Acid Wizard Studio is a small, independent game dev studio from Warsaw, Poland. We are currently working on our first game, Darkwood.
Contact us at wassup@acidwizardstudio.com. If you dare.

Facebook Twitter Forums

Alpha 3

19 December 2014 by Acid Wizard

alpha3_02a
Alpha 3 is out! The major changes are:

Consequences of death

From now on, dying means: dropping your inventory at the place you have been killed, and waking up somewhere in the biome where your current hideout is. This may sound easy, but in the later biomes returning to the place where you have died is sometimes very tricky.

Extracting essence

Mushrooms in the woods are more plentiful, but only certain rare kinds can be cooked for essence. This allows for bigger “trap” areas with a reward for successfully navigating them.

Things that can be cooked will rot after a certain amount of time after they have been picked up. Where do you find essence, you ask? Well…

The night
alpha3_a

During the night, you will not only see creatures, but also mutated plants. You will need to be on the lookout for them if you want to harvest their essence!

Light now plays a bigger role, as staying in the shadows for too long will be a bad idea, so better fill up your generator before it gets dark!

Sound

You will need to pay much more attention to the sound you generate from now on. This means interacting with doors, moving objects, barricading etc. will bring attention to your location. This will be very important during the night, as you do not want to alert anyone to your presence.

AI changes

Stealth is harder and easier at the same time. If you are reckless, you will easily get spotted. But if you keep a low profile, you will be able to sneak through areas. Enemies will also be more forgiving in letting you know if they are alerted to your presence.

Minor:

New stuff:
- Added a popup notifying you about entering a biome.
- [Experimental] If you are inside a location, you will be able to see it marked on the map.
- You can pick up dropped items from the ground if you are inside your inventory.
- When quitting the game, you will get notified about the time of the last save.

Changes:
- Player will no longer receive damage when waking up.
- Changed balance of gasoline for generators.
- The mushrooms you get after drinking from the well depend on what hideout you are currenly in.
- Health / stamina potions have been removed (in favour of skills). This is temporary, as we need to find other ways to upgrade these stats.

Fixes:
- Loot no longer respawns after time in some locations.
- Electronic game is now properly added to journal.
- Inventory icons no longer disappear.
- Fixed having multiple items selected on hotbar after  death.
- Fixed desynchronizing aim indicator.
- It’s no longer possible to appear outside of a underground location when travelling to it.
- Fixed bug causing the pathfinding grid to get corrupted after loading.
- Fixed issues with reloading the game after dying in a underground location.
- Fixed several issues with mimics.
- Fixed weird behaviour with Wolf when traveling to Doctor’s house again.
- Fixed ambient music sometimes cutting off.
- Fixed map and poison overlays intersecting each other.
- Fixed the fog in a few locations.
- Fixed disappearing enemies in front of the player.
- Added missing sounds to some furniture.
- Fixed not getting reward after dream if your inventory was full.
- Fixed rabbits being blind sometimes.
- Fixed generator not emitting light if it was previously drained from fuel.
- Fixed a gap in the trees at the Doctor’s house, enabling the player to leave the location’s bounds into the void.
- Fixed being able to drink from the well even though it was day.
- Fixed some issues with loading underground locations.
- Optimized loading meshes.
- Fixed information popup appearing in main menu.

We’re very happy with this update, as it fixes some major issues with how leveling / dying worked before, and lays a foundation for really cool nights. It also introduces some new issues in the long run (like gasoline being a limited resource), but nothing that can’t be mended with future updates.

This will probably be one of the last updates containing major changes to gameplay mechanics. After we fix a few more big things that we’re unhappy with, we can finally move on to adding more content and polishing existing mechanics, yay!

The Acid Wizard

Share Button

Leave a comment | Categories: Uncategorized

What’s coming in Alpha 3?

09 December 2014 by Acid Wizard

Greetings!

Alpha 3′s main focus will be making nights exciting again! To do so, we had to make some big changes to other mechanics.

Consequences of death

Dying in normal mode means losing some of your skills, your currently held mutated items, and damaging all of the other items in your inventory. This sucks, as the mutated plants which you use to level up don’t grow back, which can be quite frustrating when you lose a few perks and can’t really regain them after some time. We could of course make them grow back after some time, but that would encourage boring grind.

So, in Alpha 3, dying means: dropping your inventory at the place you have been killed, and waking up somewhere in the wilderness at the beginning of the next day. You lose your belongings, but can regain them if you get back to the spot where you have died. Sound too easy? Not quite, as the time skip ties to the other mechanics:

Extracting essence

Mushrooms in the woods are more plentiful, but only certain rare kinds can be cooked for essence. This allows for bigger “trap” areas with a reward for successfully navigating them.

Things that can be cooked will rot after a certain amount of time after they have been picked up. Where do you find essence, you ask? Well…

The night

Currently, nights can be very intense at the beginning, but the excitement fades as you figure out how to defend yourself with no risks (like hiding in a corner behind a wardrobe). We have been experimenting quite a lot on how to overcome this, and came up with a solution that we think is pretty cool, and lets you play your way.

From now on, mutated flora and fauna will start appearing in the night, in different form. You will need to be on the lookout for them if you want to harvest their essence. You can still hide behind that wardrobe if you’re scared, but you will be missing out on some precious essence!

