This is a Huge Update. We have a large gamedev diary and new short teaser for You today!
This diary will be about one of the fantasy creatures that You will meet at The End of The Sun connected to Slavic Mythology – some kind of monster called “Child of water.”
Also, at the end of the post, we will write more detailed info about the Release date and Why we had to move it.
So let’s start with the short video teaser. You could watch it on Youtube here or below.
Don’t forget to leave a comment and THUMB UP on Youtube if You like it 🙂
The teaser shows a small part of the gameplay where Children of Water attack the player (who play as the Ashter – kind of Slavic sorcerer).
But wait… Combat in an adventure game?
Yes! but don’t worry… “The End of the Sun” is still an ADVENTURE game, not an RPG. 🙂 Mechanics that You see on video is connected to some gameplay mission/puzzle, but at the same time, it makes the possibility to put a little bit of immersive action into the game. Worth mentioning also that The end of the Sun isn’t a horror game at all, so we don’t plan to add extreme jump scares, and You will be able to avoid confrontation. You could watch the Official Gameplay to see general mechanics and climate of the game 🙂
If You would like to know more about why we decided on that kind of gameplay mechanics and how we designed the “Child of Water” 3d model, animations, AI, and what exactly are Children of Water in Slavic mythology, just read that blog post. 🙂
“The Child of water” – The making of
1. Design and what is behind it – a little bit about myths and legends
You probably heard many legends or small stories about people who drowned and became some kind of monsters or ghosts connected to rivers or lakes.
Of course, Slavic mythology has its own stories… to be honest; there is the whole group of monsters and creatures (good and bad) that live in water or near water. [Probably because middle and eastern Europe is full of rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, and swamps that legends can tell about ]
How could Cyanobacteria be connected to the “Water monsters”?
One theory says that many Slavic stories about monsters living near water are connected to some kind of “protection” for uneducated people from “cyanobacteria.” That bacteria makes the water in lakes and ponds really toxic. It makes the water becomes really green, and it is happening mostly in the Spring. This is why older people said to children – “Don’t go into the water because before Summer Solistice the Drowners will take you into the lake!” They just wanted to protect children this way.
Floods very often made destruction…
…for sure, more often than on the Sahara desert 🙂 this is probably the next reason why there are even more bad monsters in mythology that could manipulate the lakes or rivers. The End of The Sun happens in an environment inspired by the Polish environment and nature. In our country, we have bigger or smaller floods every year.
The same number of bad as good creatures.
Yes, we have to mention that too. The Slavic myths also show a huge amount of good creatures that helped good people not drown or showed them their way home. What is important here and what we noticed is that many creatures were presented in the later middle ages as something bad to get rid of traditions and Slavic believes. So… positive characters and creatures in legends were later shown as demons.
2. Child of Water – the creature that doesn’t know it is evil.
There is very little information about it, so we had to make our own interpretation…
Some legends say that this (Child of water) is kind of “Drowner” (Most of You probably know it from The Witcher game series…. yes, the Drowner is something taken straight from Slavic legends 🙂 ) “Drowner monster” is created from the body of someone who drowned (in most cases bad person) According to some stories when a small, poor child drowned and its body was lost in the water forever then the “Child of water” was born.
This is a really terrible story, We know, but we had to explain that to be able to explain why Child of water looks and behaves this way in The End of The Sun game.
So the problem with “Child of water” is that it never was an evil human being ( newborn or Young child just can’t be bad or evil). That’s not exactly a problem, but that is something that makes it different from “Drowner monster” (created from only bad people bodies)
The body of “Child of water” doesn’t know it’s already dead. It thinks that it is still drowning, and it is trying to rescue itself while hurting or even drowning/killing other people.
This is our interpretation, of course, and this is an essential part of the design.
That knowledge influence how our “Child of water” looks, behaves, moves and sounds.
3. Graphic Design – what happens to the dead body in the water.
Yes, again, terrifying things. After a long time in the water, the shape of the body is for sure partially deformed and swollen; also, it is destroyed by time, fishes, and water plants/bacteria.
