May 8th, 2017
This dev blog marks our 52nd sprint and two years of development since we announced ToA: Exile. It is really exciting for the team to look back and see how far we have come in what is a short time in the world of video game development. In just the last twelve months, the team has implemented the majority of the game features and have expanded on them to near completion.
Dragons have been brought from concept art to controllable characters in game with beautiful models for the hatchling and young growth stages. Animations for movement, attacking, combat, and so on have been completed for the hatchling stage. Dragon nests have been implemented, along with their respawning and inventory capabilities. Flight has also been added with what feels like true-to-life controls.
Raknar have received new animations for their already impressive models. Additional model attributes were also added to go along with their new evolution design, which allows them to grow spikes, increase in size, and develop armor. Raknar can evolve from a frighteningly large spider into a terrifyingly gigantic monster by using their natural born abilities. Eggs, which function as a respawn location, have also been added, along with a special feature we are keeping sealed away for a reveal in the future.
Humans have arguably seen the most additions over the past year, with the 3D structure modeling inside our drafting window, construction of buildings, skill improvement and perks, new models for the male and female, a reimagined inventory system and the crafting system put into play. My favorite feature of the game so far has to be building the structures. Working together with the rest of the team to gather resources and employ them in raising a building section by section is very engaging and fills me with a sense of accomplishment when we have finished.
That’s not even touching on the general game features that we’ve introduced. The island creation and customization screen was completed, along with day/night cycles, item persistence, mineral node spawning, and the character creation screen. Swimming for all races (except raknar) was another achievement. Over a hundred items were added; most were given unique models and icons, along with stats such as weight, food value, expiration, mass, names, and descriptions. Models were sculpted for our four unique creatures; the tormilin, sabretusk, needlefang, and evisceraptor. Basic melee and ranged combat is working in the game, along with the ability to heal damage out of combat and for permadeath to remove the character. We’ve even sculpted and painted an entirely new island with many points of interest and dark caves for players to explore. Racial languages and the ability for players to precisely place items on the ground round out the list of features. And of course, our super secret mystery feature! I can hardly wait to see how you all react to it when we finally reveal it!
We have big goals for the next twelve months, with backer testing and early access being the top two on the list! We also hope to have the crafting system stocked full of items, AI improved upon for our creatures, and a fully realized combat system that is both fun and engaging, with depth for those who are looking for it. Short-term goals include more animations, models, and icons so that we can continue to add more life to ToA: Exile.
For such a milestone I asked Brax, our Creative Director and overall Boss-Man, to share a few words:
“Two years? TWO YEARS?! Has it really been two whole years?? Amazing.They say you should use times like this to reflect on where you’ve come from, what you’ve accomplished and even look to the future. So instead of me saying a bunch of sappy words, allow me to do a bit of reflection.
WHERE HAVE WE COME FROM?
Some of you know us from way back when dinosaurs still roamed the internet. We had lofty goals, even by today’s standards, and very little clue on how to achieve them. That didn’t stop us from trying though. We failed. A lot. Like, tons. Each failure gave us a great education and we were always left with the simple decision to pack it up and quit or keep going. We chose the latter.
WHAT HAVE WE ACCOMPLISHED?
Elyssia has already done a great job in outlining the development achievements we’ve made with Exile. We are far and away further along in the development cycle than we’ve ever been. We have achieved more than we’ve let on, purposely under-promising so we can over-deliver, but at the same time doing our absolute best to keep expectations in line with what our targets are. That all means we have thoroughly and solidly turned a “IF we release” into “WHEN we release”.
SO WHAT NOW?
We keep marching forward of course! We are knocking down roadmap milestones left and right and have no plans of stopping until we’re in Early Access. We are very close to being feature complete (but maybe not polished) and will be looking to start testing soon.Thanks for hanging with us all this time and here’s to some very exciting times coming our way soon enough!”
Share your thoughts on our past twelve months of progress and your hopes for our future over at http://www.trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/dev-blog-52.6417/.