Dev Diary #16 - welcome to the new year

Hello everyone, First of all welcome to 2019! The Christmas period was a long, much needed break. Since it’s the new year we wanted to show you some of the content we have been working on.


We have included a small video showing more work on platforms, a couple of assets and basic mood of the level. We also have some exploration shots for the Laboratory environment.


After we finish enemies, the focus will be working on Security Guard and his mutated state. We have also been working on the Scientist and his unfortunate mutation.

The Security Guard allowed us to test building characters from individual pieces, so next in line will be first AGI Tech character gear so we can start working with gearing up in game.



Security mutant is first non standard rig in the game.


The next weapon for the main character is Energy Rifle. So far we have been working on textures, so the final version will probably be included in next update.


One of the major updates this month is functional spawn manager, which allows us to populate maps with lots of handy settings. It will give us freedom to generate maps without having to place all enemies for each of them again.

Thanks for reading and see you next month!


Dev Diary #15 - November's update

Hi, everyone Christmas are behind the door so we have some news and updates for you.

100+ members at Discord

Our discord channel broke first 100 of loyal members! As a thanks for your support we have some goodies for you. 5 large stickers and one black t-shirt (L size). If you will share our blog to any social media with hashtag #DEICIDES and share the link with us at our discord channel(social-posts section) you will have a chance to win one of the prices. Competition ends at Monday 3rd of December 10 am (London time).



One of the first enemies -Security Guard- is in the game already and Mutated version follows straight after.



First level to test our workflow is Asteroid Mine. Level and assets are still in progress but we want to share with you our direction and style.



We are working towards basic combat experience. It involve few implementations which will help to get proper feel of it. So our coders created mouse-over outlines, floating damage system, flash on hit and basic enemy health bar. All is in stage of prototyping and not reflecting final look of implementation.


Another enemy in works is Scientist. Mutated version and necessary details in progress.


Last but not least our Sound designer put together couple of ideas and created longer combat track.

Hope you enjoyed our November’s update see you next month!


Dev Diary #14 - Holidays Update

Hi, so after a couple of months of “Blog silence” (blame the holidays) we return with a large update. We have some characters, environments, code, design and even music sneak peaks for you.


Over the last couple of months we have been working on different variations of gear and the modifications of the Agility body-type.

EXO-SUIT - gear set for the agility body-type. One of the first pieces of equipment the player gets in the game, helping the player character to become an efficient contractor without any body modifications. Below you can see some examples of the Zbrush model, exo-suit in-game and also a running test.



Another character piece we have been working on lately is the transformation of the AGILITY CHARACTER with Tech modifications. It's not fully implemented in-game yet but the images below are from low poly/ ingame version of that character.



For our First enemy we started working on the Security guard. As this is the first enemy we thought we would go with something more generic and then push it more with mutations and more interesting attack mechanics. Below you can see the initial concept and zbrush sculpt of the Security guard.



It would not be an Action RPG without a proper Inventory system. As a starting point we created a white-boxed prototype of how it can all work and what sort of equipment type you can wear. Video below shows a few of the UX decisions we are working on to create a familiar and pleasant experience.



more progress done on the skybox especially on the space elevator for asteroid mines. Basic texturing and animations helping to set up the feel of the depth in the level nicely.

space elevator.png


We also have a few more additions to our weapons design ready to be made. Namely PDW (one handed ranged weapon) , Double barrel shotgun and Energy rifle.



Last but not least below you can hear a few music tests and ideas for ambient sounds (safe zone) and Combat zones.

It has been a good few weeks and its great to see parts of the puzzle coming together.If you want to know more you can find us at our DISCORD CHANNEL.

See you next month with more updates. Thanks for reading


Weekly Dev diary #13 - Weapons


Hi, I would like to introduce to you today the work of our 3D artist Jirka. He's currently working on weapons and equipment for our characters. Our weapons are probably higher resolution than what they need to be in game, but the reason behind it is to look good in character selection screens, inventory or even for marketing purposes. 



