Another aspect of the game which in my opinion is very important is the visual atmosphere. It's very easy to make a space game that ends up lacking in atmosphere due to space being very empty and dark.
With this update I'd like to share a major upgrade to the feel of HyperVentila through real time lighting made possible by Xor Shaders, check out their awesome work on XorShaders.weebly.com.
These renders show a few of the ships in the game in their full 3D glory. I will be posting smaller updates and showcases like this throughout development of artwork in the game or possibly even things that didn't quite make it into the game.
Updates like this could be work in progress renders, sketches or other experiments.
Welcome to this, the first of many dev blogs which will be the number one way to keep up with development of HyperVentila.
First of all lets start with some background to the game development. I orignally had the idea for HyperVentila as a spin-off for a fantasy universe known as Mikomwood. These were a bunch of silly fantasy shorts I wrote and narrated and then put up on YouTube (look them up at your own risk, they get quite cringy in places).
Mikomwood is this sort of Terry Pratchett's Discworld/Westeros/Middle Earth/Skyrim kind of world where the people living in this relatively small region are at the mercy of maniacal forces that control the fates of man at a whim... and they are very used to it. Suited well for short stories and roleplay, I really wanted to make HyperVentila something similar but I always felt like it was a universe to be explored more dynamically, not through small stories but rather through an interactive medium, so; a game.
My background is what one could describe as 'somewhat techy' but I never studied anything specific only learning on the go as I jumped from job to job. IT support, graphic design, CAD 3D modeling, 3D printing, you name it, if there is a job title within tech you can think of, I've probably quit that job at some point in the past.
Don't think of me as too much of a quitter though, I've always seen it as more of a learning process.
As far as game design is concerned. I've been a long time member on ModDB, with game modding being half the reason I actually started playing video games and it also started me off as a 3D modeler in the first place.
The thing is, I've never been much of a programmer. I've had many ideas in the past, messed around with Unity and the Unreal Development Kit on many occasions in the past however my lack of programming knowledge has always kept me from achieving anything more than a few imported assets and a map.
And while just dumping assets into a map and posting that game on Steam is enough for some developers, I like to set my standards a little higher.
So what was I going to do for HyperVentila? Enter Gamemaker Studio. A modest engine that doesn't promise you the latest and greatest in 3D rendering but has excellent cross-platform support and most importantly of all: it's relatively easy to learn.
Now I struggled even with GML (gamemaker programming language) for the first few months of development but I slowly started picking it up and I feel like I know have a decent grasp of how to make Gamemaker do what I want it to do.
So how long have I been developing HyperVentila?
I started around August last year (2018) and have been building and rebuilding HyperVentila from that point onwards. The game has gone through quite a few changes in the last seven or so months, as part of the learning process I've had to reprogram the core functionality once or twice in the last five months but that's all part of the process. Another major change was changing the art style a few months back from a simple FTL-like 2d artstyle to something in the style of 60/70s science fiction movies which I feel suits the universe and my own design preferences a lot more.
Where is the game in its current stage of development? I would say pre-alpha still, however most of the core functionality is now complete and I can start working on adding more actual gameplay content.
This is also why there won't be any trailers or lots of screenshots just yet. Developing a game on one's own is surely doable but a very time consuming process indeed.
If the game sounds like something you're interested in, please, do bookmark this page for updates and I also have plans for future Discord and YouTube channels. In a few months I will be stepping up promotion for the game a bit more because by then I'm expecting to have a bit more eye catching content however for now just stay tuned and I'll hopefully see you at the next Dev blog!