Dev Update 1 – First Videos

Posted on Posted on in category Categories Characters, Gameplay, Locations

Today we’ll finally be showing off some in-game videos! We’ve got two to show today, with more planned for the near future (We’ve just got to actually finish some things first).

First up, meet Agi and Marid in game!

And second of all, the most important gameplay feature of all, PIGEONS!

After all, we did promise pigeons! The pigeon was modelled by Kadan (as were Agi and Marid, but they’re not important right now) and remains unrigged and unanimated by Dan. Here’s the very highly detailed reference file Kadan worked off of:

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Look at that beautiful round boy or girl! We’re not ahead on gameplay or anything, we just wanted to make pigeons, and I think that’s quite indicative of our development style…

Oh well!

We’re planning more videos very soon, included a demonstration of our battle system. Hope to see you then!

– Dan & Kadan (But mostly Dan this time) – Team Atropos

The First Ingame Screenshots

Posted on Posted on in category Categories Characters, Locations

Alright, we’ve been holding back on showing any actual game stuff for a while, partly because we’re in super early stages, partly because we’re very busy. In fact, because we’re so busy, we can only really show you pictures for now. Don’t worry, we’ll get a first preview video out once we have something more substantial and less horrifyingly buggy. Anyway, here are a couple of early character models and a really blocky city!

Agi

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Here’s a preview of the initial model for the protagonist, Agi! Here you can see that we already have a semi-cel shading style going on, as well as what the characters would look like in-engine. Now there are clear parts where the model can be improved – this is just a first draft after all – but this model helped ground our ideas, and make the whole game actually feel real. She is animated, and has some facial rigging set up (She can blink and scream at things!), but I’m afraid we won’t be showing that off until a little later in the dev cycle. She probably won’t have her shirt sticking through her jacket shoulders then either! Remember, early days!

Marid

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And now for the next member of the team, Marid! Once again, this is a first draft of the model, so expect things to improve massively as time goes on. We created Marid to have a proper companion character to work with, and to aid in the development of the companion system as a whole. Like Agi, he’s animated, although he is lacking facial rigging for the moment – his stare definitely creeps out Kadan! For now, Marid is also filling in the role of a bunch of other characters that we’ll eventually have modelled and ready to show you all!

Manchester – Picadilly Gardens

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Our final image for today is a super early prototype of the open world part of Manchester – specifically the main hub, Picadilly Gardens! Currently, it’s primarily in early blocking out stages, obviously, and there are large parts of Manchester also blocked out that are out of view. We’re aiming to get the basics down in most places, add some functionality, then add all the details to bring it to life. You may also notice the satellite imagery on parts of the ground. We’re using that to ensure that everything is as accurate as possible without resorting to actual real world blueprints (Although we will use real data wherever we can, with some embellishments representing the near future state of Manchester.)

On the technical side of things, since Manchester is a very large area, we are using level streaming techniques and will be building the level in blocks.In fact, one of the blocks on the top right of this image unloaded while I was placing the camera for this shot – go figure. Manchester, having many straight roads, will also be modelled significantly far away from the play area, and you may spot some landmarks that are otherwise outside the playable area. It’s safe to say we have a lot of work ahead of us.

Anyway, that’s all we have to show for now. While we do have a functional battle system and other parts of the game, we’re going to keep that under wraps for a future post (And so we can polish out the REALLY ugly bits). Signing off for now.

– Dan & Kadan – Team Atropos

Manchester

Posted on Posted on in category Categories Concept Designs, Locations

We recently decided to do something that we’ve been putting off for a while and took a trip to Manchester, the primary location of Atropos. The weekend we went was Pride, hence the rainbows, but despite the colourful celebrations we were there on business.

Looking over our photos from the weekend, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to let you guys know a little more about the setting and expand on Manchester and why we chose it.

 

We both have very close connections to Manchester and wanted to inject a little of Northern England into gaming. The game features the City Centre and Northern Quarter heavily, but with the changes that a few years and an alternate reality could bring. With that in mind, the city features not only as a backdrop, but as a part of the story. Iconic and recognisable parts of Manchester can not only be visited by the player in the semi-open world aspect of the game (similar to the Yakuza series, you are able to explore a large portion of the city) but also appear in the combat aspects of the game. However, differing from our influences and more true to life, the odds of getting attacked in the city centre in broad daylight are incredibly slim.

Of course Manchester is a bustling city, and we really want to encapsulate that and make it feel like you’re walking through the centre of a busy city filled with people, and it’s common feathered residents. We want it to adapt with the time of year, with altering weather and varying amounts of sunlight, bringing events such as Pride and the famous Christmas Markets. As the story adapts so will the surroundings, events and decisions may find the city feeling more bleak, or it could bring unexpected encounters with newly found friends. We’re hoping to make the city feel alive.

– Kadan & Dan – Team Atropos