The beautiful, enchanted world of Driftmoon trembles in the shadow of a forgotten evil, for the dark King Ixal is again gathering his forces. The last hope of an enchanted world lies in an unlikely alliance: a hyperactive firefly, a queen panther with a whale-sized ego, and a fellow who's lost all but his bones. They'll take you on a journey like no other, full of amazing adventures, and fearsome foes.
Driftmoon will be released on the 26th of February 2013, that's less than a week away! Thinking back to the summer days of 2005 when all of this started, I can only say that Driftmoon has far exceeded my expectations. A lot of things can fit in seven years of development, and certainly there were times when I thought such a huge project could never be completed. But finally (and with the help of a huge amount of people - especially my developer companion and lovely wife Anne), Driftmoon is now very nearly ready!
Celebrating our soon-to-be launch, we're proud to present you with the brand new Driftmoon launch trailer! We'd be happy to hear what you think about it (...and at the same time desperately hoping you like it after all those sleepless hours of putting it together)!
Ps. Have you noticed the new Driftmoon logos yet?
Here's something I've been feverishly working on for the last couple of days. It started simply enough, I just wanted my 3D model to have a bit more depth, and it turned out to be a rewrite of the code that handles lights. Maybe you can guess which picture is which?
Recent Driftmoon coverage:
Right now we are giving the finishing touches to the game! Yay!
Ps. There's a known bug in the current version that may sometimes prevent passing the gargoyle puzzle near the end of the game. We're going to release a bugfix soon, but before we do, be sure to save your game before attempting the puzzle. Thanks for everyone who sent a report of this! [Update] The bugfix is now live.
If you've been holding your breath, waiting for this announcement, you can finally inhale (we can only hope you've survived the long wait with minimal damage): The worldwide release date for Driftmoon is now officially set for the 26th of February, 2013!
[Roaring applause, the crowd rises to its feet, and whistling fills the air.] Wow, thanks! Glad to hear you're almost as excited as we are!
Other good news: Starting from release, Driftmoon will be available through an awesome gaming site called GOG.com! In accordance to the GOG.com principles, a copy of Driftmoon that you buy there will be completely DRM-free: You won't have to license the game, and you won't even have to enable our amazing mod-list unless you want to (but obviously we do recommend enabling the mod list, to get access to all our cool mods, and all the hundreds more to come). As an additional bonus, our composer Gareth Meek has agreed to provide 6 of his original compositions for all Driftmoon -buyers from GOG.com.
Velvet has cleverly decided that the sliding storage room is no place for a respectable panther queen.
Ps. Any amazing trailer ideas? A new trailer is next on our to-do list, so we're all ears...
We've just released Driftmoon beta version 0.996! This is the first version featuring our new, tilted viewing angle that we mentioned earlier. It's available right here. If you haven't had a chance to try Driftmoon yet, or have patiently been waiting for us to add the angled camera feature, then now is the best time to start playing! And before you ask, yes, the full adventure is all there now, from start to finish.
I have to say that we've both been surprised by how noticeably our recent work has upgraded the graphics of Driftmoon. More importantly, it has brought the characters of the world more alive, so it has clearly been working toward our goals as developers.
An important notice to all who wish to continue from their existing saved games, and try the new angled camera. We have had to considerably upgrade some of the areas in the game to make them work better in the angled view, but those upgrades don't reach any areas that have already been opened in your saved game. That is, if you've been to an area already, you will see some small graphical errors, but they should not affect gameplay. As usual, we recommend starting from the beginning, but the game should be playable if you continue with your save.
As always, we'd be very happy to hear what you think of the new version! You can comment here, or at our forum - but the easiest way is probably still through our in-game feedback-function (press the letter "F" while playing). We're especially interested in any graphical bugs and glitches that our new visuals may have produced, but all other feedback is welcome as well.
As mentioned in an earlier post, it is possible to adjust the viewing angle while playing, by using Page Up and Page Down, so anyone wishing to stick to the traditional top-down perspective, will be able to do so very easily.
Ps. Our never-expiring Driftmoon discount codes will be available through the demo up until the end of February 2013. Be sure to grab yours before that.
It's review time again!
We just got word of a brand new review of Driftmoon, and thought we'd share it with you. Reading the review made the two of us very happy, because the reviewer had had such an awesome time with Driftmoon. By his request we also let him try out our upcoming version with the tilting camera angle (which, by the way, is currently undergoing beta testing!
The review at kelevandos.blogspot.com is originally in Polish, but the reviewer kindly sent us an English translation of the summary and the final table of his review. Here it is:
"While the release of Driftmoon is still almost a month away, I am already sure that it will be a great, unique game. For me there is no element of this little beauty that I would not like and it is really hard to find a flaw. Some time ago I could have written that the camera angle could not appeal to everybody, but Instant Kingdom changed even this, asked by the players. So I honestly recommend Driftmoon to every RPG fan and every player in general. The game is solid, full of interesting content and provides a huge amount of fun. I promise you will not be disappointed!"
By the way, there is a little Driftmoon-related contest running at the kelevandos facebook page at least up until today (the 6th), so it might be worth checking out (you may have a chance to win yourself a copy of Driftmoon).
Ps. If someone with a lot of time on their hands for the next few days is extra-interested in joining our magnificent beta group, please send us an email!
The biggest secret of Driftmoon is that it's actually 3D! I bet you thought that it was purely a top-down game, right? Maybe you thought that it would be impossible to turn the camera, even a tiny fraction? Actually that was completely true a week ago, when we suddenly started wondering how the game would look from a more angled viewpoint, and in a mad coding frenzy got to work.
The new camera tilt feature in action, coming soon to your Driftmoon (when we get it fully working and tested)
The top-down camera angle is something that often comes up when people see Driftmoon for the first time. I've never seen a feature that divides people more, some people love it, and some people don't even want to try the game because they fear the perspective. I believe it's largely an issue of what you have become accustomed to. I started my gaming life playing games with a top-down perpective like Ultima VII, and grew up with isometric games like Planescape: Torment. The fully top-down camera of Driftmoon has never been an issue to me, but that may just be because I've been playing too many ancient games. And here's the important philosophical point, I'm not here to make games for me, I'm here to make games for other people to play. That's why we're adding controls to change the camera angle!
The tricky part is that we've originally designed the graphics with a pure top-down viewpoint in mind, and changing the camera even slightly would have resulted in everything looking very strange. That's what we've been doing for the last week, making sure things look good from an angled point of view. Having said that, it won't be possible to change the camera all that much, but I think that even this small change does makes a difference in how the game looks - for the better, of course. But the best thing is that in the future, all of our players will have the possibility to choose the viewpoint they themselves prefer.
So, which screenshot do you prefer? The fully top-down, or the slightly tilted one?
Modders: The tilt feature won't be enabled in mods by default, but from the next version onwards, it will be possible for modders to enable it through settings.ini.
Oh, and I was just kidding you, this isn't the biggest secret of Driftmoon. You'll have to play the game to find it out.
Driftmoon beta 0.993 brings you the Moon Rocket!
How is it that when you want to add just one archery skill, you get two? Playing a nearly purely archer character, I wanted to snipe my enemies before they could get a chance to get to me. Guess what? That wasn't possible, because the range of my archer just wasn't good enough. No problem, make a new skill for it! It's simply called Archery, and will increase your range, as well as your accuracy.
Secondly, I felt that while archery was cool by itself, it really lacked in the territory where the Whirlwind skill is good with melee weapons - crowd control. No problem, make a new skill for it: The Moon Rocket! It fires an explosive arrow that gives a very satisfying boom, and your problems are gone! Naturally you have to be a bit careful with it, you can easily hit yourself if your target gets too close, or if you accidentally hit a wall. Which is to say, playing an archer is now a lot more fun.
I give you the Driftmoon Release Candidate, version 0.99! With this version we've fixed about 200 typos, and otherwise improved the wording of our texts. Writing a roleplaying game is a huge effort, so small mistakes are bound to creep into the dialogues. I want to give special thanks to our testers for helping us find all the errors! Driftmoon couldn't be this great without you.
An important fix with this version is that we've finally had a chance to optimize our rendering code. While Driftmoon works on pretty much any old computer, even first generation netbooks, there are locations in the game that have been visibly slower. The biggest culprit, terrain rendering, is now much more optimized, and runs up to 30% faster in the previously slow locations.
If you haven't tried Driftmoon yet, try out the Driftmoon demo. Not only is there an excellent adventure in it, you can also play all of the Driftmoon mods and even make your own adventures and roleplaying games, completely free of charge!
[Update] 0.991 fixes a small error with the new stun effect. Apparently it was possible to attack it.
[Update] 0.992 fixes the companion-repeating bug caused by the previous fix. If you have too many followers, the only way to fix it is to go back to a save where you didn't, and never go back to any areas where you visited before the update.
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The minimaps in Driftmoon are very useful, but up until now they've been a bit on the blurry side. Since I wanted to re-render all of the game's minimaps before release, I decided that now is a good time to see what I can do about increasing map details.
At first I thought about using a bigger texture, going from size 1024 to 2048, but then I realized something. Most of our minimaps have quite a bit of black in them, because the available world size is much bigger than what is actually used by the map. So why not use that black space to improve precision? Here's a comparison. Quite a bit more detail in it, right?
Modders can activate the new functionality through the map settings dialog, just click the "Fit minimap to borders" button, and from thereon, the minimap renderer will fit the minimap to the map borders you've defined. Just remember, if you change the map border locations, you'll also need to re-render the minimap.