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Development Info Underrail: Infusion Dev Log #4: Laying the Foundations


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Jan 28, 2011
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Tags: Stygian Software; Underrail: Infusion

Styg has published the first development update for Underrail: Infusion in almost two years. Turns out the team is still developing the game's new engine. There's not much in the way of content yet and unfortunately release is still a ways off. The update does describe some of the features they're working on now, though. Namely, a new dialogue editor and AI system along with an integrated scripting language to support them, as well as a revamped 3D renderer. I quote:

As we promised with the last Underrail dev log, since February we've been focused exclusively on the Infusion project. Here's a little update on how that's going.

We're still ways off from having anything resembling an actual game, as I'm still working intently on the engine and the tools. Much of the old engine is either being changed or scrapped and replaced and it's going to take some time before we can get the new stuff operational.

I'm going to give you now a quick overview of some of the engine work done, and then perhaps we'll get into more detail about these various systems at a later point. A quick note for those of you who have grown accustomed to our standard Underrail (1) dev logs which are usually centered around some upcoming update or a specific set of features: these in turn will be a bit more free-form and will cover whatever we're focusing on currently. They are there not to get you hyped or present you with a polished product preview, but rather to just give you some insight into the game's development and assure you're it's actually taking place.

Firstly, I redid the entire dialog engine and editor and we're now sporting a neat flowchart editor instead of the old tree-based one. I've also added some new technical features that are going to allow us to more easily write more robust dialogs.

Secondly, I've decided to redo the AI from scratch. This time, I'm implementing it as a full-fledge state machine that I'll actually be able to debug properly. We want to add all kinds of proactive and reactive behaviors (inside and outside combat) to our NPCs and to do that we need a robust system such as this. I'm going to go into more details about this in some future dev log.

Next, for the purpose of the first two features, I implemented a simple scripting language that we can use to quickly embed code within our systems without having to write C# functions in Visual Studio. This should make the development much more agile in some areas.

Finally, there are some visual features that have had to be revamped, such as the 3D model renderer. We're now using physics based rendering. I've post any new character renders right now, though I will leave you with that beauty at the end.

I don't have any new fancy environments to show you either, and actually we have regressed with the amount of environmental assets that we have, as we increased the sprite resolution in the meantime and need to re-render the old stuff. This was a necessary step in future-proofing the game, so by the time it comes out, it won't be completely outscaled by monitor resolutions like with our first game.

I'll quickly mention that projectile and particle systems are operational, but are currently lacking (any) content.

That's it for now. I haven't given you much content to comment on, but let us know your thoughts anyway. I've created new General section for discussing Underrail: Infusion on the forums, so feel free to post any thoughts and the like there, as well.​

Well, it's better than nothing. We'll see more of Infusion next year, I assume.

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