Pine - November & December Recap: Into the Release Year28-12-2018
Right at the end of the year, time for a short recap about some of the work we did in the last two months. We’ve been diving so deep into the island and its content that we didn’t share a lot recently, but still there are some exciting things to talk about. Again, without spoiling too much!
We’ve aligned species movements for equal chances
As part of an ongoing effort to improve movement for both species and player, we’ve took steps to align species run and walk speeds better, so that we have a better shot at balancing chances they have against each other, critters and the player. Because if there is no balance, the simulation will always turn out the same.
An example can be found in the Krocker, who was extremely slow before we edited their movement speed. Now it looks like this, a lot faster and more aggressive!
We’re working on a lot of content in the shape of collectibles, secrets, outfits and tools. Here’s a work-in-progress look at one of the new outfits, the Hunter Set!
Last time we talked about hiding spots – an important addition to the spectrum of actions by critters and species. We’ve worked more to visualize the actual spots with hiding grass and we’ve worked on scared hiding animations for critters.
Work on the Vaults
Although this is an area we don’t want to spoil much of, the Vaults have been getting a lot of love lately. Check out these two shots, hopefully not too telling but indicative of what they might be:
More village work
As always, we’ve continued to work on villages, to give each a ‘cornerstone’ idea and make them memorable. This one is one we’re very happy with, worked on by our new intern Daan!
Indie of the Year Awards
Last year we won ‘Most Anticipated Indie of the Year’ on indie website IndieDB – and this year, thanks to you, we were in the top 10 AGAIN! We ended up on 7th place this time. Thanks so much!
Happy new year!
We did plenty more and can’t wait to share everything with you soon. Next year is going to be very special, with of course the release of Pine on the planning – we hope you’re as excited as we are! For now, happy new year and talk to you soon.
A bit late this month, but to keep you in the loop, here’s another short update on some of the content we’ve been working on in the world of Pine. We’re making a lot of exciting tweaks and advancements on the simulation, as well as on world design, user experience and combat. Have a look!
More nuance in behaviors and reactions
As we’re expanding our matrix of reactions and behaviors to give players a nice, rich context of how they can interact with species, we’re developing a few more nuanced reactions and poses for when they are in certain roles. Some of them are:
Shooing: when they see something they don’t like and they’re confident, they’ll try to shoo the target away.
Guarding: for when the guard role has been assumed, they do a guard pose.
Greeting: we have a few different greetings, one of which is a full-body one for when they want to say hi.
Hiding: when seeing something they don’t like, species will try to hide in tall grass, hoping it will go away.
Cheering: when something really great happens, species will cheer.
We kept working on villages, each with their own unique idea. Here are two cool new ones, located around Mount Telkin!
An updated HUD
While not implemented yet, we’re working on a small revamp of the main HUD. The player can equip a melee set and ranged set, so we figured we should optimize the HUD for that too. The energy system, which we are still testing, has been formalized in a much more readable format now too. What do you think?
Now that the world design is progressing well, sometimes we take a minute to walk or fly around and take some shots of what’s happening around the island. Here are some of those!
And here are two gifs of the same area around a village called Bohr's Pond, where once a mysteriously large creature had its fishing shop - one at night time with a Fexel tribe installed, one at day time where the Krockers have taken over!
A release window
Lastly, some important news! As we’ve mentioned, our very early estimate of finishing Pine at the end of this year was not going to happen. We are happy to say that we are now aiming for a release mid 2019 – a bit later than expected, but we promise it will be definitely worth it! A more specific date and details will follow at a later moment.
That’s it for now – we’ll keep working on more content. Talk to you soon!
As always, all feedback, questions and comments are welcome. Feel free to reach out through pine[at]twirlbound.com, on IndieDB, on Reddit, on our Discord server, Facebook or Twitter.
Time for a blogpost!
It's definitely been a while. We've been very hard at work on every level of the game, making sure we had a good critical look at the game's biggest needs and to improve existing areas.
All the villages are nicely improving, as we are thinking more explicitly about what 'cornerstone' they should be built on. These are ideas, hooks and unique 'selling points' that make villages memorable and define their story. By doing so, you get a richer tapestry of different villages and it makes it more meaningful to visit them.
Another action for the villages is adding more sophisticated sockets and architecture, such as sleeping and eating areas! We had these blocked out and they worked really well, so now they're more specifically tailored towards the species at hand.
Some beds for the Cariblin, for example:
Or a nice place to eat for each species!
The Gobbledew totem was also finally finished and put in the game last week, heroically towering over the forests here (tier A):
We've been doing a lot of work on critters too: all of them have new animations and behaviors, and we're working on nests to show what their origin is on the island.
Species are getting more advanced reactions left and right, among which is a new full-body greet for when a species calls you over. Here's the Krocker's "hello":
We're doing a lot of world design in general, focusing on landmarks, backstories and locations, such as this one ("the Creator's Presence").
One of the most important updates we've been working on is something we haven't shown yet: the worldmap! It has become a pivotal mechanic in Pine. With the map, you can freely move around while checking your whereabouts, and it's fully dynamic. One of the Outfindings enhances it even more, but we won't spoil that for now...
We're excited to share some more gameplay soon. We still have a big update looming, but we want to make sure we have all the details in order before sharing that, so stay tuned.
Until next time!
We've been a bit quiet while finishing an important milestone, and immediately after we jumped back to the next things on the list. We're making good and important progress, and while we are holding back some important announcements for a while still, we're excited to tell you about some of what we did in the meantime.
A big update for villages: we're objectifying the places where they take roles, eat, sleep and more, making the villages more wholesome and adding a lot of nice assets to the areas they're in. For example, check out the Gobbledew role place, where they take their outfits to go and do things outside:
As a bonus, check out the cloth waving in the wind - also new!
The role outfits will be positioned on coat racks of sorts.
More role work was done for specific species too. We're working on generic trader assets, and, for example, the Gobbledew's attire when gathering/trading:
More village work was done too - we're getting to dressing the fences etc with non-generic, but species-specific styling!
We're also working on a new critter, a really important one - an aggressive creature that will attack you on sight. These are not to be messed with and do a lot with Albamare's ecology. It's called the Bleeker!
In general, we're reshaping our critter plan a bit. We're making a few less than originally planned, but all because we want to focus on the existing ones better and give them more meaning.
Also, we don't think we ever showed you our new vegetation system, on top of our brand new terrain - we all put that in for the previous milestone build and it's all looking a lot better already. Also, here's some of those night lights we mentioned - they will turn on at nightfall and add a lot of atmosphere.
Until next time!