Voxel game project: Rituals of the old


#1

Hello all you cool JME people!

We have a small indie game studio Star and serpent and we are working on our first game Rituals of the old. Our team has 6 people: a lead coder, coder, a 3D artist/generalist, two musicians and me - the project leader/game designer.

We are currently working on the game on a part time hobby basis (except for me, I’m doing this around the clock) with a $0 budget. We aim for a commercial release when we get further along with the development.

The coding of the project started on june 2016 so it’s very new and we are still pretty much laying out the plans, coding the basic stuff, designing the models and making concept art etc. But the foundation for the game world has actually been in development already for 4 years.

As you probably guessed, since I’m posting here, we are using JME as a base so we don’t have to start from a scratch. We spent about one month planning and weighing in all the potential options before we decided to use JME - we’ve been very happy with our choice so far.


The game and backstory

The Rituals of the old will be an easily customizable sandbox multiplayer voxel building game with stories and adventure and a well designed modding API.

The game will support offline mode but our main interest is the multiplayer. You will be able to make your own dedicated servers. The single player offline mode will be free of charge. We will make our income from selling the multiplayer keys - one time payment, probably around ~20$ for a single account. And you get all the future updates free of charge.

The game takes place in the distant past of mankind at the end of the era of enlightenment on the primitive planet Koto in the far reaches of the galaxy. The planet was colonized and terraformed a long time ago by human settlers.

In the recent history the once powerful great galactic imperium has fallen in a war of attrition against a superior foe. Generations have passed since the ships of the great galactic imperium were last seen - freeing the people of the planet Koto from serfdom and servitude.

The machines and technology the starborn (as the citizens of the Koto called the people of the great galactic imperium) left behind on the planet has mostly broken down in the course of time. With no skill to understand or to repair them the people have returned back to using more primitive tools and ways.

The world is calm on the surface, but beneath the appearances is a society deeply scarred and torn between the past and the present.

Since the fall of the great galactic imperium and their priesthood many have been secretly turning back to worshiping the old gods once forbidden by the priesthood of the immortal sun emperor.

There have even been terrified whispers and rumors of the resurrection of the bloody old ways and the rituals of the old…


Technology and other details

The technology in the game will be a mix of old and futuristic. You might for example see a guard wearing a chain mail armor scouting the perimeter of a town wielding an energy weapon, the last few of it’s kind. The guard is wearing a vizor on his head which brings up a HUD which can zoom and identify targets.

This kind of technology will be really rare though and you can’t craft it. It’s only a remnant from the past.

Mostly the items and technology that you see in the game will items like swords, lot’s of sword, old tools, blacksmiths, tailors, bakers, and some wildly inaccurate simple flintlock pistols, windmills, etc.

And of course there will be ritual magic and ancient creatures. Magic and witchcraft is a taboo and witches are burnt on stake.

You will see bandits, brigands, guilds, religions, strange languages, otherworldly spirits, farm animals, wild animals and other creatures.

The mood of the game will be that of a melancholy beauty. Not dark but not too sugary either.

The game will be realistic when possible and the difficulty will be hard but not artificially with too much grinding.


Find out more

Web pages:
https://www.ritualsoftheold.com/

Blog:

Discord chat:

Forums:

YouTube:


Feel free to ask anything you wish to know.


#2

Looks promising. Just wondering what kind of look are going for? Bloxel, or for a more “smoother” approach. For the “smoother” approach there are a couple of algorithms that are popular such as marching cubes, dual contouring, dual marching cubes.


#3

The world will be composed - mostly - of blocks that are are 25x25x25 cm in size, but yes cubes. Personally I like bloxel worlds more than smoothed / realistic terrain.

But we will also be using stylized low poly in some things, for example the player character:


(Old image, the hands and some other parts will be reworked but are WIP right now and I don’t have newer images at the moment)

As you can see it’s basically a block person but with small subtle low poly details.


(Another older model)

Our goal is to get the client working with a simple world rendering by the end of the month for the v0.0.1 milestone. So far it looks like we are keeping in schedule.

Basically the goals for v.0.0.1 are just simple 1) doesn’t crash 2) will render flat / simple scenery 3) can more around with the static player model (no animations yet).


#4

Ahhh ok, so that makes sense. Just curious how far have you gotten on the world development?


#5

Well, hopefully by the end of the month we will have something to show. Right now it’s all just laying down the ground work one piece at a time.


