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“Hidden amongst the unforgiving tundra islands lies a forgotten monument to a civilization long-vanished. Hewn from the rocks of a mighty mountain, the Fortress Library has endured the ages longer than the very ink and parchment held within its halls.”

 

Welcome to my Competition Thread! In accordance with the guidelines, I would like to use this thread to document my competition entry! I’ve played since 2017 but this is my first attempt to compete in a competition!

*All information & content is subject to change until the final release version.

 

SPECIFICATION

  • A Mystery Island which will challenge players intellectually using a mixture of simple-to-complex puzzles.
  • The Mystery Island will also introduce ’initial’ Lore and Mythology to the game which can be expanded upon in future islands/updates/content/etc.
  • The architectural style and map design will weigh heavily on Fantasy Dwarven culture, drawing inspiration from J.R Tolkien, The Elder Scrolls, and other genres.
  • The layout of the Island will consist of a large, desolate mountain with an entry way into a vast complex of halls, corridors, tunnels and vaults.
  • Players progress by unlocking areas of the complex by solving puzzles or possessing items acquired from their previous adventures.
  • The rewards of restoring the Library will be having access to a fully furnished home/guild HQ with the capacity to safely and proudly display all your artefacts, treasures and curiosities from all your previous adventures.

PROGRESS TRACKER

  • Map Geology -100%
  • Library Floor plan -100%
  • Zone Design -100%
  • Lore & Story -100%
  • Scripting & Mechanisms -100%

I’ll post updates and screenshots as I progress! Stay tuned!

Edited by Deadeye_Rob
Progress percentages updated
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Map Geology

Even with the Map Editor template set to its smallest island size, the resulting island is still too big for a universal map to accommodate. Therefore, I had to do a little terraforming! I will revisit this area as part of my Quality Checks Phase to touch up the seabed.

As every Megabyte counts with this project, I have wiped everything from my map. It is a veritable barren wasteland of an island, but performance is exquisite!

 

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-" and he stretched out his hand, and cut a swathe of water between the earth and the rock!"

 

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-The freshly prepared landmass, ripe for creativity!

 

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-Its difficult not to acquire a God-Complex when you are literally forging mountains with your hands!

This phase of my project took longer than I expected but I am happy with the geology of my island. As I said before, I have wiped the map entirely of entities in a bid to save memory/performance for the actual 'meat' of the project. Ultimately, the visiting player wont be spending much time above ground! That being said, I will see to a few external cosmetic details near the later half of this project.

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Library Floor Plan

So in the hour that I had to myself this morning, I did a lot of scribbling!

Due to the complex nature of this project a lot of paperwork and drafting is required.

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*First draft Floor Plan of the Complex.

Theres a lot of half-mad scribbling so I’ll try to explain it. This is a sketch of what will the the Main Hall. It’s effectively the central zone of the complex and where Players will be able to uncover, solve and investigate puzzles.

Puzzles range in difficulty depending on the amount of hints and the rarity of certain objects required to solve them.

‘Grand Puzzles’ are a string of puzzles that all culminate in proceeding through the quest line. For example: Solving puzzle 1 reveals hidden door. Puzzle 2 involves opening hidden door. Puzzles 3 & 4 provide the means to open hidden door.

Upon completion of a Grand Puzzle, players could be rewarded with access to a new zone, treasure or even something that could make exploration that little bit easier. It’s something to brag about regardless.

 

Scripting & Mechanisms

Without giving too much away, here’s another set of scribbles on the chain of events covering placing an Artefact on a Pedestal.

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*A basic example of how placing two books on their pedestals can trigger a chain of events.

Thanks for your support and messages! These are just tasters of how I am proceeding with my entry. I won’t be purposefully releasing any material that could reveal potential puzzle locations or their solutions! Feel free to ask questions however!

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ALCHEMY ROTUNDA/LABORATORY

I've had a lot of fun designing, tweaking and building every square-inch of the Alchemy Laboratory! Here's a quick teaser screenshot.

