Hey Beyond The Veil fans, it’s time for another update! Progress has been insane recently, and the game feels better and better with every iteration. I’ve been playing it a lot myself, tweaking the balance, making it feel the way I want (and also hammering the keys as quickly as possible to find bugs in the menus). I can tell you it’s a good feeling when you play your own game and you manage to get engrossed in it. Anyway, on to what’s changed…
Two new region types: - Ancient Cache- Light the five symbols (a la the bell minigame in God of War) to activate the cache. Then fight off a stream of enemies to uncover the secrets of the ancient cache. I found that randomised gear drops was too unpredictable, and just not fun, so this new region type is meant to provide a more predictable source of Weapons for the player. Since riding the difficulty curve is important for progression, we can’t have players getting stuck with early game gear just because of the RNG gods!
- Prison- Technically this isn’t a new region, previously for new characters to join your party you simply had to find them. Now you have to find the Prisons, solve a spinning disc puzzle, and then protect them from incoming enemies until they escape the map. It’s just another thing to spice up the gameplay and provide a little change of pace.
The story now clocks in around 15k words. Sheesh that’s a lot of writing I can tell you. When I started this the idea of writing a story seemed very attractive, but I didn’t realise how difficult it was going to be! It is really coming together now- I’ve had it proof read a couple of times, changed up the pacing, and tried to work in some more personal touches to the characters. The trick is definitely to get into the mind of your characters to be able to rationalise their decisions and emotions.
I’ve also been tweaking the story delivery method- something I’ve struggled with right from the beginning. I don’t want it to get in the way of the player, but I also don’t want the player to accidentally miss anything. So now the main narrative arc is delivered in chunks when the player discovers new regions, whilst secondary arcs/general lore can be found littered around the place.
Almost every system has been modified and polished. There are more visual cues for skills and attacks, more audio everywhere, more art, more everything! I’ve added more crafting recipes and a tiered crafting system involving unlockable ‘crafting stations’ to improve the flow of the crafting system. It’s also a teensy bit more important and provides more concrete rewards.
The travel mechanic has been the focus of a lot of feedback. Mainly centred around the fact that travelling to distant regions can become tiresome as you have to wait for your character to travel there, then wait for your character to travel back home to recover their strength before travelling out again. To remedy this I’ve increased the connectivity of the map, so regions have more connections and the average route length is slightly shorter. I’ve also added a craftable resource called Mystic Shards which can be used to teleport to any region instantly (though they are quite expensive). Lastly any completed temple regions can be teleported to with no cost (though you still can’t perform actions like resting or crafting).
Marketing-wise things are going well. My PR team have been amazing getting the word out, and have been really encouraging to me on Twitter (where we post a lot of updates if you haven’t already seen).
There are still a few things to work on in the coming weeks, and a few features I’m umming and ahhing about. Story and narrative delivery is a big focus at the moment, as well as getting the last few bits of audio in the game.
Oh and here’s a fun story- my computer has been getting slower and slower, which I just put down to the increasing size of the project. I had also been worried about the performance of the game as in some environments there was fairly noticeable drop in frame rate when I had too many lights in the scene. As it turns out the fan on my CPU had fallen off. I don’t know how, and I don’t know when, but that poor little chip had been struggling for some time with no cooling. Bought a nice big fan now though and it feels like a new PC, so there’s a happy ending.
Until next time, Sam