Going Underground - March Kandria Update

2021.03.06 13:33:35

I can't believe it's been two months already since the year started. Time moves extremely quickly these days. Anyway, we have some solid progress to show, and some important announcements to make this month, so strap in!

Overall progress

Last month was a big update with a lot of new content, particularly all the custom buildings Fred and I had put together to build the surface camp. This month involved a lot more of that, but for the first underground region. This region is still very close to the surface, so it'll be composed out of a mix of ruins of modern corporate architecture, and natural caves.

office dorms

As before, figuring out a fitting style was very challenging, even disregarding the fact that it has to be in ruins, as well. Still, I think what we put together, especially combined with Kandria's lighting system, creates a great amount atmosphere and evokes that feeling of eerie wonder that I've always wanted to hit.

Mushrooms are a big part of the ecosystem in Kandria, being the primary food source for the underground dwellers, so I couldn't resist adding giant mushrooms to the caves.


On the coding side there's been a bunch of bugfixing and general improvement going on. The movement AI can now traverse the deep underground regions seemingly without problem. Game startup speed is massively improved thanks to some caching of the movement data, and NPCs can now climb ropes and use teleporters when navigating.

We've also spent some time working on the combat again, adding some extra bits that, while seemingly small, change the feel quite a lot. Attacks now have a cooldown that forces you to consider the timing, and inputs are no longer buffered for the entire duration of an animation, which eliminates the feeling of lag that was prevalent before. Fred also tuned some of the player's attack animations some more and while I couldn't tell you what exactly changed, when I first tried it out I immediately noticed that it felt a lot better!

All of this just further reaffirms my belief that making a good combat system involves a ton of extremely subtle changes that you wouldn't notice at all unless you did a frame-by-frame analysis. It all lies in the intuition the system builds up within you, which makes it hard to tune. I'm sure we'll need to do more rounds of tuning like that as we progress.


Then I've also reinstated the wolf enemy that I first worked on close to a year ago. The AI is a lot simpler now, but it also actually works a lot better. It's still a bit weird though, especially when interacting with slopes and obstacles, but it does make for a nice change of pace compared to the zombie enemy. We'll have to see how things turn out when they're placed in the context of actual exploration and quests, though.