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Blutonium
June 16th, 2017, 15:47
Hey KeeperKlan!

For the forum members who are new or for those who might have forgotten me, Let me briefly introduce myself.
I joined KeeperKlan when a DK1 remake was being developed, called "NBK". The project later evolved into WFTO, where I was the lead 3D Modeler at the time. I left the project when the team decided a new IP would be needed.

It has been many years since then, and my itch for creating a DK inspired game never went away. How could it? We all know the impact DK made on us, I don't have to explain that here. :D

Then a promising Dev team working on a DK inspired game popped up on my radar on an obscure facebook group in December of 2016. Who are these crazy guys? I remember asking myself If I was prepared to spend all my free time on another DK game again. I started digging through their posts, and realised they had something special - something great. The early models looked primitive, but the concept was there. The story, The concept art, the creatures, the mechanics - everything amazing. They were a good fit for me, and I might be for them.

So I contacted their lead game designer, David, who had apparently been fleshing out the mechanics, story and creature concepts for almost a decade. We spent hours talking about it all, and how amazing the game can turn out if we banded together. Fast forward a few months and here we are, ready to introduce our project to KeeperKlan.

Oh, almost forgot! We also have a kick-ass Programmer (Kris) who is exceeding my unusually high expectations and still surprising me every day! :p

We're very excited to announce the project more publicly and to a core audience of DK fans such as ourselves, and we invite you to follow its development if you are interested on our various social media! We will of course try to post updates here on keeperklan as well!

Our Website (https://lordsofnether.com) | Twitter (https://twitter.com/Lords_of_Nether) | Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Netherlords) | Reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/LordsofNether/)


I'll let David Introduce himself in the next post, as well as fill you all in on the details on what Lords of Nether is all about! Feel free to ask him any questions you might have.
For now, here are some of the 3D models I've modeled for the project so far.


https://i.imgur.com/YmZlffC.png http://i.imgur.com/RULJQqQ.png http://i.imgur.com/VkPDS1x.png http://i.imgur.com/SBiMDz0.png http://i.imgur.com/dBAjhUK.png http://i.imgur.com/PTfNEYj.png http://i.imgur.com/DHFquMl.png https://i.imgur.com/wcaoIbC.png http://i.imgur.com/X7u1GpA.png http://i.imgur.com/wmHKax2.png http://i.imgur.com/H90rPkC.png http://i.imgur.com/rTnAf3O.png http://i.imgur.com/AtNB9U3.png http://i.imgur.com/TNAEIub.png http://i.imgur.com/nByeIVK.png http://i.imgur.com/HBI5bJW.png http://i.imgur.com/4i5qIyG.png

DBlac
June 16th, 2017, 15:49
Hello Everyone! My name is David Blac, the Lead Developer on Lords of Nether! I want to start off by saying I’m very excited (and a little nervous :D) to reveal the game to you! I certainly hope we have something here that resonates with you as much as it does with us!

Like Blutonium pointed out, I have had the idea of this game slowly coming together in my head ever since I was in my teens, first starting with wondering what creatures in DK would look like if they were higher fidelity and drawing little pictures of them, then making my own designs and eventually stories and world for them. I always hoped inside that eventually I would be able to make this game, but it seemed like a very distant goal before a couple of years ago. A few of my former classmates were looking at some of the creature designs I had made for the game, one thing led to another and we formed a team to actually make the game. Eventually most of the initial team left as we found new members who have proven to share the same dedication and passion for this game as I do and that in itself makes me happier than you can imagine! Blutonium has been the latest person to join our team, working with us for more than half a year now and honestly the first time he messaged us I simply went “No way…” as I had often seen his work when looking for inspiration, I kid you not. In the time he has been with us, he has solved an immense amount of 3D problems I was worried about and many that I never even knew we would have :D But now the core team is united and heavily working to get LoN to a state in which we feel comfortable to show you, and with that I suppose I should explain what we are making!

