DEVLOG #40 – Everest: The Root

Hi Ascenderians, this time, moldovite is back!! In this blog, I will tell you about Everest.

Everest is one of many districts in GOA’s civilization, it is not a mountain nor a city. Everest is a massive sacred root and becomes the center of religious activities.

So why it so special?

Citizen of GOA thinks that the root is the path to the heaven. It is a sacred bridge that connects the world below to above. Because of that, many people in goa begun to come to Everest to pray for health and success to the almighty.

Just like many focus grounds before, we start it with a sketch before we went digital. For Everest, Amber (the art director) make a sketch like this

And because Everest is the root that connects the two world, it surely has something magical and mystic that make Everest different from other roots. After a lot of discussions, we choose purple and violet for the color of the tree and the surrounding. The color is chosen because they represent the color of magic. mystic and fantasy.

Here is the digitalization of the sketch earlier

4

Ta daaa…… The Everest! The root of God!! 🙂

If you look in detail, you will notice that there is a minor change with stair in the upper left, this case happen sometimes, for the sake of game design sometimes we must chop off the art, and adjust it. I think it’s not bad. And like civil war quote “sometimes we need to lose the small battles in order to win the war” so it doesn’t mind me at all.

And that will be our end of this session, let me say my goodbye to you…

Moldovite sign out.

DEVLOG#30 – Irritating Implementation of Platforming Predicament, Part IV: Shader

Oh hello there, guys! Here already? Come on in! There are pictures to feast on and stories to savor, so pick a comfortable place to sit and eat well.

Haven’t I introduced myself yet? Well, if you follow this blog from the beginning, you surely must know that I am Chalcedony, one of the programmers of Ascender. Well you know what – now I’m not an intern anymore in devlogging – I am a full-fledged one!

Here we go, the appetizer: sneak peeks! The never-ever-seen-before scenes are ready for your eyes only! [*Plays awesome sound effect*]

Firstly, we have the tendrils. Sky can jump on and off it. Note how they react accordingly to sky’s movement.

sulur
Do the villagers climb on them too?

This kind of trampoline is also fun for some boing-boing. Hold the jump button for more air time.

trampoline
Trampoline image just for placeholder.

How defying gravity sounds? You can climb wall and even fall into the horizon.

skyWalk
The house is still in repair, no worries.

For today’s special, we serve shaders. What is a shader, you ask? Wikipedia says “a program that tells a computer how to draw something in a specific and unique way”. Shader is used for special (and not-so-special) effects, like these.

Remember this big robot? His laser effect was my first shader creation (not counting failures, of course)!

bro
The rune stays intact, so why sky does not?

The layer where sky is standing is affected by the light from the lamp, whereas the background and the foreground are not. Just shader.

light
Villagers have nothing to do, so they spend the whole day standing there.

Even simple menus need shader to clip the items so they are not rendered off-window.

menu
Why so many tasks for so little robot?

Look closely, the water distorts the scenery behind it. How to do it? Shader.

water
It distorts my sanity too.

Contrast to C# in terms of language, one should use Cg/HLSL language when creating shader in Unity. The scripts below both are for B.RO, the left one is written in C# for controlling the movement, and the right one is in Cg for you know, shading.

scriptCompare
These are among the first scripts for this game! Bad, bad scripts.

 Those two look alike, but in truth are quite huge in difference! Debugging is especially a hell in shading. You will often end up with this kind of result…

badWater1
Error in shader equals magenta for you. My favorite color!

Of course without you knowing what’s wrong. For some cases, Unity will be a good guy and tell you (approximately) which line caused the shader into haywire. Granted, I am by no means a master in shading, but still, when you went to fix the line, then it goes boom…

badWater2
Very menacing water.

Gah! Dealing with these stuffs always drives me to my boiling point!

Anyway, that’s all for today’s meal! Did you enjoyed it? What now, you need dessert too? If you are still craving for more, be sure to play our public preview now, and let us know what’s on your mind!

