Posted by Dmitriy Gorbachev, Mar 21 2017, 04:22 PM in Development
Level comparison: Bologna vs L'Aquila
Hey guys. Apologizing here again for the lack of updates. The recent Game Developers Conference trip has generated a lot of interesting developments regarding our upcoming projects and there's also been some cool new stuff happening with Rock of Ages 2 that we'll be sharing later. Small team here and so much to do as usual...
On this occasion I'll be sharing our new take on the Renaissance level that features impressive jumps.
Bologna on the left (Rock of Ages 2), L'Aquila on the right (Rock of Ages).
Unlike Scotland vs. Wallachia, where we essentially revamped the same layout, for this particular map we wanted to bring back an extensive slope that ends in a huge leap, which was characteristic from the L'Aquila level from the first title. The concept behind the level was cool, but we weren't so happy with the layout, so we decided that instead of modifying it we'd completely redesign the circuit.
Featuring a section where you can gain a considerable amount of speed that culminates in a big ramp was the main idea behind this level. In the original game, the L'Aquila level didn't technically feature a ramp since the area that holds the giant bull accidentally served to propel the boulder in to the sky.
Above: Rock of Ages2. Below: Rock of Ages.
The first noticeable change is the amount of ramps featured in the new level. If the concept is fun, why limit it to a single time for every descent? In Bologna players will have to traverse through a series of giant slides, each featuring a large jump at the end of the path.
Something else we decided to change is the defensive unit tiling. The center area which features a stream of water does not allow you to build there, so players can always gather speed during the slopes. Defenses will be required to be placed on the borders of the circuit. However, descending through the stream will slightly affect your speed, allowing players that risk the path on the sides to gain an advantage.
Our first tests with this new level were designed so that players could cover a long distance by simply rolling off a ramp after having reached maximum speed. However, one of the things that has changed in the new game is that boulders cover less distance when jumping, (less than in the original Rock of Ages). The configuration difference seems small in a regular jump, but on a giant ramp like this it was clear that the boulders were not covering as much distance as we wanted. Thus, we decided to include a form of propulsion to enhance the jump at the end of each slope.
To the skies!
We really missed the giant cannons from the DaVinci and Cherub bosses from the first game, so this seemed like an ideal scenario to bring these back. At the end of each slope the player must aim at the barrel of the cannon to get blasted through the air and reach the next platform. Total speed is still taken in to account, so if the player blasts through the cannon at a speed that is not sufficient he still won't cover the distance.
Note: It's not accidental that the DaVinci giant statue from the first game is featured again in this level (did you miss it from the previous screenshot?)
So what happens if you miss the cannon or don't gain enough momentum when reaching the cannon? The level is designed like a giant aqueduct with lower levels, so players that don't cover the distance during the leap of faith (or "blast of faith"?), will fall to the bottom level where there's a trampoline at the end.
Pretty sure there were aqueducts that looked just like this in ancient Rome...
The trampoline was designed so that the jump is not mandatory, but taking this path will make you lose valuable time.
And that's it for this latest blog post! Hope everyone is looking forward to playing this level which has been very fun to design and test. Stay tuned for more developments coming up next.
Follow ACE Team:
Posted by Dmitriy Gorbachev, Feb 20 2017, 02:08 PM
Game Developers Conference
Hi guys, if anyone is at San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference (the week of the 27th), Edmundo (art director) and Andres Bordeu (game designer) will be around. In case someone would like to stop by and chat with these crazy devs. We can go grab a beer or something. You are invited!
Note: We can later coordinate the specific location and time if there is quorum.
Posted by Dmitriy Gorbachev, Jan 27 2017, 04:07 PM in Development
Level comparison: Scotland vs Wallachia
Hi guys. Sorry for the delay for this latest update. Starting a new year generally has us busy with a bunch of things and while many of you may be enjoying a nice cool winter, here in Santiago it feels like a furnace outside, which doesn't help too much. But don't worry; we're still hard at work making sure the game lives up to its potential!
Following our regular development blog posts this time we'll be looking at how we've redesigned one of the most characteristic levels from the first game and re-imagined it for the sequel.
Scotland on the left (Rock of Ages 2), Wallachia on the right (Rock of Ages). Same level, re-imagined.
When we started developing the sequel we decided we wanted to bring back some of the more competitive and fun levels featured in the first game. Most of the levels in the new game are still brand new, but there were a couple of older designs that we thought were worth rescuing, and this is one of those cases.
