Wednesday, June 29, 2016

GREENLIT: Thank You, Everyone!

After almost a month on Steam, we are very proud to announce that Ley Lines has received its official greenlight! Miria Studios ( our LLC! ) would like to thank everyone who was involved in this entire Capstone process, from our fellow FIEAns, our awesome faculty advisers, and every single person who both visited & upvoted our Steam page. We couldn't have done this without any one of you. We'd also like to thank every member of Miria Studios for putting in such hard work these last six months and continuing to put their best foot forward in the last stretch of our production!

So. What has been going on in Ley Lines for this past month? Our Art Freeze is scheduled to happen between July 15 and July 20th. We're very close to completing this stretch of development!

Two of our biggest concentrations for these last few weeks has been both lighting and set dressing. These two qualities have really brought our environments - and the Ley Lines world as a whole - to life. Take a gander at the images for our last update before you take a peek at these updated stills!

Our boss - who we have affectionately nicknamed Brittney - has her rig completed! Her body animation will be done procedural through programming in-engine, so we could have her be infinitely long. She is currently being both textured & animated as we speak.

To add some further clarification & context behind the player's tasks in Ley Lines, we are planning to introduce 2D beginning & ending cinematics to our game! Here are our storyboards for the beginning snippet.

We have also focused our efforts into developing UI for our game, particularly our HUD.

There's a gem shape & color assigned to each Ley Line ability. The animation for health & the current power held by the player is being done through Adobe Flash and integrated into the Unreal engine!

We've also worked on some more minor UI, particularly screens for when the Ley Lines game starts up!

There's a lot more work being done behind the scenes for Ley Lines, but that's the bulk of it! Stay tuned for more updates. ♥

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Help us get Greenlit on Steam!

Updates have been a little scarce on this blog the further we get into development for the Ley Lines game. Production on this title has really taken off in these last months since we survived Vertical Slice! Clearly, it hasn't been all sunshine and kittens. This development environment - or rather, FIEA as a whole - has a very high development speed. As a team, we have definitely felt the crunch of hours, heavy workload, and uncertainty of how to effectively schedule everything - all while trying our best to keep as amicable of an environment as possible. Somehow we have managed to push through every obstacle that has come our way.

As we approach the last leg of the Ley Lines game development, this is where you come in. We have submitted our game on Steam and we're hoping to get greenlit very soon! As of writing this, we have about 215 up votes on our title. Help us achieve our Greenlight!

Here are some production images of the current state of our game!

Thursday, April 21, 2016


It's been pretty quiet here on the Ley Lines blog ever since we posted our Art Style Guide! "Why is that", you may be asking yourself as you yearn for more updates about your favorite student-created video game.

The answer is a simple one: we had to scope down the Ley Lines game. A lot. This was mostly in regards to art. For instance, the Temple Guard tutorial phase was scrapped and we now have only one minor enemy. The sheer amount of time and pressure that would have been placed on the art team in such a short window of time was simply too great and unrealistic if we hoped to have a product that looked good by the end of this process.

Taking that into consideration, we also had to look back into our style and revamp it. During the Vertical Slice phase, it was communicated to us that the Production and Programming side of things weren't exactly inspired by what we had. So, we're aiming to fix that to the best of our abilities! We're particularly looking at the art style of Gigantic as something of a visual guide. We're striving for something dynamic, with saturated colors, and still inspired by the cultures we were looking at before as a visual reference.

We managed to apply a lot of this shape and color language in our current art for the game! So, here's a peek into what we've been working on.

Over the last few weeks, we have been working pretty hard to get things into engine all while following the Gigantic visual target. Steffen has been working on overdrive to fill the expansive environment of the Ley Lines world with many different environmental props. Our game takes place, primarily, in a temple. For the sake of time, the producers made the wise decision of cutting out the scenes that would have taken place outside - which was mostly for establishing context to the entire story of the game.  This allowed us to focus more on refining the interior environment props we have now.

Here's the current state of the environment! There's still some work to be done on it, but we're making a lot of headway towards achieving the "look" we're hoping for.

Lighting is an extraordinarily important but extremely overlooked component to any game. It establishes the look and feel to any game. Given that successful lighting doesn't exactly rely solely on white light, this also affects how the colors of the characters and the environment read. Given that, Ashley has already been working on some lighting passes so so we could get to the mood we want to convey in the crystal temple.

Our original plan was to go for some cool colors in the temple. God rays would descend down into the temple to give us a slight cathedral feeling, and to offer small glimmers of hope in an otherwise hopeless situation. As the lighting currently stands, to some people it read as being more cave-like, and others thought it was more ocean. Taking some of the feedback we have received on how we could make this more dynamic, Ashley will be working with lighting for the next few weeks! She will also be incorporating the god rays, crystal particles, and atmospherics she's also been developing in separate level builds.

Now, that's it for environment and lighting! Stay tuned for our posts about characters + animation.