But that’s not the whole thing…
The mix of human and monster…
So besides what all that environment (river or lake) itself did with the child’s body, we also decided to add some typical monster’s mutations, like much longer hand fingers (so the monster could move better in water, etc.)
Now a little bit of information about skin material.
We decided to start our painting (in Substance Painter) by creating standard human skin, but a little bit more desaturated and greener. (as drowned man’s skin) Then we added some scarifications and blood…
The next step was to add part of the skin that was deformed and destroyed by water and some more green parts that give the look of something placed in the water for a long time and is covered by water plants.
The last part of creating skin material was to add some monster’s mutations also here. We decided to use toad skin because “Child of water” lives in water, so this is something that could happen after it became a “monster.” In addition, we added some toxic liquid going from that toad skin (as You probably know, some of the toads are really toxic)
Take a closer look at the head. As You can see, it has purulent eyes, liquid going from the mouth, and many black veins, which gives the effect of the body decomposition process.
Looking closer at the back of the head, You will notice similar to toad skin mutations.
4. Movements and Sounds of “monster”
Our monster thinks that it is still drowning. This is what we showed in mocap movement when Recording animations (You could check out some more footage from our mocap recordings on our Kickstarter Video) To make mocap in indie style we are using “Ipi Soft” Software that mocap contest we won after Kickstarter.
Children of water not exactly attack; they are looking for someone who could save them (as they think they are drowning endlessly) (as You could see on New Teaser)
The next important part is face design but also giving it some facial animations. Notice that “Child of Water” doesn’t have teeth, only gums and tongue – this is, of course, because small children don’t have it too.
We used LipSync Pro System that we are using for all our characters to create really simple emotions and opening/closing mouth animations. We decided that it is enough for that purpose. We also selected to use human eyes but with the white cover on them (like “foggy eyes”), but this is something we are still thinking about, so it may be changed in the final version of the game. We applied this kind of eyes to show that this creature was a human in the past.
It is worth mentioning here something about the Sound Effects of our creature…
As we already mentioned many times, the main thing is that “Child of water” thinks it is still drowning. So in the sounds of a monster, we focused on making it to sound like a child that all the time is choking.
Also, the attack sounds like the creature would have a little bit of water in its lungs.
5. Final look, lightning test, sizing, and look variations.
Ok, so the final thing is to talk a little bit about the size of “Child of water.” It has about 80 centimetres, it’s a pretty small monster, but as You probably noticed, it has toxic skin and what much more important there is a huge number of those creatures so they could kill an adult human easily.
Of course, on the new teaser, You saw few different water children, this is because, each of that children is different, so we had to prepare a variation of it by making modifications in its body.
Here You could check out the new teaser again. Don’t forget to share it with Your friends and leave THUMB UP on Youtube 🙂 We are a very small team, and we are doing all marketing on our own, so It will help us greatly 🙂
Release Date Change
This part of the update will probably be most important for our amazing supporters ( from Kickstarter and everyone who supported us by our website.)
You could notice that at the end of our new teaser, there was information “COMING SOON 2021/2022” We will explain what exactly that means, why we had to move the release date, and why we still won’t share with You the specific day of Release.
Before You start to read, we would like to Thank You for your understanding and kind words under the earlier update. Because of You, we could make The End of The Sun as good as possible without stress. Your trust is the best thing we could have, and it is the most important for us to show You that we are working hard. Hopefully, this update proved that 🙂
– Why we have to move the release date? What took us additional time?
-When launching the Kickstarter campaign, we didn’t know that we will collect funds for additional 2 stretch goals (more puzzles and stories). This is the problem with the Kickstarter campaign that before it ends, You really don’t know how much funds You will collect. You could call it some kind of “problems of success,” but because of rising funds, We are making more gameplay that needs more time to be produced. According to that, the release date that we presented on the Kickstarter launch (June 2021) had to be moved.