This is all reflected in the workflow which is pretty standard: 

  • create concept art and gather necessary references
  • create temporary low poly model
  • create hi poly model
  • reduce it down to final low poly model
  • unwrap uv maps
  • bake normal maps
  • texture it in substance painter
  • check in the engine... 


Weapons are fairly flexible for future modification so we are expecting that we will do a few variation of each. 



First weapon created is the sniper rifle for our Standard "conventional" weapon( for non-modified characters). This weapon is based on magnetic technology accelerating bullets - known as a railgun. 




Second concept to model is the Light machine gun. Another standard "conventional" weapon. High attack speed, heavy caliber weapon ideal for spray and pray type characters.  


Switching to monthly updates

Hope you enjoyed our progress so far. We have decided that to be able to share more quality diaries with you, we will have to change our feed schedule to monthly basis. This will give us more time for more imformative posts about our progress. If you are enjoying our weekly feeds we will continue with smaller chunks of information at our discord channel, so all of our members can enjoy it first hand!

Thank you 


Weekly Dev Diary #12 - environment skybox

Hi, my name is Martin Kocisek (Myers) and I’m responsible for the environments of Deicides. 
I saw the post from guys at Hardwired on their facebook gamedev group about them looking for help, and since I’m a simple guy I hit reply as soon as I saw a project as exciting as this one. 


My first task on the project is to create an Asteroid Mine environment and the focus of this blog post will be on the making-of of skybox for this environment. 


"Skybox for top down camera action RPG?" – you may ask. Well let's call it background then. 
Because this particular level will take place on mining platforms built at the opening of a large surface mine of a small asteroid, the player will be able to see a background environment under those platforms.
In the spirit of the old saying: you’re only as good as your references are, I spent fair bit of time collecting references of the largest strip /surface mines. The scale of those are breath taking, you can barely see huge CAT machinery if you are to zoom out. So i had nice references for scale and overall mood, next step was to find some photos of asteroids and comets to get a better idea of materials and textures.

ON WITH THE MODELING (and texturing)

   The whole processes uses a standard workflow:

  • basic mesh
  • high resolution sculpt
  • re-topology of low poly mesh 
  • unwrapping 
  • baking of normal maps

Once I was happy with with normal maps bake and overall model work, I've start with the texturing.You can choose many tools these days but for me its Substance painter.It gives you flexibility and speed enough workflow to get great results in decent amount of time.



All work on the model is done, so its time to test it in the engine. Testing of geometry, lights, performance or simply just see how Unreal translates your previous work in to the engine. To enhance the result I decided to create an additional detail normal map that I blended in to get some more details from the surface. 

But this was only a false summit. More work is on the horizon. What we need  now is to introduce some human build structures that would add more depth to the story of this place.


With the little peek into this next phase I’d like to thank you all for your interest and support. If you have any questions you can find me (and our team) at Discord channel.


See you next time.


Weekly Dev Diary #11 - System Design Introduction


I am the gameplay designer at Hardwired. You can find me at our discord channel as Little_bastard22. Before I joined Hardwired as a system designer, the team had four things:

- really compelling high concept

- bunch of great ideas

- ballsy, but experienced team

- and they definitely knew what they wanted to make - an ARPG.

Good enough for me. I was in.

Going from High Concept to Ideas to Systems

System design is a curious work. You are basically trying to distill fun out of game mechanics and export it into boring spreadsheets, formulas and game logic, still respecting the game’s high concept and genre conventions.


Thematically, both cyberpunk and biopunk deal with the questions of identity, usually through the lens of body modifications. Bodymods tend to be rather extreme, completely changing person’s abilities, their appearance and sometimes even psychology and cognition.


We were quick to realize that body modifications should be our core fantasy. Cyberpunk (and biopunk alike) is when your body becomes the tool of your trade, whatever your trade happens to be. If you are a killer, your body becomes a weapon. In terms of ARPG vocabulary, the boundary between character and inventory becomes blurry.


To spare you all the genre theory and philosophical definitions, I will try to illustrate the idea with the language of every ARPG - the base statistics. We are taking a slightly different approach on them, but keeping it intuitive, quick to understand and somehow familiar.


