RuMa Earthen Temple of Par’N Maps


In the initial stages of working on “DDnD – Unsung Saviors,” I was debating on several way I could convey the game world to the players that would be playing over Discord.  This was around the time they had just introduced screensharing and video calling options, so I knew I was going to be able to do more than just post static maps (or artwork of certain areas) into the Discord chat, in hopes of immersing the players in a way that I would have deemed worthy of the source material.  That is where the roots of myself wanting to create a GM Interface came into existence, and what you see above is the first version of the RuMa Temple map, the main playing area of Campaign #1 – Tutorial.

The RuMa Temple of Par’N, as envisioned many years before creating this game, has gone through several iterations since “Legends of Saviors'” inception over two decades ago.  Originally, the temple was made up of two giant, castle-like spires, built side by side, sticking out of the ocean off the coast of one of the main continent of the planet.  RuMa, the entity itself – which was a bit more corporeal at the time – would sit in his throne room at the top of one of the spires, while his students would live and train at the top levels of the adjacent one.

As time went on, while creating more aspects of the original version of the story, a character named Yenen would eventually leave RuMa Temple and create his own castle-like domicile, and even right on the same coast that would be near his former home.  Gameplay-wise, Yenen’s Castle would be a hub for players, where they could always come back and rest to regain health, spar with holographic enemies to level up, solve small mysteries within the building, itself, read about lore of Par’N in the library, and eventually build onto the castle to add even more usable rooms.

To make a long story short, I ended up combining both ideas of Yenen’s Castle and RuMa Temple into the newer version of the temple, and was inspired by an actual landmark on American soil (called the Devils Tower), which is a large, laccolithic butte mostly composed of a purple, igneous rock, that also juts out of the ocean (however, with this version, it sticks out at the tip of the northern pole).  Considering the only way to enter the actual mountain, itself, is from a secret entryway on its plateaued top, not many have stepped foot on, or even into, the temple.  On the inside, where certain monks lived for thousands of years – through many generations and historical eras – they ended up carving out hallways and rooms, to accommodate certain needs and wants that they had.  When players enter this area in Campaign #1, some of the overarching mysteries they can optionally solve is who used to live here, why they chose this place to dwell, and where they all might have vanished to after so long of keeping this place sacred and secure.

I could go more into what each level and room above is called and meant for, but I think I will leave that up to the imagination for now, until I am able to post the videos of the game in action, from the very first team that have already tested the first campaign.  Keep on the lookout for it soon!

POI Reveal Effect v1

POI Reveal Effect in action (during Campaign #1)

Through the past few years of going to school for game development and working on indie titles by myself and with others, I have learned many facets of the production of video games: creating models using Maya, creating textures using Photoshop, utilizing the Unity engine, understanding gaming design principles in a more technical light, and even some basic programing with C#. However, I rarely ever delved into the world of sprites and VFX elements, but with the recent creation of “DDnD – Unsung Saviors,” I have gained much needed experience with both!

Just like with the other POI (being an IOI – or Item of Interest) I posted here recently, this POI (Point of Interest) is also known as a POI (but named for a Place of Interest).  Instead of using a monochrome emblem with a question mark (like with the IOI), I decided to make this one have a sort of colorful flare, and went with gold (a color that tends to jump out to humans, presenting something of worth to most of us).  The reason for using an exclamation mark instead of a question mark was to indicate a difference between items that players could collect and use (the latter), versus things that could help move along the story, be interacted with, or otherwise important to the story/game, in general (the former). I also wanted there to be consistency in the look of all POIs (regardless of their sub-genre), so using the same type of emblems and particle effects and creating small changes between them seemed like a viable solution.

