Recent shenanigans

OK, got some new pics to share along with the odd gif. This is all new gubbins that I’ve added to the game over the past few weeks. There’s always stuff I can’t show right now ‘cos it’s still under development, like the Giant, or new butterflies, or details of some of the puzzle ‘quests’ (that’d be a spoiler right?), or how the new tutorial stage works during game play (gotta make a game dev video shortly for that).

First up, Nora the Hedge Witch – a horrid old lady that combs the hedgerows for magical creatures and oddities to add to her grim collection of fey things.

 

Also, meet the snail rider clan – work on these little folk has been going on for a while – but here’s a few shots of their more recent activities.

Cargo Snail design in Blender

What mischief will this lot get up to I wonder?

Lots of other stuff to mention – I’ll stick to screenshots for now as a picture tells a thousand words. Aphids, hives, hand made terrain, bug vision….the list goes on…

Aphid farm – a nutritious source of green protein

Bug Vision – never get lost in the woods again!

The Blue Frenemy Hive

OK – my head is spinning now – did I forget anything? Well, if so I’ll get it in next time – dont forget you can catch up with regular teensy updates with my posts on Twitter at –  @RodatGHG

See you out there!  Woot!

The Queen’s journey

The Quest for Hive Quest!

Things have been pretty intense since the last post – the Old Orchard has been growing, steadily spreading its gamedev roots through the Hive Quest world. Sometimes it even feels like the project might have a life of its own, when, after a lot of thought and meditation, a slew of elements are created and they somehow, amazingly, fit together nicely.

Then, the sudden realisation hits, like the slap of wet haddock across the face – ‘I haven’t done a blog post for flippin’ ages!’

Shut Up and tell us what’s happening!

Ok, ok – I’m working up to it.

First off, you’ve all heard of ‘Urban Decay’, right? Well I began investigating stuff about ‘Rural Decay’ instead to shed light on new game play areas. A fun and totally cool research session came up with the inspiration to design the following scenery. These new additions to the game present some great opportunities to explore and discover strange mysteries and, likely, some unknown weirdness & danger.

Rural decay – lovin’ the way old stuff looks..

Uh oh!

And then there’s this guy. A new villain (every story needs a few) – Erwin the bug exterminator. Look after your Hive folks or he might receive a phone call you really don’t want him to answer!

Don’t do it Erwin! Nooooo!

Oh, yes! And then there’s the new caterpillars – lots of little wriggly playmates that also double as a great, (non fattening) food source. Awww…cute, (but make terrible sushi). After working on these critters, I have a new found appreciation for how cool they are. Some of these insects have up to 16 legs! This fact blew my tiny insect brain right out my spiracle. (Though the extra legs are more like ‘not really legs’ according to my massively extensive research……..(wikipedia) )

Opening up new vistas!

Caterpillar at full sprint

Oo…oo (chimpy noises) and there’s this creature too! – its name is ‘Yuna’ – a mysterious guide that will help the player out here and there with valuable advice. It is a servant/ pet to a higher power and is also an important figure in the story line (but more on that…..later).

What a very odd little fella!

Yuna the Guide in Unity

So there it is for now. There are a bunch of other things that have been done to improve Hive Quest that haven’t been mentioned here – such as the AI for the Shrublet, and various shaders for lighting, but that is a rabbit hole I won’t go down right now. The last thing I’ll leave you with is a shot of the Shrublet looking very pleased with himself for learning how to create a food spell ball.

Thanks for getting this far! More #indiegame dev news on its way 🙂

Find me on Twitter – @RodatGHG

Spring News Update

Hi folks! A whole bunch of new stuff has now been added to Hive Quest since the last update. Things really are coming together with the completion of the following game mechanics (see screenshots for each of these in this post) –

  •  – Bug battles – swift and deadly skirmishes that flow smoothly
  •  – The Entling now has to be cared for and fed, or he will begin to get sad and become ill
  •  – New puzzles, environments & denizens of the wild woods, like the snail rider clan
  •  – Improved hive building, with a builder drone tasked specifically for expanding the hive

During the game development process there is often a balance between creative flare, which is where all the crazy ideas come from, and the limitations imposed by my level of coding skill and the game engine itself.

That creative flare is needed for things to look as super awesome as possible. Without it, it’s a bit like Batman running around without the cape. But this is all tempered by the regular reality checks involved in making something that plays well and makes a fun experience. Along with the need to stick to deadlines, this creates a workflow that wobbles erratically between ‘Oh..that’s a great idea, gotta add that!’ to ‘That’s never going to work, it’ll take forever, and there’s this to do too…and that…and that other bit too <sigh>’.

