Now that DEMO 7 is out (check it out if you haven't already), we've gotten a lot of feedback on We Shall Wake's combat systems and its nuances.

One of the main complaints stemmed from how group combat is approached and how that the air stomp is overpowered and over-relied upon. For example, we had always intended for people to fight in WSW in a more guerrilla pick them off one-by-one style; however, many players wanted a more direct approach.

The fact of the matter was, standing in the middle of a sixty man crowd of Leichts was not going to fly, and considering how powerful WSW makes you feel, that's exactly where you usually want to be. To solve this, the team came together and designed Compression-Fields, or C-Fields for short.

Every time Novem lands a blow on the ground with a normal combo, the force behind it is strong enough to throw an enemy back, but the MORS Model staple Infinity Engine uses its gravity altering effects to keep the enemy you hit in place.

However, this was not a smooth process. The team argued for hours upon the exact traits that the system would have. This ended up giving birth to two versions of the C-Field: the normal version, and the modified Stand Chip version.

By default, the C-Field will only blow enemies back a short distance, but when the Stand Chip is equipped, MORS09's nanobot based immune system will also materialize fists to throw them back even further while doing damage.

This was mainly created due to a dispute over whether or not the fists looked cool. It was a 50/50 divide, so I decided to make it an option. The stronger megafist version comes at the cost of having to use an item slot on it, whereas by default without it, it's pretty weak.

The C-Field has its limits though: it won't work on special enemy types.

Finally, to solve the Air Stomp issue, we made it derive its power from the amount of Energy left. When the attack lands, it uses energy and transfers it into the hit, so you have to vary your moves and regain that energy before it can do more damage. That said, you can use its crowd clearing effects to get space as much as you need.

Anyway - this patch came out last night. Boot up DEMO 7 and give it a try! We hope you enjoy the new features. Give us feedback on our new forums, or our twitter. We like hearing from all of you!

Hello everyone.

My university exams are finally over and I've been able to solely focus on WSW and Insomnia for the last week. I have finally gotten time to do the changes and additions that I've been wanting to do but haven't had time for due to school. There's been a lot of different changes that improve the quality of special effects, and optimizations for both high-end and low-end computers, but first I'd like to show a nice picture of what I've been working on the last few days.


Depth of field, the accurate bokeh kind, once again inspired by the clever folks behind the tech of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. This special effect will be featured in cutscenes only and will have a fairly high performance impact, but it'll hopefully make them look gorgeous. We're not planning on using it during actual gameplay. Sadly, I've hit a really annoying performance bug in the Nvidia shader compiler, and all my attempts at working around the bug has failed so far. It's funny and sad how I as an indie developer making my first engine have encountered more than 10 different bugs in different drivers so far.



Anyway, here's a quick (okay, maybe not that quick) rundown of some of the biggest changes.

TL;DR:

 - TSRAA anti-aliasing got a big performance improvement and some small quality improvements.
 - Motion blur has had some bugs fixed, performance improved and blur quality improved.
 - Vignette effect (can be disabled).
 - Improved physics engine performance for complicated levels with many objects.
 - Much sharper and faster sun shadows.
 - The 3D model renderer is now better and faster at determining what to draw.
 - Grass has been updated with a physics simulation and certain attacks can disturb and move it.
 - Shared GPU buffer system improves performance a lot, mostly on older computers.
 - SSAO got itself some big quality and performance improvements.

The advanced TSRAA anti-aliasing system WSW uses has received a big performance improvement. The performance of 4x and 8x anti-aliasing is significantly better. In addition, TSRAA's interaction with transparent effects has also been improved meaning higher quality in some edge cases (pun intended).

Motion blur is closely integrated with TSRAA. It turns out that putting both motion blur and TSRAA, two complicated high-quality effects, in the same shader was too much for the compiler to handle leading to suboptimal performance. I've split up the two and moved the motion blur to a different shader allowing both TSRAA and motion blur to gain optimal performance. This gives even better performance when motion blur is enabled, and it now barely has a performance hit. I also fixed a bug that sometimes caused the motion blur shader to use a lower quality blur at times when that was a bad idea, leading to ugly little boxes on the screen. Finally, I bumped up the quality of the blur itself since the shader has so good performance now. In the end, both performance and quality are better than before.

