Weekly Content Blog #44: This Old House – Shadows of Adam Edition

Back in 2013, when I was asked to write a script for Shadows of Adam (which was untitled at that point), I was presented with a design doc that listed all the game’s locations in chronological order. I followed this spec pretty closely, but one of the changes I made was to a sunny port town called Borges.

For story purposes, I wanted the visit to Borges to occur after the Wind Tower dungeon. And because another town followed directly after Borges, it was important for Borges to be more than just a standard town. It needed some action! A brush with the main villain! A stealth mini game with secret passages!

All that came to pass, but recently I turned my eye back towards Borges again for a different reason.

In early 2015, starting with the Tangle dungeon, I started designing and mapping areas for the game. I revamped areas like the Misty Woods, but one previously mapped area the team wasn’t satisfied with was Borges interior maps.

There were several problems with the original design and mapping of Borges’ interiors. First off, the maps were supposed to involve sneaking through the back areas of shops. The bare bones original maps seemed to lack this aspect completely.

Before - Looks like an abandoned shack for druggies

Before – Looks like an abandoned shack for druggies

After - Transformed into an upstanding looking shop.

After – Transformed into a productive looking shop. No burnouts here!

The second problem was spatial. In 16-bit RPGs it’s very common to take some liberties with inside vs. outside spaces. You have a tiny house on the exterior map, but when you go inside it is very roomy. However, there are limits to this. As I played through the original maps of Borges this turned into a real problem. To an extreme degree, the underground passages just didn’t link up where they should have given the distances and direction of travel. This hurt the experience.

Another spatial problem was the size of some of the interiors. They had way too much open empty space and not enough details.

Before - Too much open space

Before – Too much open space

After - A cozy, intimate space with plenty of flammable hay. Know where the fire exits are, kids!

After – A cozy, intimate space with a highly flammable hay cart. Know where the fire exits are, kids!

Before - Dead as a doornail

Before – Dead as a doornail

After - It's party time!

After – It’s party time!

I tried to think about the purpose for each area and design them to evoke this purpose. Since Borges is a port town, why not make an underground warehouse right off the docks where incoming and outgoing goods are stored? And wouldn’t it make sense if a black market was near this location as well?

Hope everybody enjoys all the thought and effort put into Borges when the game comes out. Until next time!

Weekly Content Blog #43: Take to the Skies

Hi all, this week I’m going to talk about a subject near and dear to our gaming heart: airships. No retro RPG is complete without an airship — and since we here at Something Classic Games take great pride in milking jRPG tropes for all their worth, we just had to have an airship in Shadows of Adam! And so it was done.

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The airship is acquired later in the game (as airships often are) and carries some plot significance. Without giving away too much, the airship itself serves as a minor dungeon and the place of some key plot events. But since good prevails over evil, the airship changes hands and becomes the heroes’ to wield for the final part of the game. From that point on, the world and its sidequests become your oyster.

The airship isn’t just a mere vessel for travel, however. No siree! Much like the classic Final Fantasy games, you can go inside of the airship and explore it while you’re flying. How does the airship continue on its course without a pilot? How does our hero know how to fly an advanced military aircraft only used by the elites of a notoriously bloodthirsty kingdom? Who knows!

sky

When pressing the menu button while flying the airship, you are taken to the deck. Originally, we used a stock RPG Maker 2000 sky background to remind us of the good ol’ days. But we have standards here at Something Classic, so we put some of our budget towards this sweet sky background. The clouds even scroll! Madness, I tell ya.

Talon

While walking through the airship’s interior, you’ll have a rare opportunity to talk to your party members one on one. You’ll get a brief glimpse of their thoughts and feelings of the events that have unfolded so far while building the strength to finish the final ordeal that lies ahead.

I wasn't kidding when I said 'brief'.

I wasn’t kidding when I said ‘brief’.

Being a military grade aircraft, the airship comes with some lovely amenities. Don’t worry, you’ve earned them if you’ve made it this far!

No, he doesn't sell fish.

No, he doesn’t sell fish.

The airship includes a full set of shops, complete with high level weapons, armor, and some lovely healing items that’ll be needing for the upcoming dungeon. And what’s more, the shopkeepers are former comedic-relief antagonists who have joined the side of good to peddle their wares.

Update3

And last but not least, the final area of the airship features a set of beds befitting the weary band of heroes on the go. And the best part? They’re free! No more pesky innkeepers once you have the airship… a good night’s sleep and a full HP’s restoration is available absolutely free of charge. It’s almost too good to be true, I tell ya!

Do I ever?

Do I ever?

Well there you have it, a glimpse at the airship in Shadows of Adam. We really wanted to capture our favorite aspects of older RPGs and I feel like we knocked the airship out of the park! Now if we could only program in some Mode 7 scrolling…

Weekly Content Blog #42: Tyler’s Back!

Hello everyone! Tyler Mire here.