Image by Sir Smide II

Light now plays a bigger role, as staying in the shadows for too long will be a bad idea, so better fill up your generator before it gets dark!

We have also did some adjustments for the nights to be more fair, making them less random and based more on your actions, which leads us to…

Sound

You will need to pay much more attention to the sound you generate from now on. This means interacting with doors, moving objects, barricading etc. will bring attention to your location. This will be very important during the night, as you do not want to alert anyone to your presence.

AI changes

Stealth is harder and easier at the same time. If you are reckless, you will easily get spotted. But if you keep a low profile, you will be able to sneak through areas. Enemies will also be more forgiving in letting you know if they are alerted to your presence.

 

We will be entering the testing phase as soon as we balance out some of the new features, which should be this week. This update will probably be one of the last major alphas to bring big changes to mechanics, after which we will finally be able to move on to adding more content!

Share Button

3 comments | Categories: Uncategorized

Alpha 2 is live!

30 October 2014 by Acid Wizard

alpha2

Rejoice, mortals! Alpha 2 is here, just in time for Halloween! With it, changes big and small!

This update focuses mainly on a huge rewrite of some of our back-end systems, meaning they are now more optimized, less buggy and allow for some cool stuff to happen.

Highlights:

Brand new world

We basically rewrote the whole world generation system. The main thing you will notice is that the biomes are now grouped together, and getting through to the next biome requires a trip through a “gate” location. Borders are much more interesting now, and aren’t only impenetrable walls.

New map of a sample world.

New map of a sample world.

This system allows for a lot of new cool stuff. We’re tingling in excitement just thinking of the possibilities in future updates! For now, the benefits of this approach are mostly visible through better pacing (easier in the beginning, harder at the end of chapter 1), more rewarding exploration, more interesting navigation, and a better sense of progression.

Even though we optimized the generation script quite a lot, the new world is now about 50% larger than the previous one, and in result creating a new one takes more or less the same amount of time. This will of course be optimized in the future. Some parts of the procedural generation system are turned off for now to avoid some bugs.

Modified combat

Combat in Darkwood is supposed to be slow, tactical, but lethal. It may be unintuitive at first, as you can’t spam attacks like in every other game with this perspective, but it is a lot of fun when you get used to it. We worked on it in this update, to make it more responsive, but also made the Secondary Attack and Dodge skills available right from the start.

Optimizations and fixes

There are a ton of optimizations to pretty much everything. Less stuttering, better performance! We also fixed most of the reported bugs (including the dreaded Mac crash and disappearing Wolfman!). However, a lot of new features were added, which still need to be polished.

And also:

- New hideouts! Nights are different based on the hideout you are sleeping in.
- New content to be found in the wilderness.
- Wood is more plentiful, but to make use of it, you need to convert it to planks with the new Saw object.
- New shader for trees.
- Rebalances to loot and enemies.
- And a lot of other smaller (or secret) changes!

We are pleased how these changes add to the game, and hope you feel the same! This is hopefully the last BIG rewrite of any of the systems, and we can return to more frequent updates.

We’d also like to thank all of our amazing testers for their hard work! <3

Remember, the Acid Wizard sees all, so post your feedback on our forums or the Steam forums!

Share Button

5 comments | Categories: Uncategorized

Upcoming features in Alpha 2

16 September 2014 by Acid Wizard

I’ve been trying to write a post about our impressions from the alpha launch for quite some time now, but it’s proving pretty difficult as my thoughts go running all over the place, so in the meantime here’s a rundown on what we’re working on:

Optimization

Alpha 2 brings a remade inventory, world generation and culling systems. As cool as it may sound, these changes are unfortunately (apart from the world generation, which is detailed below) only visible in the back-end, namely in better stability, memory management, removed stuttering and framerate drops, and faster world generation.

Pacing, difficulty curve

While Darkwood is supposed to be a constant struggle for survival, we’ve seen too many players confused about what to do at two moments in the game: at the very beginning after the prologue, and sometime later when advancing through the storyline means a visit to the dark, more dangerous parts of the woods.

Darkwood’s world is currently totally open, with fluid borders between the different biomes, meaning you can find yourself in a mutated forest totally by accident, which is a VERY bad idea at the start of the game (resulting in a confusing, painful death).

We hope to address these issues with a new way of generating the world, making the biomes more distinct, forcing you to work to advance to the harder (but more rewarding) ones, giving you a better sense of progression.

Boring wilderness

We’re working on adding more content to the parts of the world between the locations, so that they’re more varied. Loot gathering will also be less reliant on pure chance to find chests, bodies or whatnot.

Combat

Fighting in Darkwood is made to be slow and tactical, but lethal. Given it’s perspective, the combat system is unintuitive for a lot of people and takes time to get used to, to the point where we’ve seen quite a few posts on the forums stating that combat is “broken”. We have no problems with it and can defeat any enemy in the current version of the game with the weakest weapon, but we had a lot of time to get accustomed to it (we designed it, duh), unlike the first time players, which get torn to shreds by a wild dog because they haven’t familiarised themselves with how fighting works in the game. Alpha 2 will have gentler enemy pacing and improvements to responsiveness and balance.

That about sums it up! Sadly we don’t have a ETA yet on the update, so stay tuned.

Share Button

3 comments | Categories: Uncategorized

← Older posts