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The Hearty Update! New character, new location, and the Nintendo Switch!

Some of you may have seen our cold pitch to Nintendo on Twitter a while back. Well, we’ve been in talks with them for a bit now, and we’ve been waiting patiently for an answer… As of a few days ago we can now publicly announce that we are one of 60ish Ninides releasing on the Nintendo Switch in 2017! We are really excited that Nintendo is bringing Ira onboard! This is great news and we never thought Ira would evolve to the point where companies like Nintendo would believe in what we are creating. We plan on releasing Ira simultaneously on all PC distribution platforms, and the Switch.IraNintendoSwitch

Next up we have a new location to share with you! Here’s a short clip showcasing the creation of Kettle Bottom.

Kettle Bottom is located in the dank basement under the Kettle Brothers distillery (within the town of Pilgrimage). This area is known to house pockets of union supporters, and the lower sects of society like to drink away their sorrows here. Smoky and dirty, it would surely attract an eclectic bunch of wayward miners.


Kettle Bottom is still a work in progress, but I thought you guys would like to see a new location, and a snip bit of the process that goes into making it! At the end of the clip you get to see James (Ira’s father) whom you guys have not been officially introduced to. Here’s a tease into James’s back story.

James with pit miner

James in front of his pit miner, which can be heard thumping in the background of our pit miner teaser….What’s it all mean? Oh, you’ll find out soon enough!

Anyway, we are excited to have more content focused updates from now on, and we are looking forward to the future!

Till next time,
The Ira Team

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Retirement

Hey everybody,

It’s time for old Ira content from the last year or so to be put to rest (except for our new pit miner teaser). That includes our old press kit, teasers, and of course our demo. So many people have enjoyed our prologue demo of act 1, but now its time to say goodbye.

This is really exciting news as it means we are ready to move forward with what Ira has evolved into, and as of writing this there is an abundance of outdated content on the web that needs to go.

So, don’t be alarmed when you start seeing content disappear from You Tube, Game Jolt, our webpage, etc. We will have some basic content up but that’s going to be it for awhile as we move into the next phase of the development process.

So, when will the new content be up? …When it’s ready.
When will it be ready? …When we are finished.
When will lit be finished?…When it’s complete.
When will it be complete?…As soon as it’s ready.

In other news we are eyeballing the Nintendo switch as a possible launch console. It’s now a standard build option in UE4 and it should be more than powerful enough to handle Ira. Nintendo is taking it slow when it comes to indies launching on the Switch. We will know in a few months if we are able to make a Switch version a reality.

fingers crossed

Till next time,
The Ira Team

 

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Tis the Season for an Update

So, what have we been doing lately?  

Well, a little bit of everything. Updating 3D models, levels, sounds, character interactions, game play systems, profiling for different consoles, and story elements. Basically we are cleaning house on some old components that don’t reflect the current vision of Ira anymore, and things are looking really good.

You guys remember this Image? This is the living room from the original Ira. Looks like it’s from an early production demo doesn’t it?


Old ira house

Now here’s what that room looks like in its current state. The differences is night and day. One of our goals for Ira is to create a world that people can really get lost in, and I think we are finally at that point.

Ira Holiday Update

All that aside we are pushing forward, and looking to the new year when we can release Act 1! 

For those of you celebrating have a great holiday!

See you in 2017

– The Ira team

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It’s Time For an Update

Hey folks,

Fall is in the air, and it’s update time.

The steady train of development is still chugging right along. We’ve been making headway in a few areas that are new to us, including a new shading system, procedural textures, and a new AI control system. These new developments are really helping push things to the next level; it’s one thing to have levels set up, but once the proper lighting falls into place and NPCs are actually moving through the world, well, it really brings Ira to life. We are deep into development and we are creating an experience that we love and enjoy. Our hope is that you’ll feel the same when it releases.

On another note. We just got back from Stem Dev Days and it was an amazing experience. We learned a lot and cant wait to apply what we’ve leanred to Ira. We will post more about our experience in a bit.

Lastly, keep your ear to the ground for new content. We’re hoping to have a new teaser with our updated content (from the Unreal Engine) within the next several weeks!

As always, feel free to send us your questions and comments!

Until next time, The Ira team

4 Responses to It’s Time For an Update

  1. The game looks amazing for still being in early access, after watching Mark’s playthru of act1, I think I might download it and play it myself. Would love to see more of this and where development takes it

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Homestead Test in Unreal 4

Quick Update: Just an image showcasing how Ira has transitioned into unreal 4.

