We were silent for some time, sorry about that. We are back with some important news for what to expect from Alder’s Blood in the coming months. For all those who prefer to listen and watch we have prepared a vlog, but if you would like to read, we have prepared a text summarizing everything on the film.
Change in the aesthetics and animations.
Not the biggest one on the list, but the most noticeable one. Ok, so what exactly are we changing?
- Hunters designs
I was not really happy with what we have delivered last time…When I first pitched my team with the idea I imagined something slightly different, but as there was little time (as always, right?) we came with what we were able to quickly put together. Another thing is that we are so close to Bloodborne, that it became to feel a little bit to unpleasant. Don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE fan of Bloodborne, but I wanted to do something my own. Sooo, I used a lot of references from different time periods, mainly 19th century, trying to maintain the main theme (masked guys in cloaks), but with some unique elements. The game will now be more inspired with wild west, civilian clothing from Europe and Americas, etc.
- Animation system
Another thing that was bothering me quite a bit was the stiffness of our animations. We were using Anima2D, a free Unity plugin that features skeletal animation system. We were pretty excited at first, but very soon we realized that if you want to have a really good looking attack animations, Anima2D is not the best solution. By accident (I did a quick art test in pixel art) I found out that doing stop motion animations is not that scary, but the results are way more exciting. So if you follow me on Twitter you propably have seen some examples of these new animations.
- Monsters designs
We are chaning hunters and the animations, so why not use it as a pretext to work on the monsters designs more? So the monsters will get a face lifting as well, we will introduce new ones and add more animations for their improved AI. But we’ll talk about AI later.
There will be some improvement in the UI, promo materials (to match new designs of the characters and monsters) logos, etc as well. Basicly everything will receive an improvement.
New “strategy layer”
This is a big one. In our opinion the current strategy layer of Alder’s Blood kinda breaks the immersion. It’s big map where nothing really happens – yeah, that goes away. We are replacing it with a traveling system (early mockup below). Your hunters will form a caravan travelling from place to place, meeting new people, gathering information, and accepting contracts from Great Houses. Every location will have its own visual representation, so you will be able to see something more of it, rather than an aerial view. There is an option to camp as well. Your hunter will be able to heal himself, craft new items and weapons (that won’t change that much) or just wait for a while for the Moon to change its season. We will introduce more of storytelling here, but don’t worry, we won’t bury you under tons of text.
There will be none. Boom. Yeah, we figured that it will be way more fun to actually make your own builds with all this gear, rather that limit you with every hunter. Every hunter is now a blank canvas, that you fill hovewer you want. You wanna make an Antiquarian? Give the guy a maul and some relics. You need a Jeager? Then equip the guy with a rifle. If you worry that we will loose some of the looks because of it, do not. Different designs will stay as characters skins that you will be able to change. We plan to include a colouring system, so even two hunters with the same skin can look different.
As there are no hunter classes, everything can be equipped by anybody. So it was a good opportunity to take a second look at the weapons. Now they are all divided into 10 different types:
- Throwing Knives
Some of the weapons are better at different tasks, some are more vesitile than others. This is a pretty long topic, so we will propably make a separate article about weapons only.
AI in the demo was not the brightest, so we knew we needed to work on it in the future. Other than making it smarter, we will also change some of the monsters mechanics. Now the monsters will look in a specific direction, shown with a different idle animation (image below). If you want to sneak past it, make sure that it’s not looking your way. The monsters will now have 3 stages of averness of our hunters:
- idling; they do not know we are nearby,
- alarmed; they have seen us, smelled us or heard us, but they do not know our location. The monster will start searching the area,
- hostile; the enemy sees us and is ready to engage us in combat.
So the stealth playstyle will definitely receive a boon with these changes, and some others in different areas of gameplay, like…
…stealth kills and finishers
In our latest demo when a monster (or a hunter) loses all Stamina Points, he goes into a Stunned state and loses his next turn. All of it is still true. But we want to juice it up a little. When you bring monster’s Stamina down to zero, you will be able to kill it instantly, number of HP doesn’t matter. A special animation will play out and you may celebrate your tactical skills 😉 Same thing will happen if you find yourself undetected near an enemy. So again stealth playstyle is getting a boost.
These are the main, big changes that we are adding to Alder’s Blood. There are some minor stuff that will happen and we will keep you posted about them.