Game Introduction:

Lords of Nether is a brand-new game in development, that while heavily inspired by Dungeon Keeper, attempts to go its own way within the genre and provide a new take and experience within it.

Players will find themselves in a dark fantasy world that is heavily inspired by myths and literature, filled to the brim with mysteries and strange creatures! Taking control of one of the Four playable Netherlords, returning to the ancient world of Antioch after seven centuries of banishment, You will take on a campaign to take over the world from the decaying, self-righteous Kingdom of Man. To do this you will need to shape the Underworld, where lies your true domain, to your tastes and needs and from it call forth armies of dark creatures and enemies of Mankind. You, or rather the Lord you choose to embody bears a physical form in the game and while very powerful, their death means the end of your conquest, so be wary as you face raids and attacks on your dungeon, or as you guide your Lord beyond. Having built an army, you will most often be called to take it to the very Overworld itself, where you will ravage mankind’s forces and accomplish the various goals set forth! Antioch will be Yours…
In terms of Mechanics, players will find themselves greeted by a number of familiar features such as digging the underworld terrain with your workers and building rooms, nurturing creatures etc. However also confronting them would be some new ones, such as the ability to place objects within your rooms to optimize their efficiency or use of their space, and the ability to directly command creatures. These and some other tools are set forth in order to allow you to truly unleash your creativity and intellect within the game. In terms of the direct command of creatures however, worry not! Creatures still possess a high degree of autonomy both inside and outside of combat! When in combat, think of yourself more as a general, a guiding hand that gives commands to its forces but can still trust that they will think for themselves and use their abilities in a way that most fits the engagement they find themselves in.

All in all we hope to give you a game that is both new and feels familiar, one that will excite and entice you hopefully for years to come, as certain old classics did!

Current State and Future Plans:

The game has been in development for roughly 2 years now, the majority of the ground work such as designing mechanics, establishing the world, aesthetic and such have been done, and for the last year or so we have been laying the foundations for the game proper itself, by building the level editor which plays a crucial role in the development process. We have recently started delving into the gameplay itself and building assets and we are doing all this in whatever free time we have in-between work, freelance jobs or education in our varying cases. We are all very passionate about this project and intend to bring it to light in its best possible condition no matter what, but this will of course take time.

We are currently planning to release an Alpha demo sometime within the Autumn of this year (2017), hopefully around the end of August. Within the following months we will keep polishing and building whatever we can, while working on a Kickstarter campaign. We’re doing this as of course I’m sure everyone knows development costs money and we would like to be able to work on the game full time in order to finish it faster and in the best possible state. Depending on our success with funding, we will proceed with the according pace, but we do not intend (in fact will strictly try to avoid) to enter into Early Access as it can often be more damaging to a game than helpful. We will however dedicate a time well before release for extensive beta testing (whether open or selective is still to be decided) and in the end we will release a Free Demo as well! We want this game made and we want it made right, just as much as you would!

So that’s the end of this massive text wall, apologies but there’s a lot to unpack! However, feel free to ask me anything and I will answer to the best of my abilities (while avoiding spoilers of course ;) )

dotted
June 16th, 2017, 19:14
Sorry David, but your post was caught in the spam filter, fixed now (we have had some pretty big spam issues as of late, so our automated tools are a bit overly strict perhaps).

So I found out about this on Facebook some weeks ago I think, and looking at the renders I felt oddly nostalgic - turns out there was a reason for it.

Now I do have a question. In terms how how your games will play, are you taking your inspiration from the faster gameplay of Dungeon Keeper 1 or the slower Dungeon Keeper 2?

Blutonium
June 16th, 2017, 19:23
Hey dotted! long time no see!

I see I am still classified as "WFTO Lead 3D Modeler" on the forum profile - you can remove that, if you wish to avoid any confusion between the two games.

Nice seeing you again btw, glad to see the forum is still going strong! ;)

DBlac
June 16th, 2017, 19:33
Sorry David, but your post was caught in the spam filter, fixed now (we have had some pretty big spam issues as of late, so our automated tools are a bit overly strict perhaps).

