One of the most unique levels of Rock of Ages were the starting levels that were set in the Greek art period. In ROA2 a few levels will also be set in ancient Greece, but for the sequel we wanted to achieve a more authentic look and feel to the Greek art seen in vases and ornaments of the time.
WIP Greek Level - Rock of Ages 2
The main problem with Greek art is that it is very flat and “2D”, consisting mostly of good use of silhouettes and designs to create an image that is usually monochromatic in color.
In the original Rock of Ages there was a very distinct separation from the foreground and background in our levels, where the “skybox” was using a very illustrated art style, but the main environment was made of more realistic rock textures. The main challenge for us here has been to match the background and main environment using a non-photorealistic rendering style that simulates Greek art.
Greek Level - Rock of Ages 1
A game that excels at doing Greek art is Apotheon (which is awesome and you should check out). But in our case we had to do something similar in 3D. For this we came up with a pretty “old school” technique that used to be implemented in games to try to simulate a cartoon shader.
We basically create geometry with two layers, where the second layer has all the polygons of the base mesh overlapping but inverted (facing inwards) to simulate the stroke effect for the geometry. With a shader we control how much we “push” the reversed polygons based on the distance to the camera so that we can keep the stroke intensity consistent for all the image. The base material is unlit, so basically we have an extremely performance friendly implementation that has the following benefits:
Lightmapping is almost irrelevant (can reduce memory because lightmaps aren't really necessary)
Very basic textures / materials are needed (the effect is given by geometry rather than textures – no normal-mapping, specular textures, etc).
Despite having to double the geometry for the stroke effect, the models themselves are pretty low-poly since you only care about the silhouette of the object.
Here are a few more examples of how the art style is turning out using this technique:
Click to enlarge
So, I hope you guys enjoyed this brief insight about the game development process of Rock of Ages 2. We will have more blog posts like this over time as well as articles about gameplay, mechanics, new features and more. Stay tuned!
Hey Rock of Ages fans! Continuing our development posts, on this occasion we'll be looking at the catapult and inspect what tweaks and changes have been applied to the basic shooter unit.
In the original Rock of Ages, the catapult was perhaps one of the most important defensive units because of its great effectiveness when used in larger clusters and its low cost. We're making sure that these benefits are part of the new design, but we still wanted to do some tinkering.
One of the catapult's limitations was its inability to target boulders outside of its view cone, so we added the possibility for these to rotate left or right so they can still seek for boulders that get past them.
Now those wheels have a purpose!
For best effectiveness players should still try to place catapults facing the boulder path because the rotating action can take a few seconds. Whenever the catapult no longer senses a nearby boulder it will return to its original orientation.
Old vs new
Here's a comparison between the old and the new design. The areas covered with colored cloth will display the player's team color selection.
Original RoA catapult on the left. Bigger and Boulder catapult on the right.
Hope everyone enjoyed this update. We'll continue inspecting many other units in future posts to come, so stay tuned for more updates!
Here are a few more screenshots of the new catapult. Click to enlarge.
Hi everyone. Now that the cat is out of the bag, we want to start sharing and elaborating on the new additions and changes we are working on for the sequel, so we will be posting regular updates that include information on new features, comparisons with the original title, etc.
In this first entry we'd like to talk about one of these new features, which is the ability to personalize your team through colors and banner icons.
After developing the first title, we noticed that customization was something that was cool, but very limited since players could only select boulder skins and avatars. In the sequel, we wanted to expand on this concept by allowing players to customize not only your avatars, but also your defensive units. Therefore, we have enabled the possibility to choose from a list of banners and colors to personalize your army.
Here's an example of different outputs you can obtain in the game:
*Customization allows for an interesting variety of alternatives.
We're making sure that all units feature 'color coded' areas that can display your team colors and banners. Players can select from two color slots to determine their team color and banner color.
Boulders will also display team colors, should the player decide to customize these with different paint patterns (more on this in a future post).
For banner icons we'll offer a variety of possibilities. Here is a small preview of some of the icons that will be selectable to customize your team:
*Preview of our banner 'masks'. We will feature a much larger diversity of icons in the final game.
Finally, we're currently looking at the possibility of including more options than simple flat colors for the color picker. We'd love to have available some extra options like gold and silver paint. This can add a really cool look to some customizations.
Hope everyone enjoyed this first sneak peek of the new features in Rock of Ages II. Stay tuned for the next blog post where we'll be discussing other improvements about this exciting title.
Rock of Ages II is a game that improves on all aspects of the original. Up to 4 players can battle in crazy boulder mayhem. New impressive art periods, more historical characters and the funniest story clips we've ever made. All rendered with highly improved destruction / physics and effects - powered by our first Unreal Engine 4 game.
We will have regular updates about the game's progress posted in the Rock of Ages II community hub, so stay tuned for more as we refine and develop the game further.
Hi guys. Now that Abyss Odyssey has been out for some time we wanted to share this previously unreleased footage that shows how the game was first envisioned in its conceptual phase.
Some of the final features, like procedural generated environments, hadn't been planned yet, but we had in mind some unique features that were later discarded, such as immortal avatars and mountable exploding horses .
Check out the video below to see what Abyss Odyssey looked like in the beginning (warning: stiff animations detected ):
Hope everyone enjoys this rare footage!
Oh, and don't forget that we're recruiting fans at the ACE Team Steam group, so if you haven't joined already follow this link:
We are opening up our official Steam group - The new central hub for reaching the community and fans of ACE games! This will be where we will be updating everyone about new developments, surprises, events and everything ACE Team related.
To celebrate this occasion, we will be giving away 10 Steam keys for any of our titles in a random lottery*.
Follow the link below and join to become a part of the ACE Team community!
ACE Team's next game; The Deadly Tower of Monsters is being revealed for the first time today. Our title will be present (with a playable demo) at this year's E3. You can check out the announcement trailer and official website here:
Rock Paper Shotgun has honored our debut game: Zeno Clash, by selecting it as one of the 50 best first person shooters on PC of all time. It is truly an honor to be in a list among such legendary titles.
The community progression of Abyss Odyssey (PC) has reached the second phase of the Warlock!
The amount of damage on the seal represents the amount of progress the community has achieved in reaching the next phase. The first seal has been broken! When the seal breaks completely new elements will be introduced in to the abyss.
Note: If you want to receive updated reports of the community progress directly we suggest you join the Official Game Group or follow us on Twitter / Facebook. Links are provided below.
This is a great place to see the fighting engine of the game at its best. The combo potential has exceeded our expectations. We thank all the participants for showing off the game being played at such a high level.
This thread might become useful later on when the online vs mode launches.