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THE DARK TRIAD: DRAGON'S DEATH
May 28 - AutolootGames
With the dawn of Greenlight as we know it, the Dark Triad page will be just a memory. Amid our ignorance in making games, a meager budget but lots of dreams, we set up to create the RPG that we had envisioned.
Much I could say of a year and a half of struggles, a failed Kickstarter campaign and finally a shattered dream. The team dissasembled, there were some fights and lost friendships along the way, and in the end, Dark Triad came to be like other thousand projects attempted by amateurs that were abandoned and never finished.
But we have the case of Age of Decandence. Or Inquisitor. It took them about seven to ten years to finish them. The only difference with Dark Triad is that there's no team anymore.
Neither me nor my partner knew about coding. And any successful indie start-up has always had at least one of its founders having coding skills. So as I said in the comments section, I set up to learn how to code to be able, one day, to complete the development of Dark Triad. One man effort is a titanic endeavour. Nonetheless, it's possible. At least for developing the main systems.
What if we had showcased a full fledged demo in our Kickstarter campaign in 2013? I'm sure the backers would have been more confident about the state of the game and we may have got the budget we needed. But to be honest we didn't have much to show. The whole year was spent making a 3D editor in XNA. That was a big mistake. Lesson learned.
But will Dark Triad will ever be released?
The only thing that I can say is that the last year and a half i've been learning to code on my own after work. It's still a long way for me to have the skills and fastness of a professional coder. I go slow. But little by little, I have developed more confidence in my ability to make more complex and functional code.
This time though, I'm alone. No partner. No team.
I didn't want to post anything until I had something cool to show. There's nothing to show in fact. Just a little practice that I made that displays a turn-based combat AI simulation in a MS-DOS console. Not very exciting. This "little" exercice took me two months, the other five before were spent learning to code. I think the code behind should be "easily" implemented in Unity. But making an RPG demands much more effort than this simple turn-based combat that I made.
But, again, it's a beginning. A year ago I would have deemed myself totally incapable to make a turn-based simulation. Now, I've developed some skills that will allow me to attempt to code a turn-based combat controlled by the player in Unity. If I achieve that, that could take 2-3 years to be done correctly - probably the amount of time it took the Darkest Dungeon team to balance things right - I think that a 1/4 of the game is done. Another 1/4 it's the dialogue system. I'm much more confident on this one. The other half are systems like the character customization, skill trees, animations, loot, balancing and, oh yeah, content. Lots of it.
If you want to kow if Dark Triad will ever be released...
My only answer is I hope so. But it will take a long time. As much as it took to make AoC or Inquisitor. So as I said in the comments, keep forgetting about this game as you already did. And when there are important news to share, you'll know.
If you want to see that humble turn-based AI simulation using a MSDOS console, here it is...
Any encouraging thoughts are welcome! :)
April 28, 2013 - AutolootGames
Just a quick update on what we are working on:
- Basic combat: on our pitch video, there was combat, but there's wasn't turn change and the npc enemies were static. Now the turn change is functional and the enemies move and attack you at melee range, yihaa! =) There's an issue to solve though, and this is calculating the max. distance an enemy can move, and then finding an empty place so the enemy doesn't occupy a position where other npcs, the pc or his companions could be positioned. The next step will be adding spellcast attacks to some npcs.
- Material & Export Manager and Browser: David Lucena is working on an exporter so the engine reads correctly the different types of textures from each 3D model. This will allow us to change the textures of the models imported and display not only specular but also normal maps. This will later be necessary when David implements the Lightmapping so the textures are affected by the light and can display its additional properties (i.e. the rugosity). The visual impact of this will be great!
- World map: David Lucena is working on the city of Khandor. At the moment he has almost completed one of the 8 big districts. At the moment, we have positioned the camera with a default zoom so we know exactly what the player will see. We want that you can see both sides of a street for example, this gives a better immersive feeling when you are moving with your group. You will then have an option of zoom in/out so you can enjoy the combat and texture details with a nearer view.
