April 1st, 2018
It was a very busy sprint for the team these last two weeks! Between adding new content, fixing bugs for testing, and the actual testing, the team can barely keep track of which day it is! Holidays like today are a great chance for the team to reconnect with our loved ones and remind them why they love us so much. So while the team takes a much deserved day of rest, let me share with you all the progress we have made this week!
We added a new water asset to the island, and it is truly something to behold. The water ripples with the tide, gradually darkens as it deepens, reflects light, and mirrors the landscape when you gaze into it. It also applies a layered effect to the character camera when underwater and immediately after surfacing.
New animations for the Juvenile dragon have been completed and will soon be imported in the game. Having dragons grow the way they do in ToA: Exile has been a huge resource commitment. It is like having six races in one when it comes to models and animations. But the time and love put into the fire dragons has been a great investment. We are certain that they are worth the effort.
Issues that were affecting character customization have been remedied and now players can adjust the color of their skin, eye color, and other customizations based on race. These model customizations are now persistent and can be seen by other players in the game. It was incredible the amount of work required to have customizable facial hair, but in the end it gave us a very seamless model that was segmented to allow many different styles that blended together amazingly well.
The engineering team has returned to work on the artificial intelligence of our wildlife. They have already made it so that the fauna will see to their basic needs, such as sleeping when tired, eating when hungry, and even fleeing if scared. Now they have added a level of aggression so that the animals with a more predatory nature will hunt and pursue their prey. Though combat is not in yet for them, it is still a little terrifying to have the evisceraptors charge at you like you are a piece of steak.
Several new stations were implemented in the game and over a dozen new item icons were also added. The list of items using placeholder icons and models is dwindling quickly. Animations were also added for the humans for crafting, which adds a much needed feedback to the whole process that was missing before.
The last two tests have gone relatively smoothly. We’ve encountered some hiccups between builds and testing, but we have been productive and our testers have been fantastic with their reporting and feedback. We’ve been trying to schedule the tests at different time of the day so that as many different testers get a chance to participate. Some of them are late at night, and some of them are so early that we all needed a good dose of coffee to get going. Invitations have been sent out to all of our backers now, so we are hoping that our next test will give the server a serious workout. So far we’ve had more than 25 connections to the server at once without a significant load, which makes us hopeful that our goal of 64 will be obtainable.
As always, thanks for following our progress and please share your thoughts with us over at http://trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/dev-blog-75.9588/.