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DevLog Watch: The Best GIFs Of In-Progress Games

Learn how games are made.

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You asked for it. Or specifically, users Ninja Dodo, Lexx87 and Llewyn asked for it in the People’s Games Journalist: the return of DevLog Watch. Where the old column was weekly, this one will likely be monthly. More time to pick the best game GIFs from developer updates about in-progress games, and to procrastinate by staring out the window at the sparrows.

What are you up to, sparrows?

OKHLOS [official site]

Okhlos’ historic swarm-brawling has been in development since 2012. It’s had a devlog since 2012, with detailed posts charting the progress of the game through early prototyping to its now near-complete state. That I haven’t heard of it until now is… a great thing! Now there’s all these posts to read, without the low anxiety of whether or not development or updates might stop at any moment.

Devlogs give you two things: why decisions were made and how decisions were carried out. There’s many other posts like the above post on different terrain techniques on the site, such as this one on the flocking algorithm that controls the mob of angry people you steer in the game, or this detailed look at the iterative design of the game’s logo. It’s rare to find a development log so detailed.

And the game looks pretty hot too:

Beneath The Tower [official site]

A party-based roguelike with rather swish tile art, both in the map view seen above and the combat view seen below.

I’m not sure what happened, but in the time since I stopped writing DevLog Watch, every single game on TIGSource snuck “roguelike” into its subject line. Some deserve the name, others less so. Beneath The Tower seems like the former: there’s loot, levelling, procedurally generated dungeons, and plenty to kill or be killed by. The game is also doing interesting things with terrain, where tiles are positioned at different heights and you get attack bonuses for inhabiting the higher ground.

The devlog started on TIGSource’s forums in May and is already a healthy three-pages long. There’s GIFs illustrating experiments with arrows, the process of level generation, and the myriad swish character and UI animations.

Casmage [TIGSource thread]

A game inspired by Dota that looks nothing like Dota, Casmage is a “cooperative-focused action game” whose GIFs are full of hack-and-slashery. Its Dota inspirations manifest not in the form of lanes and creeps and towers and a naive desire for money, but in being a game in which your hero’s abilities can be combined with comrades to “pull off amazing plays”. Development began last year but it’s still early doors yet, but those amazing plays might look like this:

Or this:

Or this:

Alongside combat, the game’s other main focus is exploration: levels will be procedurally generated towards that goal, and work has begun just recently on the code necessary to make that happen. Which doesn’t mean you need to wait to play it. A build produced for IndieCade has temporary handmade levels, but also functioning combat and networking already included. It’s rough but you can download it from its TIGSource thread, if you fancy a try.

Obligatory Rain World GIF

Link

That’s it till next time. Next time will either be two or four weeks from now, depending on how many GIFs of unfinished games I stumble across in the near future. I thought it might also be fun to re-visit all the game’s covered in DevLog Watch last year and check where they are now, to discover whether they’re finished, still going, or abandoned. Thoughts?

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Graham Smith

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