 

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*A work-in-progress of the Laboratory Rotunda.

The Alchemy Laboratory is an unlockable area of the Library where players will be able to dedicate themselves to the art and sciences of potion crafting! There are a number of custom-scripted, animated mechanisms designed to help you in your experiments. I have been experimenting on using a few particle and ambient lighting effects to create an atmosphere of 'magic and wonder' attributed with this area.

The Laboratory will hold:

  •  A few Magic Blossom Bushes
  • An Alchemy station
  • Storage for ingredients
  • Storage for potions
  • An Archive for potion recipes
  • A custom Magic Blossom Refinery that produces x2 Magic Dust for every Blossom fed into it after a 15 second delay.

The Laboratory 'Might' Hold

  • A 'Geomancer' Archive. -Still working on this, but this device will be able to archive and create plant seeds assuming the player has managed to unlock them. Its a cool device but I'm unsure if it will be useful enough to be put into the map.
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Asset Creation - Light Sources, Walls, & Decorations!

I've been exceptionally busy last night and it's a miracle I woke up this morning! I have accomplished far more than I expected however.

 

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-Statue Braziers, made from combining Isis Statues with Hides, a Torch and Bowl. They're fully intractable and can be ignited or extinguished!

Great light sources are key to creating the perfect atmosphere. So I consider every minute spent designing them worth it! Naturally because the Library has been abandoned for eons, adventurers may have to strike a match or two! ;) 

 

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-A small enclave within the Main Hall of the Library. This doorway will lead to the Librarians quarters which will be furnished suitably to accommodate explorers who wish to use the place as their base of operations in their quest to unlock the secrets of the library!

 

Finally guys, I give you a little taster of the greater things to come! Here's my first-phase design of the Great Hall!

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-Phase-One Prototype of the Great Hall. Subject to change and improvements.

The Great Hall is the Centre-piece of the whole complex. From here Adventurers can explore, study, experiment of simply gaze in wonder at the ruins of an ancient civilization long gone. From this great hall, players will discover their first clues that will branch out to new areas and challengers. Consider this Hall as the focal-point for all activities on this island. I hope you all agree with me that it truly lives up to that statement.

 

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-The great, and unbreachable door of Mimir. What could be behind it?

 

That's all for now guys. Once again thank you for your words of encouragement both public and private. I'd love to hear your feedback and I look forward to publishing more screenshots! 

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I hope so! I’m experimenting with particles and light effects to create a intriguing atmosphere.

Not to mention all the hidden switches, puzzles and new areas to unlock. I want to make this island a ‘slow burning’ kinda challenge that players won’t solve in a single visit.

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Cosmetic Updates & Puzzles

So I'm pretty happy that the Alchemy Zone is ready to go in all respects. It is a fully furnished area with some great lighting and atmosphere effects. With this in mind, I have begun to experiment on some atmospheric effects in the rest of the complex.

 

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-If a player progresses far enough, they will be able to unlock the ability to introduce new lighting to the Library with extra gloom!

When Players first set foot in the Library, it will be up to them to make the place habitable once again. As they progress however, new features will be available to them such as 'fancy lighting'. I hope to add a number of optional cosmetic features to be unlocked as a form of rewards for progression.

 

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-Make the Library yours! Display your treasures with pride!

Whenever I meet another player online in Exploration, I'm always keen to see what artefacts and treasures they have found in their adventures. With this in mind, I'd like to give players the ability to store their unique items from their travels. Pre-made exhibit stands like this will allow players to place unique items on display. Once on display, players can also take them back again too! When a display is empty, it will show a 'blacked out' vacant outline. I want to add some descriptions and Lore to some of the weapon/armour sets. If anyone has any good -but brief- descriptions, please PM me with your suggestions!

 

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-Quarters of the Chief Librarian, now it belongs to you!