In the following segments we'll explain what changes we did to improve the existing design and how that should translate in to a better gameplay experience.
Note: In the original game you have to fight Dracula at this point. Even though the level layout looks quite similar, we've decided that this level is now located in Scotland. Why? Just because. 40% less historically accurate, right? Any ideas who you'll get to face here?
In all of the levels in the original Rock of Ages, the track mirroring is split at the boulder launching area, having both adversaries looking in opposite directions. We thought it wasn't very fun to start by having you give your back to your enemy, so we've tried to set up starting points that are facing each other.
Above: Rock of Ages. Below: Rock of Ages 2. Here you have line of sight of your opponent.
We've avoided placing boulders directly next to each other in the new game. In most cases you should always be able to view your opponent in a 180 degree view radius. In some maps paths will even briefly intersect.
The narrow section
Another area we decided to redesign is the center of the level that featured a narrow segment with steps. Many people disliked the steps because they killed any momentum you may have gained at that point (and blocking the boulder should be consequence of unit placement, not level design). So to address this problem we decided to replace this area with a bridge.
Above: Rock of Ages. Below: Rock of Ages 2.
Instead of making steps in this area we made it narrower, which presents its own challenge. But a fast boulder that is able to avoid enemy units should be able to move through this part at a good speed. We also decided to limit the areas where you can place units to the checkered sections, because defending the complete bridge was too easy without these limitations.
We wanted to keep the shortcut in the middle section that rewards players that take the "leap of faith" and are able to cover both jumps.
Above: Rock of Ages. Below: Rock of Ages 2.
The smaller platforms are still easy to defend to dissuade players that want to take the risk. The jump is also a little harder for regular boulders, but much easier for light boulders like the giant balloons. Setting up your roster with two different boulders might be a good idea in this level, to cover both paths (take the shortcut or the bridge).
Near the castle
The final segment that leads to the castle was also repurposed to support more interesting gameplay. This section was fun in the original, but very hard to defend effectively.
Above: Rock of Ages. Below: Rock of Ages 2.
The old layout which features several round-like rocks really prevents you from setting up a good defense, because these rocks are easy to jump over/past, invalidating most of the usable terrain.
All levels with good design need to feature areas where defenses can be more effective. We decided to include a stone arch that serves as a choke point, since the entry and exit can be blocked quite easily (you can't build directly below though). Additionally, it's expected that many players will want to set up defenses in the final segment of the level, just before the castle, so we wanted to provide a good landmark to assist with such defenses.
And that's everything for this blog post! Hope everyone likes the changes for our "version 2.0" of the Wallachia level. Stay tuned that we'll be posting some news on Patricio Meneses' music in our next blog post, which should be just around the corner.
Follow ACE Team:
Posted by Dmitriy Gorbachev, Jan 26 2017, 10:34 AM
New on 'The Deadly Tower of Monsters':
By popular demand we've reformatted Steam's Scarlet Nova digital calendar for 2017. Files should be automatically downloaded to your computer.
For those who didn't know, the digital calendar is located at:
Steam\SteamApps\common\the_deadly_tower_of_monsters\Scarlet Nova Calendar
Note: January has been set for 2018 since it already passed.
The calendar will soon be available on GOG as well.
Posted by Dmitriy Gorbachev, Jan 17 2017, 09:14 AM
Posted by Dmitriy Gorbachev, Dec 31 2016, 05:07 PM
Happy New Year!
We wish you a rock-solid new year! May happiness and success roll out for you throughout 2017!
Posted by Dmitriy Gorbachev, Dec 31 2016, 07:17 AM
Rock of Ages 2 notepad giveaway winners.
Here are the lucky few who will get an awesome Rock of Ages 2 themed notepad in the new year!
Lord of Cheese
We will be contacting the winners. If someone wouldn't want to share their address, we will pick a new winner.
Have happy remaining holidays and a wonderful 2017, everyone!
Posted by Dmitriy Gorbachev, Dec 23 2016, 11:41 AM
Happy Holidays from ACE Team!
Our most sincere thanks to all our community for continuing to support us during 2016 with our latest releases. It's thanks to you guys that we can continue to develop new exciting projects, so again, a huge thanks from our part!
Hoping 2017 will be a great year with Rock of Ages 2 and other secret stuff in the horizon!
The ACE Team staff
1 user(s) viewing