So I found out about this on Facebook some weeks ago I think, and looking at the renders I felt oddly nostalgic - turns out there was a reason for it.

Now I do have a question. In terms how how your games will play, are you taking your inspiration from the faster gameplay of Dungeon Keeper 1 or the slower Dungeon Keeper 2?


Ah, no worries i can imagine that gets real annoying, thanks for fixing it mate, much appreciated!

Haha, well indeed, now you know i guess :D Although we are also generally trying to have a more.. i dont know, traditional design style? Something akin to Diablo 1 & 2, DK 1 itself etc, so maybe that plays some part in it ;)

Thats a good one actually! We want to have a sort of balance, a sweetspot between 1 and 2 if you will (And certainly very very far from Dungeons 1 and 2 because that game was slow as all hell, in addition to 1 being outright terrible). We generally want to have pacing, moments that are fast and require heightened attention and moments that are more relaxed/downtime but never enough to leave you bored and with nothing to do. It's important to vary highs and lows in all manner of entraintment really, to let people appreciate both!

Ofcourse in the end we will be listening to the community and especially KeeperKlan's feedback based on testing and such, and we will adjust based on that! We want to make the game the way people will enjoy most!

YourMaster
June 16th, 2017, 20:10
Looks nice, always interested of course. Do you perhaps also have a project page or something, where we can see the project documentation and/or design documents? Screenshots and models are great, but it's hard to provide feedback on that and impossible to tell if the project has a chance to be successful or the game to be any good.

DBlac
June 16th, 2017, 20:29
Looks nice, always interested of course. Do you perhaps also have a project page or something, where we can see the project documentation and/or design documents? Screenshots and models are great, but it's hard to provide feedback on that and impossible to tell if the project has a chance to be successful or the game to be any good.

Thanks mate! We dont yet have a site set up or a sub-forum here but we have a Wikia page where there is a fair amount of information on the gameplay and some other things! It hasn't been updated in a while but we'll get to it and the info there is still valid.

http://lords-of-nether.wikia.com/wiki/Lords_of_Nether_Wikia

We will try to update where needed and you can always ask me any specifics if you're curious about something!

We are going to be posting a lot more here, so hopefully that helps as well!

Metal Gear Rex
June 16th, 2017, 21:25
Well this is a nice surprise. I'll have to take a more detailed look at that wiki to see whatever kind of feedback I can leave behind that would be useful, but good luck on this project nevertheless. I'd really like to see another DK game, and it's no secret around here that I didn't like WftO, but I'll still hold out high hopes for this.

Also hello again Blutonium, nice to see you getting some modelling done on this.

Evi
June 16th, 2017, 21:34
Heeey, good to see you again, Blutonium! :D

This looks pretty interesting, so I'll be keeping my eye on this.
I need something to calm my nerves after WftO.

DBlac
June 16th, 2017, 21:37
Well this is a nice surprise. I'll have to take a more detailed look at that wiki to see whatever kind of feedback I can leave behind that would be useful, but good luck on this project nevertheless. I'd really like to see another DK game, and it's no secret around here that I didn't like WftO, but I'll still hold out high hopes for this.

Thanks mate, we really appreciate the support! We will eventually provide the alpha demo and such, within the next couple of months, and before that there will likely be a couple of videos so there will be material for you guys to examine and give us feedback on! As for WftO, we can see what they were trying to achieve, but we go in a very different direction, both mechanically and artistically! We prefer the grittyness and darkness of Dungeon Keeper (even would go so far as to say were influenced heavily by Diablo 2's atmosphere and art style) so expect things more in that direction :)

YourMaster
June 16th, 2017, 21:48
Thanks mate! We dont yet have a site set up or a sub-forum here but we have a Wikia page where there is a fair amount of information on the gameplay and some other things! It hasn't been updated in a while but we'll get to it and the info there is still valid.

http://lords-of-nether.wikia.com/wiki/Lords_of_Nether_Wikia

We will try to update where needed and you can always ask me any specifics if you're curious about something!

