MEGA Dev Diary #49: Updates Galore!
Tyler again from the Deckpoint Studio team. As we roll ahead into the winter and new year, the holiday season offers an opportunity for reflection. Where have we been? Where are we going? These questions help us measure our success against stated goals and revisit lessons learned along the way. At Deckpoint Studio, we value reflection.
But that will have to wait for next time, because have way too much new stuff to show you!
Caption: Multiple new areas! We have large screenshots further down!
Caption: New: The battle icon in the dialog menu is now animated!
Where to begin? Well, I’m the story guy, so we’ll start there. In the newest demo version, you’ll find familiar areas filled with additional dialogues. They’re in Mark’s apartment, in the Filippelli home, in the library, and more. We created these dialogues as a means of fleshing out the land of Arithia and the history of Mark’s companions, but also to just have a bit of fun. Give them a read and let us know what you think!
Caption: New Environment Interaction: Pickup Icon. Located on the window sill. These new icons will allow Mark to scavenge items or money from the environment!
Caption: New Environment Interaction: Investigation Icon. These new icons will allow the player to discover more about Arithia and its inhabitants.
Caption: This investigation icon opens allows the player to read excerpts from different books that the Fillipelli family owns. Giving insight into the characters and their backgrounds.
Caption: The Ox in the Box! A fun storybook excerpt. Thanks, investigation icon!
Giving the start of Mark’s journey a bit more character hasn’t been a strictly literary effort, however. We’ve also done some remodeling. In the newest version of the demo, and going forward, you’ll notice some modest stylistic shifts to the way we handle walls. Walls facing the camera have gone from semi-transparent to invisible, and our walls are now a little thicker. We think this looks a bit nicer, and it will hopefully cut down on the neighbors complaining about the noise. Take a look at the before-and-after shots below!
Caption: Before: Mark's apartment daytime.
Caption: After: Mark's apartment daytime. The walls in front of the camera were removed. The walls were made thinner. Added floor thickness. New furniture and textures!
Caption: Before: Mark's apartment night time.
Caption: After: Mark's apartment night time. The level is significantly easier to see and navigate.
Caption: Before: Card shop in Patrida.
Caption: After: Card shop in Patrida. Added windows and improved the lighting.
Before: Casino in Patrida.
Caption: Patrida's Casino. The outside has massive windows and we added the light from these windows in the updated casino interior.
Caption: After: Casino in Patrida. New light from windows. VIP area was redone and new lighting from the slot machines. This area will undergo more changes in the next update.
Caption: Before: Fillipelli home interior.
Caption: After: Fillipelli home interior. Wall thickness reduced. Floor thickness added. More realistic lighting.
Caption: Before: Patrida library.
Caption: After: Patrida Library. Wall thickness added.
For a less modest change, look no further than the hospital in Patrida. For a long time, we have been content with but not thrilled by the hospital’s appearance. While it made an appropriately bleak setting for Mark’s listless position at the beginning of our story, we thought it was a little too barren for the patients. And so, last week, Jesse surprised us with a complete overhaul: artwork, several recolorings, and more. It’s better shown than told, so see below.
Caption: Before: Patrida Children's Hospital - Lobby.
Caption: After: Patrida Children's Hospital - Lobby. Added new furniture, signs, textures, characters and more! Removed the old fountain.
Caption: Before: Office Area.
Caption: After: Office area. Added new cubicles, furniture, signs, textures, and more!
Caption: Before: Cafeteria.
Caption: After: Cafeteria. Added signs "Sweetspot" meat and "Blackbelt fruit"
Caption: Before: Hallway.
Caption: After: Hallway. Added over 40 new paintings in the hospital!
Caption: Before: Lobby.
Caption: After: Lobby. The new TVs have observation icons when the player gets close enough.
Caption: Before: Office area.
Caption: After: Office area. Close up of the new cubicles! Reduced how far away the cubicles were from each other.
Caption: Before: Breakroom. This picture is zoomed out very far.
Caption: After: Breakroom. New paintings and recoloring of the area.
Caption: Before: Clinic.
Caption: After: Clinic. Added new characters and wall siding!
But that hasn’t been all the level design we’ve been working on. No, Jesse’s also done a lot of work preparing for the continuation of the Luckless Seven journey in Neropolis. There are a few more key areas left to create, but many have already been completed or nearly completed: an outdoor hub area, card shop, local restaurant, hotel lobby, and hotel room. You can see the images below! We’ll be turning our attention to designing Neropolis’ casino exterior/interior next!
Caption: New: Neropolis Card shop!
Caption: New: Neropolis Mint Hotel Lobby!
Caption: New: Neropolis Mint Hotel Room!
Caption: New: Neropolis Restaurant!
The newest version of the demo will also reveal some significant UI updates. You’ll notice improvements to the quest notification boxes and currency update boxes at the top and bottom of the screen respectively. You’ll also notice changes to the phone/menu icon. The phone now shows a screen rather than the back of a phone, and it has a cool dimming/illuminating effect. You’ll find some helpful new icons as you explore the world as Mark. Blue question marks now denote sidequests, and circular “i” icons indicate particularly knowledgeable or talkative NPCs. You’ll also notice “investigate” (magnifying glass) and “scavenger” (grabbing hand) icons indicating potential card, currency, or other item pickups. We think these improvements will help you navigate the world even more effectively!
Caption: New: Blue question mark designates side quests. These are extra quests that help expand the game's world and provide the player with more opportunities to win money and cards!
Caption: New: Circular “i” icons indicate particularly knowledgeable or talkative NPCs.
Caption: New: UI improvements. The quest and money notifier are now much easier to read. The new menu button (phone button).
Caption: Before: Quest notifier. This updates whenever the player unlocks the next part of a quest.
Caption: After: Quest notifier. More noticeable and easier to read.
Caption: Before: Money notifier. Money is gained from battles, dialogs, or from the environment.
Caption: After: Money notifier.
Caption: Before: The old menu button. This opens the phone menu where the player can check their quest log, inventory, map, change options, save / load, and more!
Caption: After: The new phone menu button. The screen illuminates when hovered over!
And lastly, we wanted to call out some important updates that went live with the previous demo release. You may have noticed that won Ekosi matches will now result in Ekosi card rewards. And to manage your new abundance of cards, we’ve made some significant improvements to the deck/inventory system. The visual interface has been simplified, and you’ll find the tooltips to be a lot more concise and clear. (Color-coded text has been a big help here.) Happy deck-building!
Caption: Before: Inventory system and side deck builder.
Caption: After: Inventory system and deck builder. The new tooltips are smaller, colored, and point to the card the player is hovering over.
Caption: Win cards from nearly every Ekosi match! Money is also displayed on the reward screen. A new button was added to flip between the score breakdown and reward screen.
So, we’ve been busy. We’ll have to wait until next time to reflect. ;)
If you haven’t done so in a while, visit us on Steam and give the game a spin. We’re excited about our progress; it’s the best it’s ever been! If you have any thoughts or feedback on the new additions, let us know!
Thanks as always, and happy holidays!