The Unreal Forest: step 3

We have implemented some new features in what will one day be the glorious remake of The Endless Forest in Unreal. Some of these can be seen in the video below, taken in the Unreal editor in a local multiplayer session.

The deer now brakes or even sometimes stumbles and falls after running a certain distance. Similarly it now also stretches after sleeping for a long time. And when it is standing idle it will bite its side or scratch its ear once in a while. All of these make the avatar feel much more alive. We have also implemented point-and-click navigation. And have taken the opportunity to smooth out the deer’s motion. We have added the emblematic black border around the screen. For now the only thing it does is scale up when the deer assumes its new alert stance. And finally we have added the logic for the deer to know if any other deer are near, illustrated by the new sniffing functionality.

We’re concentrating on the avatar for the moment because it’s a major part of the game (and a lot of fun to see the deer come alive). But also because it’s something we can do without requiring much network functionality – we’re still hoping that networking (especially the server part) will be made easier in an Unreal update during development.

We have now officially prioritized the remake of The Endless Forest above all other projects. That doesn’t mean other projects will not happen (they certainly will) but that we will not allow them to interrupt work on The Endless Forest. We are still figuring out how to do game development without falling into all the unhealthy traps we experienced before we quit the industry. We’re not giving ourselves deadlines anymore. And we’re allowing ample time for non-professional activities (art and music, most notably). As a result, we will not be producing output with the same hectic frequency as we did before (8 game releases in 12 years!). But our dedication is more sincere than ever.

We will continue to update you on our progress. But if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask (in the comments below, or via email or Twitter).

The Endless Forest fundraiser is gradually collecting the remainder of the budget. We’re only 2331 Euros short of a complete remake.


—Michaël & Auriea

7 thoughts on “The Unreal Forest: step 3

  1. i was so excited when i saw this in my feed, dear creators.
    you are making a great progress and i am happy to know it does not stop and even speeds up.
    the models seem to be so much improved, i am amazed by the way the deer moves now, i also would like to point out the shoulder blades… they are amazing! i see the relief. this can not leave me cold.

    what i would like to ask is if you are going to leave the pictogram as it is in the video? it looks like a physical element which has dimensions while the old picto was ethereally magical, floating like it was out of this reality but also had a strong connection to the deer, as an image of it’s soul.
    i suppose this is just a step and it will be worked on.. but i am asking to make sure.

    also.. do you accept suggestions to the game while you work?
    i’ve got some thoughts.. but not sure if you want to hear me. i do not want to interrupt.

    — Shawn

    1. Thank you for the encouraging words!

      The models and animations are exactly the same as before. But of course the engine is different and the motion routines are now coded with 12 years more experience. Also, my computer is very fast.

      The number above the head of the deer is just a quick hack to identify it in a simulated network session. The goal of this project is to remake The Endless Forest with aesthetics as closely to the original as possible (except where things can be improved). So the pictogram will look very similar to how it does now.

      Feel free to make suggestions. We always love to hear them. But we will not implement anything new until the remake is complete (and when we have the means to do so).

      1. thank you for the fast reply, Michaёl.
        now i undertand and i am very happy to know that!

        my suggestion is very simple.
        why not to try and give players ability to choose the color of the pictogram?
        this might be a good personalization option if just to check the community for how different their characters can be.

        for a consistency and keeping the forest from becoming an eyeburning christmas garland, you could limit the color saturation to something natural, but allow a slider to choose hue.
        some darker characters (like mine and many others) would appreciate a black, shadowy picto, i am sure.

        also it might be an option to choose the deer type maybe? the models might stay same, but ones could be slightly more muscular, others are more slender and so on..
        this is a second idea but i am not totally sure about it as i do about the picto.

        1. We prefer the context to influence the look of the characters rather than personal preference and control. The Endless Forest is intended to be a collective and egalitarian experience. I understand your desire but we worry about negative effects of such individual expression.

          1. i know my message is quite late.
            i understand.
            but could you share which negative effects you think of? i am not sure i get it right. plus i am just curious.

            also, you know, i keep checking for updates every single time i log into my pc, i have the feed set to show this blog news and i saw your latest message on the community site.
            i wish you inspiration, patience and lots of luck in your way to improve The Endless Forest.

            can’t wait to see updates on the progress.

          2. For negative effects of individual expression check Twitter or Facebook, or most other multiplayer games.

          3. I’m working on the game now, after too long a hiatus.
            Expect an exciting update before the end of the year!

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