As you may wonder from the title, I was gone for a little bit! From Feb 17th-April 15th I was in Navy Basic Training. The timing was a bit odd as the last two days of our Kickstarter campaign occurred when I got to basic training. The last I had checked we were around $3,000 away from our goal. It wasn’t until 2 weeks later when I got my first letter from my wife I had learned that we were successful funded!

Now being primarily the composer for Shadows of Adam, I knew that my absence would not halt the progress of our game (I had every track composed except the final boss music). Luke agreed to take on my collateral role as scene designer and ended up finishing the remaining scenes of the game while I was away. Once I graduated and returned to “real life” I was amazed at how far our game progressed. I especially enjoyed seeing all the new graphics that we commissioned with our kickstarter funds. Since being back I have been working diligently, polishing and testing like crazy!

We decided as a team to re-commit to updating our devlog every week now. We want you as our fans and backers to have constant updates on our progress and know we are working around the clock to make you the best game possible! Here’s a few things I’ve been working on:

-Set up monsters for the town of Borges. It involves sneaking in and out back doors and underground basement passageways that connect the town:
Rats!

An anotated map from Luke giving suggestions for enemy and monster placement.
An annotated map from Luke giving suggestions for enemy and monster placement.

-Set up monsters for the Haunted Swamp. A spooky, swampland filled with un-dead monsters:
Spooky monsters!

How the monster looks in battle! New monsters funded by your generous KS pledges!
How the monster looks in battle! New monsters funded by your generous KS pledges!

-I’ve started a Twitch Channel!

I’m looking forward to showing you the game via play-throughs, bug testing and any other requests you may have. I am very new to this so I am looking for any comments or suggestions in what you like to see in a live stream.

I am happy to announce that besides the last dungeon, Shadows of Adam is 100% mapped out. In addition we have nearly every monster animated now and every scene completed. At this point what lies ahead is A LOT of polish. Repeated testing for monster balance, presentation, bugs, typos, and other misc things. We are really excited to be so close but have dedicated ourselves to taking our time to make sure this is the best possible project we can give you all. Target date is still August 2016.

Again thanks from all of us at SC for helping make our kickstarter and Steam Greenlight a huge success! We cannot wait to get you guys this game! Hold tight and keep following us for weekly updates. Also please visit any of our other social media outlets:

E-mail: info@somethingclassic.net
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SomethingClassc
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SomethingClassicGames/
Forums: https://forums.shadowsofadam.com/
Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/somethingclassic

Weekly Content Blog #41: Updates, Updates and More Updates!

Discuss on the forums: https://forums.shadowsofadam.com/threads/weekly-content-blog-41-updates-updates-and-more-updates.20/

We want to thank all of our backers once again for the incredible support! Running the Kickstarter campaign has been an incredibly humbling experience for all of us. Since the conclusion of our Kickstarter campaign, we have been working incredibly hard on the game. In this update, we are going to show off some screenshots, some GIFs and provide an overall progress report regarding the state of the game. This post will be media heavy, so I apologize in advance to those who may have a slower internet connection! Also, if you have not yet done so, come join us on our forums: https://forums.shadowsofadam.com/

Since our last update, how have we progressed?

The Story
From the start, we wanted Shadows of Adam to focus heavily on story and character development, with a central theme being a journey of self-discovery. We did not want to weave a tale filled with the clichés of old: “Our village was destroyed…” / “An ancient evil is awakening” / “Collect the crystals to save the world from doom!”. Instead, we wanted to share a story about how four unlikely friends (Or siblings, in Kellan and Asrael’s case :)) react to the changing world around them. Of course, we still have many tropes of games past, but we wanted the story of SoA to be something different from the norm. As development has progressed and the cut scenes that established the histories of these characters were developed and fleshed out, the player will develop a strong connection with these characters and will understand the motives that drive them, even if we do not explicitly state their motive. The story is definitely a strength, and we are very excited for everyone to experience it :)
orazioghost-watercurtis-flashbackcurtis-flashback2malvil-airship

New Enemies
When we released the SoA demo during our Kickstarter campaign, we received a significant amount of feedback regarding enemy weaknesses and strengths. Players wanted to see battles play out more like a puzzle, where certain enemies are more immune to some attacks but weaker to others. This was always our intention. The Wind Tower will definitely please those players who want to see enemies with a wider range of abilities. Since the conclusion of our Kickstarter campaign, we were working hard on developing more enemy varieties and giving them additional abilities. In the Wind Tower, you will encounter enemies that have full immunity to physical attacks as well as enemies which give immediate rebound damage. Some may even receive more than one action in a single round, overwhelming your defenses. Here are three screenshots showing off some of the new enemy sprites we have inside the Wind Tower.
new_enemies1new_enemies2new_enemies3

Defend Command!
Another recurring request we have received was for a ‘Defend’ or a ‘Wait’ command. Due to the nature of our AP System, maybe you want to withhold an attack or action for a round in order to recover some valuable AP. We took the suggestions and had a great discussion in this thread: https://forums.shadowsofadam.com/threads/lengthy-demo-feedback-battle-ui-maps-and-a-bug.6/ and took it a step further. When you use a ‘Defend’ ability, you receive additional perks instead of the regular defense boost and AP% restore boost. In Misty Woods, there are enemies who would constantly counter your physical attacks. Well, go back to that area and use Kellan’s ‘Parry’ command and smack them right back with a counter! Click the thumbnails to see what each ‘Defend’ command does for each character.
parryfocusmeditate

