NETHERWORLD FEBRUARY DEVBLOG 2021
Hey guys, hope you're all fine!
A lot has happened since our last devblog, so LET'S CATCH UP!
>> PREVIOUSLY, IN NETHERWORLD… <<
3 months ago, the .meta files of NetherWorld scenarios were seriously damaged due to a repository error caused by an old .gitignore file configuration.
This means that NetherWorld scenarios (including everything placed on them like cinematics, NPCs and the rest of visual elements) were overwritten both in local and cloud.
We spent several days and nights trying to restore the original files, but it wasn't possible.
Despite the bad news and our temporary mental breakdown, there were reasons to be optimistic: Dialogue script was fine, game code was fine, and visual assets as individual files were fine too. That meant we still had all the pieces of each scenario, and our job during the following months would focus on putting them together again (as well as working on new assets).
>> WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS <<
That unfortunate event made us realize there were several parts of the game that could be improved, but we couldn’t due to the structure of a game that was started on 2016. So we had a last chance to apply all our gained experience during these years to improve old code, optimize functionalities and use new tools that would speed NetherWorld up and make the future development easier.
Here’s all we’ve achieved since then:
- Ranged weapon selection system improvement: Easier for you to switch weapons during fights, easier for us to create new ones.
- New recoil system
- New aiming system
- New crouching system: More agile and useful during fights.
- New falling system: Shoot while falling and standing up!
- Parallax system optimization
- New UI system: Way more optimized and in HD!
- Pixel perfect system implementation: We were doing it by hand!
- Resolution optimization: We added extra pixels to make it full native and scalable. Same resolution quality, less resources used, no half pixels. That also allows getting rid of external tools for pixel rotation.
- Item equipment system optimization: Especially for hats and masks.
- Collider and trigger system improvement: Using Unity’s physics and trigger systems at the same time was quite tricky for the project, so we created our own trigger system from scratch.
- Save and load system improvement: We’ve adjusted (& optimized) it to follow all Nintendo Switch requirements.
- Game notification system improvement: It was used for missions only, but now it works with in-game tutorials of any kind, shape and format.
- New cinematic engine: Using Unity’s tool Timeline for cinematics instead of coding everything allows us to speed up their production without sacrificing narrative quality.
- New cinematic camera system: Cool real time in-game cinematics need great camera fx, movements, and zooms! We made sure all of them work well with the pixel perfect system.
- NPC portraits on dialog interface: With the HD UI upgrade, we’ll be able to see all NPCs and characters we talk to with more details than a few pixels!
As you may suspect, dialog UI and Bozky's HD photo are not final.
- New controller plugin for Nintendo Switch
- Slope system implementation: See ya, plain scenarios! We’ve also fixed some bugs that didn’t allow NPCs to walk on these new irregular terrains.
Keep reading to watch the scene in motion!
- Multiselection: Sometimes it was quite tricky to interact with the right objects or people because they were very close to each other. Not gonna happen again, baby.
Sorry for the GIF compression... Barman Bobb is ugly, but not THAT ugly.
- Drug effects system: Every drug you drink, snort, eat or take somehow will have a different visual effect!
- Interacting from behind: No more need to be in front of an NPC to start conversation!
>> NEW ARTIST IN THE TEAM! <<
Pandemic and confinement have affected us in many ways, not only at work but in our personal lives too. Due to personal reasons (basically LIFE), our incredible and talented artist Isa asked us to step aside from the project. As a little family who has been working together for nearly 3 years, that’s tough. However, the nº1 priority for us at Hungry Pixel is health (mental and physical).
But don't worry, Isa is not leaving the studio! We love her, we’ll miss her, and we wish she can come back for the next Hungry Pixel shit with recharged batteries! <3
Not gonna lie, it was very difficult to find someone who could continue Isa’s amazing work. After many weeks and interviews... WE DID IT.
We’re glad to introduce you Alejandro Fariña, NetherWorld’s new Main Artist!
Look at him... What is he hiding behind that smile? Let’s see what this guy can do!
>> NEW SCENARIOS <<
Wait… Did somebody say NEW SCENARIOS? In plural?
>> SNEW SNOW
We already had old snow assets from before starting our 2018’s Kickstarter campaign, but they needed to be upgraded to maintain the current visual quality of the game. Here's some of the changes!
Upgraded Snow (Still WIP / no effects / no sky)
Stalkers of all kinds
In this freezing wasteland you’ll meet disturbing creatures like this dirty old man…
…or the official Stalkers, one-eyed creepy fellas that live in tribes along the ice wall. Well, technically they live IN the wall. People call them stalkers because… y’know.
>> BROKEN BRIDGE
Broken Bridge is literally a bridge between 3 scenarios:
It connects with the Snow Scenario vertically, and the Forest (left) and Gas City (right) horizontally.
Broken Bridge preliminary design.
Gas City was once home of the finest inventors and engineers, and that’s shown even before entering its gates:
Wanna go up?
Visit the ice wall with the latest technology in elevators!
Wanna go in?
You’ll need a gas mask to enter Gas City, sir. Here are some city soldiers wearing their ultimate camouflage uniform:
We’re really proud of Gas City Gates too. Hope you like them!
Sarah was once member of Gas City’s special operations unit, and now a mutilated exiled living in a mass grave. She will have a VERY important role in the story.
“Hmmm… There’s something fishy about this bridge…”
You’ll have to cross Broken Bridge several times for many reasons. Maybe the Fisherman can help you out with some of them…
>> OLD SCENARIOS <<
As you know, one of the main priorities these months was to rebuild the scenarios we already had before The Accident: Deumanville and Mordisco Desert. Thanks to the great art production rhythm finishing the Snow and Broken Bridge assets, we’ve been able to improve stuff from the “old” scenarios too (and also adding new assets that were pending).
>> DEUMANVILLE (still WIP)
Medoo’s hometown has experienced several changes due to slope system implementation, new skies (both night storm and sunset), new rain particles and also visual upgrades for the grass, trees and mountains (some colors may change in the future).
Hanging out with neighbors
One of the things we hadn’t added yet in the previous versions were graves. NetherWolians have the tradition of hanging their deceased love ones. The higher the corpse, the easier for Wormpink to see them from above, eat their souls and puke them into the Holy Swamp.
In the next update we’ll talk about the upgrades we’re doing to Mordisco Desert!
>> GOING DOWN THE TICK’S HOLE <<
Anything related to Tick Joe deserves its own section. Here’s some of the termite-mound-like entrances that will allow you to play Tick Joe’s minigames! Each scenario will have its own design.
Some Tick Joe minigame entrances (left to right): standard, snow scenario, Deumanville.
Aaaand that's it for now!
If you have any questions, please comment below or send us a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, thanks so much for your support, stay safe and see you in the next devblog!