Liege - All News
Saturday - June 18, 2016
Liege - Character and Animation Revamp
Liege had a kickstarter update recently and announced how they are redoing the characters and animations. This is a big update with a lot of details not present here.
Since we don't have a big team of artists and animators to churn out variations for all the playable characters, enemies, and NPCs we'll need, the plan was to create a handful of base meshes and simply re-texture them as needed.
This was limiting for a number of reasons:
- Not enough variation overall
- Limited control over individual character shapes and silhouettes
- Lots of overhead for downstream work like animation
- Character appearance can't change dynamically (i.e. equipment changes)
- Characters look terrible up close!
After stumbling on some amazing new tools, I decided to redo our character creation process to address these issues. The new system allows us to create characters in a modular way that's more efficient and delivers better results.
Here's a quick video before I get into details:loading...
With the problem of creating different faces and body types solved, the next issue we need to tackle is wearable items. As mentioned above, previously we were simply re-texturing a handful of generic base meshes to "fake" the appearance of clothing and armor. The new system allows us to use swappable meshes instead, which takes some more work but gives much better results overall:
Sunday - January 03, 2016
Liege - New Years Update #36
For those who have forgotten about the project a description:
Liege is an upcoming cross-platform, party-based, tactical role-playing game with unique hand drawn visuals.
Liege has come out with a new years kickstarter update with some sad news but also news on progress. Liege is no longer simultaneous turn based. Now player and enemy turns are separate.
I eventually decided that I was fixating on getting convincing real-time execution at the expense of clarity. Clearly this is a big issue for a tactical RPG, and it's especially problematic for us given how easily units can die in the game.
I spent a lot of time trying different ideas to make it work: an on-screen combat log, more overlay UI in general, bullet time, zooming and panning the camera dynamically to focus on important events, etc. but simply separating turns again seemed like the best solution.
My main focus is still on completing the class system and building out a series of main encounters around their progression. As I showed last update, there's almost 100 abilities in the game now, and I've been plugging away at implementing, testing, and balancing them. There was a ton to do here since many abilities require different animations for both the user and target, and some require additional variations depending on the user's equipped weapon, target's reactive ability, direction of attack, damage dealt, etc.
At a higher level, I wanted to mention three big changes that came up during this process:
1. Line of sight
Most attacks now require line of sight to an enemy, and cover now plays an important role in the game. In most cases, attacks can no longer go through other units. This was trickier than I expected to get working, since the game world doesn't exist in true 3D space. Players can aim attacks manually, which opens up some interesting gameplay possibilities:
2. Joint Attacks and Damage Multipliers
Until recently I was committed to keeping the core combat system as simple as possible by separating the more complex mechanics into special abilities. I've loosened up a bit on this approach, so certain mechanics now apply across the board. The big two I want to mention are attack direction (flanking and back attack) and joint attack bonuses. Note the target info panel on the top right in the video:
*There are some videos on the kickstarter page if you want to see it in action.
Executing joint attacks, controlling enemies' reactions and field of view, and optimizing attack multipliers have really become the core of the combat system. These mechanics become much more interesting later in the class progression, and luckily it plays well into the simultaneous execution we've invested so much time in.
2015 and Next Steps
2015 was an interesting year. Simultaneous execution was really tricky to get right from both a technical and game design perspective. While clearly it's set our schedule back quite a bit, I think it's become one of the game's most compelling aspects. Over the course of the year, the game's combat and unit management overall has grown from the original design into something better than I could've imagined.
The combat system was by far the most complex aspect of the game's development. Now that it's almost complete, we can finally start tying together the various standalone encounters I've been designing around the class progression into a continuous main quest. After over a year of grinding away almost exclusively on combat stuff, I'm really looking forward to switching my focus back to story, art, and world building.
I'm racing to get the next build out for our alpha testers and to open up the beta soon afterwards. More on this and some new footage to follow in January; just wanted to give you all an update on what's been going on before the year was up.
Friday - February 27, 2015
Liege - GDC/PAX East Trailer
Liege is a dark fantasy told in JRPG form, with a modern, tactical twist.
Thursday - December 25, 2014
Liege - Alpha Release & New Update
Since my last update about the funded kickstarter game Liege thew games developer John Rhee has launched the Alpha version, and posted a new patch.
Here are the details.
The first playable slice of Liege is finally ready to share!
