Dev Blog #1 - Still Alive
It’s been a long time since the last blog post dedicated to our game, part due to the fact that we didn’t had much to show, and now I will try to explain why.
When we started this project, we had a concept in mind, a concept that was maybe too complex for us at the time, too big of a project for a 3 man team with limited (material) resources and time (at that time all three of us were students, now two of us still are). And so we started to focus on developing the game using prototypes instead of actual 3D models, while our only 3D artist started to work on scene prop, items, and all 3D that was needed for the game. Those assets are now to be assembled into scenes.
In the meantime, we released two Unity3D plugins, whose revenue allowed us to pay a little part of the work that we cannot do on our own. (Hired an animator to rig and animate the characters and the animals in our game)
Art & Scenery
We’ve been working on a set of 3D models for the locations that will be found in our game. The Research Camp, as can be seen in the pictures below is one of the first location encountered during gameplay. We also wanted to give the player unlimited exploration capabilities, therefore every building can be accessed in some way, explored, and looted.
On top of that, we are also currently working on the Assets needed for another important location of the game, the abandoned harbor, which will be featured in the next Dev Blog.
Gameplay & Mechanics
What’s a game without game mechanics? During the last months we also polished our game mechanics, and since the main point of the game is to survive, we had to come with creative ways to immerse the player into the world of Northern Lights. To do so, we took great care when designing the weather mechanics, and every system that the player depends on to stay alive.
As you can see in the screenshot below, we are also working and polishing the status menu. The status menu contains vital information to the players survival. The whole purpose of it is to make this information available to the player in a very simple and intuitive way. All being said, the player can regularly check if his hunger is high and he needs to eat soon or if he’s entering a depression state, in which case he would need to act fast and cure it before it gets worse. The clock and weather conditions are also present on the right side of the Tab menu. Note that most of the UI is in early stage and is subject to change.
Actively managing the player’s health is critical for survival. Many afflictions caused by the weather or by injuries require medical intervention to be cured. In Northern Lights, those afflictions can be cured in the First Aid menu. Each affliction requires a special treatment and the variety of available treatments range from different bandages to stop bleeding after being attacked by an animal or falling from a great height, all the way to natural remedies and pills to control an infection from spreading.
For now, we thank you for taking your time to check out and read our first development blog. There are still aspects of our game that we haven’t shown yet but they will definitely be present in the upcoming blog posts. We hope you enjoyed the read :)