Damage Numbers and Health Bars ….Why?!
An in-depth look at the way damage numbers and health bars help with decision making.
Until we got this work-in-progress video out, I had no idea there’s a group of people who truly despise damage numbers and health bars. I kind of get it. These are external, non-diegetic elements of a game. They must ruin the immersion, right? But …so should, say, game music. It’s also external and non-diegetic. It’s […]
Snapshot: January 2020
Monsters, weapons, animal skulls, mood pieces and mocap.
Updates have become irregular, meaning we’re busy making the game. So that’s a good thing, I guess. On the other hand, we don’t want to work in a vacuum, so let me share some of the work we did in January. I mean “some”, because the rest is either nothing really that presentable – tools, […]
The Controversy of Looter Shooters, and is Witchfire One?
A short talk on what's good and what's bad about the looters shooters, and addressing the elephant in the room.
I asked a few people how they define a looter shooter and each gave me a different answer. “A game about amassing loot”, “A power-up/levelling grind”, “a shooter with RPG elements”. They’re all right. You can find such a definition on Wikipedia: Loot shooters are shooter games where the player’s overarching goal is the accumulation […]
Internal Demo 2
It's done. What's next?
Previously on „Witchfire Development Diaries”… Right now, some of us work on new features needed for “Demo 2” (e.g. we only had one melee and one spell ability in “Demo 1”), some work on bringing what we already have to final quality, and some work on the AI. It’s clear that “Demo 2” will take […]
Stormball, or the lesson on original gameplay ideas...
What to do when your unique gameplay idea turns out not to be so fresh after all?
In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, and someone else already working on that gameplay idea you thought was oh so original and fresh. Of course, there’s always the story of Knight Lore… It was a 1984 game for ZX Spectrum that was actually made in 1983 and sit […]
Breaking Out of the Development Lull: The Results
We did it. Let's talk what we've learned.
A month ago, I said we’re in a “development lull” hell: despite everyone putting in the hours, we didn’t feel like the game was progressing. Our proposed solution was: Instead of keeping on building the game, we’re dedicating August to building a demo. An internal one, focused on the flow of action, and the minute-to-minute, […]
A few personal words on The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and Nintendo Switch
First, there was the PC version. Then, a year later – it took us this long to switch from UE3 to UE4, we’ve basically redone the game from scratch – we published the game on PS4, and re-released it on PC as The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Redux. Then we got the Xbox One version […]
Breaking Out of the Development Lull
Risking an internal demo at the cost of fundamentals
Every project I worked on suffered from what I personally call a development lull. When you start a project, things happen fast, you prototype like crazy and make decisions every day. When you finish the project, it’s mayhem, you almost lose control over your tasks. But somewhere in the middle, nothing happens for months, sometimes […]
The Dark Souls of Shooters, Part 2
Let's talk gameplay
„Punishing difficulty”, says The Myth of Soulsbornes. “Prepare to die”. Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but finishing any Soulsborne can be done by any dedicated gamer. The games are indeed a bit on the hard core side, but they have nothing on the madness that were Spectrum and Commodore 64 games of the 1980s. One […]