January 15th, 2017
We’ve kicked off the New Year with great progress across the board.
The art team was exceptionally productive this sprint. Rugnar spent around 10 hours sculpting cave entrances and points of interest into the terrain mesh. Overall there were 11 different sculpts he made over the two weeks. Blitz55 spent his time painting the new icons for the racial abilities for raknar and dragons. Cloquirk worked on fixing various issues with our human model rig and also created several new animations for it, including death, swimming, and two-handed weapon attacks. The art team also separated the raknar’s head to allow for their new camera angles, as well as sculpting some impressive chitin armor for them.
The engineering team made great strides too. Settings were added to the game, allowing players to choose different graphics quality settings and adjust volume levels. Changes were made to the flora and fauna settings to include spawning inside caves. They have also implemented the day-to-night ratio in island creation and the minutes-in-a-day option that controls just how long an in-game day/night cycle takes to pass. The new inventory window, which was mentioned in the recent newsletter and we’ll cover in a future design discussion, replaced the old one.
They programmed in item expiration for perishable items. Different items decay at different rates, with preserved food lasting longer than fresh. Cooking can also stave off decay for some types of edibles, but reduces the timer for others. For example, rocnuts will last a very long time raw, whereas cooking them causes them to lose that advantage. On the other hand, leaving meat raw should be avoided as it will last longer if cooked.
Integrating the drafting design window into the game took up many hours of development this sprint. Blueprints were added, along with the ability to place them on the ground, which marks out the basic shape on the terrain using wooden poles. Not being a programmer myself, I would never have guessed how much work would be involved in what seemed like such a small step. It required over 16 work hours in total.
During our Saturday testing we got to see his work in action, creating blueprints and placing them on the landscape. Some tweaking is still needed, because we could place them on slopes that were too steep for the foundation. We also found a few bugs and wrote up reports for the engineering team to squash as they work. Moving forward, we’re upping our testing schedule to every week. The team is putting out enough work that we need to be ready to test the progress every Saturday.
All in all it was a great two weeks. If every sprint could be this productive, we will be launching before we know it! Share your thoughts on our progress over at http://www.trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/dev-blog-44.6037/.