October 10th, 2016
When I write these dev blogs, I try to recall what it was like as a fan observing the progress of ToA. I remember how eager I was to pour over any new information that the team would share and how quick I was to offer my own critique of the design of the game and progress of the team.
I want to keep those feelings in mind as I review my notes from our weekly meetings and determine what to share with you all. Does the community want to hear about the struggles Yevi is encountering as he learns the ins and outs of game, and more specifically Unity, AI? Or that Blitz55 is working on more inventory icons? Do they want more detail? Am I writing something enjoyable to read or just listing our progress? How much of the blog should my experiences and musings be allowed to take up? I think that I have found a good balance between it all with our Dev Blogs and I hope that by sharing my experiences with the team, I can give you all a view into the world the team lives in as we bring ToA: Exile to life one day at a time.
Being apart of the team is great. Brax and Loestri are good leaders who work hard to give us direction and feedback on our work while still making their own contributions to the project. The hardest part is balancing work, life, and team contributions. Most of the team members work full time and some have to put in more than 40 hours in any given week. Everyone also has relationships that require attention to keep strong and healthy, and other demands on our time that require immediate action. This can sometimes cause a time shortage that we have to manage to ensure that we can complete our commitments to the team. Fortunately Brax and Loestri are very understanding and have set up a system where we are able to take on as much work as we feel comfortable in a two-week span, but also set clear expectations so that everyone pulls their weight on the team.
These two-week periods are what we refer to as “sprints”, and we accomplished quite a bit this last one. The team fit in two testing sessions using the new Bolt networking, which showed a dramatic improvement over the old Unet. It also exposed some weaknesses in our current hosting server. While these weaknesses were a pain to deal with at the time, they will ultimately help us fine-tune a minimum system requirement for hosting an island.
Emrys90 was able to finish up the networking change to Bolt he started the previous sprint and began work on the crafting screen for humans. This is exciting for the team because it is another feature for humans in ToA: Exile that wasn’t in our old demo. While it will take many sprints to complete, crafting is a massive part of the human play experience and getting the bones of it up and running will bring us another step closer to early access.
After a lot of thought and consideration, the action of harvesting ore and nuggets has been changed. Our internal testing revealed that humans ended up with a massive surplus of stone in their search for ore. So instead of piggybacking on the stone mining nodes, the various ores will have their own nodes that can be harvested via mining. Nuggets have also been cut away from other resources and now actually spawn in the ground randomly at server creation, and dragons and humans can harvest them by digging the ground. We aren’t talking terrain deformation; instead think more along the lines of geo-caching.
Rugnar worked hard to create the new models we would need for the ore nodes and as usual he work is excellent. He also finished the final versions of our primative tool, the All-Purpose Rock. The APRock can be harvested by simply picking one up from the landscape and is the most basic form of axe, hammer, knife, and weapon available to human players. The APRock will allow humans to harvest basic resources that they will need to then craft tools and weapons of true quality which are required to construct all but the most basic of recipes.
Talonthorn is back from some much needed time off and has resumed his work on the drafting screen. He hopes to have it completed soon so that be can begin work on the next UI element that requires his attention.
Brax is still actively seeking additional team members to help with modeling and animation. If you are interested in joining our team and have a professional skill set in 3D modeling, animation, or programming, please contact him and he will be happy to talk to you. As always you can learn more about what we are looking for over here.
Share your thoughts with us on our progress and design over at http://trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/dev-blog-37.5921/.