Apr 252013
 

Time flies when you’re working hard on something and, oh man, have we been working hard lately. It’s time for a first proper dev update for Legend of Grimrock 2!

The codebase has been in quite a bad shape after working so furiously on the first game. So I’ve been doing a lot of code refactoring which is a bit unthankful work because I’m rewriting a lot code and on the surface nothing seem to be changing. But still it’s very important and will speed up development in the future tremendously. Almost everything is now component based (except for the Party class which is a bugger to refactor because it’s so tightly connected to many places). Also I have rewritten the save game system, so that it’s easier to add new components that store their state automatically in save games.

I’ve also worked on the AI and as a result some critters are now noticeably harder to deal with. A completely new AI behavior has also been added. You can tell the difference immediately when this new behavior is activated but I don’t want to spoil the fun by revealing all the secrets yet!

The Dungeon Editor has also seen some changes. The inspector is now tree-based and shows the components of the selected entity. The “Paint Wall” tool has been extended quite a bit. It is now possible to paint different types of walls and floors in the same level. Shift-clicking on the map flood fills large areas. The editor also has a zoom feature, so tightly packed levels are easier to deal with.

Meanwhile Antti has been busy designing the levels. We have now about 5-6 playable levels in pre-alpha stage depending on how you count them. The levels have puzzles in them but monsters and extra polish will be added later. Antti has also been prototyping on a cool new puzzle mechanic which will eventually help extend our repertoire of tricky and brainteasing puzzles.

Juho and Olli have been modeling and animating new monsters and we have now eight new nasty critters, including two new spellcasters in development. We are trying to get a wider variety of monsters with different abilities in the game this time. If time permits we would like to implement unique AI behavior for most of them.

Jyri has been working on a new interior wallset and dungeon props. Jyri has also helped Juho and Olli by creating the very first monster that you will encounter in LoG2! Jyri reports that the monster has 3192 polygons, uses three textures, has 17 deformers and fits approximately inside a 3×3 meter cubic block. Can you guess what it is? :-)

So all in all, I’d say we are progressing at a good pace. But there’s still a lot of work left, so better get back to banging the keyboard!

  22 Responses to “Dev Update!”

  1. This sounds great, and with the screenshot released earlier, it’s shaping up to be a worthy sequel to my personal 2012 GOTY.

    One question though, will the game have NPCs? Maybe even voiced? Fixed-location side-quest NPCs, shopkeepers, etc. would be a great way to breathe a lot of life into the game and its world. Voice acting can often be the most costly part of the development process, but it doesn’t have to be. I’m sure a lot of fans of the game have terrific voices that would love to do it even for free, just to be able to say that they were part of a great game that sold MILYANS and MILYANS of units. (I’m one of those people, hint hint)

    At any rate, refactoring and optimizing code is as you say, unthankful work, but it pays off. By having a faster, more intuitive engine, you can reach more users with a wider range of hardware, which equals to more sales.

    Thanks for your continuing hard work on this great franchise.

    • Thanks for the feedback! LoG2 will be a tightly focused dungeon & outdoor crawler. Atmosphere, sneaky monsters and tricky puzzles are still at the core of the game. Side-quest NPCs, towns and shopkeepers do not fit into the overall picture that well… but it doesn’t mean that LoG2 will be devoid of personality… am I cryptic enough? :)

  2. That’s excellent news – getting really excited.

    I got Legend of Grimrock with an Humble Indie Bundle, but because the icon had “cute” looking characters, it sat on my harddrive for a few months until one day in November I thought “Might as well see what this is.”

    When I saw the title screen my heart skipped a beat and I thought – “Noooo way. This isn’t going to be like Eye of the Beholder…”

    I scarcely did anything other than play Legend of Grimrock for the next few months, and upon completion – getting into the level editing.

    Which raises a question:

    Will dungeons I’m working on, be portable to the new level editor?

    • Hi there, we are extending the capabilities of the engine quite a bit, so it’s unlikely that the levels would work straight out of the box in LoG2 editor. However, I’m sure that dungeon layouts, puzzles, items, etc. should be possible port over with a little work.

  3. Don’t tell i’ts a bloody Dragon….. are you insane???? :D

  4. Is there going to be any revision to the magic system?

    I rolled two mages for my party and it was really disappointing. The same spells – in 4 different colours! Shall I fire the blue missile or the red missile? Which do you think goes best with my shoes? And you don’t even know that the spells are all going to be the same so it’s a double whammy of disappointment.

    Everything else was great. But yeah, not so much the magic. No rolling two mages for me ever again.

  5. That’s some great news, we can’t wait to see more…

    As for the new AI, does it per chance have something to do with an annoying little laughing creature with blue arms and green legs?

  6. I’m gonna go with gelatinous cube.

  7. Man, how I wish I could see the source code! I love refactoring.

  8. Thanks for the update!
    I know you’re a small studio and have a limited budget but do you guys have any plans to invest a little more into writing this time around? The story wasn’t very compelling and the the narration was a bit clunky in LoG1 if I’m completely honest :)

  9. “If time permits we would like to implement unique AI behavior for most of them.”

    Time HAS to permit, it just has to :)

    Looking forward to other LoG2 updates ;)

  10. Very nice. :)

    I hope the monsters will be a bit tougher this time around. In the last game, you totally nailed the atmosphere, exploration and puzzles, but the combat and RPG elements left something to be desired.

    Hope you polish them up a bit more.

  11. I am dying to see a snowy outdoor environment. I think it would fit perfectly to emerge at a later point after traversing the dungeon and be higher up in the mountains.

    Also — any chance of rain/snow/weather effects? Will the outdoor areas have a day/night cycle?

  12. Hi. Loved the 1st game. Can’t wait to play the 2nd. One question, will the monsters have skin damage? What I mean is, will the skin of a monster change to a bruised skin when the monster looses 50% health and an even more bruised and cut skin when he his almost dead?

    Also, will monsters gain a new AI behaviour for when they are close to dying, something like a rage behaviour were they move faster and deal more damage?

    Anyway, keep doing great games!

  13. I’d love to see some more screenies! :-)

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  16. Nice, liking how this project is turning out!
    However, you should change the tooltip on the longsword (and any other future, armor piercing weapons) to read “Ignores 20 points or armor.” or something similar, because right now, it seems like it permantly reduces the enemy’s armor by 20. Unleas that is it’s intention, in which case, your blog post was misleading.

    Also, it’d be nice if the tool tips showed how long we have to hold down the attack button in order to activate the secondary action.

    Finally, a question: will we finally be able to program our own AI brains in the new game?

   
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