It’s back-to-school season here at the Starry Expanse Project! Do you remember the rules of Gehn? If not, pull up a bench and we’ll teach you a thing or two.
First, our lord and master Gehn will address the class, via his special holograph pedestal.
Next, we’ll learn to count in the manner of our lord Gehn.
Feeling hungry? Maybe it’s time for a lunch break.
We don’t know about you, but we sure learned a lot today.
It’s worth mentioning that clearly, the Village Schoolhouse is a work in progress. These are screenshots taken from within Maya (not Unreal), and are in no way representative of final graphics. We’re pretty excited about how it’s coming along, though!
We’d like to share with you another object that we are currently developing – the village submarine, one of the most iconic elements in Riven. Because the textures for the object are not complete, we don’t have it set up in UDK quite yet – these are work-in-progress renders from Maya.
The interior of the sub highlights one of the more interesting challenges inherent in the project – what do the areas that are never seen in the original game, but will see in our game, look like? In this case, the area inside the submarine behind the seat has been imagined by a member our hard-working art team, as it is impossible to turn around in the original game. You can see his work in this cutaway shot:
As work steadily progresses on the Jungle Island village, we thought we’d share a very pretty shot of the area.
Keeping the Jungle Island content train rolling along, here’s the next area we’re ready to show off – the prison catwalk.
This is the pathway that leads to and from the prison cell in the Jungle Island village, right next to the gallows. Here’s a couple of views of the model overlaid on top of the original images it was based on.
Meanwhile, another artist has been working on the doorway and interior of the prison itself. While we won’t have the two pieces put together until they’re both complete, we can show you a work-in-progress demonstration of the door opening.
We’ll keep you updated as this area progresses.
While we continue to work on the Village Basin of Jungle Island, we thought we’d share a wallpaper that we put together to celebrate our work so far. We made this one at 4K, so it should be able to scale down to most resolutions gracefully.
Click the image to preview it, or click here to download the full size!
In the past, we’ve shown you bits and pieces from almost every area in Riven. We kicked things off with an early version of Temple Island. We spent two years demoing Prison Island, and last year we showed you an area from Survey Island as well as a rough layout of Boiler Island. Our tactic thus far has been to work mainly on small areas of the game, breaking Riven into bite-size chunks that we could easily achieve.
Still, there are a couple of major areas of the game that we’ve avoided in the past, and one sticks out like a sore thumb.
Notice anything missing?
Well, for Mysterium this year, we decided to throw our old strategy of playing things safe to the wind, and set about creating Jungle Island. And really, what better way to put our new engine through its paces than by throwing the single most complicated area of the entire game at it?
Our efforts are being concentrated primarily in the village basin, where there are a few different areas being worked on at once. We’re going to keep you guys up to date as things progress, but we thought we’d start the show & tell off with one of the most iconic objects from Riven, the village hut.
It’s worth mentioning that these are screenshots from within UDK. We’re kind of in love with the way UDK handles light and shadows, and we’re pretty sure you will be, too.
We have all 38 huts modeled and in place, and now that the materials for the first hut are complete, it will be a simple feat to put the finishing touches on the others.
We intend to continue with small updates like these throughout the development of the village basin area, so stay tuned!
We’ve been pretty silent since Mysterium, and while we have our reasons (big things in the works!), we realize that it’s not cool to leave you guys hanging like this. So as a kind of apology for staying silent for so long, we put together a couple of wallpapers for you guys. We’re providing them at 1920×1080, they should scale down nicely to other sizes.
Enjoy! We’ll have more updates…eventually! We are still working hard, we promise.
(And we know that the D’ni on the elevator is still wrong. We’ve been so preoccupied with other things, correcting the text slipped our mind)
We just passed the 95% mark on our journey to the first funding goal, $2000. That means we now have over $1900 raised! To celebrate, here’s another sneak peek at the journal system, this time with Catherine’s journal. Remember that these are not necessarily final graphics or animations. It’s not in-game footage, just a prototype.
Update: Here’s the Prison Book, as well:
Here’s another not-in-game prototype of an element from Riven. This time, it’s Atrus’s journal. Enjoy!
In other news, we just passed the 90% mark on our journey towards our first funding goal. We’re almost there, guys!
Note that we’ll of course continue accepting donations after the first goal is reached, and the more donations we get, the faster we can work. Just some food for thought!
Ok, ok, ok. You asked for it, we promised it, here it finally is. In-game footage from Prison Island, circa Mysterium 2011. This is a good example of what the game looks like at the moment, though not at all a good example of the final level of quality we’re aiming for.
Unfortunately, due to a quirk in our video-capture solution, the recording came out a little jerky. This is especially noticeable in the cursor. We’ll try to fix this in future videos, but for now, just remember that the actual game plays nice and smoothly.
Be sure to see the video in HD!
More to come soon!
Edit: We appreciate the comments and critiques, everybody, but please keep in mind that this is a work in progress. We’re constantly working on making the game look even better than it does here, in fact it’s mainly what we’re focused on right now. We’re taking your comments into consideration, along with our own plans for improvement.
Edit 2: We’ve re-rendered this video so it’s smoother, and it includes sound and more! Check it out!