- Game logo and interfaces: Rafa is working on the final game logo plus some interface stuff, as the damage and heal numbers displayed during a combat, the combat log or the contextual info of the enemies when you roll the mouse over or click with the mouse button over them or his portrait (to define yet).
- Faction System: It's very important to define the nuts and bolts of the faction system prior to redefining the dialogue editor, that must include pre and post-conditions so we can track the reputation counters for each faction, npc or district.
So here our weekly update, any question you have let us know!
April 23, 2013 - AutolootGames
Today we bring you great news. We can finally share our vision doc with you for Dark Triad: Conspiracy. This is a new take on the game, and the old story is being rewritten from scratch, also some new game systems are being added. This will make of DTC a more engaging, deeper and meaningful experience in many senses, as we explain in the doc.
Yes, we also changed the name. Most of you didn't like "Dragon's Death", besides, with the new take on the game, no dragons are to be seen... so it seems! Of all the names we added to the poll vote, you decided "Dark Triad: Conspiracy" would be the most suitable, and we also like it very much, so let's roll with it!
This is the first draft of the Vision Doc and there's sure some room for improvement. Our aim is to polish it thanks to your feedback so we can release a new revision for everybody along our next KS relaunch. We'd deeply appreciate if you help us to make the game better within our resources and budget, so each opinion counts and we'll take all your comments into account.
We keep working hard on the game development to bring this new vision to our next Kickstarter campaign. We will make the pitch video much better and we'll show more stuff, and also we are already in talks with a PR agency so more people can know about Dark Triad: Conspiracy.
Anyhow, rest assured we will keep you up to date of any news about how things are going, and now, enjoy the reading!
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April 1, 2013 - AutolootGames
The Dark Triad Update 04/04/2013 About our modus operandi and J.M.A.
« on: Today at 03:06:40 AM »
Today is one of those days I can’t sleep. Here it’s 4am.
It’s been many weeks that I’ve been going to sleep between 4-6am. I tried to organize the work, had the KS video prepared, while at the same time wrote the game and press texts, sent them to proofread, recorded the ingame video footage, managed the press news, etc. What I do recall as the most stressful time before the KS campaign was the day before launching, when messing around with the Visual .Net code Jose Manuel did so I could change the chars speed, the particle effects and trying to position the NPCs to make them move properly without them getting stuck when they touched each other (blame the collision system!). I didn’t have the slightest idea how it all worked, even JM left some indications before leaving to BCN. Also Carlos could not connect at all times to solve things that were not working properly.
I must have done it three hundred times. Compile now and check if things are correct. Are not? Then apply changes, commit the files on the repo and check again if it worked properly. It was very time consuming and getting good video takes wasn’t easy. Miguel was at Seville due to personal matters for a week, so I was overwhelmed by all the work we needed to pull out for the KS campaign.
Continue reading at http://forum.the-dark-triad.com/index.php?topic=271.msg350#msg350
March 31, 2013 - AutolootGames
Just wanted to share a briefing on how the project is doing at the moment.
The team has been talking a lot about the things that we did wrong, and we are just working and planning how to make a bigger impact on our Kickstarter relaunch. We are working on different areas to do so:
- Combat: we want to include combat footage that explains the mechanics much better. We don't have all the mechanics in place yet obviously, but at least we want to show you much more interaction, both in the attacks, counterattacks, enemy Ai, contextual info like enemy stats, improved particle effects, more variety on the animations and new interface combat elements (like movement arrows, damage taken floating numbers, etc).
- Story: When we started designing the story for the game 10 months ago, the game had a lesser scope. Believe it or not, we thought we would be only capable of including big dungeons by reusing a few 3D tilesets with no outdoors. This has changed dramatically and we will have outdoors, towns, temples, woods, mountains, etc besides indoor areas. The original story was adapted to our graphical limitations. Now, we'll try to make the story more clear and less stuffed . We will tell less in our presentation (the video plot was 7min. long!), but it will hopefully be much more interesting.
You can read all the story at http://forum.the-dark-triad.com/index.php?topic=268.0