Update Monday #19
I just want to drop a few lines to let you all know what's happening in our studio. For the major part of September we've been really busy, so there was no time for writing new updates. However, it paid off and we got two amazing pieces of news for you.
First of all, we are taking part in PGA, which stands for Poznań Game Arena, the biggest gaming event in Poland. We will have our own stand where you will have the chance to play our game for the first time! Go and check their website and get your entry tickets right away! http://www.gamearena.pl/en/
The second news is even more thrilling. We are finally getting Realms of Magic ready for Early Access. It will still take us two weeks more than we planned, but it's worth the effort. We hope that 8th October 2017 will be the final date of our release, so be ready when this time comes. Stay tuned for our PGA update!
Update Monday #18
In this update we will go over what we are planning to do before release. Similar to the last two updates, we will split it into two parts, this week we will focus on programming and next week we will talk about design.
Manwe has three tasks planned. The first one is improving Artificial Intelligence which consists of two parts. The first part of AI improvements is movement - we need to teach NPCs how to use platforms, open doors, jump when necessary and stop falling from the cliffs. The second part is teaching them how to better use combat skills and spells. After working on AI he will move to cave generation. Kurigalzu already implemented basic cave generation system, but we still need to improve some things like generation of cave entrances and interior generation - placing objects, creatures and NPCs. The last task is the one he is currently working on - optimization. He already rewritten lighting which lowered GPU usage and right now he will focus on optimizing CPU.
Vermox will be working mostly on GUI. Currently he is working on three parts of the interface related to combat: talents window, spellbook and the action bar. In talents window you are able to spend talents points in one of the several skill trees. After you learn new skills or spells they will appear in the spellbook, from which you will be able to move these skills/spells to the action bar in order to use them in combat. When combat related GUI is finished he will move to the last big part of the interface, the world map window, which will allow you to explore the world by travelling to different locations. After that, all that will be left to do are small tweaks to professions, Modder and GUI.
Kurigalzu is working on the combat system. We already have talent system and core mechanics for three skill trees: One-handed, Mobility and Defense. Right now he is finalizing these skill trees by integrating them with GUI and animations. After that he will implement Fire and Frost skill trees. We would also like to implement Archery skill tree but we are currently not sure if we will implement it in time before release. Except for talent related tasks he will be also working on implementing new creatures and their special attacks.
That’s all for today, see you next week!
Update Monday #17
Last week we talked about what our programmers have done recently and this week we will focus on what was the rest of our team doing.
Let’s begin with mechanics and content design. Me (Zakharn) and Ansambel have finished designing every major feature and majority of content that will be present in the first release version of Realms of Magic. The only big feature related to mechanics design is combat system. We already have very solid basics, however given the very dynamic nature of combat, it’s something that’s very hard to do right on a paper. We are going through as much combat system iterations as possible to make sure it’s fun and satisfying. We expect that the final result will be very different from the initial design we’ve created.
Another thing me and Ansambel have done is implementation of content. Every item in the game has many different variables that define what it is and how it behaves, for example its texture and icon, its value, crafting recipe, interactive behaviour (doors for example need an animation) and much more. Currently we have about one thousand items used in the game, and also another thousand that aren’t used anywhere in the game yet but are already implemented in the game’s files. Some time ago files containing items data became too messy due to their number, so we decided to reimplement every item from scratch in a way that will keep them organized in the future. Fortunately, we were able to do it quite fast thanks to Modder - program created by Vermox that allows us to implement content in timely and efficient manner.
Omadan was mostly working on quests and NPCs’ dialogue. So here is what we currently have:
1. Random quests - They are simple quests that are randomly generated. They may not be the most exciting part of the game but they will fill the world and will always give the player something to do. Right now we have about 50 of them.
2. Handmade quests - These quests are more interesting as every one of them is written individually and is connected to specific places and NPCs. We’ve started work on them very recently and we will spend most of Omadan’s time until release on them.
3. Guild quests - Currently we have quests for Sellswords, a guild that recruits, well, sellswords. We also have quests written for the Temple, however we will release them some time after initial launch because they were made on older version of quest and dialogue system and will need to be ported to the new system.
4. Random encounters - These are NPCs you will meet when traveling in wilderness, outside of towns and villages. Right now we have over 30 random encounter NPCs with something interesting to say.
5. NPCs’ dialogues - Every NPC living in a city or a village has a written dialogue. Currently we have dialogues for about 100 NPCs.
Depczyk, our level designer and SFX artist, has been mostly working on sound effects. He managed to create SFXs for pretty much everything we currently have in the game, including interface, movement, items, combat and creatures. We will still need new sound effects for the content and features we are now working on but majority of sound related work is done. When it comes to level design, we finished work on basic design and are now focused on producing handmade locations. We already have created one village and are now wrapping up work on the first big city.
Piotrek, our pixel artist, has been working on many different things: interface, character and creature animations, new city tileset, new items for existing tilesets, clutter items, weapons, plants and more. Most of his work is already done, we are now wrapping up smaller things we have left and will soon move to polishing and improving what we already have.
Several updates ago we mentioned that we were figuring out legal stuff related to working with a composer. The good news is that we’ve already finished that, and what’s better, we already have the music composed and produced! During initial launch we will feature 30 minutes of Davi Vasc’s awesome music. You can check him out on his website: vascmusic.com
That’s all this week. In the next update we will discuss what we still have to do before release. See you then!
Update Monday #16
As promised last week, this update will focus on what we’ve done since the last update. Because the list is very long, in this update we will go over what our programmers have been up to and in the next update we will talk about the rest of the team.
