Untold Story: An update and some new GIFs!

So in my last blog post I said the following words:

“As part of keeping everyone up-to-date about Untold Story, I’ll be posting frequent blog updates!”

It has been 24 days since I posted that blog post. Oops!

Since I posted that blog update, I’ve been working NON-STOP on a “vertical slice” of Untold Story to send to publishers/funding people. This “vertical slice” has it all: a story continuation from the publicly released Untold Story Teaser (now called V.1), a functioning battle system and plenty of updates to make the whole experience far more understandable and enjoyable. A lot of work and passion has gone into the new preview (calledUntold Story Teaser V.2), and I think that’s really reflected in the new teaser!

Now that I’ve sent off the Untold Story Teaser V.2 to all of the various funding people/publishers, I’m finally able to take a breather! I’ll soon be responding in full to the kind emails a few people have sent me (thanks for being so patient guys!). Unfortunately I can’t take a breather for too long, as there’s still plenty of work to do… it looks like that full playthrough of Persona 4 is going to have to wait a while!

There is so much that I want to share about the Untold Story Teaser V.2. I desperately want to show everyone the battle system, tell you about what happens after the end of the Untold Story Teaser V.1, and let everyone play it! But unfortunately I can’t share V.2 just yet!

As I’ve kept everyone waiting for so long though, I thought I’d share some GIFs/images of some of the super cool stuff that I just can’t possibly keep to myself!

The first thing I want to share is the character of Gruely.

Without spoiling too much: Gruely isn’t a very nice person. He knows Bakchos and Lycus quite well, and the three have a close connection. For reasons which I won’t disclose just yet, Adrasteia, Bakchos and Lycus end up battling Gruely who turns out to be quite a beefy boss.

I had stacks of fun doing Gruely’s animations, and I wanted to show off a few of them.

This is Gruely’s charge animation:

Gruely charging up before releasing a powerful attack!

Gruely charging up before releasing a powerful attack!

Once Gruely has charged, he’ll attack:

Gruely attacking after charging up!

Gruely attacking after charging up!

When you finally beat Gruely, he’ll collapse to a kneeling pose. Gruely likes to act tough, but after a fierce battle with Adrasteia and co, he can barely stand:

Gruely running away from Elpida!

Gruely running away from Elpida!

As you may have noticed there’s another new character in the scene! That’s Elpida. She’s actually on the train with Bakchos and Lycus when it gets attacked by monsters. She works very closely with Bakchos and Lycus, and has been a long time associate with the pair.

Elpida enters the fray!

Elpida enters the fray!

Finally, because I just love to tease, I’m going to show off one of Adrasteia’s battle animations:

Adrasteia charging and then attacking!

Adrasteia charging and then attacking!

That’s all I can show off right now!

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continuous support, from fans, journalists and other developers… thank you for everything! It means a lot and really helps to keep me going! You’d be surprised how much one nice sentence can mean to a person!

Hopefully I’ll have some good news to share soon, and even if I don’t, I’ll still keep you guys up to date! Stay tuned everyone and be sure to follow Candlelight Studios on Tweeter and Facebook!

Joshua

 

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A quick look at the 8-bit pixel art of Untold Story

Untold Story’s 8-bit graphics is one of the game’s more defining features, and is something that deserves to be talked about in a more technical capacity than today’s blog post. For today I just wanted to take a quick look at some of the thoughts, ideas and inspirations that went into Untold Story’s 8-bit art style.

Technically not technical

There are a few indie games that have adopted the 8-bit style (big shout out to Shovel Knight), and have really tried to create the feel of the style from a both an aesthetic and technical perspective.

Untold Story does things a bit differently in this regard. Instead of trying to reproduce the technical side of 8bit graphics and NES game development, Untold Story uses modern technology to recreate the art-style without the NES technical limitations.

Why?

Because a lot of NES RPGs, whilst revolutionary and wonderful, were still very much constrained by the technology of the NES which lead to a less than ideal gameplay experience for the player. For example, menus were rendered in certain, complicated, ways and the game’s UI (user-interface) was lackluster. Also there’s a reason why the original Final Fantasy’s battle system is slow, and that’s due to NES technology. That and the lack of evolution in the genre at the time of the game’s creation.

