Equilibrium Systems is now an official Steamworks partner!
Look forward to seeing our upcoming games on Steam! We are planning to run closed beta’s and other pre-alpha gameplay tests through Steam. If that sounds like something you would be interested in, make sure to sign up for the Equilibrium Newsletter (form can be found on the home page of this site) to receive information on how to join the beta in the future.
In our September milestone, we did a big polish pass on our first few puzzles to prep them for some near final art. Our other big focus was on the player.
Level Design Polish
The process we are currently using for designing our puzzles is something like this:
Step 1: Layout the core puzzle (aka critical path) in simple grey box form. Something like this:
Step 2: Playtest it and make adjustments until we are happy with this critical path.
So it’s been quite a while since we’ve provided an update. We were deep in a contract that didn’t allow us any spare time to work on this project, hence the lack of posts. That being said, we were able to get some work done this past month (finally!).
We have been mainly focused on putting together a vertical slice of the game. For everyone that hasn’t heard this term before, it’s basically a polished demo that is supposed to represent the gameplay and style of the final game.
Yes, I can hear you!
This month we were really busy with contract work and vacations but were able to find some time to put in a new mechanic that is pretty common in stealth games. Sound generation by the player (i.e. footsteps) and having the AI react to hearing those sounds. You can see it in action by watching the video below.
We still have a lot of polish to do on the AI reactions and obviously need some sound effects that make sense.
What is VisualSVN?
VisualSVN (https://www.visualsvn.com/) is an easy to install visual tool for installing and managing a Subversion server. Subversion (SVN) is an open source version control system (VCS). A VCS manages files and directories, and the changes made to them, over time. This allows you to recover older versions of your data or examine the history of how your data changed. Subversion is a general system that can be used to manage any collection of files.
NPCs, NPCs Everywhere!
One of the things we were most worried about from a production and budget standpoint was the amount of Non-Playable Characters (NPCs) we were planning on having. One of our levels is currently based in a train station during rush hour. So to be somewhat believable, we knew we would need to have more than just a handful of NPC models. For anyone that hasn’t made and paid for a game to be made before, that means big bucks! We started looking for an alternative to having them all custom made.
What is Workflowy?
Workflowy is an organizational tool that allows you to take notes, make lists, collaborate, brainstorm, plan and generally organize your brain.
- Limited bullet point creation (250 per month).
- Can increase your bullet limit by inviting friends.
- Pro ($5/month or $50/year)
- Unlimited Lists
- Backup to Dropbox
- Password Protected Collaboration
- Theme and Fonts
- Premium Support
How dose ES use Workflowy?
We tried to use Workflowy for schedules and Milestone goals, but found that we ran into similar issues that you may find if you try to maintain lists in a shared document. Mainly that they are too hard to maintain.
Now we use Workflowy for personal TODO lists and high-level long term planning (i.e. Goals for a demo or large milestone)