We all know that there are usually three base stats - Strength (STR), Agility(AGI) and Intelligence (INT). Every now and then, they tend to go by slightly different names, but, essentially, they are the same - they describe your character’s physical traits such as strength, movement speed/reflexes and cognitive performance.


One of the ideas the team had was something called “grid system”. Every character, whether tech or bio, would have a statistic derived from the base stat, that would limit the equipment they could handle. You can mount a gatling gun to your wrist, but what good does it serve, if you don’t have enough juice to spin it? So there were certain requirements for your “power grid”, which in turn would be derived from your STR. For other types of equipment (say rigger’s gear), you would use different grid (e.g. INT-based ”processing power” grid), or some kind of improved reflexes for handling fast AGI-based equipment). 

There are no restrictions for any character bodytype to choose their equipment as long as you will support it with right grid booster modules, which will allow you to pick your play style.

WIP version of our inventory. Note the grid booster slots above the character.

WIP version of our inventory. Note the grid booster slots above the character.

This sparked an interesting question - can we do without derivative statistics and create a reasonably flexible system that would also make sense within our world and support our core fantasy? (Spoiler alert: Yes, we can.)


So I fired up Excel and quickly did some preliminary calculations - I knew that there will be three booster slots for each character. I also knew we would like to follow the classic ARPG progression - you gradually gain points to your base attributes via levelling. Given our three basic body types STR, INT, AGI), I wanted to give them a head start for their respective stats, but still wanted to provide enough variability to allow for hybrid builds.


So I started playing around with the numbers. First I took into the account our level cap and tried to do make a linear progression. I differentiated the progression for respective body types (slowed down and capped stats outside of the body type).


Pure progression, no skill points or boosters added.

Pure progression, no skill points or boosters added.

I added the boosters using similar linear progression and... It didn't work. Something was missing. There was no control over the progression by the player, and certainly no investment into the attributes.

Knowing that I needed to limit the growth of the attributes, give players some agency over their base stat and encourage them to dedicate to at least one of them, I started playing with the idea of effectivity. Regardless if biological or technological, things just don’t convert 100% of energy into other type of energy. But the effectivity can be improved.


So, for each attribute, I plugged in an effectivity variable into my formulas and started adding them into the (then non-existent) passive skill tree. It worked! Players can now start at say 50% effectivity for their grid and level up to 90+ percent. I created a few example builds and all of them made sense in a way! Of course, there are sacrifices to be made when playing hybrid builds, but regarding equip requirements, they should be more than playable.

You can become anything you want to, it will just cost you a few skill points & booster slots.

You can become anything you want to, it will just cost you a few skill points & booster slots.

Now we have a working system of base attributes, that ticks all the boxes - it gives agency to the player, scales well with level progression, feels familiar yet seems original and supports the core fantasy. It works on paper and I really hope it will work in the game!


Let’s just end this on a high note. See you next time, exploring another of our core systems!


- Little_bastard22


Weekly Dev Diary #10 - Run and roll animation

it's animation time again! This time around, I'd like to talk more about the way we look at character movement & animations.


One of the things I can really appreciate in games is the feeling of responsiveness, 
and the way character reacts to my commands every time I press the button.
That's why I think it's really important, to have swift immediate reactions to player actions. Animations needs to reflect it from the start.


For example the roll - forward motion, that ÆBone mentioned in the earlier dev diary.
We went through several iterations, to improve responsiveness and speed over time, until it felt just right.

The roll forward anim process started with simple roll forward animation, beginning from "idle pose" through "roll anim" and back to "idle pose"
But this felt slow and unresponsive, so we cut the first&last few frames, which did the trick, and the overall feeling started to feel about right.

There is still things to improve and we will polish the things as we test them throughout the development.

We will keep forward motion linear, which will make it easier to scale speed and connect it to our multiplayer prediction server/client system.




