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MASSIVE CHALICE Update #37 - Teamstream #16 Wednesday

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Hey Everyone!

This week we’re back for another Teamstream! A lot of awesome things are happening over here at Double Fine HQ so we’re moving this Teamstream up a couple days to Wednesday, February 5th at 4PM Pacific (00:00 GMT)! That’s two days from now so make sure to tune in live at our Twitch channel!

Skill Trees

One of the most important aspects to MASSIVE CHALICE is making strategic decisions about the skills that your heroes will learn throughout their SHORT MORTAL LIVES. :D! Here’s a concept from Derek that shows how you’ll be able to select skills for a hero. We’ll be talking about this on the Teamstream, along with showing off the functional prototype of this system!

UI_TacticalPaintMockup05.jpg

Extended Gameplay Demo

We’ve been cranking through our first production milestone and we’ve got a ton of new features to show off. Caberjack abilities, corruption visualization, hero equipment screen, hero skill trees, beards, grenade accuracy, male pattern baldness, and a whole bunch of other stuff has gone into the game over the last month. We also have a new feature we’re tentatively calling Chalice Powers that will help you deal with some problematic situations on the strategy layer.

The team took a break last Friday to play through the latest build of MASSIVE CHALICE and generate some feedback. We want to give you guys a peek at this build and demo a bunch of the new systems and improvements. Join us for an extended gameplay demo this Wednesday, February 5th at 4PM Pacific (00:00 GMT)!

$100 MASSIVE CHALICE Giveaway

We’ll be giving away another $100 tier of the slacker backer version of MASSIVE CHALICE. If you haven’t backed at this level (or above!) now’s your chance to snag your copy! Special thanks to backer Mark Kalinic for generously donating these copies to our viewers! :D!

Can’t Join Us Live?

In case you can’t make the live broadcast you can find all our Teamstreams on our YouTube channel. And, be sure to head over to the MASSIVE CHALICE BLOG where we post the latest news from the team!

If a topic discussed by the team or your fellow backers gets you excited, happy, upset or anything in-between then talk to us about it! The best way to do that is to start a discussion right here in the forums.

See you Wednesday!

- Anthony

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Oh man, lookin' forward to it. I am glad I randomly checked the forums today.

Smiles

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Oh man that skill tree concept looks amazing. Love the angular look to it. It's a shame I won't be able to watch it live. :\

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Extending "skills" "Equip" "info" sub-menu buttons remind me of a book's tassels. The brown diamond's like a sepia version of a hazard label. The column-layout of text describing the skill is Skyrim-style.

What's missing in that (foreign? placeholder gibberish?) text is raw numbers. When trying to conceive how useful skills are, numerical breakdowns of what they do in the system do more than flavor text. Test-grounds where you can try-before-you-buy a skill work even better. Akin to Banner Saga's "Training" grounds or a fighting game's practice mode.

A lot of model displays have x-axis rotation. Adding z-axis rotation and zoom are good too so we may savor every inch of a character's details.

Overall this UI layout looks functional. I'm presuming the actual abilities will have some little icons, something will be done with the negative space between the ability diamond-tree and the bookmarks, and font style, size, and placement will be tweaked. Little gifs or videos of an ability being used are helpful too in letting a player access how the skill would play out.

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How will yellow corruption contrast with yellow leaf-floor-texture?

The narrow part of the level did nae make me think of a penis at all. Brad just has penis on the mind.

On an alpine map, you could have a corridor with the mountain on both sides or trees too dense to walk between as bridges between the sheer-drop-view areas to create contrast. Y'all could fix/rail the camera around some art assets so you don't have to worry about sheering the mountainside. There could be portals connecting the dead ends of narrow corridors.

"Character Menu" or "Hero View" work for that UI page's name. "C" as the hotkey.

***************************************

Ah'm one of those fellows who tends to want as much info as possible. So when a game like Skyrim or an interface like Facebook is cutting buttons and collapsing menus to look minimal and sleek it's wasting my time as ah've to click much more to navigate.