We are going to be posting a lot more here, so hopefully that helps as well!

I'll look into what you've got, and then probably wait until your alpha-demo to give some feedback. I've got quite a bit of experience running software projects, and as probably everybody else on this board I'm a fan of DK, and would love to see you do well, so I'd be willing to help out with some pointers where useful.

Blutonium
June 16th, 2017, 21:48
Heeey, good to see you again, Blutonium! :D

This looks pretty interesting, so I'll be keeping my eye on this.
I need something to calm my nerves after WftO.

Hey Evi! Nice to be back.
Thanks, We're doing our best to make it great.

I hold Dungeon Keeper in very high regards and I promise you we are in good hands with David's vision for this game. He is very meticulous about every aspect and I have a great amount of faith in him.

Once you guys see the concept art posted here in the coming weeks, you will see what I'm talking about.
Good times ahead for all Dungeon Keeper fans!

DBlac
June 16th, 2017, 21:57
I'll look into what you've got, and then probably wait until your alpha-demo to give some feedback. I've got quite a bit of experience running software projects, and as probably everybody else on this board I'm a fan of DK, and would love to see you do well, so I'd be willing to help out with some pointers where useful.

Thats great to hear man! We would be happy for any help and feedback you can give! Looking forward to showing more and hearing from you guys :)

YourMaster
June 16th, 2017, 22:09
Could you guys also share a bit more on the project and technical aspects of what you're doing,... How big is your team, what kind of backgrounds do you have, how are you organized, how are you working together, what engine are you using (or making something yourselves?), do you want this to become a for profit game or is this going to be considered a success if you release a fun game and you don't starve to death in the meantime? Are you properly play-testing or are you just theory-crafting?

DBlac
June 16th, 2017, 22:39
Could you guys also share a bit more on the project and technical aspects of what you're doing,... How big is your team, what kind of backgrounds do you have, how are you organized, how are you working together, what engine are you using (or making something yourselves?), do you want this to become a for profit game or is this going to be considered a success if you release a fun game and you don't starve to death in the meantime? Are you properly play-testing or are you just theory-crafting?

I'll try and answer to the best of my abilities.

We're a small but dedicated and capable core team of four people, but a few more outlying talents in other areas (music/sound design etc).

As for backgrounds, I suspect you know a fair deal about Blutonium's, and the rest, well, me and our animator have gone through a Game Development Bachelor in Saxion University in the Netherlands, granting us many opportunities to work in teams with others and develop projects to acclimate us to the way things go. Our programmer originally began in animation and graphic design, but he switched to programming some years back, working on many different small projects. It has been amazing to see how good he is at what he does though, because he has basically built the functional side of the game from the ground up himself and never ceases to amaze with his ability to overcome obstacles!

For our organisation, I am basically Lead Developer and Art Director and a bunch of other things, Kris is programming Guru as mentioned, Blutonium primarily handles all the high ends of the 3D work (as well as solving a ton of other obstacles with our process etc), and Benita is our animator, working tirelessly to navigate that minefield :D. For communication we use Trello to organise and Skype for day-to-day communication and weekly full team meetings. We are basically all in different parts of the world for now (we hope to resolve that in the future) so this is the best we can do at the moment.

We are using the latest iteration of Unity, which honestly just keeps getting better and better (and in ways that almost suspiciously seem beneficial to exactly what we're doing :P).

We plan to release on Steam as this project is absolutely huge and will take a lot of time and effort, and we want to be able to keep making games with our company in the future. This is not a fun side project for us, it is our future and livelyhood so we are taking it seriously.

We've got the level editor already functional and many of the other tools we need, and now we're working on the AI and higher gameplay systems. So all in all, we are extensively testing every single thing we put in right now, the theory crafting was done a few years back, although we always keep flexible in order to improve, fix or enrich what we have.

YourMaster
June 17th, 2017, 00:07
Thanks for the info.

