Monolith of Minds

Down, Down, Down into the Darkness

Down, Down, Down into the Darkness

Mechanical Mine

Imagine sitting on a beach, welcoming the good waves and fighting back the bad. Tedious, right? Buddhism tells us to take each wave without judgment or desire — to let every wave break upon your spirit.

—A Labour-Monk

The second mechanistic-revolution was followed by a general rejection of religion. While worship was never prohibited by law, the pious were despised by the masses - prayers do not rebuild civilization.

However, humanity is weak. It craves subjugation to a higher power. Realizing that religion could never be eradicated from our psychology, the Infinite Empire merged Buddhism and Altruism to create a suitable spiritual refuge for those fools. We came to know these sinners and criminals as The Labor-Monks.

These outcasts reject social participation in favor of backbreaking drudgery, seeking redemption in their solitude. But do not mistake their self-imposed isolation for weakness. They have willingly confined themselves to the most vicious of environments, scuttling deep within the core of Cloud City and the mines, excavating Link Fluid for their shrouded masters.

Views from the Monolith 007

Down, down, down into the darkness

Our third Gathering (first & second) took us back to Arc 01 — the Phantom Pit and the Mechanical Mines. The last time we touched this area was in December 2017, when we created rough maps and layouts for Resolutiion’s world. Time for us to make it dark and deadly.

“Hazy prescience has spread to the inhabitants of the pits. An accident has led the Labour-Monks to flee the mines. Emerging mutations drive some to insanity and other to despair. The wyrm broke through and occupies the southern excavation site. We need to go down, down, down into the darkness, to find Marty and conquer her fear.”

Whenever we revisit a location, we begin by updating the detail to match the rest of the game. That means crafting plenty of graphics and small assets that we can use to populate rather empty maps. Rocks, plants, bumps, holes, mushrooms, bubbles, furniture, machines and ceiling elements all help create variation and elevate the landscape from feeling artificial and flat.

Although Resolutiion makes use of a 2.5D perspective, we realised that rich backgrounds go a long way to help communicate depth. This resulted in us ripping open some mine-shafts to expose the glowing, yellow caverns beneath.

These new, open areas demanded more vertical action. So we created a new type of enemy: the Catapult Monk. He is even more affected by the Link-Fluid mutations, leading to enormous arms and degenerated legs. Another, second form prefers to hang around high ledges, throwing big boulders at anything that moves.

The Labour- and Mutant-Monks were not the only creatures getting some attention during September. There are two new mini-bosses — one being a major story driver, the other just pure, chaotic fun. Unfortunately, both want to stay anonymous for now, because who wants spoilers …

All the new enemies and arenas in Arc 01 demand some serious tactics and firepower to get to through. Chris jumped at the opportunity and went to work on Valor’s weapon arsenal, made of tiny nano-bots that can construct and dismantle themselves at will:

He took the weapon design from the industrial looking original concepts to light-based (not at all Star Wars ripped-off) canons, and then back to somewhere in-between. We wanted these weapons to feel unique and futuristic, but also brutal and machine-like. Let's kick some ass.

Looking Up

You probably noted that we skipped August’s newsletter. We spent August porting Resolutiion to the new Godot 3 engine, including reading documentation, plenty of bug-fixes and writing new game-lore. Since this process stretched far into September, we figured that this content might be too boring for a newsletter.

Still, if you’re interested in the nitty-gritty of the technical side of game development, Richi published an extensive article about his journey through this major engine upgrade on our Steemit page: Crash, Replace, Repeat — Porting Resolutiion to Godot 3.

For everybody else, we’re closing this month with a shot from the airplane above Greenland. (Don’t go there, it’s dangerous and expensive.)