Sword Reverie had a huge year in 2019, going from an idea in our heads to a game that is moving full speed ahead in production. Looking back, here are the key milestones we accomplished in 2019.
We started 2019 by experimenting with various ideas. We knew we wanted to recreate the feeling of power you had when playing a JRPG, especially the adrenaline rush when you launched an ability. However, we weren’t sure what’s the best way to trigger an ability that felt natural in VR. Button presses didn’t take advantage of what VR had to offer. Beat Saber style gameplay took away player agency. When we tried out body gesture triggers it all clicked. Using poses to launch abilities felt natural and made you feel like a martial artist. It was also an experience you can only get in VR. This became the core concept we built around.
Once we knew how we wanted the game to play, we hired artists to help us envision how the game should look. The game is inspired by the many JRPG games we played and anime we watched, and we made sure the vibrant and colorful cel-shaded color stayed truthful to that Japanese art style.
After we were happy with the designs for the characters and enemies, we had them modeled and textured. These were the first assets we created for Sword Reverie.
Getting the artist’s vision for the world into VR proved to be challenging due to the performance requirements. Unwilling to comprise on the look, we utilized multiple Unity assets and optimization techniques to get the results we want. Check out our previous post for a more detailed explanation on how we did it.
Abilities are a key part of our game, and we wanted our abilities to look powerful and stylized. In pancake games, even if the game is fully 3d, 2d textures and particles are often used. However, in VR even the VFX needs to be fully 3d and volumetric, especially from the player angle.
We finished 2019 hard at work animating our characters and enemies. All our characters and enemies have been rigged. We also have finished 100+ animations, and only have a handful to wrap up. You can check out our previous post to see a few more of our animations on Sketchfab.
What to expect in 2020?
After we wrap up animations and integrate them into the game and put the finishing touches on the gameplay and VFX, we will be focusing on AI so the combat is more intense and strategic. We also need to implement UI and progression. Most of the time in 2020 will be spent on building the actual levels and story content. We would also love to spend more time on fit and finish so our game can be more polished. But most importantly, we want to get the game into your hands sometime in 2020 so we can hear your thoughts on it!