Under all golden POIs (which I’m now thinking of renaming to LOIs – for Locations of Interest – to create a clear distinction) will be an important object that can be interacted with by players to further along each campaign or to optionally deepen their experiences in the game.  In the example above, once the VFX happens, the initial sprite disappears, revealing a golden and purple-colored structure, known as the Adytum Apex Tower, found in the beginning of Campaign #1.  Once unveiled, players can examine this structure, further revealing that it is a puzzle of sorts, one of many they must solve in order to get further into the mountain this tower sits upon.  Once the group-based puzzle is solved, players are allowed entry into the RuMa Temple mountain they have sought after.  There are many other POIs (or LOIs) in Campaign #1, and all serve as very important game design elements, to help keep a flow to the story and gameplay, and add excitement and interest to the players.

Interface Soul Charges (Yenen’s)


On the Player Viewer side of the GM Interface for “DDnD – Unsung Saviors,” I created a lot of elements that would be able to convey to players what was going with their characters during battles and each campaign, overall.  More often than not (other than during certain story-based events), players will only need to take their statistics into consideration when they are sparring with one another or battling against enemies.  One important aspect players must always consider when fighting is their Soul Charge Level.

Originally in the prototype fighting system “Buntaien Brawlers” that I created before I enrolled in college back in 2015, players had a Chi Gauge, a Soul Meter, and Soul Charges to indicate their basic statistics.  Every time a player would incur damage, their Chi Gauge would go down (according to a dice roll), while their Soul Charge would always go up by 1 point.  For every 4th Soul Charge accumulated (up to a maximum of 12), the player would gain a Soul Charge Level (up to a maximum of 3).  The importance of the Soul Charge system was to add in a level of growth and challenge during each battle, where for every Level gained, certain abilities could be used, and basic stats would be increased (based on which Level they had achieved).

The reason I just explained the Soul Charge system from an older project is because “DDnD – Unsung Saviors” also incorporates the same ideas and is portrayed through differently-colored emblem sprites for each of the 5 main Buntaien Characters.  For each Soul Charge Level achieved, a designated emblem will show up on the Player Viewer side, to the far right side of each character’s other statistics.

IOI Reveal Effect v1

IOI Reveal Effect in action (during Campaign #1)

Through the past few years of going to school for game development and working on indie titles by myself and with others, I have learned many facets of the production of video games: creating models using Maya, creating textures using Photoshop, utilizing the Unity engine, understanding gaming design principles in a more technical light, and even some basic programing with C#.  However, I rarely ever delved into the world of sprites and VFX elements, but with the recent creation of “DDnD – Unsung Saviors,” I have gained much needed experience with both!

As one can see above, an emblem of sorts (just like the one used for the Character Medallions) is being perforated, while orbs of light trails out and away from it.  Once the emblem with the question marks dissipates, a new emblem is revealed underneath, but this time with a different graphic on it.  Above is what I’ve termed as an IOI (or Item of Interest), one of many POIs (or Points of Interest) scattered around each of the maps in the campaigns of the game.  With this specific one, players can find them, reveal the items below, and then pass out the gear appropriately to one another.  Specifically for the example used, the item revealed is known as a piece of Gear, and is a RuMa Temple Gi Headband (which is part of an entire Gear set that players can collect in Campaign #1).

I eventually created a Unity prefab for IOIs by first making a standard question mark emblem and then some item emblem (which at this time were the 4 pieces of Gear I posted about not too long ago) sprites using Photoshop.  After importing them into Unity, I then created a simple particle effect of white light orbs bouncing away from a center point of the emblem sprites in random directions outwards, each one with a white trail coursing behind them.  At this point, I was going to have the light orbs just do their thing and then the question mark emblem simply disappear, revealing the underlying item.  However, I was in the mood to learn more about shaders and was able to find an amazing and free shader on the Unity Store.  I went into the original shader script, edited it, and then created a unique shader texture to get the desired effect I was seeing in my mind’s eye.  Lastly, I created a simple “IOIReveal” C# script that would allow GMs using the “DDnD” Interface to simply point and click on each IOI, allowing the VFX to take place.