Epsylon - The Guardians Of Xendron


Introduction

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?

Gameplay

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.
  • 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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The work done focused mostly on player feedback received so far. This includes various bug fixes, improvements of interactions and reworking/cleaning up script code to get it into a good shape for a release later on. Especially the interaction improvements is worth a section on its own.

Reworked Interactions

One of the main issues players had with the game interaction had been the complexity of the key bindings and when you can do what with objects in the game world.

These issues have been addressed now by removing various key bindings. They have been collapsed into a simple primary action (left mouse button) using Interaction Prompts.

Furthermore various interactions (both in-world and in-hand) have been modified to give prompts for the important actions at all times. Now it should be way easier to play without guessing or trial-and-error.

Also added Foreign Property marking. If an interaction shows up in red this means you can get into troubles if you do certain things. If an interaction shows up in green then it is save. Sometimes it is possible to use red stuff. In general foreign property you can not put in your inventory. You have to put them back where you found it.

Another point of players had been that it is not always clear you hold a prop in your hands. To help there Wield/Use Interaction Prompts are shown on the left side if you wield a prop. For some props these prompts change depending if you just wield them or use them. Your smartphone or memo pads are such props.

Also crouching or sitting on chairs confused some players so prompts for these have been added to. They are located also on the left screen side.

For computers the button to leave has been also marked with an additional "Exit" text to make it clearer how to get out of computers.

Some players wished for wield props (like your smartphone) to line up with the view so they are always visible. This has been done now with props following horizontal rotation but not vertical. In addition the "Take Picture" mode of your smartphone now sticks to the player view using IK. This should make taking pictures much easier. Taking pictures is not for show so you can use them for different purposes in your investigations. See if you can find them all.

All in all the various changes make game play more fluid and easier to pick up for new players. The video demonstrates the various changes in the test map.

Feedback on the changes are highly appreciated.


Next up will be the work on the game mechanics revolving around Sean.

Sean View - Your Choice?

Sean View - Your Choice?

News 3 comments

State your opinion on what "first dragon view" you prefer for Sean.

Booth Dragons and Sounds

Booth Dragons and Sounds

News

First time doing a booth at HeroFest and a lot of work on both the sound scape for the game and the game engine to getting it released soon.

Dynamic Conversation in the Security Park

Dynamic Conversation in the Security Park

News 1 comment

Here it is, the 2nd Part of the News Updates. This time we visit the Security Park and enjoy some Dynamic Conversations.

Investigate the Main Menu

Investigate the Main Menu

News 3 comments

Improved XML Gui-Theming and new Interactive Main Menu with a bit of detective theme.

Comments  (0 - 10 of 110)
TheRenegadist
TheRenegadist

Last comment was from 2014? Au Contraire!

Been tracking this game for about 5 years now, still just as hyped as ever to see this game come out.

#DLM

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Guest
Guest

Where can i find the download for this game?

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HeadClot
HeadClot

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.

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TheDebonairNomad
TheDebonairNomad

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.

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SkitZaY
SkitZaY

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

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SkitZaY
SkitZaY

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

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cdtoaster
cdtoaster

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

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Dragonlord Creator
Dragonlord

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.

Reply Good karma+5 votes
Savci
Savci

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!

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SinKing
SinKing

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

good job though, still on course. Respect!

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Dragonlord Creator
Dragonlord

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

Reply Good karma+3 votes
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Epsylon
Platforms
Windows, Linux
Developer
DragonDreams
Engine
Drag[en]gine
Contact
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Homepage
Epsylon.rptd.ch
Release date
Game watch
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Style
Genre
Adventure
Theme
Sci-Fi
Players
Single Player
Project
Indie
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Latest tweets from @epsylongame

RT @DragonDreamsGD: For Ubuntu Users there is now a PPA Launchpad.net sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rpluess/dragondreams sudo… T.co

Jul 22 2020

RT @DragonDreamsGD: The Drag[en]gine Game Engine 1.2 has been just released with new features like Listener Factories, rim.* Texture Pr… T.co

Jul 18 2020

RT @DragonDreamsGD: Getting Drag[en]gine Released consumed large part of beginning of year. Now work is back on Epsylon with improvemen… T.co

Jul 8 2020

RT @DragonDreamsGD: For those wanting to use Visual Studio Code for Drag[en]gine Deving. First Version of DragonScript Extension for V… T.co

Jun 27 2020

RT @DragonDreamsGD: For those using Discord a channel for everything related to DragonDreams has been created: Game Projects and Drag[e… T.co

Jun 22 2020

RT @DragonDreamsGD: To improve productivity "Listener Factories" have been added. Allows to add custom object behaviors without having… T.co

May 31 2020

RT @DragonDreamsGD: Drag[en]gine Game Engine Release 1.1 Toothing problems are over, here comes the Dragon! With Bug-Fixes and Feature… T.co

May 24 2020

RT @DragonDreamsGD: Managed to get Nightly Builds working now with deploying to GitHub (a bit tricky to do on GitHub) 👍:… T.co

May 15 2020

RT @DragonDreamsGD: New addition to the dragon dreams website. You can now see the Changelog for the upcoming release at… T.co

May 10 2020

RT @DragonDreamsGD: More additions to the engine. Now a bunch of new skin texture properties can be used beginning with "outline." . He… T.co

May 9 2020

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