Devlog #1

Updated: Nov 25, 2019


Transmutables

Project Grove is full of things to collect and discover. This week we've been focusing on one main categories of collectables: Transmutables. These items (plants, rocks and animal materials) can be crafted into Aether; an essential ingredient for making Potions. We've created the Blueprints for Edric’s many lab machines used in the Transmutation process, with emphasis on user-interface and making the whole process more viscerally engaging.


Sun Tonic

The Sun Tonic is in the process of being updated! What was once a listless pulsing orb of light is now a cluster of small fireworks (way more fun). We've been thinking about how to improve the utility and game feel of this ability, drawing inspiration from the scene in Harry Potter where Umbridge is chased down by Wesley's fireworks.


As well as being way cooler, each individual orb has a slightly different behaviour; one will home in on objects it can activate whereas another will encircle puzzle elements (useful in dark caves) and so on.


The Sun orbs are a combination of thruster physics and Niagara effects, and although not finished, are a definite improvement on the previous iteration. (Despite the team not letting Harry name them Snap, Crackle and Pop)



Flooring

We've become interior-designers for Edric’s base! The flooring added matches the set of wood planks and beams originally created for the base structure. This time-saving option may be switched up in the future to a material-based floor for performance.


A Lamp!

This lamp was a quick adventure into Subsurface, previously we've used this on foliage but never fully understood how or why we were using it. Creating the frame was a quick process and then modelled and textured within a few hours. This gave us time to play around with materials and Subsurface setups, eventually setting on a minimalist design. Looking back, texture files may be added for opacity blending but for now it works well with a point light placed inside and a small amount of ‘source length’ added to give some shape. Win!


Pulley System

The pulley system went through a few designs, initially being an object the player grabs onto. We added a floor and built out the whole structure slightly so it’s easier to use. The texturing process on this asset looked at how metallic objects fitted a stylised aesthetic. Sea of Thieves was a strong reference points and we took an approach which utilised slightly more roughness to make the metals really pop in the natural environment of Dacrima.


Spiky Boulders

Dacrima can be a dangerous place and as you ascend its heights spiky boulders are ready to knock you down. We sculpted the spiky boulder asset in Z-brush, choosing a stylised approach. Its dedicated colour map matches other rock textures in Dacrima. If all goes well, players will notice the red spikes and know they’ll be losing health if they don’t get out the way!



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