Lords of the Ether: Mages Acension - Pre-Alpha

I’m currently developing a multiplayer spell-casting shooter, tentatively called Mage’s Acension. Here’s a short clip of me testing out the LOD for grass and lighting for some of the more basic spells:

Some forewarning: a lot of unreal placeholder art that will be phased out in time, though currently quite a few assets were modeled by my novice hands. Only one guy working on the project - no reason to stop actual development to reinvent the wheel just yet!

The premise is fairly straight forward: you kill other spell-casters. In deathmatch, your main objective is to kill/maim/destroy other Mage’s in your attempt to rise to power. There are several NPC’s spawned in addition to the players, which potentially spawn items once defeated - spiders that give web spells, or the ability to wall hang, a ghost knight that wanders through the old grove who upon death bestows a ghastly floating blade - essentially NPC’s that give flavor to the map, as well as providing secondary objectives for players.

In addition to that, gold and mana can be obtained by killing other spell-casters, and can be used at the travelling merchant for instantaneous, though over priced and under-powered abilities and spells.

In team deathmatch, you and four of your friends face off against an opposing team of Mages, vying for the destruction of the oppositions mana conduit. No mana conduit = no mana, and no mana in a spell-casting game is a bad thing.

As things progress I’ll update this thread.

My thread was inadvertently deleted, so I am taking this as an opportunity to skip a bunch of the boring posts (all two of them) and get to the good stuff.

Here are a couple screenshots of a very-much-under development map called River Bones:

Because I de-stress with UE4, I tend to focus on what is “fun” or interesting to develop. I haven’t done much with the UI because of this; I have animated html5 UI elements already done, but haven’t found the time/urge to replace my original “let’s see if I can get this to work” assets just yet. I have started looking into coherent’s UI plugin as well, which seems to be pretty awesome - I might need to take the plunge and get a license before too long. That being said, here are some wraiths:


Most maps will have hostile or neutral AI to flesh out the levels, and to provide players with secondary goals. In the map from the wraiths example, Temple Undying, there will be a large, hard to kill NPC that will drop a map relevant item that allows you to become neutral to otherwise hostile npc’s, but since it is a unique item and drops upon death, the gameplay shifts from solely PVP to PVE + PVP. I really don’t know how well this will work in a fully populated multiplayer test, but I think the idea is interesting, and I’d like to explore it as it definitely feels somewhat unique.

I’ve got 12+ what I feel are “solid” spells in the game so far. I’ve also added various defensive spells as well, such as a large bubble that reflects spells back at their caster, a wall of stone that can be dropped on players (killing them) or dropped infront of you as a means of shielding you from an incoming spell. Here are a couple spell effects:

Everything is still very rough, especially with the ethereal blades in the last picture, but things are starting to feel “cohesive”, and everything more or less works the way I want it to. I’m still trying to sort out steamworks integration, so hopefully it will do some heavy lifting; once it’s been integrated, work on the scoreboard, point system, and ui should begin development.
That’s it for now!

I started preliminary work on the second player model, named Memnoch. Side by side in-game lighting test:

His special ability is clipping through other models. Just kidding! I just really wanted to see both models side by side before proceeding. I’m really excited about the work Ehamloptiran has done so far with the hair simulation / TressFX, and can’t wait to see Memnoch sporting a groovy wizard beard. I still need to do a once (or twice) over in Zbrush or Mudbox to get the detail out of the faces that I am looking for; broad strokes first, fine detail later!

Aside from that, I am still working on getting Apex clothing working properly. Once that is in, I want to create a system where players can design or upload their own decals/symbols that will appear on their robes.

Here’s another shot of Memnoch:

Once I have the apex cloth working, I’ll be sure to upload a video.

This looks really cool. I love first person games but there are too many modern shooters and not enough unique settings and gameplay, so this is right up my alley. Kinda reminds me of the wizards from the Dark Messiah of Might and Magic multiplayer.

Nice work!

Thanks for the compliments, n00854180t! I’ve never actually played Dark Messiah of Might and Magic - might need to take it for a spin! Also, stop posting here and work on the Dungeon Survival Project - can’t wait to see more of that.

Also, the robes are very much a WIP (as is… well, everything…), but I plan on adding pouches, belts, bandoliers, etc… to give the characters a bit of character.

Sadly I don’t know how active the MP component is any more, though you could still probably get some good ideas from the single player gameplay.

Haha! Well I’m at work, so no time lost on the DS project. Good news there though, last night I got the rats implemented and navigating, as well as searching out and attacking the player. Going to have a gameplay video soon for sure :smiley:

Awesome idea - I’m going to use pouches/belts/bandoliers and stuff for my inventory system (craftable) so you have to think about what to carry, since each pouch will have limited space.

That’s one thing I think will look very cool that bigger games tend to miss out on - piling on lots of gear onto the characters.

BTW your environments look seriously awesome.

I really like the environments you made, look great!
Cool work so far, keep it up! :slight_smile:

looks great ! :slight_smile:

I dig it! Good job, keep it up!