July 16th, 2017
The focus of this last sprint’s completed work by the team was mostly on structures and stations. However progress was made on many fronts as the team pushes forward. My own contributions were sadly lacking as I had personal obligations to see through. Instead, I will share what the rest of the team has accomplished!
Alternate models for doors and windows were created for the Norhaven structure design, so that players can add some variety in their structures outside of layout and placement. The new door designs offer one made out of solid wood without a window, and a third option with a larger window than the original. The new windows are of similar style with added shutters in the open position. It goes without saying that these options will have slightly different material requirements than the originals.
In addition to that, models for several different types of furniture were created. At this time furniture is strictly for aesthetics, but in the future we hope that players will be able to sit in chairs, place small items on tables, and store other items in cupboards. Beds already serve a function as a respawning location upon death, but I personally would love for the team to find another purpose for them, to make them more appealing than a bedroll.
The final bit of work done with structures was to add lasting item persistence to them. Items placed inside of structures, even if they are just dropped to the floor, will not be affected with a despawn timer, though they will still undergo decay if they are susceptible to it, such as with food stuffs.
Stations also received love and attention this sprint, with their placement parameters getting a finer tuning. The placing of a station is significantly less forgiving than of a structure, with the station requiring a very level spot. This is because of size; stations are much smaller than structures. This can mean that it can be challenging to find a level location in the wilderness to set up a crafting work-space. The ideal place to set up shop would be inside of a structure, where all the floors are level. And now that can be done thanks to the hard work of the team! Imagine, if you will, that the first structure a community of humans builds is an actual craft hall where they can come together to construct their craft stations and then proceed to layout their homes in the surrounding areas.
As a player who enjoys crafting in all the online games I have played, the above scenario has me excited to work with the fellow humans. Of course there is no guarantee that said human players will want to cooperate, the opposite is completely possible as well, with all players behaving aggressively toward one another and requiring that any would-be crafters who wish to pursue their skills to hide their stations in the cover of the forests, even the caves, or risk their destruction. Unlike structures, stations can be damaged with melee attacks in our latest build.
The art team found an agreeable solution for the problem with the wing joint on the juvenile dragon model. The muscle placement looks much better, with a realistic flow to what is a rather unearthly joint. The dragons also received their own version of night-vision in game. While both raknar and dragons receive it, the raknar and dragon night-visions are distinct from one another. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, so i will keep the details to myself for now. But I highly recommend checking them out for yourselves in the future!
Our animation team currently consists of Cloquirk and AnimLouis, making it a very small team, but these guys are relentless. They are hardworking and dedicated team members, working through all the hurdles that Exile’s designs have thrown at them. From IK-related issues to skinning armor and clothing to the models to Brax driving them crazy with a never-ending list of animations, they are really stepping up and taking care of business.
Finally we have been scouting out various methods of bug reporting along with voice communication for testing. I’m excited that we are getting closer to including outside testers, though there is still a ways to go to ensure that we have a smooth reporting process in place for them to use. We want to make it as easy as possible to report bugs, because then our testers will be more likely to do so!
Thank you for keeping up with our progress. Please share your thoughts with us over at http://www.trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/dev-blog-57.7034/.