NIRAVASI Devlog (16/11/2021): Long Distance


“A dark story unfolds.”
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Hey everyone,

Another week has passed and it’s time to talk about what’s new in the world of NIRAVASI-related development. For this week (and probably the next), you won’t be seeing too many new images for these Devlogs, as I’ll be dedicating a large portion of my time to working on both the Analog Horror video project and drafting the design documents for the elusive TEKMO Tower segment of the 5th Level. But in case you hadn’t keep up to date with my social media posts in the last week, I made a very big announcement in the unveiling of Mura’s mysterious ally, Clovis. If you’re interested in that, sit tight and let’s get straight into it.

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Clovis of Fulyria

After months of teasing his appearance, I’m now finally at a stage where I’m happy to show off what Mura’s mysterious ally finally looks like. What better way to show off his beautiful look than with a cute picture of the two of them hugging it out, courtesy of ZeeMadMaverick.

Very early in NIRAVASI’s Development (and Aetherside’s), I wanted a character that the player could interact with at a moment’s notice. While a core theme of NIRAVASI’s design is the feeling of isolation, I didn’t want to completely leave players in the dark on where they needed to go and how to go about achieving their goals. Clovis was designed as a way to offset this problem, serving as a useful tool for the player to both better connect with the game’s world and remind themselves on what their current objectives are. This is actually a fairly common solution I’ve seen other games adopt, such as Darksiders, SOMA and even The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

But as NIRAVASI is partially a Horror game, it ran the risk of leading audiences to believe that Clovis was secretly a hidden antagonistic figure, whether through Proxy or Omission (it’s a very common trope for mysterious allies to be the real enemy all along). I can say for certain, however, that Clovis is indeed a helping hand to Mura, as well as a friend he desperately needs. Clovis represents an important narrative element in the story in that he’s a glimmer of hope in the dark setting that NIRAVASI hosts. Without him, Mura would’ve likely fallen to disappear and allowed AEON to exact its self-perfection protocols.

As for his design, I wanted him to be an Antherian like Mura, but not directly within the same species as him. I also wanted Clovis to have some kind of military-training, which would allow him to keep a calm and collective mindset in an otherwise traumatising setting. Combine that with wanting him to be a fairly friendly individual, I settled on the idea of having him play a support role within his regiment, specifically that of a reconnaissance officer. Not only would that allow me to get a good idea of what I wanted his design to be like, but also the kind of personality I wanted to create for the character. What I ended up with was a Fruit Bat Antherian with a broken wing and a resolve as strong as steel. Clovis has the skills of a solider, but also the experience of a war victim. He alone would be perfect as a guiding hand for a character that has neither of those and finds himself stuck in a horrific city of old. Clovis will stay largely true to his role in the story going ahead, but expect a lot more “physical” interactions between him and Mura.

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TEKMO or TEKMES

Now that the city quadrant of the Aruvi District is finally complete, it’s time to start developing the end scenario for NIRAVASI’s 5th Level. Now the TEKMO Tower itself was a fairly late idea in development compared to say something like the Stepwell of Dhara Hanirr or Lotulanda. When working on the Aruvi District, I knew that I wanted to end things off by having the player physically leave the bottom of the city and onto the skyline above. But because of the technical limitations that RPG Maker MV has, I couldn’t figure out a way to fully dedicate 1/3 of the level to just being skyline segments. Mura needed to get from the higher-districts of the city to AEON’s lair in the Perfection Complex. The way of doing this was a little harder than I’d like to admit.

But I found my solution in the form of remembering the time I spent in the US, more specifically, within the city of Seattle. During my trip there, many years ago, I visited the Space Needle and saw the beautiful view of the city from atop and its also its absolutely gorgeous view of Mount Rainier. And since the city of Niravasi is built on the slope of a large big mountain, I figured out that I could get the player from the Aruvi District into the Perfection Complex by having them take a sky car on top of a skyscraper. With that set, all that was left was to figure out a narrative angle on what company the skyscraper in question would belong to. Well, you know what answer I ended up going for in the end.

Now the main issue I’m facing is figuring out a design for how I want the players to approach the TEKMO Tower. I don’t want it to just be another chase-sequence like say in the beginning of Ishani Bazaar or Lotulanda, but I also don’t want the place to be too big in size. The TEKMO Tower needs to both sell the illusion of being a big skyscraper to the player, but also one that’s easy to navigate without getting lost (vertical level design is crazy difficult). That’s why I’ll be dedicating a portion of my time this week into sorting out mindmaps and flowcharts on how I want the level to progress.

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Employee Training Video

To support the release of the Aruvi District Demo, I’ll also be aiming to complete the first of the new Analog Horror-style videos for the game. I spent a good portion of my time working on it today and its almost broke the half-way mark for the first of the two sections I have planned for it.

Surprisingly, working on this video is also helping me with figuring out the aesthetic design of the TEKMO building itself. I was having a bit of difficulty figuring out how I wanted the place to look and I think I’ve figured out a really nice style to emulate with it. Using a big emphasis on both Black and White colours, I’ll be painting the rooms of the TEKMO Tower to look a lot like certain corporate offices that you see from real-life companies like Meta and Twitter. There’s still a lot more to work on with this, but I’m confident that as development of the video continues to progress, so too shall the design of the TEKMO Tower.

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That’s it for this weekly Devlog for NIRAVASI. It’s hard to believe that we’re already at the half-way point of November, with Christmas soon approaching. Thankfully, I’m happy to say that the deadline for the game’s release is still looking to be nearing the intended February release period, but I’ll let everyone know beforehand on whether or not I’ll be able to meet that time. There’s still at least two and half more levels left to complete for the game and that’s not even including all the remaining bug-fixes and quality-of-life changes that need to be made. But as always, thank you very much for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful evening.

Kind regards,
Angus (Sangos)



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