August 30th, 2017
The momentum continues with our development on ToA: Exile. Several aspects of the game were revisited this sprint to give them a bit of an update. This includes a few more tweaks to the character panel and a visual update to our interaction menus. What I think is really interesting about revisiting features that we’ve already completed is that when we had marked them off back when our team was much smaller. Now that we have grown and our talent has increased we can brush up many of the visual aspects and make them look amazing, not just functional.
Brax has been working on refining the sculpting of the island terrain, sealing up seams, adjusting lighting, and adding points of interest. He took two screen captures of his work so that I could share them with you all. Since placing the grass comes after sculpting, and the trees, bushes, and other plants are controlled by a spawner system, they are absent from the scenes here. Above is a mountain-side with one of the cave entrances carved into it. Below is a view from inside the cave entrance at night.The dim glow is radiating from the fungi in the center of the cave floor.
Even more floor plans have been added for the Norhaven structure style. Since we are not allowing players to build free form structures, we are offering a variety of structure shapes, each with three or more sizes. The largest sizes can go up to three stories! That itself is presenting some interesting challenges as the team addresses various factors for performance reasons, such as the number of items that can be placed inside a structure, as well as the number of walls, stairs, and so on that can be built inside.
Speaking of construction, the initial representation of palisade walls are in the latest build, along with their own gates. The team has had many discussions on how the walls and gates should work in game, such as how they should open and close, how they should be locked, who can lock or unlock them, and so on. I would be interested in hearing what experiences our fans have had with city walls in the games they have played and what their thoughts were on them, so please share by following the link at the bottom of this article.
The art team is as busy as ever, with several different projects in the works for ToA: Exile. A few weeks ago the team acquired several animation bundles that our animators have been steadily converting for our use, which appreciatively shortens the laundry list of animations that are needed for the human model. Custom animations are still needed for our wildlife and bestial races, but those will come in time.
The human clothing has been textured and the team is thrilled with how it has turned out. The details that have been added and the textures that were chosen really make these pieces pop. Clothing won’t work as very effective armor in ToA: Exile, but it does provide protection from the cold and does wonders for the character’s appearance compared to the survival shorts worn underneath.
Different options for facial hair are on the design table for the artists right now, and we were able to preview several different ones at our last meeting. By creating a solid growth of facial hair and then carefully separating it into different pieces, they have devised nearly a dozen different styles so far. We will not likely support that many at Early Access, but it is good to know that offering new ones in the future is an option.
Thanks for following our development! Please share your thoughts on our work with us over in our forums at http://www.trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/dev-blog-60.7670/.