ScottTykoski's Articles In Elemental Dev Journals
October 26, 2012 by ScottTykoski
With Fallen Enchantress cooling the sting that was 'War of Magic', I'd like to look back on one of the things I enjoyed most from the original Elemental: the 'retro' intros made for the beta builds (you can still see these videos here and here).  They only took half a day to produce, but got a great fan reaction (there were even major news outlets that posted about them).

We had discussed doing something similar for FE, but deemed them far too silly at a time wh...
June 27, 2011 by ScottTykoski
Ages ago (or, at least, what FEELS like ages ago) when we were nailing down the art style for Elemental, one of the key factors was creating a world where the cutscenes weren't in glaring opposition to the in-game graphics.

This was around the same time that Fable 2 was released, where a beautiful pre-rendered intro felt (IMHO) fairly out of place in comparison to the mid-game cutscenes (which were beautiful in their own right). It was that realization - that paintings brought to life can...
June 21, 2011 by ScottTykoski
One of the 3 main design pillars being tackled for Fallen Enchantress is 'The World'. Wildlands, randomly generated maps, more quests/lairs/resources/creatures...we've taken all the feedback from WoM to ensure FE delivers with some really engaging worlds. When you start a new game, half the fun will be simply exploring the land!

On the visual side, a simple piece of technology that we'll be utilizing to make the world feel more magical is the old-school trick of 'atmospher...
May 10, 2011 by ScottTykoski
Greetings,

Just a short entry this week, since I’m working on cutscenes, which need to stay under-wraps for a while.

One of the shots you’ll be seeing when FE hits 1.0 involves...GASP...shards of magic   One polish points I wanted to pull off was to have the magic from the crystals wisp off and either dissipate or come back to to the shard.

I got pretty close to this effect at a different time when playing with ‘caustics’: the simulation of water refraction....
May 2, 2011 by ScottTykoski
Hey everyone!

This weeks animation forgoes the step-by-step rundown for a fast-n-fancy timelapse.  It’s cool seeing all the little tweaks and adjustments that go into these animations, though you never get to properly see milestones as catalogued in the step-by-step versions. Perhaps I can go with a hybrid next time.

Todays motion sees the end of one of the 10,000 ‘Butchermen’: human sacrifices that went unaccepted by Curgen at the Red Spring. This is the day they&rs...
April 26, 2011 by ScottTykoski
First off, sorry this was a day late...we had a 4 day Easter weekend that cut into my weekly journal. It won’t happen again (until our next Monday off) 

Todays animation is the ‘Cast Ranged Spell w/ Staff’ motion. In FE, we’ve added the ability to make weapon-specific spell casting animations (a wizard with a staff with cast differently then a warlord with a sword, etc.) as well as made tweaks to what animations are played for what spells (adding a targeted RANGE...
April 18, 2011 by ScottTykoski
Hey Everyone!

I know information on Fallen Enchantress seems to trickle as of late. This is an unfortunate side-effect of adopting a 'large studio' pipline (rather than our previous indie-team system, where our excitement tended to go unchecked on the forums). Know that the game is on track and design decisions have been fueled by the feedback gathered post-WoM.

Now, with the role of Producer in MUCH better hands, I was given the opportunity to pick up a new art form that is near a...
November 17, 2010 by ScottTykoski
Since launch, one of the major complaints about Elemental: War of Magic was that the last bit of our title (the "Magic" part) was found to be...lacking (to put it gently). Global mana addresses areas of cheese, but without a significant overhaul to the Spellbooks and Spells you’re casting, that side of the game would still feel weak.  We’ve taken the following steps to rectify this in 1.1....

1. Spellbook Re-evaluation: There were several problems with the way spells have bee...
October 25, 2010 by ScottTykoski
One of the things people like about our office is the hallway-long whiteboard wall that the games team uses for a variety of purposes. Right now there are several to-do lists for 1.1 and beyond, a rundown of sales for our various titles, and a HUGE ‘wish list’ of Elemental features/tweaks players and press have requested. In fact, we’ve switched from writing the suggestions down and now simply print out feedback lists and tape them to the wall.

My request today is in a simil...
October 7, 2010 by ScottTykoski
Hey Everyone,

Tonight you’ll be able to update to v1.09E of Elemental. There are several bugfixes and tweaks in it, but the major change is the shift to a public Multiplayer build. If you’ve been playing the ‘release candidate’ MP builds, we suggest turning off ‘Show Pre-Release’ versions for anyone that has it selected that ONLY wants the official updates).

After 1.09E we’ll be shifting all our energies onto v1.1, where you’ll start to see t...
September 30, 2010 by ScottTykoski
Hey everyone,

So v1.09 went live, and one of the big modding-side improvements is in the official addition of a 'my games/elemental/Mods' folder!  The game will now properly read data from 'Mods/Data' and graphics and models from 'Mods/GFX'.

For anyone using Mods that have required data or graphics to be placed in the core game directories, I highly suggest moving these out into this new folder, otherwise Elemental may attempt to rebuild the Data.zip file, resulting in a nice, lo...
September 21, 2010 by ScottTykoski
Greetings!

For those who didn’t know (and I don’t know if anyone cares) I’ve actually been out for the last two weeks, ‘expanding my dynasty’, so to speak (baby #2). It was a nice dose of reality coming off a pretty rough month - but you guys have been around the forums, so I wont churn that bucket of woes.

Instead, I’d like to take a fresh look at where we stand right now. While my time away didn’t provide the rest I would have liked, it did get m...
September 2, 2010 by ScottTykoski
More of a maintenance update than anything, Elemental v1.07 focuses on the performance issues seen by both high and low end users. There are more improvements to come as code is continually improved and tile-designs are streamlined, but this update should bring a healthy FPS boost to all. And, if your frames per second remain under-par, new options will give you additional wiggle-room.
 
That's not to say gameplay dosen't get some update love...resources no longer use up city tiles, unit ...
August 31, 2010 by ScottTykoski
Well, here it is - our list of feedback as compiled from several review sites, this forum, other forums, and our own Q/A team. There are a few more sites I need to pick apart, but in general I feel this covers many of the egregious issues (but feel free to note anything we’ve overlooked...we want to be as thorough as possible).

The ‘Major Issues’ are the ones you’ll be seeing fixed ASAP. Ideas/suggestions will be re-prioritized and completed as proper solutions are det...
August 27, 2010 by ScottTykoski
So launch week has come and gone. It’s certainly been...exciting?  Anxiety producing? Wonderful? Crazy exausting? All the above? 

Brad is currently taking some much deserved time off with his family, and, with v1.06 out the door, the team is about to do the same. We’ll be back Monday, but before then, I wanted to bring everyone up to speed on what we’re working on....

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1. The Meg...