Sorry about the lack of updates, but we have been busy with numerous things the past month, including remodeling our house for a refinancing assessment. I continued to work as did Ryan but didn’t have a lot to show you until recently. Last week, we attended a Unity Roadshow about an hour from home. It was very interesting and we learned about some of the new Unity features to come. A new update was recently released with the beginnings of the new Unity networking system, which will be a great asset to our project. Right now, it will work well for testing some of our features but in the future, they will add what we need for a full MMO. It is easy to use, or so they say, works with Unity of course, and includes physics which will be fun to use. I suspect the more advanced features will becoming out about the time we need them so time-wise, this works well for us.
We added a new programmer who will be working on a special project for us that I am sure you will enjoy. I am going to keep this under wraps for now but will reveal at a later date.
Ryan is busy with the skill system, setting up the formulas for skill acquisition and leveling as well as categorizing all our skills based on difficulty. Some skills, such as a basic skill like lighting a fire, will be easy to learn. While others, like another language will be much more difficult and take more time to learn. He is also calculating depreciation factors, so some skills become rusty if you don’t use them for a while while others are more difficult to forget. We want players to “depend” on each other to some extent, since this is a role playing game and emphasizes community. If every player has every skill, then it sort of defeats the purpose. Might as well play a single player game then. 🙂
The combat system is coming along fine. We even have large scale battles although they are going to require load testing. We are discussing ways to make this work within in our system and will give you a demonstration when it is ready. This is a long term project though since individual combat with other players and NPCs is more important in the short term. We want players to be able to test the combat with NPC’s and animals first.
Dennis was away for a month but is back and working on the database again. He is also putting the final touches on a character system we can use for testing. We were delayed as UMA was updated and required a complete rewrite of what we already have. UMA is the Unity system we are using for our characters. They will allow you to fully customize your character, in body and facial shapes as well as clothing. The updates are beautiful, with PBR shading. I think you will be pleased. Currently, UMA 2 has some bugs but hopefully that will be resolved soon.
I have been building houses and testing out terrain. We are hoping to add software soon that will allow for procedural generated terrain, speeding up the creation of terrain and making it very easy to create the rest of the world’s map when we are ready to do. So far, the screenshots are very impressive.
Some other news includes player building. We plan on very soon being able to allow players to place claims for land where they can build their own house. At the moment, we are not entirely happy with the piece by piece type of house building as it has a lot of limitations and play to create a system where you add a base house and then can add extensions to the house, including decorative exterior items such as balconies, trim, etc. It allows players some customization but still keeps the buildings within the context of the lore. Interiors can be decorated as well with numerous items, furniture and storage areas.
I will start posting some of the housing builds for the Bloodlands soon. I may also add a few for Caeril so you can see the difference. Cultural housing will also be added to the Caeril enclaves. I am eager to show you what we are planning for those areas. 🙂
Here is an example of a building I am creating. This is simply an example. It is made from modular parts so the house can be assembled in anyway. This one happens to be a market house but remember, it is modular. Using a modular method, one can build a simple house while still low skilled at building and lacking money for a better house. They can then add on to the house until they have a huge fancy mansion, if they wish. 🙂 One could end up with a sprawling house or castle. The following picture is in a medieval style, suitable for parts of the Bloodlands and Sala. It was taken in Unity, not in the game environment (too busy for building) and is not entirely finished yet. But I thought you might enjoy it.
Here is another one, using the same system in our game environment. I did not build this house but was testing it in-game.
I think you can see the possibilities. 🙂 Of course, modular pieces for the different cultural styles will be added.
Soon, I will add some interior scenes as well. I have a level designer who is eager to get her hands on those so can’t wait to see what she does with them.
Finally, I have been working on a market area for the starting village as well as playing with some NPCs and animations. These are not the characters we will be using but are good stand-ins for now. The market will allow anyone to rent a booth as long as it is not being used. So when not used, an NPC will man the booth with all his/her goods. But when a player wishes to use it, they can click on the booth, rent, and the NPC’s good will be gone. Players can display their own items if they wish or use a sample set of market items to represent what they have for sale. A market in a village of the Bloodlands will look very different from one in Caeril or Sakoia of course.
Hope you enjoyed this update. I hope the next one you see is a skill in action or maybe the new characters.