Devlog #7 – Trip to backlands/Make of Firmina’s goats

#2 Goats

The goats aren’t just beloved by Firmina, we love them as well! They represent a lot about the time we got together at Canudos, doing our research for the project. They carry out part of the narrative and mechanics, which result on demands for their creation process. Goats are curious and have unique features responsible to enrich the environment and the game’s universe, because of this, have them as a feature was an important and fun process for all the team .

Listed below is the experience resume:

Problems:

  • The initial idea of the goats(with some IA and follow mechanic) was too dynamic if compared with the majority of features we had made till that time;
  • Due to the importance of the goats into backlands’ culture, the make of each one should be unique;

Solutions:

  • Three pathfinding studies had to be made in order to a more efficient construction to the goat’s behavior;
  • The make of different types of bodies using the color and features based on references and our own experience with them, making a background to each one of them; 

 

(Trip we made to the backlands, goats that we found in our path)

 

The initial idea of use goats came from the necessity of represent the region’s fauna with more movement, because until then the game was pretty static. Our travel to Canudos was an amazing experience, because we got the chance to see them at close range, watch how they behave (always too unpredictable), the way they are raised with freedom to walk far distances from their houses(something cultural and practiced by many people), how some of them are very affective. From this point it was possible to make visual concepts and behaviors for the universe of Arida.

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 (Pic from us at the backlands, the goats appreciating sunset with us)

 

At the beginning, we used names from our internal jokes to name the goats, until the non officialization of this land us quite the trouble with ours internal documents: for each document, had a different name for the goats. To solve this issue, we manage to make a poll with the possible names, making use of diminutive and augmentative and references of the region.

It was very important to give individuality to each goat. Rosinha, for example, likes to eat fruits, so she is easily found next fruit tree. Different from Bexiga, who likes to explore further territories. Zezinho is the most  “agitated” and likes to hide. Casemiro Neto, despite unlikely goes far, likes to hide in cornered places.

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(A screenshot from our map’s navmesh, necessary to make the pathfinding work)

 

Over the code field, the make of these creatures give us some challenge. Despite the enjoy of our players, the first moviment system version, the pathfinding, was simple because its goal on the quest. But we wanted to be something better, in performance and experience quality, so we run three studies about it.

The first, was made full movement system since the starts of it, aiming to represent the best way possible the experience we had at the backlands. But, because the need of optimization performance we had to make a cheaper version. The second study was based on scripts reference, with the goal of optimize the system so the interference over the performance was lighter, but the result made a drastic pit on the behavior’s quality of the goats inside the terrain. To solve this situation, we gathered and discussed the mechanical boundaries that would be used and from this we decided to use the default system from Unity, but with the add of our studies benefits, using the advantage of better performance and movement quality.

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(An image from the game, Rosinha and her thing)

 

 In addition to what was written above, two new features were inserted during the development: A fourth goat and goat’s poo. The new goat, Bexiga, is placed in the quest and have an important value for the narrative and exploration. The poops are a possible guide to localization, and a visual game’s juicy.

The Firmina’s quest series shows a slice of the live experience we had on the backlands and despite the growth of the little ones got and gave to us, the progress can’t stop and we’ll follow their legacy by another ways.

So, did you ever happened to have contact with a goat and its peculiarities? Share with us o/

 

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