And where are you planning on compromising? Where do you expect to save time on compared to say, DK, and what do you want to give the player in return?
Naturally no matter how talented and dedicated you are, there's always a difference in what you can expect from a 4 man team compared to a 200 man team. (That's not to say small teams can't deliver amazingly successful products, see minecraft for example as a game that had clear focus which paid off)

DBlac
June 17th, 2017, 00:36
Well it's hard to answer those sort of questions at this stage in development. So far we haven't come across any major roadblocks and as we go on we only seem to be getting better at what we're doing. We're not willing to compromise on quality and polish of our main game features. I would say have a wait and see sort of view on it, we hope that we will be able to pleasantly surprise you!

YourMaster
June 17th, 2017, 07:29
To be honest, I think that's the most important question a small team should ask itself, and at the very beginning. Having a clear focus and a realistic scope is not 'compromising quality', but necessary to deliver quality. With 4 people you can't do the same as with 200 people, and if you try to do so you will fall short and end up delivering 'the same but worse'.

Now DK is a relatively simple game, but still not to be underestimated. Take some inspiration from other successful indie games - doesn't matter what genre - and compare what they did differently to EA or Activision games in the same genre to still be successful, to deliver high quality in a smaller scope.
At the very least, try to do a breakdown on everything you need to develop, and make your best estimate on how much time it would cost to build. Now look at the items on your long list and see where you've got to spend a lot of time, and really reconsider needed to do so. For your thought experiment just assume you won't do it, but what could you do with 10% or 30% of the time instead that would still be fun.

And prototype of course, try to quickly have a game up and running, as barebones as possible, that is enjoyable to play. That should be first, and than focus on investing more in the aspects that are fun.

DBlac
June 17th, 2017, 08:27
To be honest, I think that's the most important question a small team should ask itself, and at the very beginning. Having a clear focus and a realistic scope is not 'compromising quality', but necessary to deliver quality. With 4 people you can't do the same as with 200 people, and if you try to do so you will fall short and end up delivering 'the same but worse'.

Now DK is a relatively simple game, but still not to be underestimated. Take some inspiration from other successful indie games - doesn't matter what genre - and compare what they did differently to EA or Activision games in the same genre to still be successful, to deliver high quality in a smaller scope.
At the very least, try to do a breakdown on everything you need to develop, and make your best estimate on how much time it would cost to build. Now look at the items on your long list and see where you've got to spend a lot of time, and really reconsider needed to do so. For your thought experiment just assume you won't do it, but what could you do with 10% or 30% of the time instead that would still be fun.

And prototype of course, try to quickly have a game up and running, as barebones as possible, that is enjoyable to play. That should be first, and than focus on investing more in the aspects that are fun.

We understand the scope and danger of making something like this. We've been at this for several years now and even beforehand some of us have had formal education on working in this field. I myself spend my days meticulously picking apart the industry (and complaining about how most of it makes no sense, essentially abuses players and is frankly bloated to the brink). We have analysed our strenghts and weaknesses and made the according plans.

Teams of two hundred are often comprised of many people who are not even part of the core development, such as HR, PR management, voice actors (many voice actors) and a number of other auxilaries, while at the same time their games being comprised of large, heavy setpieces which take a lot of time to produce. The procedurally constructed nature of our game actually relieves a lot of the work we need to do on creating playable areas and while creating those algorythms is also a big task, that's basically what we've done in the past year in order to be able to come out to people in this state with it already working! :D

Often times creating the full functionality of the game is only the beggining of the development process, what comes after is the long process of producing all the numerous assets that go into the game, tieing them all together so they work right (character models and animations working properly with their programming etc) and constructing the playable areas of the game. Functionally we already have the ability to generate an underground map and edit it with various tilesets, as well as already having a basic but working Worker AI which can dig, claim and fortify. Both of these systems are essentially the core of our two main features and they're getting more and more refined each week, laying the groundwork to build other systems around them much faster and easier.