-We improved the quality of the game a lot (thanks to the funds from Kickstarter). We made the gameplay more polished than we planned, which also took us more time.
-Kickstarter easter eggs for special backers – We had to prepare few easter eggs for our highest perks supporters. This is the next thing that we couldn’t predict when launching the campaign. These are some small mysteries or puzzles that have to be prepared and implemented.
-Kickstarter rewards and organizations – This is the thing that took us over a month (ordering all rewards, box editions, figurines, t-shirts, talking with tax accountants, caring about the company, etc. (It wasn’t possible to create Kickstarter Campaign directly from Poland so it was even more complicated than now) All of it happened during the first “wave” of coronavirus pandemic. ( delayed deliveries or even closed for some countries)
-Coronavirus – Yes, we know this is the reason that people don’t like to hear about now, but it is true. Because of the pandemic, many elements were harder to do, even meeting in the studio with voice actors to make test recordings or, as mentioned before, shipping Kickstarter rewards. Now the situation is more stable, but there was really chaos in some business areas when it all started.
-Upgrading the whole Unity 3d engine to a newer version because of some engine bugs on the earlier version. As You could imagine upgrading the game engine is not an easy thing to do, many elements had to be fixed or redone after updating, but it gave us like +10 FPS on every hardware! 🙂
-Making some side jobs to get additional funds – Overall, we are working on The End of the Sun minimum 10 hours per day ( but most days even more) 5-6 days a week in 2 people team. (Our programmer is working from time to time if something special is needed.) Since Kickstarter almost 1 year passed and soon we will need additional funds for our lives; this is why we are spending 1-2 days in the month doing side jobs to get some additional funds.
– What “COMING SOON 2021/2022” mean?
We decided to move the release date, but we can’t give you the specific day/month of release yet. Why? Video game production is tough and full of surprises. Even small bugs during production or during tests may create a week or more delay. We can’t risk giving You a particular date before the game will be at least during the testing process. 2021/2022 means That We are really working hard (10 hours per day, 5-6 days a week) to deliver the game as fast as possible to You, and We really would like to make it this year, but we can’t promise that. To be 100% fair with You, We prefer to make things better than faster. This is why the first half of 2022 seems to be the most possible scenario here (Winter/Spring 2022). We are pushing forward a lot now, and we’ll talk about it for a moment.
– What with Physical Rewards that haven’t been sent?
If You Supported us on Kickstarter or here on our official webpage and You chose a reward with a Physical box edition of the game, We will send it to You as fast as the game production will be finished. We already have boxed editions of the game, but We can’t produce DVD or Blu-Ray discs with the game before The End of the Sun will be fully developed. The rest of the rewards (figurines/ t-shirts ) have already been shipped to supporters. If You have any questions, contact us on e-mail: email@example.com
– What is the progress in development?
As You see, that update was bigger than earlier, We just wanted to show You some fantasy elements of the game and show You that there is big progress in development, but as we mentioned many many times, we can’t reveal too much to not spoil gameplay and story of the game. This is a tough thing to do; to show progress at the same time doesn’t show too much.
P.S One of the things that weren’t planned before Kickstarter and are already implemented was simple AI (artificial intelligence) for water children. In the first design, Children of Water was only part of the cutscene with no interaction at all.
Now the game is in the stage of production where everything seems to go faster. Why? Because almost all assets are created, and we are just making level design. In last month We finished almost whole level design for all locations, in the same upgrading engine. If base gameplay systems of the game are created, then missions/puzzles are something that could be done really fast.
We are extremely grateful for Your support; as already mentioned, we are doing everything to finish the development of The End of The Sun as fast as possible. Trust us, we are making that game for 4 years already, and We are the people who really want to finish production the fastest way, but at the same time, we would like to make a piece of art from it.
Thanks again for Your support, trust, and patience!
If You have any question contact us on e-mail: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our DISCORD SERVER where we could reply You directly and faster.
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