Coming in on time as usual, welcome to this Friday/Saturday's issue of This Week at Funny Fintan, an intergalactic broadcast on the development progress of the 2024 game of the year! This week at Funny Fintan we journey through the remnants of the great Myj
A Hitchhiker's Guide to Xyzanthynum: The Cliffside
This week I thought I'd take you behind the scenes on the development of the actual level. In the first instalment of this 6 part column, I thought we'd start... Well... At the start. Enter the first area of the 2022 demo: The Cliffside.
The cliffside isn't a strictly new area in this demo... It's just that it's been missing for a year.
In fact, our first piece of concept art shows who we called 'protagonist' at the time looking down on the Oasis with a nice view of the tower from a great height. The idea of this area has always been that this is where Imber crash lands for the first time.
This was 'masterfully' recreated in an ancient Blockout proposal, which mentions the archaic abseiling system scrapped before we even knew we were making an arena shooter.
The concept art was then reproduced in unreal blockouts my little 'yellow guy for scale' meant to represent Imber, or 'protagonist.'
This area... Existed... In the first demo. And that's about all that can be said.
As you can see Imber's crashed ship was present in some form in this demo. Looking back at this makes me cringe a little. Let's move on!
If I had a dollar for every cut feature of the 2021 demo... Look I wouldn't be rolling in it but one of the dollars I had would be from this area! The cliffside was pretty much a done and dusted area (though notably, it was more of a little hill than anything cliffy). The reason it was cut was primarily due to time constraints. The hill was massively tall, but at a good angle to slide down, this was intentional and emblematic of another cut feature from this demo; Imber's skates!
Yep. Hills like this were quite common in this demo, sometimes pasted over with stairs in the final version as Imber's second traversal mode had to be scrapped due to time constraints and general gameplay flow.
The most eagle-eyed among you last year might have spotted this though it would've been difficult, Imber's 2021 model still had their retractable skates present! This was part of the reason why we went with a full-body model and rig last year, something we moved away from with the 2022 demo.
This was the blockout for the 2021 version. Very blue...
Our retired concept artist Saturn started this year out with a re-imagining of this cliff concept as I took a new direction with the blockout -that direction being much higher up in the oasis mountain range.
Elevation was the name of the game with this new blockout!
This is where I'm at now. A work in progress still for sure, but getting close! Most of the assets that need to go in are modelled, they just need to be implemented.
Stay tuned next week for an exploration of area 2: the camp!
Developer Insight: Grappling
This week at Funny Fintan we grapple the Grapple system!
You may have spotted the system in previous snippets of gameplay but now it's finally complete, with a shiny new model!
It is inspired by an astronomical sphere that was used by early astronomers to do rudimentary astrological calculations. The ancient Myj most likely used these for that exact purpose, but you find them best for a good spot to wrap the grapple hook around.
To grapple, you summon a small portal attached to your left hand which shoots out a cable that you use like a zipline! Propel yourself at speeds that are unheard of!
The grapple can also be used to bring yourself towards stunned enemies and initiate the all-new stunt kill system, which we will expand on in a future TWAFF.
Here's a peek at the system in all its glory.
Tune in next week for a look at the trusty Veles!
Your Friendly Reminder
Pixel Expo is on the third of September at the Perth Convention Centre! You will be able to get your hands on the game and play the 2022 demo! You can get your tickets here.
That's All Imber!!
For Funny Fintan Softworks, I'm Zia, saying;
Thank you for tuning into another issue of This Week at Funny Fintan, to keep up to date with the game you can follow our socials and keep it locked right here on Incolatus.com for more issues each week! We'll see you at Pixel Expo in September. Until then... Just. Don't. Stop. Moving.
[END OF COMMUNIQUE]