Dev Log 8/22/2020

[Click the title of these Dev Logs to see the full version with images] August has been consumed primarily with content creation and testing. The last parts of Chapter 2 have been developed and tested, and I will be making a playable build today for others (besides me) to test. Getting a game to the point that it must be player tested is a longer step than it should be, but the consequence of that (hopefully) is very few bugs for players to find. I lost a few days testing more recent versions of Unity, with the hopes of being able to implement HDRP (high definition rendering pipeline), but as of 2019.4.x, it is still not optimized or flexible enough for a game like this one. I’m sure its fine for a game that takes place in a house on a street somewhere, or even for a team making short films, but it does not hold up in a space environment. Some additional in-game features were created for situations that will arise again later, and these types of things take a bit of time to test, but other than that, the only real challenge at this point will be getting voice actors. With real dialog, the game could be played and tested publicly, so I will be grappling with that after the first round of player (technical) tests are done. There is still no solid decision yet as to whether the game will launch as an early access, or just publish demo footage, and continue to advertise it as it gets finished.

Dev Log 7/29/2020

[Click the title of these Dev Logs to see the full version with images] The new region discussed last time was completed and tested. Since then I have done another layer of testing from game start through to chapter 2, fixing bugs, adding content and cutscenes, and improving the gameplay. A lot of this is art and sound studio work, but there are still things that pop up which need coding or adjustments, such as smoother handling of followers, saving and loading with different conditions, and different actors, tweaks to AI, combat, and dialog. One of these items was engaging entry points as a group: I don’t recall playing a game where followers could smoothly get in or out of an elevator with me, and it not just be a cutscene. I made a way to this in realtime, and it feels better. When a game is overly-reliant on cutscenes, I start to wonder if they actually wanted to make a movie instead of a game, or perhaps just didn’t want to write the necessary code. At any rate, I want Exalted Seracthon to feel as immersive as possible at release, and that requires some extra work to get it as close as I can. There is only so much one person can do, but it is sometimes the details that matter.

Dev Log 7/18/2020

[Click the title of these Dev Logs to see the full version with images]Work continues continuously on Exalted Seracthon. Currently, I’m focused on plotline details, story, and mental challenges the player will face. The goal is to have these fleshed out and fully tested so that a play through of both initial chapters of the game can happen seamlessly. Technical issues remain minor – things are developed as needed, but the majority of work continues to be content – art and sound, models, textures, level design, and testing. All the things a programmer doesn’t have to do, unless they are the only person working on the game LOL. I had the good fortune to speak with a AAA industry veteran recently, and developers with skills in multiple areas are now highly desired, as their ability to cover multiple project threads and general value across the board has proven to be greater than the specialization of prior decades. So I guess one shouldn’t complain about a heavy and diverse workload. I would announce another video, but I have refrained from publishing any this month, and have generally not shown a lot of what is in this game so that I don’t give away its unique aspects. Suffice to say, there is a lot to show, but it will have to wait until that kind of public exposure will benefit the game’s release process.

Dev Log 6/15/2020

Social media has been scaled back to allocate more time to complete the content for Exalted Seracthon. With the onset of the global pandemic, and the decay of crowdfunding in general, creating a new audience at this stage has been rather difficult. To prepare for an early access release, the focus has turned from social media to completing the first two chapters of the game. The engine was completed in February of this year, and a number of further developments were made to improve performance, and streamline the building of areas and levels, cut-scenes, and dialog. Sound, music, and voice acting are currently the biggest task at hand, as they require considerable time, and of course, availability of voice actors. We are extremely fortunate to be able to feature some of the ambient music of Iron Cthulhu Apocalypse. A great deal of his work was composed with the same range of concepts that Exalted Seracthon portrays, and will constitute the majority of the music heard within the game. An example of this can be heard in the ‘Transitions Test 2‘ video on our YouTube channel.

Exalted Seracthon: Game Development

Exalted Seracthon is the first PC game produced by Ravenheim Studio. The game engine was developed between Feb 2017 and Feb 2020, and it has been tailored for the story it was intended for. It was first planned to launch as early access game, with the rest of the content added as it was produced, however this has changed. The game will be complete before launch, and any further content will follow as either a DLC or a sequel. The sequel (and there very likely will be at least one) may have a coop or multiplayer option, depending on player feedback.

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