|The Banner Saga gets 'progress report', game systems now at "gold standard"|
|Posted: 05.07.2013 11:35 by Simon Priest||Comments: 2|
Stoic's The Banner Saga, which raked in over $723k through Kickstarter, is nearing completion having been worked on for 14 months at this stage. They've used that extra $623k of pledges to make a "much larger game."
The team has been "crunching harder than ever," and now every game system has achieved 'gold standard'. That's fancy dev speak for 'stuff's working!'. They give a lengthy progress report.
The studio team break down their report to backers touching on each of the major areas of The Banner Saga. They're now "almost entirely on content," as final art is all done.
"This has been an insane month for The Banner Saga. We have a schedule we're working from, of course, and to meet this month's deadline we've been crunching harder than ever. I don't tell you this for sympathy, I say it simply because it's true, and we knew what we were signing up for," posted Stoic on .
Their next update is an ambitious one as they plan to show actual gameplay of all this work, so it's a promotional bit of marketing too. Stoic has already released which is a free-to-play multiplayer version of the turn-based strategy game. A summary of implementations since their last update:
◾World travel. Final art, with animated particles like blowing snow, birds, etc.
◾Close travel. Final art for a variety of close locations all hooked up as intended in the engine.
◾Randomized camp scenes. The player can camp at any point during travel, generating a randomized scene so that no two campsites look the same along the way. In camp the player can manage their units, rest, view the map and talk to allies. All of these systems are hooked up and working.
◾Custom combat boards. Final art for the unique combat boards used in part 1. These unique boards are used for key parts of the story, and they'll look special when you come to them.
◾Randomized combat boards. You'll often get into incidental fights along the way, usually due to choice you made during travel. These non-story-based fights randomly generate combat boards from a library of pieces that are mixed in matched to make standard fights have some variety.
◾The caravan. The traveling caravan now has final art in both world and close travel, growing and shrinking depending on how many people are in your caravan.
◾War. When you run across enemies in great numbers you go into "war" mode, a tactical decision where you choose how to approach a large-scale battle. This system has been hooked up with final art.
◾Travel HUD. The travel gui at the top of the screen is now fully functional. It tracks all your stats as you travel and the art changes as things like morale improve or degrade. The days cycle and count down and the other various buttons are all hooked up.
◾Conversation cameras. The portraits and camera movement for conversation are all finalized. When writing dialogue I can now choose which cameras to use to show characters that are talking. Their names and dialogue are also functional.
◾Conversation portraits. We have over 16 playable characters in the saga, and several more NPCs on top of this. All of these portraits are complete and hooked up in the game.
◾Conversation backgrounds. When jumping into conversation, the game pulls from a library of images, mixing and matching pieces to create background images that don't repeat.
◾Dialogue. Part one of the game now has final dialogue, both in conversation and for events that happen throughout the part. In addition, all the variables are hooked up to this dialogue so that the decisions you make actually function within the game.
◾Combat characters. We have many new characters that have not been seen before, and animation is finished for them.
◾Combat enemies. The dredge are nearly complete, but several are already in the game. We have begun the process of balancing them for single player combat.
◾Combat AI. Computer enemies now function, making smart decisions about what action to take. If you've played Factions you know the combat can get pretty complex. We will be working to improve AI until the game ships but at this time it is completely functional (and fun!)
◾Dynamic music. Austin Wintory has been doing excellent work on the score, but he's just as interested in making it emotionally engaging. Combat now takes into account your actions and dynamically generates music to match that. Certain actions in combat (first kill, winning, losing, etc) now seamlessly cue different music to emphasize this. He'll be doing an update about this in the future.
◾Travel score. Austin has also drawn up a lot of the music for traveling through the game. It's gorgeous!
◾Misc. There are tons of little things that go into putting this all together. We have transitions in place, titles screens, match resolution showing how many fighters you've lost, that sort of thing.
Check out for more about the game, and their .