March has been a good month for us, we went to GDC and came back to Vancouver with fire in our belly to keep going strong. We’ve been hard at work fleshing out the world, building levels and expanding on our enemies and mechanics. We’ve also spent quite a bit of time planning what our next steps should be how we expect Lumote to progress.
One of the key things we wanted to do was lock down what the main enemies, mechanics and abilities. We’ve always had a solid idea of Lumote’s core elements but as with anything you’re passionate about you tend to come up with endless “wouldn’t it be cool ifs”. To try and experiment with as many as those “Cool Ifs” as possible we pulled apart all our enemy AI code and moved it all into the Unreal Engine’s behaviour trees. After a bit of pain, lots of typing and much nodaling (*) we can now easily plug different behaviors together to create different enemy variations much faster than before.
We’ve also created a large pen and paper overview of Lumote’s narrative and overall world structure. We’ve decided to prototype the first major area from start to finish to get a better sense of area’s scale and how long it takes a new player to finish. This will tell us if we are on the right track to have enough content to keep players engaged for the entire game or if we need to go back to the drawing board and come up with more levels. An added benefit of the new prototype level is that it gives us something new to have new people play test, give feedback on, hopefully turn them into new fans in the process. Up until now we’ve been using the original game jam demo with updated mechanics. However, the problem with this is while it showed off our core concept it didn’t show the scope of what we were trying to build. With the new prototype area we’ll be able to show off the new mechanics, enemies and level sizes in Lumote.
Now that we’re making steady progress on the game side of Lumote we’re going to start spending more time on the community side. This include more blogs posts taking deeper dives into specific areas of the tech and design. Also expect a post talking about our history and how we came together to form Luminawesome.
We have lots of ideas to talk about but what would you like hear? Leave us a comment below and we’ll turn it into a future post!
(*) Nodaling [nohd-l-ing] (verb) Informally: to endless experiment with many variations of node arrangements within Unreal Engine 4’s Blueprints, typically resulting in an unreadable mess.