The very first playable demo of Westward is now online! You can “play” it at this address.
Please note that this is a very, very rudimentary demo. It only allows to perform two things: walking around and opening/closing the (unfinished) menus. (Please also note that the sprites are borrowed and temporary and are in no way representative of the intended graphical quality of the final game).
I said in the past that I would drop a demo only when at least one core gameplay element of the game would be functional. It’s a slight stretch, but I consider it to be the case already. Indeed, this demo features one important characteristic of the future Westward: a vast world, which I have been discussing at length in previous logs. The world you can explore in the demo is already quite big, and more importantly, the coastline you’ll explore should be the coastline of the first version of the game. Meaning that definitive geographical features are already present in this demo. There is nothing else than grass and water though; the forests and other terrain elements will come later.
This allows to get a feeling of how big the sandbox will be in the end, and how long it takes to travel through it. Based on that, I may decide to change the scale and make the world several times bigger or smaller. As discussed before, this is easily done in a few clicks.
As you wander around, you may notice many abnormalities in the landscape. It’s “normal” and is a consequence of the massively automated world-building pipeline. These artefacts can very easily fixed by hand by myself, but because the world is so big, I do it little by little, usually as I go around exploring/testing it.
In addition, this demo required setting up the basis of the “production pipeline”, which translates the messy development repository into a playable, online version. Now that this is in place, with each dev log I’ll update the demo to show off the progresses, making them more tangible from the point of view of the player.
Regarding the menus, as I have said they are not finished yet. But it’s getting there, they are starting to get into shape. You may be able to deduce some gameplay elements from what you see of the menus. I’ll not detail it more for the moment, it’ll come in later dev logs!
Thanks to the handful of people reading these logs, and feel free to get in touch if you have a comment or a question.