7 Feb 2014

Khemeia Update

So, there have been some developments regarding Khemeia, my magical combat game.

First of all, my old team from last year's Game Jam, Team Norwegian Blue, decided to get together and develop a game. We all pitched ideas and Khemeia came out on top as the game to develop.

Secondly, as I'm in the process of transferring Carthage to OpenTK, and as Khemeia will require 3D graphics and physics, we have elected to use Unity 3D to develop it. It's pretty powerful, flexible and free to use, so it's a good choice.

Thirdly, there has been development! I've been working on designing more forms, getting the Form system transferred to Unity and adding the remaining elements to the energy system. Forms, Nodes and Links are all implemented, as are Invocations and some even have fancy effects! I've also added the maths for curved links and the resistance system which limits energy transfer across long links. In the process, I've also redesigned the Thunderstorm Form that I was unhappy with the look of and renamed it to the Ignis Caelestis (Heavenly Fire) Form.

We've also been considering more of the gameplay elements of Khemeia, in particular gamemodes and player-player interaction and have come to some interesting conclusions:

  • Khemeia necessitates objective-based play to keep the pace of the game up. We discussed the idea of a deathmatch mode and it just didn't work with the idea of Forms.
  • Players need some kind of direct attack against other players. At first I was vehemently against this, as the entire idea behind Khemeia was to prevent direct attacks. However, as it was discussed we realised that players would need some way to attack opposing players that they encounter. We agreed on a non-damaging (in order to keep to the no-direct-attacks idea) stun attack that would blind anyone nearby for a few seconds but deplete the user's energy reservoir, meaning they couldn't use the ability or be as effective at powering forms for a short while.
  • Players would need some way to communicate messages and positions with their Archmage and vice versa. As a direct position marking system would defeat the purpose of the Beacon form, we decided that only the Archmage can mark positions that only he can see, and can drop beacons for the players on the ground to see. In addition, players and the Archmage can communicate using text and/or voice, as if we didn't add these features, people would use ventrillo, teamspeak and so on to do it anyway. In effect, non-location-specific communication is private, but positions can only be communicated publicly in the game world.
As a little bonus, here's a gallery of all the art I've created thus far for Khemeia. Most of them are Form designs, but there's also a selection of element symbols, a design for the player character's robes, a Form that is serving as Khemeia's temporary logo and a stylised version of the unity logo.
Beacon Form.
Used to signal to the Archmage and other players from the ground.
Basically a magical flare.
Azoth Form. Heals all players within its area, friend or foe.

Aetherial Form. Shrouds players within its area from others.
Calcination Form. Burns all those foolish enough to enter it, friend or foe.
Redesigned Thunderstorm Form, now Ignis Caelestis. Calls down lightning on all who enter its area.
Essence Prima Form. Captures the souls of those who die within it's area and converts them into energy.
Soul Thresher Form. Captures and stores the souls of all who die within its area. Used to power other high-level Forms.
A version of the Unity 3D logo, stylised to look like a form.
Khemeia Form. Khemeia's temporary logo. Shows off the majority of design conventions common to Forms.
A selection of alchemical symbols from real-life alchemic lore. Used in creating the Form designs.
Design for the player robes.
The main colour shows the team the player is on, the trim colour shows their specialisation.