Ira UE4 overworld test OverworldUE4

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Creating Hotspot Rollovers for a Point and Click Adventure in Unreal 4 (with blueprints)

Made in UE V4.11.1

Interaction with the environment is one of the core components of any game, and for the point and click adventure, the heart of interaction is the hotspot. It is a zone in the environment or on screen that the player will literally point and click to, and along with general navigation is the main form of player input into the game world.

Here we will discuss how to create one of the first components of a classic hotspot; the mouse roll over. Our goal will be to create a simple system for displaying the name of an object on screen, and changing the cursor to indicate what type of interaction will be performed by clicking that object. Displaying the name can be handled with several different methods, using widgets or 3D widgets, but for our purposes we will be using the HUD system. I’ll be using a new project, starting with the Top Down blueprint template and working within the default “TopDownExampleMap”. Let’s get started.

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I’ll create a new folder and rename it to “HotspotTutorial”, and this is where I will be keeping all of the assets for this mechanic. I’ll be making a new blueprint class within that folder, selecting “Actor”, and then renaming that to “hotspot”. Opening the new blueprint, let’s set up an object to mouse over. In the components tab, click “add component”, then scroll down and select “cube”, and then rename it to hotspot. This will give us our object to be moused over, but you can use any shape or model you see fit.  Cubes work well because they can be placed over models in scene and hidden during gameplay, but how you will approach models and scene construction are outside of the scope of this tutorial.

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Setting up events

With our model created, we can get into the event graph and set up some scripts. We will want to specify the events that will trigger this mechanic, and for a rollover there are only two; when the cursor is over the hotspot and when it has left the hotspot. With the component hotspot selected, we’ll right click in the event graph and add the events “OnBeginCursorOver” and “OnEndCursorOver”.

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Changing the cursor

We want to change the mouse cursor on the mouse over and on ending the mouse over, so next add a pair of “set current mouse cursor” to the blueprint. Add “get player controller” as well, and use that as a target for both set mouse cursors. Each set mouse cursor has it’s own drop down to select which cursor to use, and for the end cursor over, we want to go back to the default cursor, so in that drop down, select “Default”. For begin cursor over, we want to be able to set a custom cursor on a per hotspot basis, so drag the pin away from current mouse cursor, and promote it to a variable. Rename the variable to “Mouse over cursor”, and make it public so it can be set in the details window in the level.

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You can test the blueprint now by a hotspot to the scene, and setting the variable “mouseover cursor” to which ever you like from the drop down. I made two hotspots, renaming one to “Hotspot_cube1” and the other to “Hotspot_cube2”, and setting the mouse over cursors for each to “Hand” and “Grab hand closed” respectively. Testing the game, the cursor changes to the assigned mouse over cursor when hovering above each cube, and changes back to default upon exit, which is exactly what we want.

 

Displaying the object’s name

The next thing we will do is set up a system for displaying the name of the object. We’ll start by creating the HUD which will actually display the name on screen.

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Next go to Edit → Project Settings, and under “Maps and Modes” find “Default Modes”, and expand the “Selected GameMode” list. Under “HUD Class”, change it to your newly created HUD blueprint.

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We only want this HUD to display when the mouse is over the hotspot, so let’s get the hotspot talking to the HUD. In the HUD blueprint, create a new custom event, calling it “Mouse Over”. This event will carry information from the hotspot to the HUD about when to display and what to display. On this new event under its details tab, add two new inputs; a string called “Object name” and a boolean called “Show HUD?”. These two variables will be specified by the hotspot and sent to the HUD through this event, and will tell the HUD what text to draw on screen, and when to draw it. To get the HUD to display, add “Event Receive Draw HUD” to the blueprint. We only want the text to draw when “Show HUD?” is true though, so add a branch, and for its condition, link the node “Show HUD?” from the mouse over event.

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Back in the Hotspot blueprint, create a new public string variable called “Object Name”, which will be set per hotspot. This string will then be sent to the HUD and displayed on screen.

 

Add “Cast to MyHUD” to the blueprint, wiring it in after set cursor after “OnBeginCursorOver”. Right click and add “Get HUD”, and for that’s target connect it to the “Get Player Controller”. The return value for Get HUD can then be wired in as the target for Cast to MyHUD.

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Next, call the custom event we made in the HUD. Right click, search for “mouse over”, and add it to the blueprint. Make a copy of this so that you have one for EndCursorOver as well. Wire one “mouse over” to the BeginCursorOver chain and one to the EndCursorOver chain. The target will be the “As My HUD” node from the Cast To MyHUD. For each of these events, you link the object name node to “get object name” as set in the hotspot, which will send that name to the HUD. For “Show HUD?”, mark the one in the BeginCursorOver chain as true, and the one in the EndCursorOver as false, which will tell the HUD to start and stop displaying the text.

