Report article RSS Feed Folk Tale: WIP Update 4

Dive into the comedy-fantasy world of Folk Tale and lead your illiterate subjects to greatness, in spite of their moronic efforts to undermine you. Build a thriving economy, harvest resources, construct buildings and amass vast wealth, before losing it all on a doomed adventure through frozen wastes, volcanoes, and stinking swamps.

Posted by GamesFoundry on Apr 10th, 2012


There goes another two months and boy have things come a long way. Firstly, there's a significant increase in frame rate thanks to the introduction of LOD meshes and optimized culling code.  The second major change is the extended camera mode which now gives players the ability to switch to first-person terrain hugging mode, allowing you to get into the action with your villagers, and enjoy the game from a whole new perspective ( "terrain cam" ).  This new mode is activated as soon as the camera arrives on the docks and I hit backspace.  Holding down the left-shift key while moving will also speed up the cameras movement, making it quicker to travel from one corner of the level map to the other.

We've extended the tutorial system ( deactivated in this video ) to make wheat fields constructable, and introduced the farmer occupation.  This series of events moves us a little closer to triggering the first plot cutscene featuring the goblins.  Since we included an early version of that in the last video, we've skipped it in this WIP.  The farmer is still moonwalking when reaping the wheat; this will be updated when the next batch of human animations is done.

Folk Tale Screenshot

Around 01:27 you'll see our improved Decal system in action for the yellow flowers on the terrain, and the introduction of some 3D flowers around the village.  We've added UV offset and scaling to the DecalManager to support texture atlases for reduced draw calls.  The material makes use of the shadow receiver shader available on the Unity wiki.

I mentioned about adding LOD meshes and improved culling.  It may be a little hard to spot in this video (isn't that the ultimate goal?!), but the characters are swapped out quite quickly (about 30' from camera).  We use our own LOD/culling system as we needed more creative options than currently provided in Unity.  For example, for LOD we also wanted to control what to do with particles and lights that existed in the same prefab as the LODs, while also combining the transitions between the LOD thresholds.  Along with the immediate mode ( same as Unity's LOD but distance based), we also support alpha fade-out and scaling.  Alpha fade-out is used on trees and some buildings/props, while we scale out smaller less obvious items such as flowers.  In the case of large objects we use a default shader on the LOD0 meshes, but a transparent diffuse shadow-casting shader on LOD1 so that we can fade.

Leading a group of Knights against the ogres, we switch to terrain-cam, to which we've added bobbing and shake ( ogre's walk and club pounding action ).4:54" takes us up to and through the walls of the abandoned dwarf forge, featuring the work of Ben who recently joined the team as a 3D artist.   We've purged all OnGUI based UI elements now, which had been causing garbage collection CPU spikes and audible clicks in the sound engine.  We're now using NGUI for everything on screen.  Still a few bugs to iron out in the character portrait and minimap.

Folk Tale Screenshot

After saying hello to the passing Golem, and a quick fly-by around the lava ( seamlessly swapping out from terrain-cam ), we take the passage onto Devil's causeway around 5:55".  This area makes extensive use of the sunken temple / jungle environment prop set created by one of the Technical Artist's on the team, Thomas Schafer.  It was designed as a blend between the hard stone architecture of the dwarf forge, and the vegetative stinking swamp.

Folk Tale Screenshot

And finally back to the stinking swamp with a nice opening shot of the goblin water taxi drifting in through the water gate.  Grabbing a group of test characters ( yup, they are floating a bit! ) waiting patiently on the path, it's time to raid the gobo village and grab some loot.  The placeholder wizard has a new prototype freeze spell, giving him time to rail off those fireballs for a spot of goblin bbq.

Folk Tale Screenshot

Our small group gets it's ass kicked, so in the spirit of "here's one I cooked earlier" there's a little circular transition and our group is magically back in action for their encounter with the level boss, Slavemaster Urzal.  The cut-scene is very much a WIP, but features some of the great humour by our writer Pete.  We've cut it short for this video, as we don't want to reveal too much of the demo end-stage.

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KingHeftig
KingHeftig Apr 11 2012, 10:02pm says:

The artwork and modeling in this game is exquisite, and based on what I read & observe the gameplay appears as if it will be thoroughly engaging as well! I look forward to hearing more about this game as the development continues. I have three questions for you, if I may, firstly; WEHNC AN I PLAYIT?!1!!1? Second, is there going to be a demo? Because I assume a craft as intricate as this one surely, and justly, comes at a price. And third, how many people do you have in your team? They are all to be commended for their fine efforts.

+4 votes     reply to comment
GamesFoundry
GamesFoundry Apr 12 2012, 6:14am says:

Kind words, I'll be sure to pass them on to the team. We are edging closer to beta on our special feature-packed demo. This won't be the first level of the game; instead we've opted to cram as much variety into a demo that has it's own plot that you can play through to completion.

We're currently in the final stages of alpha adding the remaining content needed for gameplay. A soft-beta aimed at getting early feedback (announced via Twitter and Facebook so be sure to follow/subscribe), will be followed by a wider more publicised beta.

www.facebook.com/folktalegame
www.twitter.com/gamesfoundry

The team consists of eight regular collaborators based around the world spanning 13 time zones; the project lead/programmer, several technical artists, a writer, sound designer, and musician.

+1 vote     reply to comment
booman
booman Apr 12 2012, 2:32pm says:

Great job! I am very impressed with the visuals available... I have a feeling there is a LOT more to see when playing the actual game!
Looking forward to the demo or beta releases!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Hidlebuen
Hidlebuen Apr 12 2012, 2:41pm says:

One look at this, and its the game Im looking most forward too right now.
The grapichal style is awesome, and the gameplay seems very promising.
Good luck :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
Rafhaelbass
Rafhaelbass Apr 12 2012, 7:02pm says:

I like the style, tracking!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Enderborn
Enderborn Apr 26 2012, 10:26am says:

Can't wait.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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