The first year of major development on Evenfall Arcane was spent creating a rock-solid foundation for the game. So far, that has been a huge pay-off for day to day development, but it also means that I now have this great set of foundational utilities, which were built to be game-agnostic. I ultimately planned to open source these utilities, and as of a few weeks ago, I have!
Dubbed "GM Core", these utilities provide a solid foundation for the basics: data management, delta timing, event management and more. I have a lot more that I could release, and will be working towards that as I continue development.
If you are a developer type, you may want to check out these utilities for GameMaker: Studio and GameMaker: Studio 2 at the GM Core Github page.
It's not all just deep-down code work that has been going on, though. Since the last post, I've taken a closer look at how the player is feeling in various locations in the game. Originally, every area you could visit would have theme music. This music, while perhaps fitting for the location, lacked the context of the gameplay: you're in danger when you're outside of town. Ultimately, I have removed this music in place of a combination of location-aware ambience and dynamic battle music which only plays during a fight.
Additionally, weather has been added to Evenfall, providing some dynamism and even gameplay effects!
There are currently a handful of weather types including rain, clouds, pollen and sunshine. Weather can cause magic to act strangely, or even activate some abilities. For example, the elemental passive "Rejuvinate" heals you when you are near a source of water. What better source of water than sweet, sweet skywater? When it rains, this ability will constantly heal you.
More Spells! Stronger Spells!
At the core of Evenfall Arcane is the spellbook. You as the player will be unlocking innate abilities, discovering new spells, and combining spell loadouts to optimize for battle. In addition to a bunch of new spells, a new system has been added giving you even more customization options: Insight.
Insight is gained over time when you level up, complete quests or defeat major enemies. You can spend points of insight to either improve your existing spells, or unlock special traits for your character. Maybe you love the Fireball spell, and you want to get a bit more mileage out of it. Well...
Every spell has a unique upgrade, and the goal is to make upgrading more rewarding than just "does more numbers". In the case of fireball, you can see in the video above that improving it with insight doesn't just increase damage, but instead launches more fireballs.
Spells can be upgraded twice: Empowered and Mastered. Each upgrade costs four points of insight. There are also three tiers of traits to unlock at three, five or seven insight. Traits and spell upgrades allow you to customize your gameplay to your liking.
In addition to a lot of work on gameplay, spells and ambience, the main UI elements of Evenfall have been completely overhauled.
These new overlays have much better thematic consistency and feel a lot better to interact with. In addition to reworking all of the overlays, the game will now pause when an overlay is open, rather than continue on in the background.
Evenfall Arcane is quickly approaching a checkpoint to be ready for another playtest. There is still quite a bit of content I'd like to add in before that, but I can happily say that the next playtest will have open registration here on the site, and will be available for MacOS in addition to Windows. Join the mailing list below to be notified first about playtest signups!
Thank you all for your continued support in development of Evenfall Arcane. I can't wait to bring more content to the world of Evenfall, and look forward to releasing more information about the next playtest.