Wow, it’s been ages since my last post, but now we must apart once more. Fret not, we will prepare more special dishes for you to relish, so stay tuned, and eat well. Bye!

 

DEVLOG#09 – Imagining Ascender

Hi there, I’m Amber, the art director, this is my first time for me writing this game development blog. First, let me take you for a walk in imagining the concept world of Ascender through this blog.

I want you to imagine a big world, full with Ascendrians (ancient people of Ascender) living peacefully in their own group without conflict or greed. They communicate with nature and use its resources, then hold ceremonies as a symbol of thankfulness. They are used to sing and pray together, with calmness and emotion control to keep themselves from confronting each other.

Ascender world_ok

Then, later in Ascender world’s history,they found a disbalance among themselves, and they began to differentiate between themselves. Those who are able to achieve synergy with the nature, can manipulate and harness its power, are called the purists, whereas those who didn’t possess such ability, but is excellent in logical thinking are called the scientists. The scientists improved their way of living by researching and technology. Sadly, there was a third group of people which wasn’t granted any purity nor logical skills. These people, whose rely only on their body strength, are called workers.

In that ancient times, those groups of Ascendrians were still living harmoniously together regardless their differences, but it didn’t take long before they go separate ways. After centuries, they are growing larger and larger, with the scientists being the largest group, followed by the workers. Capitalism began to corrupt Ascendrians, which became big concerns for the purists. As it is not their nature to confront each other, they were forced to evacuate into deep jungle, surrounded by factories, skyscrapers, and toxic waste.

The purists had nowhere to go, as the nature was getting ruined. Trees were cut down, sea was full of oil, and the air was contaminated and full of dust. The elder of the purist decided that they had to vanish with all the nature that’s left, and preserve them to stay pure. The only way they could go is upward, where the air is still fresh. So, alongside the nature spirit, they combined their almighty magic to lift the parts of the world which was still pure to the sky.

Finally they did it. The depressed, threatened minority race show their teeth, their true ability. That giant continent, rising slowly to the sky, left only huge holes on the ground. Such display of power, amazed all other Ascendrians beyond their logic and technologies, and set their ego burning. It was a challenge! As the floating islands were getting smaller from the view, the scientists speed up their research, fueled by the anger and jealousy to achieve what the purists had done. But before they did it, the whole ocean slowly moved up above the ground, into the sky, like a big giant jelly. It’s not long before they eventually blocked the sunlight.

That was the ultimate act of the purists, blocking every Ascenderians left below from reaching their pure continent. It’s almost dark in the ground below sea water, only a gloomy bluish light faintly illuminates for days. Then suddenly, the sea water above cleared, causing bright sunlight to be shed on the ground once more, although not as bright as before. It was the purists who cleared the ocean from toxic waste and oil, which now effectively separate them with the world below.

Left with holes, contaminated air, and no water, was unacceptable for the scientist. So, they created a giant mechanism to lift the remaining land above to get fresh air. They were able to mimic the floating island with heavy machinery, but they cannot got any further as the sea obstruct their way. They researched and experimented, but to no avail.

What remained on the ground was mostly the workers now. They were bound to meet their doom. Without any knowledge of technology, they left behind with no trees, no water, nor fresh air. Some tried climbing the tallest building in order to grow hydroponic plant with few water left, but not for a long term.

In that times of desperation, most of them tried going down into the ground, dug deeper and deeper, and ultimately lived in the caves. They found underground water source, and built the first ancient underground civilization called GOA, with some technological knowledge and magic from some scientists and purists who refused to go up.

That, is the first story told by Ascendrians, which recovered from an ancient text from the first year after the world separated and created layers of civilization, with GOA as the lowest layer deep underground. Now, centuries after that event, the memories of the past event had been buried, and the present generation living no longer know about the world above them.

This is our challenge, to capture and present the multilayer civilization world of Ascender. Stay with us to see out process of creating the beauty and complexity of Ascender world. Amber will guide you through the enigmatic journey, let’s start imagining…