All in all we are not underprepared and we do not underestimate what we have started. We intend to finish this game no matter what and ensure that we deliver as close to the final product we intend as possible, but naturally this is a long process with many twists and turns so we keep flexible, knowing that we may have to adjust our strategy accordingly.

But I can understand that no matter what i say right at this moment it's just words and it's hard to convince anyone of our abilities and intent and that's okay! We will be bringing you guys updates as we go on so you can see what we can accomplish and how we work and we intend to be completely transperant with it :) You can decide for yourselves then, whether we are up to the task.

YourMaster
June 17th, 2017, 09:28
Well, like I said, best of luck. And you're right, the proof is in the pudding so we'll see what you're made of when you share something we can play around with and get a feel for your game. That's also the point were you can start to expect some actual useful feedback or course.

DBlac
June 17th, 2017, 09:49
Well, like I said, best of luck. And you're right, the proof is in the pudding so we'll see what you're made of when you share something we can play around with and get a feel for your game. That's also the point were you can start to expect some actual useful feedback or course.

Aye, we're working hard to get to that point so hopefully very soon! :D

Thanks again mate!

impboy4
June 17th, 2017, 15:22
I have to ask; since this takes inspiration from DK, are there going to be rival enemy underlords as well?

DBlac
June 17th, 2017, 15:30
Short answer - yes :D

Long answer - through the campaign you will encounter the Netherlords you did NOT choose to play as and will have to defeat them in various spectacular ways, which will also feature battling their underground forces and dominions. In addition we will have a multiplayer so you will be able to play versus AI and players like yourself :)

Shoutout to KeeperKlan's admins, thanks for making us a subforum guys! Really appreciate it!

Hapuga
June 17th, 2017, 15:46
This is most amazing news!! Also long time, Bluto :)

I wish I could offer programming help, but I am busy with a personal project. I will be closely following! Best of luck.

Blutonium
June 17th, 2017, 16:08
This is most amazing news!! Also long time, Bluto :)

I wish I could offer programming help, but I am busy with a personal project. I will be closely following! Best of luck.

Heeeey Hapuga! It's so great to see you guys again ;)

I'm so excited about this project personally and it's great to see others get excited also, especially here on KeeperKlan!

We are kind of "underground" (hehe) at this point so feel free to follow us on any of our social media.
We post different things on each platform, and KeeperKlan actually got a first look of our Troll & Gorgon concept art! (https://keeperklan.com/threads/6604-Lords-of-Nether-Artistic-Direction)

impboy4
June 17th, 2017, 16:34
I also have to ask; why four players and not eight? DK2 used to have eight during the planned stages but then they ended up with four + one ai only player. More than 4 players in strategy games are the norm these days and I know Unity can handle it.

DBlac
June 17th, 2017, 17:15
I also have to ask; why four players and not eight? DK2 used to have eight during the planned stages but then they ended up with four + one ai only player. More than 4 players in strategy games are the norm these days and I know Unity can handle it.

Four is not a limitation to players in multiplayer matches, it is simply the number of Netherlords available. We will likely have maps with more than 4 players in the multiplayer :)

Note: The Netherlord is the player's "avatar" in the game, acting as a command unit and a dungeon heart essentially. They are each unique characters that somewhat influence or enhance your playstyle.

Blutonium
June 24th, 2017, 20:06
Just finished work on a table for the Feast Hall. ;)

Realtime render:
http://i.imgur.com/KlHKFVv.png

Wireframe render:
http://i.imgur.com/lasycFp.png


Now it just needs a texture!

Hapuga
June 24th, 2017, 20:12
Nice!

PS where did AO go? :)

Blutonium
June 24th, 2017, 20:13
Nice!

PS where did AO go? :)

It's baking right now :p

Endrix
October 8th, 2018, 09:19
No new video for a long time.

How is it going?

DBlac
October 8th, 2018, 12:25
No new video for a long time.

How is it going?

Hey Endrix, we've just posted a link to our latest News Article in a new thread! However consider possibly following us on social media or even joining our site for more regular updates.