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.
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.
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)
Historically, our stance on platform support for the Starry Expanse Project has always been that Mac OS and Windows come first, and everything else is a possibility for the future. But as technology advances, so must our project. Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ll be bringing The Starry Expanse Project to a new platform – a mobile one.
We recognize that mobile platforms, particularly phones, are the way of the future. More and more games are being released for the iPhone, Android, and sometimes even Windows Phone platforms. These devices all have their pros and cons, but we have found that none of them really have the staying power, the resilience that we require of our technology.
There is, however, one platform that does meet these criteria. A powerful, flexible, mobile platform, with the strength to resist any and all competition.
We are, of course, talking about the Nokia 5110.
That’s right, folks. As of today, we are officially adding the Nokia 5110 to our lineup of supported systems. The game will be made available for the mobile platform on the same day as it’s available for Mac OS and Windows, and it will be a fully functional version of the game – not the usual crippled fare you’ll find in a mobile edition. We aren’t cutting any corners; check out some of these screencaps below, taken from our dev unit:
Keep in mind that, as with all screenshots that we post, these are a work in progress. We are aware there are some problems and glitches, so please refrain from reporting them.
We’re feeling extra generous today, so we decided to give you guys a sneak peek at another aspect of the project, one that we are asked about quite a lot: sound! For a long time now, we’ve been debating how we’re going to be handling the music in our game, whether or not to remake (or even replace) the score originally composed and performed by Robyn Miller. Well, we’ve finally reached a decision, and well…we hope you agree that we made the right one. Have a listen to a sample of the soundtrack from the upcoming Nokia 5110 edition of the Starry Expanse Project:
We are really excited about the new platform, let us know what you guys think of it! What other platforms would you like to see the game ported to?
Update: Unfortunately, development issues have forced us to rescind our support for the Nokia 5110.
Hey there – Just wanted to let you guys know that work is continuing, despite our silence. I’ve posted a couple of things to our forum in the last week, and I figured I’d repost them here. They depict (very preliminary) work on the new sky system, and some rigging work on Catherine:
We’re not dead! We haven’t given up! Thanks for continuing to believe in us!
That being said, we could really use another experienced programmer or two. We’d like help developing both the engine, and some backend tools for us to manage the project. If you’re interested in helping out (in this or any other way), just send us an e-mail, and we’ll let you know if we can use you.
We’re feeling generous, so here’s a re-shoot of the Prison Island walkthrough that was posted before. We tried to capture video from a newer build, but none of the results worked properly, so this video is from the same build as the last video was, so it lacks the newer features that we’ve completed since Mysterium. Still, it’s a much smoother demonstration of what was done at that point – and it has sound, which I think really adds to the experience.
As with before, this is very much a work in progress, particularly the sky, water, and firemarble dome.
Ok, so yes, we’ve been pretty quiet as of late, and that sucks. It’s not because we don’t like you guys, it’s not because we have given up, so stop it with all that nonsense. No, in actuality, there are a number of factors contributing to our current downtime, one being the fact that almost all of us are students. That means, of course, that we’re incredibly busy during the fall. We are still working on the project whenever we can, it’s just much slower going than it was during the summer.
There are a few other things holding us back at the moment, but in some ways, it’s a good thing. Don’t worry, everything will be fine in the end.
All that being said, here’s a little treat, to show you that we’re still alive and kicking:
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!