I’ve uploaded our first alpha build to Steam and submitted the request to Valve for backer keys. Alpha backers, keep an eye on your inbox over the next few days. Those of you who prefer delivery outside of Steam, shoot me a PM and I’ll see to getting you a direct link. As mentioned before, to keep things manageable on my end I’ll be focusing on PC, Mac and Linux for alpha testing.
What to expect: The build contains the tutorial sequence shown two updates ago in its new, extended form. The demo is short and a lot of things are still rough, but I’m making it available in its current state with the following goals:
1) Identify any major system compatibility issues
2) Get a sense of how things are performing on a wider range of hardware
3) Start getting feedback on the tutorial sequence, mechanics, and combat UI
Following this first release, I’ll be putting out more regular updates which will incrementally extend the content. Once the keys go out I’ll be following up with details on where to send bugs, suggestions, questions, etc.
Monday - September 15, 2014
Liege - Post-Funding Update #29
John Rhee of Coda Games has released a new post-funding development update for his funded RPG Liege, and it includes a new video to watch also.
Apologies to those of you who were looking forward to the alpha release with this update- I decided it’d be better to take some more time to polish things up a bit rather than disappointing with a rushed build. Things are taking longer than planned, but we're getting a lot done and hopefully you like what you see so far!
Sunday - July 13, 2014
Liege - Post-Funding Update #28
John Rhee of Coda Games has released a new post-funding development update for his funded RPG Liege. Things are looking good, and I can't wait to plat the finished game.
Update - 07/10/14
Since we're moving further into development, I'll be switching from our usual art/sound/dev breakdown and starting instead with:
For this update I wanted to give you all an extended look at the game running so you'll have a better sense of how it's all coming together. Those of you who prefer to wait to experience the game first-hand may want to stop here!
Though individually they're not very interesting to watch, the sequence of battles in the video are carefully designed as a progression to teach the players the game's basic combat mechanics. Designing a tutorial for a tactics RPG without any text is tricky business, but I think we'll get there as we continue to tweak based on your feedback during testing (more on this below).
Apart from the tutorial stuff, one point I didn't discuss much in the video is the concept of bannermen, which are playable units not in the main cast. In the video, Alec and Marcus are bannermen who can either be saved or killed (in my play-through, due to my actions, Alec made it while Marcus didn't). If a bannerman survives in battle, he'll continue to appear in future battles as an ally you can develop. Additionally, he'll persist in the world as an NPC while you explore, so you might witness events like his reunion with his kin when your party arrives at his home town.
Since we're not placing heavy emphasis on equipment and loot, this concept is shaping up to add a lot more depth and replayability to the game. It's also turning into an interesting way to scale the game's challenge level, since novice players can focus on keeping the main cast alive to progress through the story, while advanced players can aim to save as many bannermen as possible.
Alpha & Beyond
A playable build for our alpha backers with the first few chapters of the game will be ready by the next update. Over the next few months I'll be sharing updated builds with additional content on a regular basis (save data will persist across updates). To help keep things manageable on our end, initially the test builds will be available for PC, Mac, and Linux. As we get further into testing, I'll be making additional announcements regarding testing on our other platforms.
With the engine port, art overhaul, and scope of the game growing in the last few months, we've had to move the game's release date to sometime near the end of the year. The added time should give us a chance to really take the game as far as we can. For those of you who can't wait to start playing, hopefully having access to the latest build will be enough to keep you occupied.
Friday - May 30, 2014
Liege - New Kickstarter Update
John Rhee has posted a new overdue update for his funded RPG game Liege. He even included a new video to show the new updates, and changes.
Quick video showing some of the work going on with Liege, an upcoming cross-platform tactical RPG.
Thursday - March 20, 2014
Liege - Post-Funding Update #26
John Rhee of Coda Games has released a new post-funding development update for his funded RPG Liege . It has been a while since the last update so this is good news.
Code-wise, my focus has been on combat UI and AI.
The UI still needs some tweaks, but the functionality’s coming together pretty nicely.
The AI’s been trickier to get right. Since one or a few bad moves in the game can be fatal, the AI can’t get away with attacking blindly on sight. At this point, it manages to do a pretty good job of predicting future outcomes and avoiding very poor to suicidal moves, and instead of charging blindly, it tries to wait for openings to strike. That said, teaching it to play well while leaving opportunities for players to gain an advantage will take some time to get right.
