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Dev Blog #63

October 12th, 2017

Dev Blog #63

When I go to write the dev blog at the end of every sprint, I review the cards we use in Trello to record the team’s efforts. I take notes on what was completed that sprint, read through the notes for interesting tidbits, and then sometimes quiz the team for more information. Occasionally I can get Brax into a design discussion where he explains how a new feature ties into the design and how it will impact the players. It is an entertaining process for me and I love sharing it with everyone who reads our blogs.

Our artists have been clocking in the hours and have some great results to show for it. Custom models were created for a few of the native flora of TerVarus. The Asperfern stalk models for it’s raw, cooked, and rotten forms have been completed, as is the many-petalled flower of the Creeping Heart vine and the frond of the Brackenfern. New combat animations for the human were finished, this time for fighting with a sword and a shield.

Dozens of new icons have been completed, all of them for crafting processes. Processes are different variables that players can adjust while crafting that have an impact on the resulting creations. Processes are tied to the tools or stations being used. Each of these processes offers a benefit and a drawback, and there are a variety of variables they can influence, with item durability, station or tool damage, crafting speed, and crafting difficulty pretty much universal.

For example, When using a pottery wheel, the player can adjust the speed they spin the wheel at, how much moisture they introduce to the pottery, and how much pressure they apply while working. Speeding up the wheel will reduce the crafting time, but will increase the crafting difficulty of the item. If the crafting difficulty gets too high in comparison to the character’s skill, failure is possible and can result in the partial or complete loss of the material, or even damage to the tool or station!

That is just a sample of the depth of detail we have designed into the crafting system. Adjusting the processes isn’t required for players who only want to craft enough to get what they need; leaving them at their defaults will get the job done in most cases. However it does offer so much more to the players who really enjoy filling the very necessary role of a crafter in ToA: Exile.

Weather profiles have been added to the game. Before weather happened rather randomly, with storms following clear skies without a moment’s notice. The profiles allow for a smooth transition between weather, so that players have time to react and find cover. Our weather now includes various stages of fog, cloud cover, rain, and storms. When we add biomes that include sub-freezing temperatures, we will add in snow to the mix.

We’ve been encountering several design issues with some of the character stats, such as character’s falling over unconscious from sprinting and hunger dropping strength enough that the player can no longer move due to encumbrance. To improve game play we’ve reworked how attributes influence stats and conditions, and we are much happier with the results.

A few smaller features have been added and deserve some attention. New islands can now be created with a “ ‘ “ in their titles. We were sticking with alphanumeric limitations to avoid messy titles, but that meant we couldn’t properly label our own servers with our names. So we’ve added the apostrophe so that names can read: “PlayerA’s Island” and so on.

Palisade gates can now be opened and closed. They can also be locked, but only when closed and only from the inside. This will help human groups secure their perimeters at night and provide protection from whatever might try to take advantage of the cover of darkness.

Brax has made headway on tearing holes into the terrain for the multiple caves you’ll be able to explore. After all the holes are placed, he will be using the cave pieces that Rugnar created to create the underbelly of the islands.

As always, thanks for following our progress! Share your thoughts on our work and designs over at http://www.trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/dev-blog-63.8229/.