Introducing Talon
We gave Talon a short character teaser back in Dev log #34, but we were mostly silent regarding the abilities Talon has in the game. All of Talon’s skills are called ‘Tricks’, with the offensive abilities based on chance. His signature move, the aptly named “Pick a Card” ability, has Talon shuffle a deck of cards and then flip one at random. Further, he possesses many defensive abilities that makes him a very difficult target to strike in battle.
talon-evadetalon-pickacard

Water Garden!
Legend says that before the Wraith War, the Water Garden was the most beautiful and wondrous location in the world. Today, the water garden is an overgrown ruin. Mechanically, the water garden is a very interesting location. The heroes have to drain pools of water to open new passageways, deal with ancient guardians, and manipulate an old Wraith War artifact to control pillars of water. It may be a ruin today, but it is still a pretty area to explore :).
water-garden-chestwg-statueswg-waterfallwg-orb

Bonus Promotional Shots
The first continent in Shadows of Adam in 4k resolution!
SoA-4k-dradora
The Water Garden in 4K resolution!
water-garden-4k

Report Card

  • Currently our artists are prioritizing art tasks for our backer Alpha Demo. This demo will provide gameplay up to the end of the Wind Tower and will be given to all backers. Once these art tasks are near complete, we will be sending off the surveys and allocating tasks to the artists to fulfill all in-game art requirements for backer rewards.
  • Currently all maps are designed and feature complete, sans backer specific rewards (Such as NPCs), with the exception of the final dungeon. Art tasks have been created for the final dungeon.
  • All in-game events have been implemented from the game script, with the exception of the final dungeon. The total event count is currently at 210; at the end of our Kickstarter campaign we had 130 events completed. We currently have 111 different level IDs; at the end of our Kickstarter we had 74 level IDs. Please note: These level IDs represent the amount of individual level files we have in the game. They do not represent ‘unique’ levels that can be explored.
  • Our 500 Point backer reward: a custom drawn desktop BG given to all backers is currently in production.
  • Our 1000 point backer reward: All Kickstarter backers will get an exclusive live orchestral recording of the Magma Sanctum song. We are working on this now and will get it sent out shortly.
  • Our 1200 point backer reward: a digital art book will be worked on once our backer alpha demo is sent out.
  • Finally, if you have not yet done so, feel free to register on our forums: https://forums.shadowsofadam.com/. All backers receive a special ribbon :)
  • Contact
    If you would like to get in contact with us:
    E-mail: info@somethingclassic.net
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/SomethingClassc
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SomethingClassicGames/
    Forums: https://forums.shadowsofadam.com/

    100% FUNDED! & New Surge Rewards + Reward Tiers

    Woohoo! We did it! Thanks to all of you backers for this very impressive last hours surge! Of course we couldn’t have done it without you. We’ve got the charts to show it, and we’ve got the rewards to prove our thanks!

    Now made available to all backers is the Shadows of Adam digital art book. Look, see, and learn about the art in Shadows of Adam as we give you a digital tour of its aesthetic. You’ll discover full-color concept art, progress shots, special write-ups and more in this Kickstarter exclusive reward.

    Our next and final goal is at the 1500 mark. We believe you guys can unlock it! Below you can find out how.

    Now that we are funded, getting greenlit on Steam is our highest priority!

    Now we’d like to make mention of a new reward tier and a blow out sale.

    Legendary Hero Reward Tier: Is now just $300. Which is a 33% savings from the original $450 price!


    Do you have what it takes to be the best dungeon designer? Usurp the Wraith Lord and create a dungeon that will put players to the ultimate test. Your dungeon will be made available to every Kickstarter backer for free as DLC. The dungeon will be made available to non-backers for purchase. INCLUDES THE DESIGN A QUEST REWARD.

    Finally, let’s wrap things up by giving a final shout out to some great projects that could use your help.


    Dragons of Legends: If you’re a fan of beautiful pixel art and online play, this game is for you! The project recently failed its first campaign and immediately relaunched to great success! They still have a lot of time left in their campaign and could use your help to fully realize the game’s vision.


    Feudal Wars: Are you a retro RTS fan? This game is a medieval realtime strategy game, styled after the great RTS titles of the 90s. The game will be free and easily accessible from the browser, with an emphasis on multiplayer and online community.

    Knights and Bikes: Inspired by games like Earthbound and Secret of Mana and films such as The Goonies, Knights and Bikes looks to be an incredible ride through nostalgia lane. From developers on Tearaway, LittleBigPlanet, Ratchet & Clank, this is a product you can be sure to trust!

    And that wraps things up. If you have yet to pledge, have been meaning to increase your pledge, need to see Shadows of Adam on Wii U, PSVita or want to take advantage of the new rewards and deals, now is your last chance!