The second sprint in March, APHELION Pt 2, features an art terrain pipeline, a new port, character progression, and further work on implementing fuel and hunger within the game UI. This sprint also included some changes to the Terror mechanic.
Paul has been working on a terrain pipeline that will allow us to have a library of assets that can be used to create a multitude of different ports and settlements.
Each different piece can be combined to form districts and areas without having to resize and fiddle too much with individual bits in Photoshop (as we did in Sunless Sea!). Also, by building each port with these different layers, we can create more realistic and rich looking environments.
You’ll also notice that docks can be in the centre of ports now!
This sprint included work from James on a new port called Traitor’s Wood: a tangled, fairytale place where a cluster of academics have settled, convinced a legendary king is buried at its centre.
Chris has also delved into how Terror should work in Sunless Skies, and it’s a bit different than Sunless Sea’s Terror mechanics!
In Sunless Skies, your Terror can build from 1-100 while travelling. Each time your locomotive docks at a port, it will return to 0. However, if your Terror reaches 100, then you acquire a Condition level.
Condition levels vary from 1-5 (things will get, um, weird at level 5, but perhaps that’s how you want to play?). Conditions will not be reset at ports, and thus will stay with you unless you can reduce them through certain stories.
Players could experience different narratives when they run into Terror Events. Discontent events will affect your crew, tweaking their morale and possibly sending them into mutiny, while Nightmare events will affect you as the Captain.
DESIGN AND GAMEPLAY
Chris and Liam also spent some time developing character progression in Sunless Skies. This time around we’re focusing on well-rounded characters with enticing histories.
We’d also like to open the depth of the choice you make. So, if you decide to select the circle that says you’ve been to prison in the past, a window will open up and let you select one of two options to let us know how you served your time while you were there.
Barry continues to play God, having worked this week on implementing Fuel and Supplies within the game’s UI. He’s been testing a way of displaying how much your survival qualities – terror, supplies and hunger, hull, etc – have increased or decreased. For example, if you’re rammed by a Scrive-Spinster, you know immediately how much damage you took from a quick glance up at the hull meter.
Our next sprint will be BIG BANG, and will include some work on combat! (You’ve seen that sentence before, because we counted wrong last time. We were overexcited. BIG BANG is definitely next!)
No FBG podcast this week: we’ll be at EGX Rezzed! We’re chatting about Sunless Skies at 15:00 BST on Friday, and you’ll be able to watch live at twitch.tv/EGX. Due to the Easter holiday, our next FBG podcast will be on the of 28th April on twitch – see you then!
Kickstarter backers will also have received their backer surveys today. Fill yours in, so we can gather numbers and start making your rewards!