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Covenant Game devblog

Game devblog 006

Where we announce we’re going 2.5D

For the sixth edition of the devblog, first – it’s been a LONG time. There’s a lot of news, but – let’s start with an official update of the game description:

Covenant: Project Zero is a space saga with intergalactic trading, mystery and action elements, weaved into an immersive storyline. We follow the adventures John Covenant, captain of the cargo corvette “Tango”, as he and his ragtag crew of misfits try to make a buck traversing the frontier of the inhabited universe – and getting into all kinds of trouble along the way.​

A lot has happened since the last devblog. Duh.

Just when we thought this game was going smoothly – our game designer Aleksandar “Sasha” Djordjevic’s VFX career provided a distraction as he got picked up to supervise visual effects for a major Amazon prime TV show – Outer Range, Season 1.

This course of events led him to spend over a year in USA & New Mexico, and quite stuck for eight long months in an extraordinary tight COVID-19 bubble with a bunch of A-list actors. The great cast and crew made the work and being away from his family so much easier, but it’s good that the pandemic feels almost like it’s behind us now.

But the days were really long, and there was simply no time for dev work so 11000AD was put on hiatus, being and indie studio. So, after that amazing experience finally came to an end in August 2021 – the busy-bee Sasha is – the day he came back to Amsterdam, The Netherlands – he started a brand new creative studio in town.

Doing good work means people want you to do more good work. Ok. Note taken. So, to add to it, 11000AD slowly started moving back into work mode.

With the company on a good run, we decided to bring on board more folks to work on it, and we have a more solid idea where to go next with both the VFX and gaming departments within the studio to make sure everything moves forward.

11000AD was always supposed to be the experimental lab to test things out – but now it’s also an integrated gaming division of the company, with a sign on the door, and all.

A few major technical decisions had to be made, too. Although super appealing – Godot will remain in our hearts and on our drives but until it has an airtight support for targeting mobile devices – we’ll have to stick with Unity 3D to make it happen. TBH – we always planned to develop in Unity.

And – also – Covenant’s finally gone 3D! Well, actually, 2.5D. Which is still 3D, but our main characters and NPCs are sprites in 3D space. And it looks freaking awesome and cute 🙂

We can still keep the pixel art look and feel, but the coding is so much more streamlined as there’s a whole bunch of amazing 3D tools we can use.

So – here’s some visuals of shape of things to come. This, by no means are final visuals, there’s definitely much more going in with shader research and different models of creating the pixel art look and feel straight out of the shader.

The biggest challenge now shifts to creating prefabs to work with this new approach and still keep the desired look. But it’s lots of fun! More to come.

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