devblog 014

This month I've been deep into zbrush, sculpting the human female model. The model itself is just about done and looking awesome in-game, thanks to new and improved skin shading and more realistic eyes. The low poly is just about complete too, requiring only some minor touch-ups for smooth butt and boob silhouettes once I've finalized the high poly sculpt. As well as all that I've been working on our hair shader (anisotropic highlights), which I'm hoping to have ready for the girl's debut in our next demo. I'm planning to have the model itself ready early next week, after which I'll be getting her rigged and playable in a new demo. In the demo she'll be debuting in her first scene along with a few other small surprises. Exciting stuff :)

Hey folks, this one's a small "usability" update after a morning of playtesting with Anika and Discord folks. Changes:
  • Tweaked shadow quality, tree LODs, grass density & draw distance to improve performance on older machines ("Fantastic" quality setting)
  • You can now sell your monsters for 5g each, so grinding out quests for the inn events is less tedious - this is still super unbalanced right now but we want you to be able to play around with everything
  • Pressing "Esc" should now close any open in-game menu and if there is none open, bring up the pause menu
  • Character creator debug code remains the same
Windows download:
devblog013: Quests, dialogue and intro demo and plans for the month

New demo here!

The latest demo shows the quest & dialogue systems that are now back in the game, along with some simple gathering & world interactions. We now have something resembling an introduction in the game, giving a small teaser of the story to come. As well as all of that, there's a basic job board and an inn where you can have a drink, sample some special entertainment, or just put your feet up and get some rest - if you're willing to spend the coin.

Anika has written a bit more about it all here:

As for the next two weeks; work on integrating combat & breeding together into the game is still well underway and we're aiming for a new major release later this month. There may or may not be another demo in the interim, depending on whether we get time to add more features for the big release :)

New demo here!

The latest demo shows the quest & dialogue systems that are now back in the game, along with some simple gathering & world interactions. We now have something resembling an introduction in the game, giving a small teaser of the story to come. As well as all of that, there's a basic job board and an inn where you can have a drink, sample some special entertainment, or just put your feet up and get some rest - if you're willing to spend the coin.

devblog012: New demo, progress update & toaster-friendlier patch

Hail and Happy New Year everybody! I got restless and had to sneak in some art practice over the break (which I can't wait to show everybody...), but otherwise I spent the week getting plenty of quality crunch recovery time ;)

Since Tuesday I've been back to work on the game, focusing on integrating the monster stable and basic breeding system back into it. As well as that, I've set up a neat little character portrait renderer with custom lighting to make managing these things easier (and prettier!). I've put together a quick demo build (v0.5.0) showcasing this week's progress; the stable UI and basic monster breeding. Within it you'll be able to see most of the old animations between a selection of randomly generated Succubi and Minotaurs. Over the coming week I'll be integrating this demo functionality into the main game, adding wild monster capture as well as starting on monster training and new quests. Exciting stuff!

v0.5.0 available here:

Finally, I've uploaded a minor update for v0.4.0 (v0.4.1) which adds the ability to bypass the "Welcome" screen by pressing "Escape" as well as disabling all full screen image effects for the "Basic" quality setting. This should help some of you running the game on toasters to bypass crashing on load. The game's graphics settings will be better adjustable in the future when I finally get around to finishing the fancy menus I developed for them, but until then this is the best I can do to help out lower end machines. To go with that: the game's unlikely to run very well (or at all) on many integrated graphics cards, especially if they're pre-DX11. If I had the resources to optimize the game's art and levels for them then I'd give it a shot, but at the moment I'm just a one man army :)

toaster-friendlier patch available here:...

mirror 1:
mirror 2:

Christmas is here already and we *just* made it! In order to get the build out in time, we've chopped everything that isn't yet finished/usable and focussed on releasing a playable test of the environment/exploration and animations. Please enjoy running (and jumping...) around Cocksbury and feel free to have a play with the Succubi hanging about the place ;)

Also, an imporant message for our Patrons: you may notice that our pledge tiers have just been reorganised, along with some other changes and improvements. Importantly, the $1 and $20 tiers are now gone and the $3 and higher tiers now receive rewards including early access to major releases, major release debug codes, exclusive demo/test builds and an invite to our Discord. The rewards that have been phased out (Patron credits, the Wailing Chasm tag and the $10 founders' game access) will be fulfilled ASAP (most likely in the next major release) for everybody that's pledged for them in the past. They will not be available to new patrons for the foreseeable future.

I'll be having a break from work for a week over the Christmas & New Year holiday, starting as of this post :) We hope you all have a great holiday and we'll see you in January!

Banner art by the awesome @momdadno (momdadno.tumblr.com)
devblog 010: trigger warning: techno-babble ahead

According to my SVN log, this past week I've worked on:
  • rig setup for left + right weapons, including sheathing
  • script for batch retarget/bake/export of animations in Maya
  • stored Unity animation settings + clips in JSON settings files to allow for easy rig changes & reimports
  • Unity project cleanup (removed old unused assets, cleared caches and reimported everything)
  • fixed glitch in idle animation loop
  • implemented combat animations
  • added animation layers for player character (base, full body, upper body) allowing for full body animations that then blend into an on-the-move upper body variant
  • modified Simulation (game logic) module to use fixed timestep (currently locked at 30hz)
  • added custom weapon collision routines
  • added shield bash + sword slash abilities for player
  • added "None" Unit Ability target type for in-place abilities that use manual aiming/weapon collision rather than traditional targeting
  • fixed bug with missed input due to catchup timestepping in Simulation
  • improved 3rd person camera
  • improved landing logic (no more floating up slopes)
  • fixed most remaining C# warnings
  • added ability bar w/ configurable hotkeys
  • added player/target unit status HUD
  • fleshed out unit spawners; they are now serialised with GameData (in other words monsters are saved/reloaded properly now)
  • monsters now die after lingering for a short time. this also persists correctly between saves/loads
  • assorted code cleanup
.... phew. Now that that's finished, here's a little bit about our game's ability system:

The ability system for Pillars is heavily influenced by the system Valve developed for DOTA 2 (which I'm guessing was in turn heavily influenced by Warcraft 3 ... and so on, and so forth ;)). I implemented most of it back in August but as you may have seen above, I've just now gone back in to add a few...

devblog 009: Moshing Minotaurs

Blocked out some key poses for monster attack & seduce animations last Monday, thought they'd be fun for you guys to look at :)

These will be fleshed out this week along with others as I finish up the player v monster encounters!
The Return

Hey everyone! If you hang around chat much or follow me on Picarto (http://picarto.tv/amra), you may be aware that I've been getting back into full time Pillars dev. I've been working hard on it since early November and am excited announce that the next demo is scheduled for release on Christmas Eve 2016.

The slenderman player character's now gone, player vs. monster combat's getting close to being playable, the environment's starting to look beautiful and the rest of the game is now starting to pull together :)

In other news, we have a Discord:
I'll be announcing day-to-day stuff in there (such as work streams etc.) and will be online whenever I'm working, so feel free to drop in and have a chat or send me a message. The Discord server will be replacing our forum's chatbox soon and joining it will be tied to pledge tiers after the next update, so hop in now if you're interested :)

As mentioned earlier, I've been getting into the habit of streaming a lot of my work the past fortnight. If you see me online (http://picarto.tv/amra), feel free to come by and see the game in progress!