Anyhow, here’s a video!
Things are still rough overall, and there’s a ton of placeholder assets everywhere. I’ll be focusing on characters and animation once we’ve finished nailing down more of the core gameplay elements. Things should start looking much more interesting once that's done and I can start implementing class abilities.
Lastly, I'll be at GDC next week with Kalen. If any of you will be there as well, let me know. I’d love to hear from you!
Monday - November 25, 2013
Liege - Post-Funding Update #24
In the latest post-funding update for Liege we get a status update, new video, and news about the game on Steam Greenlight.
Hi everyone! Busy month, lots going on. Here’s the run-down:
We’ve been Greenlit for Steam! Thank you to all of you who voted for us and helped spread the word! Anyone interested in PC/Mac/Linux copies will be eligible for Steam keys, just be sure to indicate your preference when we send out your surveys.
Since our last update, I moved out to the west coast to be closer to Kalen and Aakaash. Working side by side with Kalen has already made a huge difference as we continue to refine the art direction and set up our asset pipeline to fit our technical constraints. Check our our sweet digs!
FInally, on the code side, pre-production continues. Here's a screen of what my workspace is looking like to demonstrate some of what I've been focused on.
1) Building customized editing tools in Unity to streamline our workflow
2) Early performance profiling with our new architecture
3) Re-writing core functionality (movement/animation, the tactics engine)
I'll try to do a walkthrough later on to walk through these in more detail. For now, here’s a little teaser video of in-game footage that shows how our art, sound, and code are all coming together.
Monday - October 14, 2013
Liege - Post-Funding Update #23
John Rhee has posted a new post-funding update for Liege with news on the games develepment.
As mentioned in previous posts, I've been working on implementing our framework and workflow in our new engine (Unity). For those interested on the technical side of things, I wanted to share a bit about what's going on behind the scenes.
Going into our Unity port, I had a few key requirements apart from simply porting over existing functionality:
- Layered 2D environments with 3D character models
- In-game skeletal animation (for smoother animation and effects like slo-mo)
- Real-time, dynamic shadows
- Efficient workflow that leverages Unity's WYSIWYG editing features
- Acceptable performance with the above on our weaker hardware targets (mobile)
Below, you can see how our scene is composed in our editor with the above features in place:
Going from left to right, we have:
1. A system of cameras that controls the order in which the scene is drawn
2. Parts of the scene that are normally drawn over characters (i.e. trees)
3. 3D characters casting real-time shadows, rotated to align with our view (note the model is a placeholder)
4. Collision bounds, which are automatically generated from a 2D tile map
5. Parts of the scene that are normally drawn behind characters (i.e. the ground)
Here's the game running in our editor (with an older iteration of Kalen's art):
As you can see, our content aligns precisely to form the composite image that's seen in-game. This is very different from how 2D is normally handled, but it opens up lots of interesting graphical possibilities.
As this update hopefully shows, things are taking some time as we try things and iterate, but the updates will be more regular as we get further along. Thanks as always for your support, and let us know your thoughts below!
Saturday - August 31, 2013
Liege - Kickstarter Update
John Rhee the developer of Liege has a new post-funding update with details about the games art, code, and sounds.
We were fortunate to have lots talented artists reach out and express interest in this project, but when I came across Kalen's work, it immediately stood out as a perfect fit. The first thing I noticed were the vibrant colors, dramatic lighting, and unique, painterly feel, and I personally can't wait to see him bring these elements into the world of Liege.
We've been speaking at length about the game's new art style and are hoping to have some in-game samples ready for our next update. In the meantime, check out more of his work here, and his Livestream here.
So you're all aware, Aakaash has taken full ownership of the game's score and sound, and John Robert has moved off the project. Both are incredibly talented composers but with very different styles, and the decision was made early to ensure consistency in our soundtrack from end to end. We wish John all the best and can't wait to hear what he'll be working on next!
Midway through our campaign, I decided to port our game engine to Unity to support our new target platforms, streamline our production pipeline, and enhance the game's overall look and feel. Unity is an amazing platform, but it's fundamentally different from our previous set of tools. At this point I'm past the steepest part of the learning curve, and I've been plugging away at reimplementing basics like player controls, event handling, and character animation. The port work will be continuing over the next few months, but with Kalen now handling art and basic due diligence out of the way, this process should start moving much quicker.
