The Empty Inn Release Date Revealed (Plus New Trailer)!

Hey everyone!

Today I’m proud to announce that The Empty Inn’s release date will be 7th May 2015, and that the game will retail for $2.99.

The Empty Inn is a 2D, experimental-horror game with 8-bit, NES-style, pixel art and puzzle-exploration gameplay. With only a small lamp in hand, the player is required to solve puzzles and explore the vacant inn, ensuring they keep their lamp lit along the way. If your light goes out then the monster will show its face…

The Empty Inn is a short, polished experience that is close to my heart. I thoroughly enjoyed making the game, and I hope the excitement I had for the game during it’s creation comes accross as you play through it on the 7th May!

Of course, it wouldn’t be a release date announcement without a trailer, so without further adeu, here is the release trailer for The Empty Inn:



You can purchase The Empty Inn at the game’s mini-site, as well as view screenshots and find out more information about the game. To go to the mini-site, click here!

I hope you guys enjoy The Empty Inn when it finally launches, I can’t wait to see what you think!

Joshua

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The Empty Inn – Price Reduction

Hey guys,

Today we changed the permanent price of The Empty Inn from $4.99, to $2.99. This change was made to ensure that we provide a fantastic gaming experience to customers for an amazing low price.

But what if I brought the game for $4.99?!

Then you’ll be refunded the full amount, and you get to keep a copy of the game! This is our way of saying thank you to our fans for supporting us early on, and to give something back for changing the game’s price. We can garuntee you that mistakes like this won’t happen again.

If you have any problems/questions then just email me at joshua.temblett[at]candlelight-studios.com!

Thanks for the support guys, The Empty Inn will be launching very soon!

Josh

 

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The Empty Inn and Untold Story – Similarities

Hello everyone!

As I’m sure you’ve seen by now, we’ve announced a new game, The Empty Inn!

The Empty Inn is a 2D, horror-adventure game with 8-bit, NES-style, pixel art. If you haven’t already, you can check out the trailer below:

You can also pre-order The Empty Inn below:

This means that when the game releases (within the next two weeks), you’ll get access to it straight away!

Anyway, pre-orders aside, I mainly wanted to talk about the similarities between The Empty Inn and Untold Story and how they share more than just an art-style. But before I go any further, I just want to highlight that Untold Story is still in development. The Empty Inn is a side story, something for players to get excited for Untold Story.

Let’s start with how The Empty Inn came about:

Whilst developing interior art assets for Untold Story, I had an idea based on the interior pixel art I was creating. The idea was to create a game set inside an empty inn with the player exploring it and discovering its treasures. The game would also have horror elements to it (what’s more spooky than an empty inn?), and would require the player to manage their light resource whilst solving puzzles and exploring the inn.

After producing a quick prototype, I came to the conclusion that the game would be fun and that if I used some art assets from Untold Story I could create it fairly quickly and release it. I thought it’d be am interesting game to release before Untold Story and would get players hyped for the game.

The development of The Empty Inn wasn’t just driven by creative curiosities though.

I wanted to release something small and polished before Untold Story so that I could generate a bit more revenue (using the money I made from The Empty Inn to support Untold Story and any other games I create), as well as help get the Candlelight Studios brand out and into the open. Any money generated from The Empty Inn will be a huge help and will contribute to increasing the quality of my future games (for example I could use the money to get a dedicated sound track for Untold Story!)

The Empty Inn doesn’t just share art assets with Untold Story, the game uses a lot of Untold Story’s code, as well as sharing a lot of the game’s design and story philosophies. In fact, developing The Empty Inn has taught me a lot of lessons which will be applied to Untold Story’s development. This will make Untold Story even more awesome!

I hope this clarifies some things. Sorry this is a bit short! I’ll be making more blog posts about The Empty Inn over the next couple of days, going more in-depth about the game, so stay tuned!

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The Empty Inn – New Game Announcement

Today we are proud to announce… The Empty Inn (the game which we teased last week)!

You can watch a trailer below:

The Empty Inn is a 2D, horror game with 8-bit, NES-style, pixel art and puzzle-exploration gameplay, similar to many of the adventure games of the era. Utilising an interesting light mechanic, the player is required to solve puzzles and explore the area, ensuring that they can keep their light on whilst doing so.

The Empty Inn is very similar in style to another one of Candlelight Studio’s games: Untold Story. This is because the game was made using the same engine and shares a lot of the code. You can read more about the similarities here!

The Empty Inn will be launching very soon (within the next two weeks!) for Windows! You can pre-order the game below:

I can’t wait for everyone to play it!

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Environments of Untold Story

Hello everyone!

Let me start off by saying, it’s been a very busy two weeks! Lots of interesting things have been happening and I would be lying if I said that it didn’t have an impact on Untold Story’s development. Thankfully for the past couple of days everything has normalised and now I can return back to the usual blogging and development schedule! Because of the short break away from development this dev-log will be a bit shorter than usual, but I’ve still got some cool things to show off!

This week’s development blog is about Untold Story’s environments, and how we’ve stayed relatively close to NES limitations yet utilised modern techniques to create a look which is familiar whilst incredibly refreshing!