So right now the cycle is –

Creative surge ->   GameEngine/Time reality check ->   Creative surge ->    Game engine / reality check

and so on…

However,  this as a good thing. As a solo game dev you need to have these board meetings with the rest of your team, even if it leaves you feeling like a crazy person talking to themselves (which is exactly what’s happening). This is where things get done – the melting pot of cool stuff. The raw, creative energy that forges new ideas.

Anyway, enough about all that – here’s those screen shots!

Bug fight!

 

Builder Drone hard at work

Snail rider family, along with snails

 

Creatures & crazy stuff

So what’s Hive Quest all about? It’s an immersive realtime strategy game world set in a mythical woodland filled with ancient magic, strange creatures & intriguing puzzles. As the Hive Mind you embark upon a dangerous and sometimes dark journey to find safety for your insect tribe. Inspired by folklore & fairy legend, LionHead Studios original 2001 PC classic ‘Black & White’ and the artwork of fairy artists like Brian Froud, Hive Quest is a trip into a whimsical world that is intended to delight and entertain.

So what’s been going on since the last update? Quite a bit actually. This little fella for a start.

He’s the first in a bunch of woodland sprites that can be tamed who will help your Hive grow by finding stuff in odd places. Not just any old stuff but useful bits and bobs like spell components and crafting items that can be used to make animated minions (among other things).

If you encounter another sprite that belongs to an enemy hive these guys will also fight each other using special attacks.

GloopShroom Gloop – tastes like crap but great for building stuff

I’ve also been improving the movement of the hive drones as they gather resources (food & gloop) to make them more natural (see abovesville).
Other stuffs either complete or in progress –
– Puzzles of varying description
– Wierdness
– Flying fish
– Spiders
– Spells that will boost your hive drones in battle, or create food and gloop when you most need it
– Witch charms and arcane lore found only in secret places

MOre laters – 😀

Thanks for visiting – More later!  Rod  @RodatGHG

Oh shit..not spidaaahhs!

Hive Quest progress

So, as visitors to this page in its previous incarnation may have realised by now, I am quite a terrible blogger. Yup, couldn’t blog my way out of a paper bag, I admit, and it’s been that way for a while.
Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

However, I have resolved to get better if at all possible. I mean, I flippin’ have to. If the message is going to get out there about what I’m trying to do …like, here, with Hive Quest and stuff, I need to learn how to communicate and show what’s going on. I really don’t want to find myself scratching my head one morning in the realisation that all this has all been for nothing.

So please bear with while I explore a dizzying level of social ineptitude to bring you something new, fresh, crazy and most of all fun! Yay…

Anyways, enough belly button examination – since the previous post, development of Hive Quest has been coming along in leaps & bounds. With loads of new features and mad ideas! WoooHooo! Keep a look out for more info shortly.

Insects Galore! A new game called Hive Quest!

So I was chilling out in the garden this summer with a brewski and became fascinated by the diverse and busy lives of the creatures & plants inhabiting my (very overgrown) lawn.

To those little creatures it must be like a dense and dangerous jungle out there. If you or I were shrunk down and had to survive we probably wouldn’t last 5 minutes, right? Some hairy monster with incredibly long legs would probably come along & bite our heads clean off or something.

I spent some time visualising what life might be like for a bug and found the inspiration for a cool new PC game.

Now, I know insect and hive games have been done before but what I’m trying to do here is something a little different. By combining magic, mystery & puzzles along with a strong narrated storyline I want Hive Quest to be exactly that – a quest where you , the ‘Hive Mind’, embark your beleaguered tribe on an adventure to find the mythical ‘Sunny Uplands’, a heavenly location known only in folklore and passed down from one generation to the next.

Players will spend their time advancing through several dangerous locations and warring against other hives. Behind all this, the ultimate bad guy will reveal himself – Mandrake – the nastiest, biggest Hive Mind of them all. This guy will provide plenty of motivation for players to try and defeat him.

Along the way you will have help and advice from the two primary deities of the bug world, who also provide spells and some comic relief.

Right now I’m at the stage of finalising the interaction between two warring hives and have a lot more planned for the very near future as I am currently working full time on this project.

I’ll try to get a narrated video posted up shortly that details the game play, and I hope you like the screen shots I’ve posted. In the meantime, please post a comment, tell me if you like or hate the idea or feel free to ask any questions.

All the best
Rod