Tuesday - July 30, 2013
Liege - Game Funded
Coda Games Liege is funded and achieved all of its announced stretch goals. The developer has an update saying thank you, and giving out more information.
We finished our campaign with over 2,900 supporters and over five times our initial funding target, which was set to cover my minimum living expenses to continue pursuing this full time. Since the campaign launched, Liege has evolved from a small, one man project to something that will be much bigger and better than I could ever have hoped for.
The success we've had has enabled us to bring the game to new platforms, bring on some amazing new talent, and add some exciting new features that will add a ton to the experience. We couldn't have gotten to this point without all of your support. Thank you!
I'll begin sending out surveys to collect the necessary details to get rewards out as we get closer to our first alpha release, which will start later this year. In the meantime, if you have any questions for me at all, don't hesitate to reach out directly.
Paypal and the Humble Store
I've set up a separate page to accept Paypal payments, and in the next few days, I'll be updating the page to include payments through the Humble Store as well. If you know anyone who may be interested in the game but missed the chance to support here on Kickstarter, please send them over to http://codagames.com/paypal.
As I mentioned earlier, Liege is currently on Steam Greenlight. Steam is one of the biggest distribution platforms for games out there, and getting onto it means we'll be able to reach a whole new audience. We're currently 50% of the way to the top 100, but we have a long way to go; help us get the rest of the way by voting here!
As you know, our Art 2.0 stretch goal means we'll be able to bring some new art talent to the project. I've already started receiving some portfolio samples, but if you're interested or know someone who might be, let me know! I'm looking specifically for someone who can take the game's existing in-game art style, and add some professional polish to take it to the next level. In addition to digital illustration, 3D animation skills are a huge plus.
As promised, I'll be posting updates with our progress every few weeks on our website as well as on Facebook and Twitter. If you haven't already, please take a moment to like and follow us! This will be the best way for us to stay in touch, and for you to stay stay up to date with the very latest on the project.
The Road Ahead
The last few weeks have been an incredible, exhausting ride, but we're just getting started. After taking a couple days to catch my breath, I'll be switching my focus back to developing the game and putting our new resources to full use. Over the next year, I'll be working non-stop to make Liege the absolute best it can be. I can't wait to get started.
Sunday - July 21, 2013
Liege - Kickstarter Halftime Show
Hi guys! Lots of stuff has been going on over the last couple weeks. I’ve been super focused on churning out updates for the Kickstarter and trying to get press for the game, so I haven’t been able to update much here, but here’s the run down:
- We doubled our funding target with over 1000 backers with about two weeks left in the campaign!
- I released an overview of the key figures in the game, as well as some more teasers on the playable cast. Check them out below
I even have a video of early gameplay footage.
Monday - July 08, 2013
Liege - Funding Successful and Interviews
In well under a week we've already met our target goal. Thank you to all of you!
So what's next? With the target goal met, my focus will be shifting from getting the game made, to getting it made with the best possible production values and for as wide an audience as possible. I'll be announcing some stretch goals in the next few days, with a focus on increasing the quality of the game's art and sound assets, scaling up specific scenes and locations, and porting to additional platforms. I'm still doing some research into the last point, but as soon as I can finish the proper due diligence, I'll be making an announcement.
Sunday - June 30, 2013
Liege - A Party-Based Tactical RPG
I found another promising kickstarter that at least deserves a a look it's called Liege.
What is Liege?
Liege is a party-based, tactical role-playing game for PC, Mac, iOS and Android.
Liege is a game that's inspired by Japanese RPG classics, chess, and others.
Liege is an interactive epic about ordinary people like us, placed in fantastic, larger-than-life circumstances. In equally vague terms, it's a game about family, power, love, death, and other way serious, totally heavy things.
Liege is being planned as a trilogy with a continuous story arc, with the first release scheduled for early 2014.
One late autumn eve in the Kingdom of Liege, a King, his queen, and their royal heirs fall into a deep slumber from which they never wake.
…and so our story begins. Following their mysterious deaths, a power struggle in the royal court ensues, and as the conflict quickly escalates, the Kingdom plunges into a bloody civil war. As war erupts across the land, we track the converging paths of characters aligned across various factions, from the noble houses vying for the throne, to the orphaned Royal Army, to an underground movement of outlaws with plans to incite revolution amidst the chaos.
Play-time: 20-40 hours
Voice-acting: Partially voiced
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· To be announced
· Publisher: Unknown