The Librarians Quarters is coming along slowly, partly due to 'writers block' but its looking homely at least. Players can move in and use all storage containers available. It is my intention to make this area suitable for novice players to use as a pre-made beginners home. It will also offer some creative inspiration as to how they could build their own bases in future! The Librarians Quarters will have a small office that will contain a number of clues as you try to piece together the Mystery of the library that it's previous occupant failed to do!

 

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-The Library holds many clues! Some of which aren't so obvious!

Finally guys, before I turn in for the night I want to show you the early designs for one of the later-stage puzzles. Whilst you might have figured out how it works already, it wont be as easy as you think! Thanks for your continued support people! Stay tuned for the next update!

Edited by Deadeye_Rob
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Really impressed, I hope it turns out as good as I'm expecting :)

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The Reliquary, Mechanicum & more atmosphere.

This evening's binge in the Library has been a good! Although after a frustrating hour of trying to make a simple movement script work; I decided to call it a day! I've begun working on another large unlockable main zone in the Library- The Reliquary. Continuing on from the theme of displaying your collections and treasures, The Reliquary will enable you to display them in all their glory! I know a lot of people have desired this since the Exploration update was released. Now I'm pleased to say that you may well have it! But take note! If you collect certain treasures, you may find the Library will reward you for your efforts!

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-The Reliquary, an immense, ornate hall for you to store and display all your treasures and collections. -Work in Progress.

As I've mentioned on previous updates, I'm really enjoying the employment of atmospherics and as you delve deeper into the library's abandoned and forgotten places, you may just be able to unlock certain mechanics and systems to personalise the feel of your Library. From warm, cozy fire-lit halls to dark, gloomy-yet-mystical corridors. Make it your own!

 

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-An example of my custom-lights. These welded entities emit a low blue light with highlight and fog particles to create a little atmosphere!

I hope you've enjoyed this update for tonight. I hope to bring you more in the next couple of days as I attempt to flesh out the Reliquary some more!

P.S with so many puzzles and mysteries now complete, its getting harder to publish spoiler screenshots. With that said, anything that may ruin your future experience will now be held behind spoiler guards! 😀

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Reliquary updates

Work within the Reliquary moves ahead slowly. Its becoming apparent to me that this area will become the primary zone for storing all those treasures and rare items you've all collected on your adventures. The scripting however is fiddly, laborious and quite frankly boring! It will take the majority of my time (and Jack Daniels) to complete and bug-sweep. Moving on from my previous comments, by collecting certain treasures, players will unlock further points of the Library. This is something I'm keen to build. I would like players to discover long-abandoned and dilapidated halls that lead to some kind of one-off lore-based reward. Once the player is done with that area, I may try to include a script that despawns the area to keep the map running efficiently.

 

Some of you have asked the question that what with the scale of my entry, will mobile games be able to run it?

My answer is that I simply don't know! The majority of my construction work will be welded to reduce performance and I have always kept an eye on the memory allowance (bottom left meter) to ensure that it will run. If there are serious problems post-release, I will endeavor to improve it and even release a Library-Lite version for mobile devices. Sadly my experience in mobile games isn't great but I will be as accommodating as I can! Thanks for your support guys! Keep the feedback flowing!

 

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-The Reliquary will be capable of displaying your finest 'boom-sticks'!

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Hidden Areas & Optimization

Evening guys, I hope you all had a pleasant weekend! I've begun focusing my attention to optimizing the performance of my map. This has been more time consuming than initially thought but I've noticed the increased load time of the area without having to drop any of the detail. Welding has truly been my best friend! Also as Dwarven Architecture is traditionally straight edges, my designs remain unchanged. As a side-effect however, weather such as rain and snow will now appear inside the caverns. I will look to come up with a work around with this so don't worry!

Now on to more intriguing things! Secret Zones!

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-What secrets lie behind?

As I've stated before, there are areas to unlock that appear obvious. The puzzles required to unlock them however may be harder to spot. Further more, the Library is huge, expanded and improved upon during each reigning monarch. There will be many forgotten and obsolete passages and halls to discover, each with their own unique feel. The spoiler bellow holds a concept of a particular hidden area.