#6

I would be willing to help with programming tasks, I know that there is also an existing Cubes Framework and also a sample code associated with it as well that can be a good starting point as well.

edit: err, more like is there anything I can help with in the meantime in order to reach the end of month goal?


#7

@themiddleman

All right. I will try to arrange an interview for you with our lead coder so we can get to know you and your specific skill set a bit better.

I noticed that you visited our Discord server this morning. When you’re available contact me through Discord (private message) and we can talk about setting a time for the interview.

Glad you’re interested. I’m looking forward to talking more with you.


#8

Just as a heads up I’m on US west coast time, so I’m like around 10 hrs behind your time.


#9


Is that a spooky spooky skrillex?


#10

I have no idea who that person is that you mentioned.


#11

Finnish people only listen to heavy metal. They couldn’t possibly know about dubstep.


#12

What a terrible stereotype.

I don’t usually listen to music - I prefer to sing myself. But when I do listen to music 80% of the time it’s old computer game music. The other 20% is something like the Crazy Horse (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EpZd9iEoWA) or the very varied music of Ryuichi Sakamoto (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryuichi_Sakamoto).

So that this discussion doesn’t get totally sidetracked - here is the latest iteration of our player model. We took a step back a couple of days ago and redid the design. There are no textures or clothes yet on the new model. We have to start from the scratch with those.

In my opinion it’s starting to look really great. Few tweaks here and there and I think this is going to be the final design.

Here is a live 3D of the model:

And the same model without hair:


#13

i have a funny feeling that tonihele was joking. the comment was very much in the same vein as saying indians only watch bollywood movies or japanese people only eat sushi. it’s so hyperbolic that it is obviously in jest.

either way, your project looks very interesting and fun. good luck in your journey to 1.0 :slight_smile:


#14

Thanks @sfisque!

v1.0 is still a few years away. Currently scheduled at 2019, but it’s only a rough estimate … like trying to figure out how long a Microsoft installer is going to take. Lol. But v0.0.1 should be done soon. Fixes with block UV mapping, perhaps a proof of concept UI, some simple menus.

Our 3D modeler just finished v2 of the player model. It now has a stiff back for easier modding and some other random fixes in the details.

Next we’ll probably be doing clothes and skin, again, and then we’ll finally take a stab at the first animations. Should be interesting.


#15

I have the right to be racist towards Finnish people., since I’m one. That’s the rule :slight_smile: Besides, I represent the stereotype I inflicted :slight_smile:


#16

Interesting conception of the game. But I think in next 2-3 month it will be completely different.

I think it’s not racism at all. It’s like a joke about positive quality, but not negative! When I develop my roleplay game I like sometimes to listen to folk metal. And Finland has brilliant stuff like Ensiferum :smiley:


#17

Love me some Turisas and Moonsorrow


#18

Are you intending having the model bend like in the concept art? I’ve had some nice results separating each limb having the individual limbs rotate, like old PS games.


#19

Why do you think that? And what aspects of it you feel might change?

Rituals of the old is actually based on a trilogy of Minecraft servers I developed for ~4 years intensely. Probably three of the most advanced top 10 MC servers in the world no one has ever heard about (Finland only, everything else blocked from the firewall).

Because of this I don’t think the concept is going to change that much. The story, technology, etc has already been like that for years and it has been found to be solid through years of user testing and experience gained from that.

I already know all of it’s weaknesses and strengths.

You know. It just started to feel silly to put over ~10 000 development hours into a platform that was not even mine to begin with and had serious limitations in terms of what I wanted to do and what I could do. I stretched it as far as it could go.

It feels super awesome to be developing on a platform that we control 100% and we can basically make it do anything we want - in the limitations of ram, video ram, CPU power, time, skill, manpower and money of course.


#20

No, actually we are not. At first we were going to. But then I made the decision to scrap all that in order to make it easier to mod.

The torso is going to be stiff to minimize clipping issues with clothing. The are going to be 2 joints in the fingers, wrist join, elbow joint, arms cut off from body. Feet are built currently from 3 parts + knee joint and they are also separate from the body, but go inside of it.

I will try to get you a picture so you can get a better idea - maybe later today or tomorrow after we have finished one set of clothing and skinned the v2 player model again.

It’s basically the v1 model you see below but with a few tweaks and the torso is now a single “object”: