v0.1 Demo Release!

Andrew: Seasons greetings! Good news, we wrapped up the major bugs/etc for this version, v0.1, and it’s now available for download!

Download The Update

You can download the update either on-

IndieDB: http://www.indiedb.com/games/the-arcane-relics/downloads

Or here on-

Itch.io: https://niemi-bros.itch.io/the-arcane-relics

Don’t forget, on Itch.io you have the option to donate. 😉

Any help will be much appreciated.

And, we leave you with a quick trailer

With this release, we’ll be taking a break from TAR. Maybe we’ll actually take a vacation this time.

We’ll say it again, Happy Holidays and have a Happy New Year too everyone! Enjoy the demo! 😀


February’s Progress: Castle Beginnings

Andrew: Hello everyone, here’s our development progress for the month of February:

Castle Preview

(WIP. Battlements still needed atop round stair towers)

Preliminary view of the Great Hall

The Town Castle is coming along, but is quite sparse at the moment. The layout of rooms, although not quite historical (not that we were going for that), is basically complete.

  • Water: Jon has added fading alpha to the water shader with the fog distance.

  • Glass: I’ve been delving into shader coding, creating a “simple” glass shader with distortions similarly to the water shader, so there’s only one glass object per pane. Previously, there was one for glass & one for refraction.
  • Grass: Jon has also been experimenting with parting/interactive foliage shader. Currently, grass/ferns/etc will bulge & bend when player one moves into/nearby.

Programming update: Jon continues to work on programming himself into corners. 🙂 He’s been working on AI, and an improved encounter system.

And we’ll leave you with this:

Marvel at what this entails…

Also, we may or may not be working on a small side project…

Until next month. 🙂

January’s Progress: Eye Candy

Jon: Long time no see! Despite our silence, we have been working away. Now that we’ve released v0.1, we begin our journey to the next version.

Here’s what we’ve been working on so far:


I’ve been dabbling in shaders this month and managed to get some things working, though all still WIP. Have a look:

  • Eye: The iris is now drawn right on the same object as the eyeball! This allows the specular shines to seamlessly blend from eyeball to iris, unlike before. Previously, the iris was overlaid as a separate object on top of the eyeball.

  • Splatmap: Using Unity’s terrain painting is essentially what this is, but we wanted to customize it so we made our own.

Notice the floor, walls, and ceiling are blending! (This image has been brightened.)

  • Interior Blend (Triplanar?): The idea behind this shader is that it interpolates between 3 textures based upon the vertex normals! This works well for cave or dungeon corridors.

Notice the improved edges where the water meets land.

  • Water: Previously, we overlaid several planes (2 planes scrolling in different directions, and a refractive plane) to achieve the look of the old water. Now with the new shader, it’s all done in with a single plane.
  • Crest: Started a shader for displaying crests/images onto shields and surcoats. I’m not showing you this yet. 🙂

Scene Transitions

Another thing I’ve been working on is improving scene transitions and fancying up the loading screen. I have managed to improve some things:

  • Loading messages will change if loading takes a long time
  • Loading messages will be less likely to repeat in a play session now
  • Fade in/outs are smoother
  • Added a ‘quickload’ option for scene transitions that are quite short such as initial splash to title screen, just fades in and back out, once loaded.

For other Unity users out there, I found that even when using additive asynchronous scene loading there’d be a hitch. This is due to many Awake/Start calls executing at once, which are on the main thread, after the scene load has finished…

For scenes such as the Town, this really increases loading time and I have been working on some solutions. Nothing concrete yet…


Started the basic Fatigue system that we’ve been thinking about for a while. Maybe you noticed the thin yellow bar under stamina that never did anything? Well, now as you consume stamina, you will slowly fatigue, which will temporarily limit your maximum stamina, until it’s recovered by eating or sleeping. Once fully fatigued, you will pass out temporarily.

We don’t want to turn the game into another survival game, but wanted to increase incentive to bringing food on journeys and making sleeping more beneficial.

  • Book UI now only displays one page at a time… It was taking me too long to edit books. At this point, time is of the essence. :/
  • Reworked NPC GOAP Planning, spreads logic out over multiple frames to reduce hitches. WIP.
  • Console can now be opened in any scene, even in the title screen.

Along with updating the current scenes to use the new shaders, Andrew has begun building a castle!

Just a quick reminder, this is progress towards the next version, probably v0.2, so this is not in the active release, yet.

Have a good one!