 

Spoiler

 

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-A long forgotten part of the older Library. Notice I've used a now unobtainable 'Glass Sphere' entity to reflect the age of the area.

 

 

Once again guys, its been a pleasure building this all for you. I'm nearly at a point where the overall layout is complete. Its hard to stop myself tinkering with bits and pieces but I'm in a good position! Next up is adding decorations, props and completing the scripts -Something I'm not looking forward to doing! =P

Thanks for your feedback guys!

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Final Puzzle - Mimir Gate

For those who don't know their Nordic Mythology, Mimir is the deity of knowledge amongst other things. Her name adorns the lintel of the biggest gate in the Library. The gate has always been there, yet what lies behind it is an absolute mystery, forgotten through the ages. Will you be able to unseal it and discover the final secret of the 'Stone-Smithers'?

 

SPOILER ALERT!

To get the best experience of this game -IE A genuine sense of wonder and discovery- I implore you to not open the spoiler tabs. They have images of areas that are not immediately accessible!

 

Spoiler

 

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-What were the Ancients trying to do?

 

 

Game Lore & Storyline

As I've stated before, I want to lay the groundwork for some Ylands-friendly lore and mythology. Who are the Elves? Who are the Atlantians? Who invented the Banana Pistol? As you delve deeper into the library and scavenge it's dusty shelves, you might find a scrap or two which hints at the library's backstory. I've also introduced a few backstories which will hopefully inspire some more creative writing from the community which could sow-the-seeds to making a fully supported Ylands-Storyline =D

 

Spoiler

 

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-A ransacked, forgotten hall. With Architecture that doesn't match the Library. What is this place?

 

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-Old and abandoned.

 

 

I'm nearing completion of all physical locations and areas. I shall begin working on coding and animations shortly!

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Final Puzzle

Okay so I managed to get some unexpected time off today... And what better way to spend it than developing my entry! I have been pondering for a while about what kind of reward would a player get upon reaching the end of my Mystery Island Questline. Riches? Weapons? Resources?

Well, if you're a hardcore player like myself, the accumulation of wealth is quite easy if you know how. Collecting and trading artefacts is also a lot of fun although I have laced that into previous puzzles, so rewarding players with rare objects is also off the table. Then the solution hit me!

Whilst I will not divulge exactly what players will receive upon gaining entry to the Mimir Gate, I can assure you that it is well worth the effort and certainly worth the bragging rights if you have the skill to open it by yourself! Please keep in mind that in order to open the 3 locks of the Mimir Gate, you must have completed every major puzzle within the library. Make no mistake, they're not easy!

Spoiler

 

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-An ancient machine of invaluable power.

 

 

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Scripting and preparing for release!

Goodness me! It's been a very hard and methodical few weeks! So I've spent the last few weeks undertaking the very boring element of writing, testing and reviewing all the scripting required to bring my creation to life!

With the deadline looming I am confident that I will be able to submit a well oiled and smooth-running entry for you all to enjoy! I have had to cut a few bits out of the final product but this was not an unforeseen event. Rest assured I think you will all enjoy what I have made and I will be uploading my entry to the judges soon!

All thats left to do is perform a quick bug-sweep of all mechanisms and scripts. Then I will polish up all the decorations and atmospherics!

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-A truck-load of reference points for movements, mechanics and other mind-blowing stuff!

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Submitted!

Ladies, Gents and anyone in between! It has been an exceptionally emotional competition! I can say I understand the strife experienced by modern game developers even though my experience is very small in comparison!

The Fortress Library is a labor of love to me. I have poured in as much creativity as I can muster and I hope you enjoy playing it as much as I've had building it. I aim it to be a slow-burning experience that will encourage you to come back for more. Thank you all for your feedback, support and kindness. I am now going to take a well-earned break and read a book!

 

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-Time to curl up with a book!

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I am so happy to read that you enjoyed creating this game and poured your creative soul into it! 

That is the best feedback we could hope for! So thank you for that! 

And of course, we are very excited to play this!!! 

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