One of the first animations I created was run. I was aiming for fast speedy run movement, but once it was finished and put in the game, it turns out the run was just a bit too fast. I needed to slow it down, which resulted in the new slower run animation, that suited the character game movement much better.

Then we started to tinker with animation blends and used both animations for situations where player character will gain some movement speed and the result you can see below in the video. Nice smooth animation which will suite both fast or slower running characters with transition in between.



If you will have any questions you can find me at our Discord channel.

As always, stay awesome!

- Fade



This week I would like to talk about some combat GUI elements, player deaths and movement abilities.


General rule is that you should be able to turn on/off all combat GUI elements, which ever settings you prefer. 

We are going to support player health using both graphic indicators and numbers. You can choose one of them, both or nothing.
In general we are trying to use UMG and avoid any low level "Slates".


First step for us was to plug in ragdoll deaths to the player to avoid extra work for the animator which is not necessary at this stage of development. Deaths will look organic and random without spending valuable resources on it. 

Thanks to "Fade" who prepared the ragdoll setup we now have player deaths ready. For later stages we are aiming to plug in some fatalities, so you can easily end up split in half by a fully automatic Gatling gun etc. 
   Deaths will be dependent on amount of damage , critical strike and/or weapon type/damage which caused the death. Where normal damage should trigger ragdoll and any other fatal (huge) damage should trigger some fatality  animation corresponding to damage element and weapon type.

I implemented a basic damage system by which you can kill other players and modifiable player health regeneration. 
Once the player health reaches zero or less he dies and the body becomes a ragdoll.

As you can see in the video below there is a development version of the "revive option" when player can re-spawn. 

Common practice in games such as Diablo is whenever player dies he/she leaves a tombstone or any kind of interactive beacon for other players to revive him. We really like this mechanic so this will be another addition to our "player death" mechanic.



I am currently working on movement abilities. Particularly on the roll forward motion.
Its quite tricky a task to have smooth results in multiplayer. I will share my experience about that in my next dev diary or you can hit me up at our Discord channel for more information.

In the video below you can see the basic roll animation which is quite straight forward.
But this is only a part of the story. We need to deal with obstacles,distances, replications at server/client etc. We want to have as much of a stress-free experience for the player as possible, so control over this kind of movement is one of the higher priority to have it done right. 


Thanks for attention and I am looking forward to sharing my progress in the next diary.



Weekly Dev Diary #8 - Tech Gun attachment concept

Hi, another week has passed. Our team is growing and with that so is the amount of time needed for production and design work. Its been a hectic few weeks, but I would like to take some time and introduce to you our concept ideas for gear and weapons in Deicides.



There are a few basic rules which we have to setup straight from the start.


  • How big on the screen will you see weapons and gear?
  • Is there any close up view like character selection menu, inventory, cut-scenes or just general presentation purposes?
  • How much "power-fantasy" we want to bring in to the game?


Like most Top down ARPGs our camera angle is quite high up. It will give us better game overview and also means that our gear does not need high level of detail like for example First Person Shooters. Having loads of details might even  be worse for overall form and shape readability. However we still need a more detailed version for close up shots like Character selection screens as well.

    Regarding the style, one of our major inspirations is Ghost in the shell and the way they sell slightly over sized yet functional looking weapons. "power fantasy" works really well here, you dont have a feeling that they are defying laws of physics most of the time, it feels believable. 


Ghost in the shell - gun examples above. ^^



In the world of Deicides you will start as a normal human character with conventional use of weapons and equipment. After your  body modification(either bio or tech) your body becomes the weapon. There is no need for you to hold a rifle when your arm, with the right attachment, becomes one.  


Tech precision weapons

In the image bellow you can see how this might work. For example as a low level character without modifications you will use Railgun as a precision class weapon(top image).

If you change your body to become Tech modified (cyborg), your hand will be replaced with a weapon itself. In this style we are creating all weapon and equipment for Tech or Bio characters. 


precision weapons and Tech examples

precision weapons and Tech examples

Weekly Dev Diary #7 - Brief History

Hello everyone! Thanks for your new or continued interest in our game! Today I would like to share a brief history of what happened to our world to make it the world we have in the game. You can find answers to how the whole biological and technical enhancements duo came to be and how it is not really a common thing to have a machinegun or a bone scythe replacing your hand. I hope you enjoy this post.


