Dev Update: New Points of Interests, New Weapons, Combat Changes, and More!


Howdy everyone!

It's been a busy few weeks over at Lavaboots and we've got a lot of fun new changes we want to talk about. First however we just want to say thanks to everyone following the game and for your feedback and support. Games cannot be made without their supportive communities and we feel like we have one of the best.

Alright let's dive into some new changes!

New Points of Interests


One of the main areas of focus right now is still adding tons of new points of interests, quests, puzzles, and just things for you to do in general. We've got the world pretty much built from an environmental standpoint, but now we're going through and adding content for you to experience. This week we finished adding most points of interest to the desert biome and now we are moving on to the forest. Some of the points of interest you can expect to find are merchants, bandit camps, churches, caves, abandoned houses, towns, and a lot of secret places as well. While some areas are shorter than others, you'll come across some places that are full of intricate puzzles, challenges, and loot! 

New Weapons and Clothes


In addition to working on things to do in the world, we also want there to be fun things to loot! Looting is a huge aspect of our game and we'll have the traditional RPG rarity system as well as item levels for loot. Over the past couple of weeks we worked on creating three new weapon types: the double barrel shotgun, the rifle, and repeater. Each gun feels very different and adds a unique playstyle whether it be up close and personal, or taking enemies out from a distance. We've also updated the hand models to look better with the new weapons!

On top of that we also finished getting our new clothing models implemented as well as hair and beard models. While this is something we will likely be expanding on in the future, we wanted a decent base of clothing and hair styles so you can customize your character and feel unique. This also helps us create more varied NPCs and enemies throughout the world. 


Combat Changes


As I stated earlier we've been adding points of interest to world. We've also been adding enemies and enemy camps. A lot time has been spent deciding what level we want enemies to be in certain areas and things of that nature. In addition to that we've worked on new enemy types and unique loot drops. 

Also we've done some work on new behaviors such as dodging. Enemies can sometimes sidestep shots or spell attacks now. Also there are new enemy types such as shotgun enemies that will act differently and be more aggressive. 

Additional Changes

We've also been doing a ton of work on other small things such as performance improvements, UI and icon updates, and under the hood tweaks. We want to have a big world full of stuff to do but we also want it to be a seamless and smooth experience. As such we are working hard on making sure the game runs well and loads everything smoothly. 



Thank you all so much again for reading and as always we would love to hear your feedback!

Dev Update: World Building, Quests, Puzzles, New Weapons and Clothes

Howdy folks!

Just wanted to go over real quick what we've been working on over here at Lavaboots Studio for the past few weeks. Our main focus has been on world building in general. This involves a lot of things but mainly adding content in the world such as places to discover, and also adding enemies and other characters.


World Building


First and foremost we want our games to be about exploration and adventure. This means during the world building process we are putting a lot of time into making fun and unique places to discover. We're adding in churches, houses of different sizes, bandit camps, caves, towns, and a lot of other unique points of interests. We want you to be rewarded for exploration and constantly find new and exciting content. Our focus right now is finishing adding content to the desert zone, and then we'll be moving on to the plains and forest zone. While each zone has been mostly finished in terms of the environmental details, right now we're adding all of buildings, NPCs, and things of that nature. 


Quests and Puzzles



Another big focus of ours recently has been adding in fun quests and challenging puzzles. A lot of places you discover might have some kind of quest associated with it, or a puzzle of some sort that you have to complete. In addition to that we are also scattering secrets all over the place, so be on the lookout and never assume you've found all there is.

New Weapons and Clothes



Also part of the world building process is adding in new items! As I've said before we want you to be rewarded for exploring and defeating tough enemies, and so we are creating new items for you to earn. This last couple weeks we added a couple new weapon types, including a rifle. We also have been adding in new clothing variations for our NPC's and for you to wear as well. 



Over the next few months we'll have our heads buried in the sand (pun intended) trying to finish world building and getting the game as polished as we can for an early access release. We'll be announcing more information soon on an expected release date. 

Thanks for reading and as always we would love your feedback! 



Dev Updates: New Quests, Points of Interests, Secrets, and New Items


Howdy everyone!