Agree with the team's sensibility that the red-palette looks better than the blue or brown for the UI.

The fireworks when a baby's born are cute. The yellow-and-green surrounding the island is hypnotic.

The combat mechanics for classes and enemies are presenting a lot of opportunities for changing how a battle plays out and comboing effects. Sounds like it'll be a game with lots of variety, replayability, and emergent tactics players swap stories about.

Cool art inspiration, level design ideas, and vacation destination.

Those mushroom rock formations sure do look like medium blockers...

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What's missing in that (foreign? placeholder gibberish?) text is raw numbers.
It looks it'll be a description of the selected skill, which is VERY appreciated information.

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What's missing in that (foreign? placeholder gibberish?) text is raw numbers.
It looks it'll be a description of the selected skill, which is VERY appreciated information.

Yup - it'll be all the info you need to know about the selected skill.

Example:

"Knocks target back 3 spaces and deals 10% standard weapon damage. Target may be stunned if it collides with a character or object during knockback."

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What's missing in that (foreign? placeholder gibberish?) text is raw numbers.
It looks it'll be a description of the selected skill, which is VERY appreciated information.

Yup - it'll be all the info you need to know about the selected skill.

Example:

"Knocks target back 3 spaces and deals 10% standard weapon damage. Target may be stunned if it collides with a character or object during knockback."

I'd like a Lorem Ipsum babbling skill, plzzzzzzzzzz

Smiles

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Some questions after today's stream:

- Are all skills going to cost 1 skill point each?

- For skill #2 -> $4 can we swap between them like Bastion's weapon upgrades or are they permanent?

- Also for skill #2 -> #4 can we choose from both the left and right column or do we have to commit to just one?

P.S: thanks for the streams you guys!

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Some questions after today's stream:

- Are all skills going to cost 1 skill point each?

- For skill #2 -> $4 can we swap between them like Bastion's weapon upgrades or are they permanent?

- Also for skill #2 -> #4 can we choose from both the left and right column or do we have to commit to just one?

P.S: thanks for the streams you guys!

All skills will cost 1 point each. At the tiers where you have a choice (tiers 2,3,4) you'll get to pick only one at that tier.

Skill selections are permanent with no respec'ing. I personally dislike games that don't have a respec feature... BUT! In MASSIVE CHALICE all of your characters will expire. If you really didn't like mom's Rebound skill you can have her daughter make a different choice! I think that permanence like this can be rad if you do it right!

There's no link between the left and right sides of the tree. You can make a left or right choice at each level!

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I've only seen 40 minutes of the stream so far (my internet's being flaky so I'm giving it time to buffer), but this is one pretty sweet update. It's looking really, really awesome.

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Love the update and how things are looking.

Brad and team. I have a solution for the desert map issue you mentioned regarding the paths you would have to turn around in...

Turn the map into Goblin Valley / Wild Horse Canyon....

If you have not been, go there this instant... From San Francisco, it's a short 14 hour drive. If you leave tomorrow, you can camp tomorrow night, and have all day Friday and Saturday to explore, and drive back Sunday. Pictures do not do the area justice. It is from another world...

It's starts out as a open area, with all these crazy mushroom shapes. You could include your exploding geysers in this part of the map...

As you move back into Goblin valley, it turns into this crazy maze of cliffs with similar faces as to your Easter island alpine adventure map. Use this or parts of neaby wild horse canyon / bell canyon, with these amazing wind swept narrows....

Here are some examples:

Opening area:

Of note. Cameras pick the peak area up as grey, but in person, it is an incredible light green color.... Almost like a copper penny turning...

15235033-Goblin_Valley-Head.jpg

Goblin-Valley-State-Park1.jpg

At the back of the park is this amazing close quarters maze area. I can't find any pictures that do it justice. But simlarly, just a couple of miles away are the wild horse and bell slot canyons which are amazingly pretty, and could ad an element of confinement to the gameplay that doesn't appear on any other maps...