Game design has come a LONG way since the 1980s, as well as technology, and I feel that it’s important that games that are made during this time make use of the advances to create a more enjoyable experience for the player, even if they’re “retro”-style games.

With this in mind Untold Story attempts to replicate the beauty of 8bit, without being bogged down by old technology. In fact, I’ve gone to great lengths to try to insure that I keep the style of Untold Story as authentic as possible whilst keeping the game playable and user friendly.

Different sprites for different types

The original NES Final Fantasy games used two different types of characters, one for exploring the map, and another large sprite which was used during battle. This meant that each character had two sets of animations (which lead to a lot more extra work!); however it was a great way of getting around NES’s technical limitations and giving the player a clearer view during battles.

 

Sophia when she's on the map.

Sophia when she’s on the map.

Sophia casting a spell in battle

Larger Sophia sprite when she’s in battle.

We decided to replicate that in Untold Story, producing two sets of sprites for each of the characters, creating a more “retro” feel in the game.

The original Final Fantasy could only use a select amount of tiles sprites to populate areas. Untold Story does the same, only using a limited amount tiles to populate the space. This recreates the slightly lonely feeling of the original RPGs, and makes the game feel “retro”. In order to make sure Untold Story doesn’t feel too empty though, given that the game uses maps in a different way to the original Final Fantasy, Untold Story does use a few more tiles than the original Final Fantasy to ensure that the game’s world doesn’t feel too limited or empty.

Because we're not trying to recreate NES technology, we can use a few more tiles.

Because we’re not trying to recreate NES technology, we can use a few more tiles.

Not being linked to the technology of the NES, also allows us to do things such as in-depth tutorials, as well as making the UI way more user-friendly. I mean let’s face it; the old NES-games weren’t that user-friendly with players being required to read a manual in order to have even the simplest idea of what to do in a game.

Even though the UI has been changed and worked on considerably to make it user-friendly, we’ve insured that it still has a simplistic look and remains true to the 8-bit, NES era.

There’s a lot more to Untold Story’s art style and use of 8bit art than this, such as how 8bit art is used in the battle system as well as the towns, however I thought it would be better to cover these in individual blog posts.

For now I just wanted to provide a brief summary and overview of how Untold Story is using 8-bit graphics to create an experience that feels similar, and yet different, making it appear more modern yet respectful to the NES art style.

That’s it for this week! We’ll be back next week with some more Untold Story news (and, hopefully a new trailer) as well as a new dev-log on Thursday! In the meantime, be sure to follow us on twitter!

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Candlelight Studios: Press kits are now live!

Hello everyone!

I’d like to quickly announce that Candlelight Studios’ press kits are now live for both Candlelight Studios and Untold Story.

Press Kits, for the uninitiated, are kits designed for the press! They have information about the company and the games they are working on. The idea is that these press kits allow anyone who wishes to write, or produce content, about Candlelight Studios can have easy access to facts, screenshots and more!

The press kits will be updated regularly as new information from Candlelight Studios is released

Talking about new information, there will be new dev log for Untold Story tomorrow, so be sure to check it out!

Joshua Temblett

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Untitled RPG, first screenshots

Untitled Project - Opening Cutscene

Untitled Project – Opening Cutscene

Hey everyone!

I hope everyone has recovered successfully from their Christmas/New Year celebrations!

I’ve got some exciting stuff to show off from an untitled, NES-styled, 2D RPG, project that I’ve been working on.

I’m hoping to announce the game in some sort of official capacity soon! Until then, check out these screenshots!

Untitled Project - Cut-scene #2

Untitled Project – Cut-scene #2

Untitled Project - Town

Untitled Project – Town

Untitled Project -- Battle Screen (Prototype)

Untitled Project — Battle Screen (Prototype)

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Thoughts: Flying Home

The main idea for the game came about from being in a loud, crowded place, and wanting to go somewhere peaceful.  We’ve all been in that situation.  In fact you might be in a loud, crowded place right now!  Sometimes we just want to go somewhere different, somewhere calming.  Flying Home was designed to take you to that nice place.

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