Over the last couple of weeks we've started to turn our focus into adding content to the world and the systems required to make that as efficient as possible. Our main focus in the beginning was getting most of the environmental details of the world built, as well as most underlying mechanics needed to play the game. Now that we've completed most of that, we are starting to add fun stuff to actually do in the world!

Obviously we don't want to show you everything as we want you to explore for yourself, but here's a quick look at just some of the content we've been adding.

Quests


The general gameplay loop of Wild West and Wizards will be exploring, discovering new places, fighting enemies, and getting new loot and leveling up your character. A big part of that process is having quests and things to do. So we've started working on small questlines to give you some sense of objective in the world. One of our goals with quests is to have a lot of unique quests that don't always end the way you think they will. While some quests will require you to obtain items for someone, we want to generally avoid repetitive fetch quests. 

Over the past couple of weeks we've implemented numerous new quests that you'll discover along your adventure. Most of these are optional but will reward you if you decide to follow down that path. 

Points of Interest


A big part of world design is adding in fun and interesting points of interest. We've got a vast world for you to explore and so we want it to be full of unique and rewarding places. We are focused primarily at the moment on fleshing out the desert zone and adding enemy camps, houses, churches, cabins, caves, and more for you to discover. These points of interest will usually contain some kind of quest, lore, mini-challenge, or something relevant for the player to do. Some are small pieces of content while others are more involved and might lead to a long quest line. 

Secrets


As we talked about earlier, there will be a lot of points of interest for you to discover throughout your adventure. A lot of these places will contain secrets. Some will be easy to find, but some will be very difficult and as such, rewarding. When you are exploring, we want you to really look in every nook and cranny to make sure you've found everything. You never know when a secret key might be laying around or a safe hidden in the wall. 


New Items


We've also started working on adding new items such as weapons and armor for you to loot. This part of the process will be pretty involved as it will require constant balancing and reiteration to get everything right. Items have level requirements and so we have to do a lot of balancing between giving the player content they can use, and also keeping challenging content rewarding. Overall this process is going well and we're excited to add tons of fun loot to the world! 


Thanks for reading and as always we would love to hear your feedback! 


Dev Update: Music, Bind Stones, NPC Work, and More!


Howdy everyone!

Since our last dev blog we've been focusing mainly on polishing up the first area of the game. We want the first few hours of your experience to not only be fun, but introduce you to the various mechanics of the game. So we've been working hard on getting all those mechanics working well so you can play through the core gameplay loop.

Here's a look at some of the content we've been working on in that regard.


Music


The Wild West wouldn't be complete without some western music. The last couple of weeks we began implementing music for combat, exploration, and even boss music. Music adds a lot to the atmosphere and feeling of the game and makes it even more fun to fight a boss or explore the world. These are systems we're still working on but they are well on their way to being complete. 


Bind Stones


This week we added something called a bind stone into the game. Bind stones can generally be found at towns and act as a place to bind your location, as well as level up your character. Upon death you will return to the last bind stone you activated. You can also use return to town spells to go back to your last bind stone. A big part of our gameplay loop is going out and exploring, and then returning town to sell resources, upgrade gear, and level your character. Bind stones help us achieve that in a more natural way. 

World Building and Loot


We are also still in the process of doing detailed environmental world building. This means we're combing through the desert and loading it full of rocks, cacti, bushes, trees, and so forth. We're well on our way to being done with this and so far it's turning out great! The desert feels dense and full which makes it a lot more fun to explore. 

This past week we also added in some lootable containers throughout the world. You can now find barrels, crates, bags, and even some safes scattered throughout the desert. Any of these you see can be looted and often contain sellable resources or some kind of utility items like bullets or bandages.

NPC Work

We've also been recently working on fleshing out the first town. We've added various merchants and people you can talk to. Some of them might even tell you some secrets! Right now there is a sheriff, doctor, clothing merchant, general merchant, blacksmith, bartender, innkeeper, banker, and some residents that walk around town. In addition to working on merchant inventories we've also been writing and implementing NPC dialogue so that you can talk to most of the characters you encounter.  



As always thanks for reading and we'd love to hear your feedback! 

Dev Update: Talents, Classes, and World Building


Howdy!

I hope everyone had a happy holiday season and a good new years! We are excited to be heading into 2019 with Wild West and Wizards. This year we plan on at least an early access release so we're excited for everyone to get their hands on the game and to explore the Wild West!

Let me go over quickly some of the things we've been working on recently.

Talents and Classes


A major aspect of Wild West and Wizards that sets it apart is well, the wizards! We love the concept of taking fantasy and RPG elements and putting them into non-traditional settings. Because this is a important and unique aspect of our game, we want to make sure that the RPG elements really get their time to shine and that it doesn't just feel like a western with fantasy elements tacked on. 

One way we are doing this is by having classes and talents. We've been spending a lot of time designing classes for the game, each of which have their own talent trees. The ideas are endless but so far we've got some good concepts for about seven or eight different classes. Our goal at first is to keep it simple, and so we may only have a few classes at early access release, but we can certainly add more later. 

Classes provide a neat sense of character investment and also good replay-ability. Playing as a certain class could potentially change large aspects of the game, encouraging second and maybe even third or fourth playthroughs. 

Talents will essentially be passive skills that augment your abilities and the way you explore and combat enemies in the world. While talents will be restricted to certain classes, we are planning on keeping abilities open to any class. So most spells and such will be found or earned throughout the game and not particularly restricted based on your class. But talents will be a way to invest your character class and augment the type of abilities you might want to use. 

World Building


As always we are still working on world building and trying to make the desert, plains, and forest as dense as possible. We want a world that you can get lost in and that's interesting to explore. We've recently been working on creating small paths throughout the world to provide a sense of direction if you choose. Of course you'll be able to go off the beaten path and we actually encourage it. Exploration and discover will be huge elements of the game and you'll be rewarded for doing so. 

In addition to environmental world building we've also been working fleshing out some towns and their stores, adding furnishing, NPCs, and things of that nature. 


AI and Combat


One constantly evolving area is AI animations and combat. We want combat to be fun and exciting and while we are a small team with limited skills, we still want it to look professional and polished when you encounter AI. We've been doing a lot of work tweaking animations and trying to get things to look natural and also feel good. There's still some work to do in this area but overall we are making good progress! 

Plans for the New Year

Our main focus early in development has been to get the general world built from an environmental standpoint (adding trees, rocks, bushes, and placeholders for content) and adding all the mechanics and systems needed to play the game. A lot of those mechanics include things like looting, talking to NPCs, combat, talents, leveling up, etc. We are nearing the end of having most mechanics complete, and so soon we will be moving onto the actual content stage which we are very excited about! 

This means soon we'll actually be adding in quests, placing enemies throughout the world, adding in a lot of loot and all of the balancing that comes with that, adding in discoverable buildings such as cabins, churches, abandoned shacks, etc., and fleshing out towns. It'll be a lot of work because the zones are pretty big, but we expect it to go fairly smooth and fast overall. 

In the next few months keep an eye out for more content related updates and information on early access release. 



As always thanks for reading and let us know what you think! 

Dev Update: Desert World Building, Combat Additions, Loot Changes, and More!


Howdy everyone!

Today we wanted to fill you in on what we've been working on for the past couple of weeks. Wild West and Wizards is coming along at a great pace and we feel like we are making some huge strides in the development process. Our main focus over the past few months has been finishing up the environmental aspect of world building and getting all of the base gameplay mechanics in so you can actual explore, fight enemies, and get loot. Basically we are implementing and polishing everything needed for the core gameplay loop.

Here's a look at some of the changes we've made recently!

Desert World Building


Wild West and Wizards has three zones: the desert, plains, and the forest. Each zone is pretty big and a lot of work when it comes to fleshing it out and making it feel interesting and dense. The forest and plains zones are a bit easier to do since they can have lush trees and grass, but the desert is a bit of a challenge since you need to be simultaneously open and expansive, but also feel dense and interesting from an environmental standpoint. 

Over the past couple weeks we've been going back through our initial pass on the desert and filling it in with a lot more vegetation, rocks, terrain decals, and just overall variation to make it more interesting and dense. We want there to be areas in each zone that you can get lost in. This is more challenging in the desert since it's less mountainous and more open, but we feel we are making some good progress in that area. 

