Highlights from Deadhaus' July 2019 Development Update

Golden Xan

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Apocalypse released a new video, as shown here. I'll leave it below for reference. In sequence, I'm going to showcase what I believe to be some of the highlights from the video.


Highlights

0:18 - Overhauling the artwork

Some time ago Apocalypse decided to extend the development by 6 months, furthering the founder's packages availability and delaying the release date. I wasn't sure what was the reasoning behind it and I figured it was for adding extra content. Now, I believe the art changes might have been one of the key reasons (but not necessarily the only one) for that. An art overhaul might require them to start a bunch of stuff from scratch, after all.

0:37 - Procedural generation
Apocalypse had mentioned before that some aspects of the game are procedurally generated, namely the levels themselves. Denis mentioned now that "everything" is procedurally generated. I'm thinking this is, still, every level only being procedurally generated. The music, the art, the assets themselves seems to be handcrafted.
Procedural generation, when done right, is capable of creating variety with familiarity. Games such as Diablo III have done it on maps to make every dungeon new, yet familiar. Games like No Man's Sky have taken it a step further to generate an entire universe with procedural generation, including ships, alien creatures, structures, and terrain, yet with many faults and a long, rocky start. It is not a simple feature to get implemented and it does require a lot of adjustments: the difficulty in procedural generation lies in making it seem natural.
I particularly think this is a smart move for Deadhaus as a free to play coop experience. While you don't need to have a new experience every time you play a game, it does add to its value if you do, especially with you buddies. This is also good for streaming and ongoing development architectures... two things that Deadhaus advertises as being its focus.
0:52 - First developer introduction: Ray So - Character Artist
This is the first time we got an Apocalypse developer directly talking to us.

1:43 - Second developer introduction: John Vander Baar - VFX Artist
John might have been the person who made the screenshots we've got to see of the revamped lightning system on the Apocalypse Discord channel. [Click on the images to enlarge them]
525354statue_monk_ss.jpgvamp_ss3.jpgstatue_cth_ss.jpg

2:35 - Revenant gameplay
In the first gameplay footage we got, we were able to see less than a second or so of the Revenant in action. This is the first time we are seeing actual clips of early Revenant gameplay.
I think the most prevalent aspect of it is that the Revenant slides to the next enemy when first engaging them, or chaining into them. It might be that this is a common system among the game's melee characters, as this does happen with the Vampire as well in its combos. It's a way of keeping the combat flowing when enemies are spread. But there is a good chance that this might not make it to the release, as both enemies and playable characters will change considerably.

3:36 - Banshee concept art
This is the first concept art we got of the Banshee, one of the playable classes in Deadhaus Sonata. As we can see, its most prominent feature are the daggers in her hand, the fact that she's floating, and her veil and dress.
Looks like some of our character speculation might have been on point. The Banshee will likely be an agile character, possibly an assassin, as evidenced by the rogue nature of the dual blades.
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5:31 - Community content creation
Denis briefly mentions that people from outside the development team, the players, might be able to add content to the game and that it has something to do with the Lumberyard's procedural generation capabilities. If we're talking about the engine, it's likely art assets or map design. A quite differentiated contribution from players. Modding has been known to maintain whole communities of old games alive throughout gaming history, and having this available on release might help increasing its reach and creating fidelity.

7:03 - More Revenant gameplay footage

8:05 - Background information on the Liche

I don't know why we call it "Liche" instead of Lich, but I guess that just depends on where did you first hear the name. :)
Denis described it as "A magic user that uses dark magic to the point where it starts destroying their own essence, or soul, and then become undead." They've connected this with the character's mana type system. As it turns out, the Liche has a mana system that seems to be a mix of three of my theories: the Banshee's, the Vampire's, and the Liche's mana types. It also sheds some background on how the Liche is turned into undead.
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Interestingly, the Liche has three sources for its magical powers. They can use the souls of their enemies, their own mana pool, and their own health. How you can recover any of these pools once they are depleted remains unknown.
It is possible that the act of "capturing a vessel" and turning it into essence is one of your main abilities as a Liche, similarly to how the Vampire can suck blood using one of its abilities.

10:04 - Third developer introduction: Steve Cupani - Audio Designer & Composer + Soundtrack sample
He says that every character will have their own theme and musical treatment. That should add considerably to the sensation of playing a different kind of character when we switch classes.

11:28 - Concept art from another, unknown, location - EDIT: Deadhaus Gates
Here we get to see a new image. It seems to be another temple of sorts, with huge statues of guardian warriors protecting it, and the Cosmology Mapping etched in the middle of the doors with a lot of engravings on the structure. What are they telling us?
EDIT: We were told on Discord that this place is called "Deadhaus Gates".
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12:56 - Denis announces the next info release will be about community-driven content.

That is all for this video. Leave your impressions in the comments below and take your shot at what do the engravings on the temple means!

 

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Megaton late night update. I will have to sink into this video and read for days to come. Nice update
 

Livin

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I like that the lich's magic can be powered by their health, creating opportunities where the players are free to lay it all on the line for a hail Mary.
 
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Golden Xan

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Megaton late night update. I will have to sink into this video and read for days to come. Nice update
I'm looking forward to your YouTube video on all that. :)

I like that the lich's magic can be powered by their health, creating opportunities where the players are free to lay it all on the line for a hail Mary.
Indeed! If there are hard enough circumstances in the game for us having to do that, it will be very interesting to see it play out naturally. Potentially exciting gameplay moments. :devilish:
 
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Denis Dyack

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Great discussion here :). To help a little with some speculation and explanation of the gameplay and death, we have added a classes page to the website that we will add to overtime. We will be doing a video overview of this system in the future as well.

Enjoy:

 
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Denis Dyack

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I don't know why we call it "Liche" instead of Lich, but I guess that just depends on where did you first hear the name. :)
"Liche" is the old English spelling and at times I prefer these spellings. Many people have pointed out this issue out for us. It is like the spelling of magick. :) That is a little different of course.
 
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Golden Xan

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To help a little with some speculation and explanation of the gameplay and death, we have added a classes page to the website that we will add to overtime. We will be doing a video overview of this system in the future as well.
Great! Thanks for sharing! :D
"Liche" is the old English spelling and at times I prefer these spellings. Many people have pointed out this issue out for us. It is like the spelling of magick. :) That is a little different of course.
Ah, I see. I will get used to it eventually. 😁