An optional vignette effect has been added. Don't worry, you can disable it if you don't like it. =P

The physics engine got itself a performance upgrade. It now uses a better data structure to quickly determine which objects to test against which. This was something that was worrying me as it could limit our ability to have complicated levels and lots of units at the same time, but since the most performance critical parts of the physics engine are almost 70x faster now, this shouldn't be a problem anymore.

Sun shadows have been significantly improved with proper cascaded shadow mapping. That means sharper sun shadows at higher distances while at the same time giving better performance.

The 3D model rendering system now better takes the distance to the camera into account when determining what to draw. It's now significantly faster at discarding out-of-range models and avoiding doing work for objects that don't end up being rendered.

The grass has gotten a significant quality update. The grass is now based on a simple CPU-side physics, allowing for local disturbance of individual grass patches. Many special attacks and explosions now affect the grass around it. In addition, how the grass is disturbed and bent has been improved to reduce the amount of stretching and maintain the shape of the grass patches.

The most performance critical internal renderers have been upgraded to use a shared buffer system. Before, each camera and shadow map would reserve its own buffers from the graphics card to store data in, but now they all share one big buffer each frame instead. This means that the number of buffers Insomnia handles each frame has been reduced to a handful instead of hundreds while also reducing the overhead of each view. It suffices to say that performance is better, especially with older cards that couldn't handle lots of buffers as efficiently where the difference can be an almost 50% gain in some cases.

Insomnia's homegrown ambient occlusion effect (SSAO) has been upgraded with improvements inspired by Scalable Ambient Occlusion. The ambient occlusion is now done at four times the old resolution with a higher detection radius, better sample layout and more accurate blurring while still getting significantly better performance.

WE SHALL WAKE

WE SHALL WAKE

Post-World Accelerated Action.


Millennia passed the extinction of mankind as we know it and centuries gone since the pass of the enigmatic race known simply as the Creators, a legendary machine is awoken to end a war that has long ended - yet continues to wage on. This machine is the legendary ninth MORS model - Novem; spoken of only as legend among whispers in a world that only vaguely remembers the old one.

Capable of the forgotten practice of emotion and possessing a bio-mechanical makeup that can cause apocalyptic levels of destruction, only you can finally end the conflict.

However, you are not the last MORS model in existence.


Action

Engage in lightning-fast combat with legions of enemies. Intelligent, aggressive AI will challenge your skills, decision making, and reflexes.

Speed

Experience sonic speeds as you traverse through supermassive structure of Yarib. Run, jump, dodge and attack freely with extremely smooth and responsive controls.

Customization

Construct your own customized movesets from more than 50 individual moves. Build and place defensive structures and allies wherever you choose.

AFTER DEMO 7

We've spent the last year working hard to expand and then refine the combat mechanics of We Shall Wake to make them as fast, smooth, and deep as any in the genre. DEMO 7 is all about letting the players take Novem out for a test drive and see what he can do.

But We Shall Wake is more than a boxing ring with pretty grass and a series of increasingly unhappy robots to kick to pieces. When it's finished, We Shall Wake will feature a full story mode, including 10 boss fights, enormous areas to explore, factional warfare, a town builder, and robot dinosaurs.

We want to make We Shall Wake the best action game, with the best combat system we can, but, we feel like, traditionally, action games tend to be a series of arenas and fights, with little else going on. And there's never been an open world game with a fighting system approaching the depth and quality of our favorite action brawlers. That's what we want We Shall Wake to be, an open world game that's fun to explore, with factions and characters that are fun and meaningful to interact with outside of jumpkicks; all wrapped around the core of a true action game combat system, with all the exciting boss fights, interesting enemies, and brutal difficulty that you expect from the best Brawlers in the genre.

We hope you enjoy DEMO 7, and are ready to share the rest of our vision of what an action game can be.

Minimum system requirements:
CPU: Intel dual core CPU @ 3.0 GHz or above, or any Intel or AMD quad core CPU (the game scales well any number of cores)

GPU: Nvidia GTX 8000 series card, a AMD HD3000 series card, or an Intel Ivy Bridge integrated GPU (HD2500 and HD4000).

RAM: 4GB

Recommended system for maximum graphics settings:
CPU: Any CPU with 4 or more cores GPU:
  • – For 1920x1080: Nvidia GTX 480, 570, 650 Ti, 750 Ti or above
    • AMD HD 6970, 7850, R7 265 or above
  • – For 2560x1440: Nvidia GTX 680, 770 or above
    • AMD Radeon HD 7970, R9 280X or above