Feature #1 - Combat
It’s actually several features instead of one. We still have some work to do on the combat system but majority of the work is done. What’ve already done with combat:
a) Basic one-handed attack
b) Basic shield block
c) Four spells: Fireball, Frostbolt, Flames and Cone of Cold
d) Talent system
e) Mobility talent tree (on the tech side)
f) Combat animation system
Feature #2 - Hunger and thirst system
Your character needs to eat and drink in order to survive. Food and drinks are implemented. Your character says (pop-up text shows above a character) whenever he’s thirsty/hungry. Food buffs are also implemented - the more you eat, for example, mana food, the more total mana your character has - at least until death.
Feature #3 - Basic AI
NPCs and creatures roam the world, they can attack the player or other creatures, they use proper weapons/spells/attacks, they can follow, return to starting place or run away.
Feature #4 - Several creatures
Currently we have a giant rat, wolf and a skeleton. Some more are already imported (like ghoul and kobold) but they don’t their stats and attacks tweaked.
Feature #5 - Faction system
Every NPC and creature belongs to one or more factions. Some factions are hostile to each other, for example guards will attack bandits on sight and undead will attack everything that’s alive. When the player helps NPCs they will like him more and when he kills them they will start to dislike and attack him.
Feature #6 - Death and respawn
When you die the screen will start turning red and after some time you will be respawned at the respawn point. You can set new respawn point by using a bed.
Feature #7 - Grass growing and decay
Small one but important nonetheless. Grass will spread to nearby dirt blocks and it will turn to dirt if a block is placed over it.
Feature #8 - Trees
Trees have a nice falling animation when you cut them down along with leaves/needles particle effect. When they collide with blocks they turn into wood blocks and other items.
Feature #9 - Crafting system
Crafting is fully functional. Every craftable item has a recipe that requires certain number of certain items. You can craft basic items anywhere in handcrafting window and crafting stations allow you to craft more specialized items, like blacksmithing related ones on an anvil.
Feature #10 - Stairs
This one was really tricky to implement. In order to have them working properly we had to take advantage of the fact that we are using three dimensional physics engine in a two dimensional game. Even though what you see on a screen still looks like it’s 2D, the physics behind it are actually 3D.
Feature #11 - Traps
We have already implemented traps like: spikes, moving spikes, saw, swinging axe and dart/spell thrower. Dart/spell thrower actually uses NPCs’ combat abilities so when we add new spells we will be able to quickly add new trap type.
Feature #12 - Tutorial quest chain
Tutorial quest chain explains basics mechanics of the game. This is the first iteration of the tutorial, we have some changes planned for it before release and we will probably rework it in the future.
Feature #13 - Rewritten lighting
We weren’t quite happy with how our lighting was performing so we’ve rewritten it. It’s much faster now, so fast actually, that the GPU right now isn’t the factor that slows down FPS. After we do some basic optimization on processor heavy code, our game will run several times faster than it did before!
Feature #14 - Graphical User Interface
Similar to combat, it’s actually many features under one name.
a) Crafting window - Window used in crafting. It’s has different categories, you can filter recipes by “known” and “have materials”. When you choose a recipe it shows you it’s basic info like required ingredients, required profession level or experience you will get after crafting it.
b) Text pop-ups - They are small comic book like clouds that appear over a character that is speaking.
c) GUI interactions - Quality of life buttons and shortcuts when interacting with interface. For example, when you shift+click on an item it’s transferred between containers, right-clicking on item stack will pick half of that stack etc.
d) Corpse containers - Allows you to loot dead NPCs and creatures.
e) Trading window - Allows you to trade with NPCs.
f) Mains stats/control panel - Displays status bars and numbers for health, stamina and mana, also includes small bars for hunger and thirst, and finally buttons that allow you to open every window in the game (like backpack, journal or handcrafting).
g) Experience bar - Shows you the progress towards next level.
h) Journal - Whenever quest is started, updated and completed the quest journal is updated. You can view every entry in chronological order or filter entries for specific quest you are interested in.
Feature #15 - Updated Modder
Modder is our program that we use to implement content. Whenever we’ve added new feature or item type in game, we’ve updated Modder to support that feature or item type.
Feature #16 - Updated quest system
Work on the quest system is never done. We expand it all the time to allow us to make new types of quests with new mechanics.
Feature #17 - Updated location generator
We’ve added support for plants generation. Location generator can now also spawn creatures. And we’ve reworked how ore generation works.
Whoa, that was quite a lot! There were also many tweaks, bugfixes and tiny features but we think we’ve covered the most interesting parts.
See you next week when we will go over the things that our non-programmer team members have done so far!
Update Monday #15
We are back!
We've been silent for quite some time. Why was that?
We were getting very close to initial release date and we knew we won't make it in time. We didn't know what we were standing on, we only knew that we needed more time.
The most reasonable thing to do was to present a really good demo that would convince our investor to give us several more months. And we did. We finished implementing the most core features, polished them to a presentable state and showed it to our investor. It went really well and we got the time we asked for.
So when we will release our game? The new release date is 25/10/2017, two and a half months from now. This time there won't be any major delays, however one or two weeks top could be possible in a worst case scenario.
What can you expect before the release? Due to us not having a dedicated person for marketing we decided to prepare and condense our promotional efforts into one month before release. We are slowly stockpiling different promotional media like screenshots and gameplay videos, and we will be posting them daily during October in order to give our campaign a momentum. In this and the next month we will stick to only weekly Monday Updates.
Next week will talk about what we've been able to accomplish since the last update (and we did a lot!).
See you then!