Path to singularity


Mars base Established.


Several investigations uncover clinics generically enhancing humans. Governmental regulators revoke their licenses and several individuals are imprisoned. Demand for enhancements rises in spite of authorities.


First universal neural interface is demonstrated. Humans and machines can now be combined in a miriade of ways. Perfect prostethics are just the first step.


Space exploration and AI research are two main scientific fields, attracting the brightest minds globally. Cheap space travel and universal, human-like AI have taken the forefront of research instead of curing diseases and renewable energy.

Dragon rises


China Builds the first true Super AI, the Jade Dragon.


A plethora of new policies and law are passed every month from the Party. Society is reshaped according to new ideas coming from Jade Dragon.


China proudly presents a completely new generation of unmanned military vehicles with unprecedented effectivity, triggering global arms race.


Russia gives away 30% of its territory to China in an unprecedented international deal. Both sides present this deal as very beneficial, but only speculations remain as to how exactly Russia benefited.


Leaked footage allegedly shows a Russian Specnaz soldier with combat prosthetics. Discussions about the ethics of both cybernetical and biological enhancements of human beings are held at UN with no clear outcome.


New Israeli High Precision Railgun technology makes ballistic missiles and all but low flying military aircraft obsole. New weapons are able to hit ICBM on re-entry with 99.9999% reliability.


Protests start in China against another wave of new laws promoting a new education system. Western observers call new the education techniques pure and very advanced brainwashing.


Protests turn into riots after authorities start taking away children from families of protesters on basis on "an upbringing harmful to the child". When drones are used to subdue the populace, conflict turns into full civil war.


After rumors of full garrisons being killed by autonomous war-machines spread, the majority of Chinese military personnel join the rebels in the civil war.


Cyberspace is swept by a crippling wave of attacks on banks and technology companies. Attacks are untraceable, but there is only one suspect, the Jade Dragon.

Human vs. Machine


Chinese Exile government asks international community for help in fight with the Jade Dragon, which took control of the more advanced part of the armed forces and most of production facilities.


World War III starts when Jade Dragon invades Russia to secure more resources. NATO quickly sends a response force to stop the expansion of AI forces into the South China sea and South Korea. Japan joins the war.


Taiwan falls and Japan is invaded. USA loses two carrier groups to smart missiles and railgun fire. Reinforcements form Europe arrive to Russia. AI forces held on the line of Ural mountains. India and Pakistan join the war.


Jade Dragon is contained momentarily at a great cost. Military casualties are counted in millions already, civilian estimated to be hundreds of millions on lost territories, as AI forces start to exterminate the populace. USA pushes for development and deployment of biologically enhanced troops as a counter to AI forces.


UN assembly starts Total War with Jade Dragon. No resource is to be spared, as the fight is now for humanity's survival. USA demonstrates several bio upgrade packages for super-solider programs. Results are extremely potent, but no data on long-term effects are yet available. Volunteer units of enhanced soldiers are established in all armies.


Operation Killswitch is started. All countries contribute to the war effort and the lines are broken through and AI is pushed back by the sheer number advantage of the coalition. Biologically enhanced soldiers are the spearhead of the offensive. They are nearly impossible to kill while their fast metabolisms result in energy to burn. Otherwise fatal wounds are healed in seconds.


Jade Dragon is defeated at massive cost. Most of accessible resources were depleted. 1,7 billion people perished. New Chinese Republic is established with help of the Allies. Russian-Chinese border is put back in the state it was in 2035.


A new ban on AI development is established and Artificial Intelligence Regulation Organisation is established with global jurisdiction. An era of de facto technological prohibition comes and every technology leading to more autonomous machines is heavily regulated. Only the largest corporations can meet safety criteria for machine learning and AI research.

New era of humanity


With available resources dwindling and AI research hampered by regulation, companies and investors turn to Space Exploration.


