navigation splicing in action in the editor (shows how the path adjusts itself) and in-game (how AI can use dynamically altered navigation spaces). Furthermore the reworked conversation window in action.

Besides this there had been some other changes here and there:

  • Added "Limit" animator rule. Allows to clamp dynamic animations to avoid strange positions.
  • Added OpenAL speaker management to deal with hardware limitations.
  • NPC activation/deactivation work in progress on distance and zone based switching (trying to get more performance out of it)

More to come in January.

NPC Simulation and Engine Features

NPC Simulation and Engine Features

11 months ago News 2 comments

This time something about the work in progress on the NPC Simulation system and more Engine features.

Tutorial Map and other Goodies

Tutorial Map and other Goodies

1 year ago News 5 comments

This had been planed earlier but a lot of work came in between about the conversation system, tutorials, soundscape and what not else to name a few.

Lighting Wishes

Lighting Wishes

1 year ago News 2 comments

You wished for it, so the Drag[en]gine delivers it!

The Large News Bomb

The Large News Bomb

2 years ago News 9 comments

When underground work gets lengthy news bombs grow larger :O

Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 110)
Guest Apr 4 2015 says:

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Guest Aug 15 2014 says:

Where can i find the download for this game?

+1 vote     reply to comment
HeadClot Dec 4 2013 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 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 says:

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

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

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

+3 votes   reply to comment
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