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Back in the HUD blueprint, if “Show HUD?” is true, we want to draw the text, so after the branch, add “Draw Text”, making sure to select the one under HUD, not canvas. You can then pull the “Object Name” node from the mouse over event into the “Text” node on Draw Text.

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Lastly we want to set the location on screen for the text to draw, and the easiest way to do that is to link it to the cursor’s location on screen. To do this, simply add a “Get Mouse Position”, using the return value from “Get Player Controller” as the target, and then link the Location X and Location Y nodes to Screen X and Screen Y. I’ll also change the Text Color to white and the Scale to 2, just to make them easier to see in game for testing purposes, but you’ll have to refine their appearance to meet your needs.

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In Closing

Now that the HUD and the hotspot are set up, we have a fully useable system for roll overs. Test this by adding some hotspots to your scene, changing the variables “Object Name” and “Mouse Over Cursor” in the details tab for each hotspot.

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With everything is functioning as expected, that’s it for this tutorial. We’ve gone over how to change the mouse cursor and how to display an object’s name using HUDs, and this should serve as a good basis for making your own point and click style hotspot roll overs.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and thanks for reading.

-Nick Born, Developer with Ore Creative

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We are back with a full update

Transition

As a few days ago we have completed our transition into the Unreal 4 game engine from Unity. This decision was not made lightly and we had been preparing for this transition for awhile now. Unity is a great platform and it has served us well but given our specific needs it’s time we moved on to an engine that fits us better. At the end of the day we want to create the best experience possible and Unreal 4 has opened doors to us that Unity cannot currently provide. All of the plugins we used in Unity were created by third party developers and when glitches arouse or new features were needed we would basically be out of luck. That’s not a problem anymore. Switching to Unreal 4 came with it’s own set of challenges but at the end of the day we can provide game play that’s glitch free and the Ira experience we set out to make.

The transition took some time and that has pushed back our schedule. I think our sentiment can be summed up by Shigeru Miyamoto who once said A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad”. We share the same philosophy and hope everyone is on board with that. We are moving steadily towards finishing Act:1.Backer rewards will be shipped when Act one launches.

Something Personal

To our backers who will appear in game. We never expected to learn so much about all of you. We’ve gotten some highly detailed and personal bios. Some of you detailing the events of your life that lead you to where you are now. We’ve learned about your dreams, aspirations and we’ve gotten to know many of you. After reading such personal bios I felt almost unnerved by what we had started. The amount of trust it takes to put yourself out there is simple moving, and it solidifies to me that we are on the right track. Every story we read influences what we create. I remember reading over a particular bio and I sat back in my computer chair, just staring at the screen in front of me. It was at that moment that I had come to realize that this project has become more than just our dream, it’s becoming an amalgamation of everyone’s dreams. I feel like I don’t own Ira anymore. I feel like it has become its own entity unfolding on its own admission.

Future updates

We are planning on doing small dev blog updates weekly and a full game update every month until completion. Some of the dev blog updates will include alpha test levels that can be experimented and played with.

Till next time.
-Zach

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The Kickstarter was a success!

It’s been a long and crazy month, but together we made it through this and Ira is going to be a reality. We can’t tell you enough how appreciative we are of all the support we’ve gotten. Everyone who has backed us, given us shout outs, written about Ira, done videos; from the bottom of our hearts, thank you. It’s that kind of support that makes the indie community possible.

So what’s next? Kickstarter has been a huge focus for us for such a long time now that it feels unreal to move on to the next step. It’s finally time to move on, and our sole focus now will be on producing act 1 to be the best game it can possibly be, and we’re so excited to dive in and start full time development!

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Countdown to Kickstarter

Kickstartering the Launch of Ira act 1

Hey everyone,

It’s time for an update. Ira is coming back to Kickstarter. It’s been a long time coming, but this is what we’ve been working towards, and and it’s finally time to throw ourselves back into the ring. On January 5th Ira Act I: Pilgrimage will launch on Kickstarter with exclusive content for people like you who are a part of the journey.

We’ve listened, we’ve rethought, we’ve revamped, and now we have a story to tell. Our website has been updated and we have new information, images, and videos, but this is only the beginning. Over the next few weeks we’ll be releasing elements of lore, more images, more videos, and our completely revamped demo, and it all leads up to the January 5th kickstarter.

We are starting to gain momentum. So, stay tuned in folks, we have a lot more to share.

-the Ira team

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