A huge archive with footage of some of the enhanced soldiers mutating uncontrollably when in contact with certain chemicals or environments is leaked. It is also revealed that enhanced bodies will metabolize themselves when energy reserves are depleted.


A world wide ban on both cybernetic and biological enhancements beyond "normal human functions" is imposed. Research is continued for military purposes, but testing on human subjects is forbidden.


The third Space Race begins. This time for establishing profitable mining operation in the Belts.


China and Russia form first Mega Consortium, the Ruhan Corporation, more than 70 companies were melted into one big entity having all the resources and technology necessary to compete for the riches of the Solar system.


With Ruhan gaining lead, three more Consortiums follow. The Euro-Indian Consortium, or EIC. The Pan-american Union, consolidating all countries of the Americas and the Pacific Space-faring Corporation, uniting African and Pacific countries including Australia, Indonesia, Korea and Japan.


All hopes now point to the sky. Consortiums hold all the cards and people working for them gain special social status. All nonrealted industries are limited to minimum, poverty soars as there is no need for an extensive work force, and most resources are prohibitively expensive.


A Mars base - named Utopia because of the location where it was founded - has grown rapidly with an influx of rich and talented people escaping from Earth's surface and orbit. Local government redefines what "normal human functions" means, effectively lifting the ban on bio and cyber enhancements on the surface of the Red planet.


Multiple incidents of violent crimes against visually enhanced people are committed on Mars. Fear of inferiority of natural humans sparks wave of hatred that limits voluntary enhancements to minimum.


A massive breakthrough in ion engine construction brings unparalleled effectivity to space travel. Engines can be in full burn for months with just a few kilograms of actual solid fuel.


Mission Providence of Pan-american Union successfully reaches the asteroid belts and establishes the first mining base, New Yukon. EIC's Ganesha Base and PSC Mariana Outpost were established later the same year.


After a failed first attempt, Ruhan's mission to the belts succeeds and The Emperor's Stand is established.


More than five million workers are moved to the belts in a massive investment race that splits the whole belt into four segments by Consortium influence. Most of the mined resources are poured into local mining infrastructure and primary resource processing facilities.

The Last World War


The Uprising starts. Peaceful protests on resource distribution disparity end with shooting into protesters. 5 year old Jemal Musri is killed. A recording of his death sparks a global riot. All movable assets are transported to orbit. There are thousands of dead and millions wounded just the first week.


What was left of national states crumble in a global civil war. Citizens against Mega Consortiums.


With extraterrestrial populations still having very low natality because of people's focus on careers or living luxurious life, and 93% of all humans still living on Earth's surface, the Consortiums still need the surface population to expand workforce. AI is still considered too much of risk to be applied on larger scale.


Reconciliation program is started. It is promised, that 25% of belts resources will be delivered to Earth's surface to provide food, medical care and education to the population. In return consortiums can still recruit the brightest that Earth can offer.


The Reconciliation program has reached 97% of the Earth's population, the dream for most of people is to become a spacer. Elite that is assigned to a job in space, that pays enough to pull whole family out of poverty.


Talents are picked at the age of 14 and put into Space Academies, where they spend next 5 years in intensive and expensive preparation for their future job.


Workers start at age of 21 with a considerable debt for the training provided that takes 15 years on average to repay. If a worker is deemed no longer suitable for the position as a result of his own actions before repaying, the remainder debt is transferred to the family. In this form, slavery re-emerges.


The term Starcrook is coined for Spacers who lost their contracts with the Consortiums. This breed of mercenaries ranging in profession from security guards, through to pilots, medics to scientists is used for unofficial consortium business to keep plausible deniability.


Bases have been established on most usable bodies in all corners of the Solar system, settlements, security outposts along the common routes and remote science outpost studing various phenomena.


An unmarked research base is located by a surveyor craft at the fringe of Ruhan space. Investigation finds marks of combat and some evidence pointing at computer, possibly illegal AI research conducted there. No proof pointing to any particular consortium is presented.


See you next time,