Shavra – 2020 Rebirth

As for now, I have gotten around working on this again and made some progress. The overwhelming majority of things are still in a very early, rushed state. Mostly because I never actually did much LUA for this, unlike Acythian, so I have to do almost all in-game systems from scratch. I have an inventory framework and even figured out a work around to having a key or quest object simoultaneously show up in the players inventory but also acting as a standard key. So thats good. However, now I struggle to add more player attributes than health to flesh out the game. If anyone made some headway here or has suggestions of what can be done, I am always open for ideas.

On the visual front of things I have taken the time to brush up my old stuff. I mean old stuff. I have some fantasy props from the FPSC community that date back to 2006 and while I could just remake them from scratch, with a higher poly count and generally increased detail I decided to just use my texture library (mostly stuff from textures.com and davegh in this case) and quickly spruce them up with new textures, UV’s and shaders. I mean, the original ones used solid colors on some.
Now this is mostly sentimental value because I have used these props so often throughout the years that I grew kind of attached to them.
Here is a selection so you know what I am yapping on about:

More pillars

Small stuff

Plinth

Stuff I

Stuff II

Grave Pillars

I have also gotten valuable feedback from this community that the ambient settings of my earlier screenshots didn’t quite cut it so
I have overhauled them. While test runs with beautiful blue skies or an evening sunset looked the best, I did want to maintain the slightly more eeriee overcast nature of the scene and thanks to rolfy, I found just the skybox and adjusted the level to that. See here:

And on a final note, to my surprise this map still ran with a solid 60 fps after I have added all the environmental critters. Frogs, Moths, Dragonflies and bugs all thanks to Gtoxs extraordinary artistry. Now I did the same thing on this map in an earlier version of game guru and straight up lost 20 fps.

Changelog

Implemented rudimentary inventory system based on moshrooms great code.
Upgraded Weapons and Hands to PBR
Overhauled ambience of the journey maps that lead from the Apothecary to the village of Ramak.
Imported collection of old environment props
Created several detail props
Implemented simple journal system

As always, I am grateful for your feedback and there is more to come!

*********************

Hey gang, its been a while so I’d like to update this with some more recent stuff.
Now, not THAT much has happened but I did get around to improve a few more aspects of the game. Its all going well and things are progressing. I also retain 60 FPS on my rig, which is marvelous. I’ll keep you all updated on how that fares in the future as well as I think its important.

I said before that even though this project started when GG was in its prolonged infancy, that I dont have as much gameplay related stuff ready as I have for Acythian as I shelved it pretty early on simply because there was no way I could pull it off in older GG versions. I try not to endlessly chip away on a “pipe dream” but as I stated, I always wanted to make this game. I bring this up because I realized by working on it just how much I am on square one with it. Maybe square 2 with a lot of generosity and faith

That being said, a lot of things are not yet decided. I do have pretty neat characters, you’ve seen glimpses of them in previous screenshots but I am also interested in seeing the new and improved character editor that is promised to be in GG max. I plan to have this game have occasional spoken dialogue bits but mostly written multiple choice dialogue sequences…. but with an easy lip sync system I might just get a couple buddies together to voice it and see how that fares. So thats all pretty much in the dark still.

Speaking of GG max, Lee has promised us backwards compatibility but I am cautious about that, so I am on the fence of fully plunging into some mechanics right away because… well, I am fairly certain I can just pop my levels, at least the static geometry and basic animated stuff, straight into GGX but I do have my suspicions when it comes to global parameter heavy scripts like an inventory system. So I will likely get a few levels made, pop in basic combat and exploration and wait to sink my teeth into the real meat of the game later on. If you have thought about that for your own works, lemme know.

So the game is intended to have between 15 or 20 Levels. That would make it the larges GG game to date, I am aware of that, but hey, its a project that is very dear to me so I want it to fill a couple evenings for the player.

Some frustration came also in realizing that the exteriors don’t quite look the way I want them to. Some of that is down to GG’s rendering but most is because I simply don’t have the right assets yet so I am also working on that. There are some great games out there with a visual style that I intend to come close to from the early 2000s and I do need a few more passes to get that right.

Allow me to also post a few screenies from an area I have been working on. This is part of the main quest and you will get to deal with some nasty critters. Keep in mind looking at this that you will hunt (or be hunted by) giant spiders here that creep up on you through the foliage. You can not always see them coming until they are close which is a nice added effect. I’ll be sure to record some eeriee audio for them sometime this week. This all leads up to an abandoned mining village where they dug up a subterranean spider nest. You will be tasked to play exterminator here and destroy the nest. Nothing too special but a neat creepy aside from the main story line in my mind.

As always, the soundtrack will make or break this scene. I intend to have thick swamp sounds with frogs croaking (and be actually visible in the game for that matter) and a subdued tribal music suite that flares up every now and then. We’ll see how this goes.

Here is something that will amuse some of my fellow GG users, I have a lot of unity packs ready to go that are far superior, but a lot of the fun to me is making or modding my own stuff. So these are the cartoon props from the classics collection remade:

Changelog

Polished some of the levels, including new foliage and other environment models
Increased grass draw distance and thus improving look and feel of exteriors (thanks guys!)
Changed PBR rendering values to improve metallic and glass objects (soon to be seen)
New architectural content as seen above. More to be added soon.

As always, thanks for reading and all the amazing support I’ve gotten for this project so far! Cheers!!

********************************

Hello again!

I’ve been working on improving the existing maps a bit and also added a new one. Dungeons, crypts and mines are of course an integral part of the fantasy adventure genre and I do intend to both make them interesting and engaging. For that I have specific ideas to stretch the gameplay to last at least 15 minutes per level. The “indoorsy” nature of these areas allows me to optimize them to both be quite large and labyrinthian while maintaining a flawless frame rate (See my old optimization tutorial in the tuts section if you too would like to know how to do this. Specifically, turn off the terrain and water whenever the player can not see it.)

Shavra takes a lot of inspiration from older fantasy games, stuff that came out in the late 90s and early 2000s simply because those games had very isolated gameplay beats. You reach a puzzle, you solve it, you move on, you encounter an enemy, you deal with it, you move on… this is in contrast to newer games like “The Witcher” or “Kingdom Come: Deliverance” where there are constant interconnecting systems engaging each other and plenty of stats being updated, changed…so forth. I don’t intend to make the game feel simple by any means, there is just less number crunching under the hood because I know well enough that I couldn’t code that in LUA. So if you encounter a trap in Shavra, you will have to deal with it independent of your current relationship to the kings wife or what potion you drank 2 levels prior.
I ..err… hope this makes sense

So this level is far from done of course but I decided to lightmap an early version of it and the results can be seen below.

I am also still in the process of converting media. Currently on the chopping block are unfamillias cartoon assets, which will be remolded to go with my art style but are otherwise quite useful and the stock medieval buildings by arteria 3d. Not only do these get a fresh coat of paint and shader maps but I also managed to reduce their polycount by several hundred polygons. File and texture size are also far more lightweight

You see that the dungeon is a bit too colorful for my taste and not everything is 100% polished, at this stage nothing is, but I will not tweak it too much as this will eventually get ported to GGX. So there is little point in fine tuning a lighting system that will be replaced anyway.

As always, thanks for reading and please let me know your thoughts

Changelog

Just improved maps.

 

About serygala

Who really has time to think about a summary of himself on the internet? I like art, women, gamedesign and I love coffee. Everything else is too much information.
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