Little_Wild_Horse_Canyon_-Goblin_Valley_State_Park-20000000002574285-500x375.jpg

LittleWildHorseCanyon1.jpg

Run a number of narrow paths separated by high walls (assuming you can figure out the camera) that lead back to the same areas and you'd really have something unique with the desert map...

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All skills will cost 1 point each. At the tiers where you have a choice (tiers 2,3,4) you'll get to pick only one at that tier.

Skill selections are permanent with no respec'ing. I personally dislike games that don't have a respec feature... BUT! In MASSIVE CHALICE all of your characters will expire. If you really didn't like mom's Rebound skill you can have her daughter make a different choice! I think that permanence like this can be rad if you do it right!

There's no link between the left and right sides of the tree. You can make a left or right choice at each level!

Thanks Brad! I love respec'ing too! Who knows how many times I did it in Kingdoms of Amalur. On an unrelated note, I have a feeling the short-lived people of Massive Chalice are going to continuously give me existential crisis.

@Ashh Lovely reference photos!

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If you really didn't like mom's Rebound skill you can have her daughter make a different choice!

A hero on his deathbed:

"My Son... mark my words: do Not pick Rebound at 4th tier... I never got to use it in battle. It is total waste of a skill point."

On a more general level, it was super cool to see all the features coming in HOT at an increasing pace now that the game is in production. It shows how the systems programming is important in building strategy games, and how much time needs to go into the balancing and fine tuning after all the systems are actually implemented.

Very enjoyable stream! Keep it up guys!

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Ditto that. It's really exciting to see the pieces starting to connect to each other - no more separate ways to get into strategy vs. tactical layer, way less programmer art, etc. And I mean it looks like crap, but in a way that says "We're working on a game" rather than "We're working on an idea." Very cool.

Also, John mentioned in the chat that you guys had done a big pass on all the skill trees. Can we get some info on what the Alchemist and Hunter look like at the moment? And has there been any space carved out for our poor, abandoned Vanguard in case he does eventually make a DLC appearance?

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Some questions after today's stream:

- Are all skills going to cost 1 skill point each?

- For skill #2 -> $4 can we swap between them like Bastion's weapon upgrades or are they permanent?

- Also for skill #2 -> #4 can we choose from both the left and right column or do we have to commit to just one?

P.S: thanks for the streams you guys!

All skills will cost 1 point each. At the tiers where you have a choice (tiers 2,3,4) you'll get to pick only one at that tier.

Skill selections are permanent with no respec'ing. I personally dislike games that don't have a respec feature... BUT! In MASSIVE CHALICE all of your characters will expire. If you really didn't like mom's Rebound skill you can have her daughter make a different choice! I think that permanence like this can be rad if you do it right!

There's no link between the left and right sides of the tree. You can make a left or right choice at each level!

Do hybrid classes instead of pure classes have any impact on skill trees? I recall something like this was discussed very early on, but I can't quite remember the discussion now.

Smiles

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Do hybrid classes instead of pure classes have any impact on skill trees? I recall something like this was discussed very early on, but I can't quite remember the discussion now.

The most-consistently-considered iteration of this system was each class would have two skill trees: Primary Skills and Secondary Skills. The primary class of a hero would determine which class he took his Primary Skills from. The secondary class of a hero would determine which tree he took his Secondary Skills from. So an Arbalist-Caberjack would have the Primary skilltree from the Arbalist class and the Secondary skilltree of the Caberjack class.

Mention of cross-class hybridization was suspiciously absent from the discussion of skill menu UI. It's enough to make one suspect another cut announcement...

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The current design gives each class a single skill tree instead of having a main and a hybrid tree. Hybrids have different skill trees than the base class and include a few skills unique to that hybrid along with some skills from the base classes that make sense for that character.

One of the cool things about this is that each version of a class has at least one unique skill, making pure classes as useful as the hybrids.

Example:

The Caberjack's final skill gives him action points after killing an enemy, letting you chain together a bunch of kills or run out of a hotspot after a surgical strike. None of the Caberjack hybrids have this particular skill.

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