August 14th, 2016
We’re kicking off this Dev Blog with an important message from Brax:
“We’ve been chasing the dream of ToA for a long time. That’s a painfully obvious statement, isn’t it? What might not be obvious are some of the hurdles we’ve been able to overcome and others that have knocked us flat on our asses every.single.time. Depending on how long you’ve followed us, you’ll know that we’ve had a version of free form flight with pixies, wall-climbing raknar, a pretty spiffy building system, a capable network system, and lots of other things that we’ve accomplished. But one thing has always plagued us.
Items: Whether they are on the ground, in inventory, equipped, or in a container, items will be where you left them (sans theft or decay).
In every iteration of ToA, be it the hyper-inflated scope of our earliest designs, or the technical demonstration that we successfully deployed before our last Kickstarter, persistence has been as elusive as a legitimate Sasquatch sighting. If you don’t know what persistence is, it’s kind of like saving your progress in a game but so much more. Considering we are a multi-player game by default, just saving -your- progress isn’t enough. Every object in the game that has a changeable state needs to be “saved” and it just so happens that almost everything in Exile can be changed. Even things you wouldn’t think about needs to have persistence like weather, your character’s customization settings, the hit points of a tree you were chopping at, the orientation of a sword on the ground, items within a container, their order within said container. It becomes both mind-boggling and overwhelming when you really think about it. This is why you might hear so many times that making a persistent world immediately ramps up the amount of work and complexity by orders of magnitude.
I’m happy—borderline giddy—to announce that with the closing of our last sprint, sprint #33, Exile has persistence! This isn’t a “straw horse” of persistence either. We don’t have just one or two things being persisted for marketing purposes or so I could come here and get you hyped about it. Nope, not even close. If I had to put a percent on it, I would say we are 80-90% persistent. Granted, we must bring persistence to other features as they come online but look at what we currently have:
Another reason to celebrate persistence coming online is that we are now, in every possible way, further along in development than ever before, and THAT is very exciting!!!
- Account: Come back into the game and it remembers you and which characters you have on what servers.
- Characters: During character selection on a given server, you’ll see what that character was wearing and had equipped when you last logged out. Character locations within the islands persist as well.
- Flora: All flora and their parameters (hp, resources, age stage, etc) now persist through server crashes and reboots.
- Minerals: The mineral nodes you will harvest for ore and stone now persist along with their various parameters.”
In addition to the persistence that Brax talked about, the team made many other strides this sprint. Emrys90 was the one who did the bulk of the persistence work, as well as adding the framework for server settings affecting both the flora and fauna spawners, setting up temporary accounts for the team members, and has taken over work on the Master Server from Yevi.
This responsibility swap is because Yevi has switched over to AI work for the team. If you recall from a previous blog, Orion McDuff was supposed to begin work on our AI. However he has since resigned from the team due to real-life time constraints. It was an amicable parting, and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. Though he will be missed, the team is excited to see Yevi take up the AI reigns, since he has proclaimed a passion for it.
Talonthorn has made huge strides with the drafting window, though it is not yet ready for public viewing. I’m excited to see how he wraps it up, and how the future crafting windows will build off of the feel and design of it. He also updated the skill screen with all of Blitz55’s icons.
Blitz55 has finished the last of the skill icons, and created several item icons from the models Rugnar made in the past.
Speaking of Rugnar, he has continued to create building piece models from his Norhaven models and their building stages. He showed them off at our last meeting, and his work was much appreciated by the rest of the team. It’s come along way from the original concept art.
Finally, Altar has finished an amazing model of the fire dragon hatchling. He has started on the young stage, and expectations for it are high after seeing his results with the first model.
Share your thoughts on our progress over at http://trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/dev-blog-33.5840/.