Devblog Update #48: R&D & Giant Tree!

The second Island is slowly taking shape. There’s a lot to think about and decide, in terms of how to use the feedback we’ve received to make the game better. We met as a team the other week and talked through some different mechanics to add to the game, with the hopes that that would clarify a bit of the level design questions surrounding Island #2 (the giant tree).

We’re still experimenting and whiteboxing the level, trying to figure out what the overall level flow should be, to make the gameplay as fun as possible. Making games is hard! Maybe I’m just overthinking things 😛


Cesar has once again come up with a beautiful piece of concept art for what the interior of the tree could look like. For scale, the thing flying in the opening is the airship which we see in Island #1. It’s a big tree!

Having a large scale structure like this brings in all sorts of design challenges, from both a gameplay and an art standpoint. What does giant bark look like when you fly up close to it? How do you keep it from looking too “busy” when you’re far away? In a flying game, how do you gate the players’ progress through the level? Lots of questions!


I spent a bit of time trying to figure out Unreal Engine’s Control Rig system. Basically it’s meant to allow the characters’ skeleton to be manipulated in the engine. Whether real-time, or so that you can make custom animations in the engine.

As you can see here in this grainy screenshot, I did manage to get IK somewhat working! (See how the feet are planted on the ground, even though it’s a slope?)

The issue is that, for some reason (I’m sure there was a reason originally), when I rigged Jasper, I rigged his tail backwards. The tip of the tail is the parent to the next one, and the next, working towards the body. Why I did this originally, I have no idea. But it means that the control rig wont’ work for it very well. If I reverse the bones to point the “correct” way, then that will break all the animations we have, which will have to be re-made. (It’s just animating the tail though, so not the end of the world)

At the moment though, I have other priorities than re-rigging/animating. I have to get a game plan together for Island 2!

Before I get back to work, I’ll leave you with a shot of what happened to Jasper when I fixed his leg bones in his rig.


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