Combat Additions


One of the main interactions you will have in the game is fighting enemies and bandits. Because combat is something you will be doing a lot of, we want it to feel polished and rewarding. We spent a lot of time early in development focusing on the feeling of combat from the players perspective. In other words, we did a lot of work in areas like recoil, bullet speed, camera shake, sounds, weapon bob/movement, and things of that nature. We feel that from the player's perspective combat is in a pretty good place. 

Our focus recently has been improving it from the AI perspective. This includes a lot of different things like AI behavior, animations, and what they can do. Recently we've been tweaking animations and trying to get the AI to look as smooth as possible with their actions. This is still a work in progress but we are improving in this regard. In addition to that, we've recently implemented AI abilities. In other words, bandits can now cast spells. 

We think this adds a really unique element to combat because it opens up the opportunity for enemy AI to do unique things. They may cast a shield spell, heal one another, or hurl a fireball at your face in the midst of shooting you with their revolver. 

Combat is still something we are putting a lot of work into and will likely need your feedback to nail down the balance of it even more so in the future. 


Loot Changes


We've also recently implemented some loot changes. When you kill an enemy in the game, they are drop a bag that can have various loot inside it. Now the bag will have a particle effect that represents the highest color (rarity) loot inside the bag. So if the bag has a epic purple item, it will have a particle effect that lets you know that before you loot it. 

We also added a loot window so you can choose what you want to loot, and we added the functionality to loot certain containers such as barrels and crates. 

Sounds


The past couple weeks we've also added in new sounds for the UI and NPCs. These are mostly placeholder but the functionality is in and they will be easily updated in the future. Now there are sounds for interacting with friendly NPCs, enemy grunts and death sounds, and sounds for looting and using the UI windows. 



In addition to all of what we listed above, we've also been continuing doing optimization work. Recently we added some more LOD models which helps a ton on performance, especially in places like the forest and desert where there are a lot of bushes and things of that nature. All of this optimization allows us to add a ton of content without it putting too much of a strain on performance. 


Looking forward we are planning on finishing most of the base mechanics required for the gameplay loop, wrapping up environmental world building, and then moving onto implementing actual content. Once we have the foundation solid, we can start actually implementing quests, npcs, loot, enemy camps, and other interesting places in the world. 


Thanks for reading! 


Dev Update: Caves, Rivers, AI, and Talents!


Howdy everyone!

We've got a lot of fun content we've been working on over the past couple of weeks that we'd like to share with you. Progress on the development of Wild West and Wizards is going smooth and we're very happy with where we are entering into the holidays. While we still have a ways to go in terms of polish and content, our world building, systems, and other foundational elements of the game are almost complete.

Here's a look at what we've been working on recently!


Caves



While most of your exploration time in the west will be spent above ground, we did want the option to go venture in some caves! This allows us to add a semi-dungeon element to the game. As you may already know, we want our western game to have a lot of RPG elements. A dungeon (or cave in this instance) is one step in that direction. Not all caves in the game will large and expansive, but we do want a few that you can get lost in. Many of the caves will be smaller but still provide a neat point of exploration or challenge. 

Rivers


Wild West and Wizards has three zones: the desert, plains, and the forest. We just recently added a small running river through the forest and we wanted to expand that into the plains area of the game. Over the past couple of weeks we've been working on polishing up the river and making it feel natural and look nice cutting through the plains. 

AI Work


Recently we've also been doing some more work on AI and models. We got our new male character model in so we are happy about that! In addition to that, we have added in ragdoll physics that help add a lot to the combat element of the game. We are still doing a good bit of work on polish on AI animations but we are making some good strides in this area! 

Talents


As we talked about earlier, we really want this game to feel like an RPG in many ways. In addition to having spells and abilities, you will also be able to level up and earn talents. We've started working on some of the mechanics needed to have and unlock talents in the game. This will allow for a more unique playstyle of your choosing and give you a good way to progress your character. 



In addition to all those things we've also been doing a lot of optimization work, bug fixing, and more world building. As always thanks for reading and stay tuned for more good content updates coming soon!