Updated: Jul 15, 2022
Welcome to the first issue of This week at Funny Fintan, a weekly intergalactic broadcast on the progress of Incolatus. This week at Funny Fintan, we prepare for Pixel Expo and ramp up our gameplay systems and graphics.
Christmas in September!
We have a big announcement to make, Incolatus will be at the inaugural Pixel Expo! For the uninitiated, the event describes itself as:
an action-packed, single-day event. Pixel Expo is the place to be to see latest and greatest video game and animation content from the local, national, and international creators!
The event will be held in the Perth Convention and Exhibit Centre on the third of September, and we'll be bringing our hottest new playable demo with brand new features never played before by the public! This event will kick off our 2022 festival tour yet to be announced. Nothing is concrete yet but we are in talks to return to the same events we showed at last year!
If you missed those events, you can still catch the gameplay from last year on YouTube!
You can secure your tickets here ($30 AUD)
We'll see you there!
GUNS PORTALS + ROBOTS
This week in gameplay, we are very excited about our new portal charge combat loop, which promises to shake up the foundation of Incolatus gameplay as we know it. In talks with our lead systems architect Zia, they had this to say:
We're trying to make the whole gameplay loop revolve around the economy of the portal meter. Healing and special abilities rely on having enough portal charge, which is replenished through killing enemies. Having many systems rely on the one resource is going to force the player to think about what they're doing at all times, instead of just shooting through the level. We're trying to force higher order thinking.
Zia then googled the definition of higher-order thinking to make sure they got it right (eh, yeah).
Above: Portal meter visible in the game's new UI
As you may know, we showed off a portal system in the 2021 demo, so what's changed since then and why are the new systems going to be better?
The entire system has been rebuilt from the ground up. We found in testing that the old system was clunky and inefficient, taking the player out of the flow of combat which is something we're trying to avoid. Along with the functionality, the visuals of the Middle Dimension are brand new and lend better to the other new parts of the game in the 2022 demo.
Above: New portal system in development
The expanded 'portal economy' is a big component of this new system, how does it work?
So there is a single resource, Portal Charge, controlling many actions in the game. Everything from healing, entering the Middle Dimension and even the exciting new 'stunt kill' system to be revealed at a later date. They all require 'portal charge.' While you're in the Middle Dimension, we've strived to create a balance between power fantasy and player agency by creating rhythm based combat microcosm. While we're making the player very powerful, this system still forces them to be on their toes, considering multiple factors, not just walking around aimlessly hitting Ormyk with a stick.
You can expect to hear more about these systems over the coming weeks.
This week in 3D modelling, I've been working on guns for the 2022 demo. Imber, meet your arsenal.
Sub-Machinegun // Kinetic rounds
Mokosh, named after the Slavic Mother Goddess, is Imber's main workhorse, and fires off rounds at a blisteringly fast rate. The sleek body comes from a standard issue BogBog Yndustrix service sub-machinegun used in Steve Bogs' private army, the Pink Bloom. Mokosh, however, has been modified by the galaxy's top military contractors with coveted Xyth crystals, which allow for portal technology to aid in the reload of the firing mechanism. Cracks are beginning to form in the old body due to the instability of Xyth energy, but this inherent risk does not bother Imber. The crystals allow ammunition to be teleported straight from ammo bag to chamber within a short range for reduced reload times. Also note that Imber has applied their signature rain stripes paint-job. Warning: Do not handle Xyth crystal foregrip without Xyth-proof gloves!
Burst rifle // Kinetic rounds
Ye ol' reliable of Imber's arsenal, Khyrtyq is named after the Turkish swamp demon. The body is a modified Pink Bloom sniper rifle harnessing the power of Xyth crystal reloads with the added modification of bursting out three 50. Cal rounds per pull of the trigger. The rifle has taken a beating over the years but still sees use due to its sturdy build. They just don't make 'em like they used to. Though this rifle has the least amount of Xyth crystal in the arsenal, the solitary one it does have is the most dense. This is to muster the portals needed for such high calibre ammunition. Khyrtyq is decorated with the insignia of the Pink Bloom, and the rain stripes of Imber.
Stay tuned next week for more gun reveals!
Fungus Among Us
This week in concept art, we're working on bringing the environment of Xyzanthynum to life with a fleshed-out ecosystem to create a real lived-in world. But don't take my word for it, I sat down to talk with our concept artist Jasper, and here's what he had to say...
I've been trying to make an ecosystem that both makes sense with Xyzanthynum and the real natural world. For the most part, there's a sort of rational consistency to how the flora and fauna will work but I do want it to sort of pop with the sense of the unknown. I really want the ecosystem to make sense to the player so they can see it and feel immersed and feel like there's a bigger world than just what's on the screen. By having a heavy focus on things that are smaller in the real world like bugs an fungus and enlarging them in the game world, it adds a sense of surrealism while keeping it grounded.
Above: Various sketches for Xyzanthynum flora
Here's one of his latest pieces, a dangerous new species of flora; the Clabbus Arachni, here's what he had to say about the design:
This plant was based on the real life devil's fingers fungus. I find the idea of carnivorous plants to be a very interesting trope in science fiction, so I really leaned into it with this design by adapting the black sludge from the real plant to instead act like a large spider's web in my version. It can hypothetically use this to grasp onto fauna, but mostly it ends up catching unsuspecting Ormyk!
Above: early sketches for Xyzanthynum flora. Clabbus Arachni in the bottom left.
Stay tuned next week for more natural Xyzanthynum beauty!
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned next week for the next issue of This Week at Funny Fintan, and we'll see you at Pixel Expo in September.
Until then... Just. Don't. Stop. Moving.
[END OF COMMUNIQUE]