Tomas Sala talks to art style over his upcoming fantasy flight open World Roleplay.
There is no shortage of dog vapor games in the market, but Tomas Salas upcoming The Falconeeer promises something unique and interesting. With his beautiful art style, an open world that promises haunting views and secrets, RPG mechanics and more, the game certainly seems to offer an experience that is strongly different from the games, which usually focus on air vapors and explorations. Due to the Xbox One and the PC, there are still a lot of whom we know nothing _The falconeeer, _ in the hope to learn more about it, we have recently sent some of our questions to Tomas Sala, the developer. You can read our conversation below.
Nowadays, I find that many games are very loud and busy to look rough grainy and photorealistic. The style I use is much more an attempt to make a 3D game look like an illustration.
_ The Falconeer _ Art style looks excellent. Can you talk about how you have visualized the game during early development and how you decided especially for this art style?
I have worked a long time to this style, after the moonwide to Elswyr (a series of SKRIM mods I made in 2013). I wanted something simple and clean and really the opposite of sculptural / photorealistic art SKRIM mods required. I started my first solo project called Oberon’s Court and really developed the style as a texturless, minimalist look.
I never finished Oberon’s Court for a variety of reasons, but the style has remained and became a trademark for me. The core is a very technical-intensive style where atmosphere and shading can be widely advanced, but the models and geometry have relatively modest complexity. I like it that you can see how it was done, and it does not hide that it is an abstract representation of the world. Nowadays, I find that many games look very loud and looks busy to look rough grainy and photorealistic. The style I use is much more an attempt to make a 3D game look like an illustration, some clean, the atmosphere and action mediates with the lowest number of elements.
How is the concept of a dog vapor game arose where the game is mounted on a bird?
To be honest, after I had scrapped Oberon’s farm, I had a lot of art left, so I decided to make a small gamejam as a tribute to the games that I grew up , Tie Fighter, Crimson Skies, Drakkan, Freelancer and so forth. And for that I used a dragon model I still had. What surprisingly worked well, except that I realized that I was full of dragons … So I made a small test with a bird and a tab and only clicked. It had a magical charm from the beginning!
Can you tell us how the mechanics and ideas of a traditional flight-oriented game can be transferred to the riding of a bird?
I started with a pretty straightforward flying physics, but the gameplay started properly when I have added a way to make acrobatics and barrel rolls. Then suddenly it felt a lot of biological and more natural and the mechanics added something completely different. Another aspect is that the bird is to have a little freedom of choice, the feeling that he is not a vehicle and not against obstacles, which must be carefully weighed to avoid the players’ decisions. At the moment it is really subtle, so just a hint, but just enough to give you this feeling.
I would love it if there is a good part of the content, and all I can now say is that what is on the drawing board is not a short linear story experience, but much more, but something, that I can not confirm now.
What kind of progress mechanics can players expect? The Falconeer As far as upgrades and adjustments are concerned?
There are a number of ways to improve the performance of your bird as well as the weapons you can equip. Your bird is enhanced by mutagenes, light mutagenes can be exchanged, but heavy mutagenes are permanent buffs for speed, agility, healing and so on. There are different types of weapons, from heavy cannon weapons to Kardan magnetic guns and flashlights. These are available in a variety of qualities that you can acquire in the shops in the world.
Can you talk about how the fight develops through progress when players continue to come into play?
The core will always be air-air air fights, but in the course of progress, the enemies that encounter them, from other falconers and war birds over large and small airships to large ships in the air. There will be a number of chapters in the plot, each having their own enemy style, including dragons and the fantastic creatures such as flying mantarays and giant halls.
There is also a wide selection of floor or surface objectives, from merchant ships and regular battleships to large dreadnoughts and again a selection of fantastic creatures, including a converting fortress on crab base.
How much emphasis does The falconeeer put on exploration? Is there several islands or sights, for example, to promote exploration?
It is an open world in which the player can explore a decent size of the ocean. I try to keep things so compact that it does not feel like they are unnecessarily flying over an empty ocean. However, the player has the opportunity to discover lost temples and secrets that are hidden among the waves. There are also fractions and independent settlements and cities where you can find shops or secondary missions and discover a whole series of really special offset pieces.
About how long does an average playing of The falconeer take?
I am currently working on the chapters / campaign content, so that’s hard to say. As a single developer everything can go fast if you rush through your content to test and create it. I would love it if there is a good part of the content, and all I can now say is that what is on the drawing board is not a short linear story experience, but much more, but something that I am not ready to confirm only.
Of course, I do not think you can do a game in 2020 and can not think about the next generation, but right now my focus is on the first release of PC and Xbox One.
Could you consider in view of the upcoming next generation to port the game to newer hardware?
Of course, I do not believe that you can make a game in 2020 and do not think about the next generation, but right now my focus is on the first PC and Xbox One version.
Will the game Xbox One X-specific improvements contain? Are 4k / 60 fps on the cards?
I would say 60fps should even be possible on a normal Xbox One. In this way I am purist and would hate to down to 30 fps. There will be a resolution increase for the X, but that’s TBC, as some of the VFX I created like the volumetric clouds with increasing resolution take more power. The game looks incredibly crisp at higher resolutions, so I would like to support 4k sometime.
Much has been talked about SSDs for which the Xbox Series X has been confirmed. What is the greatest impact on development?
I think it will help a lot at the loading times, SSDs are just a factor faster. I think that’s the main point where you will be helpful
The Xbox Series X also has GDDR6 memory. What impact will this have on games in conjunction with the other advances we will see in the next generation consoles?
On the console some peculiarities must occur, which related to the memory management and the instantiation of content at runtime. Basically, you can create enemies and explosions on the PC, but on the console you are always waiting for the starting blocks that were previously created or summarized for use. This is the kind of workaround, which may no longer be required in the future. As a developer, some complex effects can be easily achieved and therefore more commonly used. I think as before could this lead to more complex simulations and a general increase in the lifelike rendering loyalty in terms of behavior and content, rather than in relation to visual elements.
If you bring a new title at the end of the lifecycle, this is a comfort, people who invest in Xbox Series X can continue to enjoy The Falconeer.
Downward compatibility is something else, whereupon both new consoles are pretty strong. Which influence will this in your opinion have both from the perspective of developers and consumers?
I think most developers are already aligned across platform. In this sense, this is less a problem than 10 or 20 years ago. However, if you promote a new title at the end of the lifecycle, this is a consolation, people who invest in Xbox Series X can continue to enjoy The Falconeer.