First off, just to reiterate, Untold Story’s graphics are limited to NES-style in terms of tile size (8×8) and both colour palette (roughly 55 colours). In order to keep the game’s graphics as close as possible to NES RPGs, we’ve also got a slight limit on the amount of detail the environments can have. The problem with these limitations is that it can lead to quite flat-looking graphics, and make the world appear slightly dull. Naturally that’s to be expected, given our choice to use NES-style graphics, however there are two things we’ve done in order to make the graphics more pleasing.

  • Populate the world with more furniture/objects
More objects in the environment make the world feel inhabitated

More objects in the environment make the world feel inhabited

The NES had limitations on how many different types of tiles the console could show. Thankfully, in these modern days, we don’t have such a limit! So we’ve popularised the world with a variety of different tiles. This makes the world a bit more interesting and exciting, as it means there are there are plenty of things to look at and examine.

We haven’t gone too overboard though, as we still want to retain some of the openness, and emptiness, of the worlds of NES RPGs.

  • Lighting
Untold Story's world feels alive!

Untold Story’s world feels alive!

Whilst we haven’t gone too crazy and created a dedicated, specialist, lighting system for Untold Story, we have come up with some solutions to imitate lighting and add warmth to the world. One such solution is to create light points, areas of the world which have a light shining on them, by using a semi-transparent sprite to light up the world. We’ve found that once we’ve added the lighting, it becomes incredibly hard to take it away, as it makes the world feel alive.

We’ve also animated some of the lighting, as you can see below:

Dynamic lighting?!

Dynamic lighting??

This makes the world feel more alive and lived in!

We’re hoping that the environments of Untold Story will retain their retro, 8bit, feel whilst also feeling alive and modern!

Unfortunately I’ve got to leave it there for today! We’re hoping that we can be a bit more active next week, so stay tuned and remember to follow us on twitter @Candlight_S!

Thanks for reading!

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No Untold Story dev-log on the 26th February! Instead there will be one on 5th March!

Hey guys!

Just a quick note to say: yes, I know that I didn’t post a devlog about Untold Story on the 26th February! Things got very crazy around here last week and I wanted to make sure that our next devlog was completely perfect before showing it off!

So now the next devlog post will be on the 5th March! We’ll be showing off some cool stuff in this devlog, so stay tuned!

Thanks for your patience!

Josh

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The Battle System of Untold Story

It’s finally time to unveil the battle system for Untold Story!

The following is what the battle system will look like in the final game, but do expect a few small changes as we get more user-feedback during our testing.

Battle system basics

When designing the battle system for Untold Story I was wary of keeping it within the same style of NES RPGs, whilst also ensuring that it came across as modern, easy-to-understand and (perhaps most importantly) entertaining.

That’s how I came up with the battle system know as: Active Battle Points or ABP for short.

So how does it work?

The player controls four characters, and uses those characters to fight a maximum of four enemies. Each of the player’s characters has a circle around them, which charges over time. When a character’s circle reaches full, they gain one battle-point. Characters can gain a maximum of four battle-points after which they’ll stop gaining battle-points. When you do an action you’ll consume all of your current battle-points, at which stage you’ll start gaining battle-points again.

Four characters, four enemies, four battle-points.

So, how do you fight enemies? Each character is bound to a button (for the keyboard it’s Q,W,E,R), with each button controlling one of the characters. For example, want to get Adrasteia to attack? Then simply press the Q key. Want Blanc to attack? Press the E key. Pressing the button that corresponds to each character is the only action you can do in battle. But there are a few caveats.

Adrasteia using one battle-point to do an attack

Adrasteia using one battle-point to do an attack

Remember those battle-points I was talking about? Well, each character will do a different action based on how many battle-points they have. If Adrasteia only has one battle-point then she will do a basic attack. If she has four battle-points, then she will do an attack which will not only deal considerable damage, but also steal some of the enemy’s life.

Do you wait for your characters to get more battle-points so you can do more powerful attacks, or do you keep hammering away at your enemies with basic attacks which only cost one-battle point? The key to Untold Story’s battle system is patience and timing.

Blanc using three battle-points to do a more powerful attack.

Blanc using three battle-points to do a more powerful attack.

For example, if there is one enemy left but your allies are all on low health then do you wait until Sophia has two battle-points so that she can heal all of her allies, or just get her to attack (and hopefully kill) the last enemy with one battle-point?

Lots of tactical decisions involved!

There’s also one last mechanic. At a later point in the game, players will have access to summons. Each attack you do on an enemy will slowly build up the summon bar. Once the summon bar is fill, another character (in the image below its Bakchos) will jump into the fray and launch a devastating attack against all of the enemies.

Bakchos being summoned into battle!

Bakchos being summoned into battle!

Pretty cool, right?

Timing is key in Untold Story, getting everything to come together can lead to quick battles. You do need to be careful though, because if you slip up then you’re going to get knocked about a lot because the enemies hit very hard.

That’s it for today’s basic look at Untold Story’s battle system! We’re hoping to get a trailer for the battle system together soon which we hope will give you a clearer picture of how battles function in Untold Story!

For now, I hope you enjoy the above GIFs!

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