May 2nd, 2018
My, how the time flies when you are developing a game! I can’t believe we are already into the fifth month of this year. With the in-house tests and the backer tests and bug fixes and new things added with every sprint, it’s a great deal to keep up with around here!
Testing is going very well for us. We’re still focusing on the humans with the backer-testers, as they are the most complex of the three races. They have also been used to test features that apply to all three races, such as temperature, hunger, thirst, flora, and other such mechanics.
One important feature that we just recently tested that does apply to raknar and dragons as well was fauna. I’m excited to say that fauna AI is nearly complete. We started with them just seeking food and resting when tired, which also had us working on path-finding. Then we added to them the ability to flee when afraid, and with it introduced ways of sneaking up on them without detection. Next was to add territorial behavior to some of the animals. This meant that they would employ posturing as a way of warning the unwary of their trespassing. Finally came predatory behavior, so that the creature would seek out and attack other weaker creatures for food. This last part was very dependent on us having fully functional combat in place and so took the longest for our programmers to implement.
I did say nearly complete, because even though all the features we want at this time for fauna are in, there is still some tweaking to do. For example, right now our evisceraptors heal too quickly, making it nearly impossible for even a well-equipped human to kill. They also will never stop pursuing their target, no matter how far the target runs away, until they die. Killing the beasts during testing has required a concerted effort among groups of testers to injure it fast enough to kill it before it flees, and chasing it down if it does get away. Tormillin, which are supposed to be the easiest to dispatch, are actually incredibly hard to sneak up on or even to spot in the foliage. Because of this, they are difficult to kill without a bow and arrow.
More human combat animations have been added and tweaked with the upcoming tests in mind. Combat is such a big part of any PvP game that we really want to make sure we get it right. Our tester’s feedback will play a HUGE role in finding a happy medium between realism and fun.
The art team also added a few new models to the game, adjusted the colliders on several models, and corrected several visual bugs. One of our artists has also changed his focus to optimizing the graphics for the game. His work will hopefully increase FPS on slower machines and improve performance across the board. Way to go Art Team!
The programmers weren’t slouches either and finished a huge stack of task cards this sprint. Over a dozen bugs were fixed and several adjustments were made to existing features before their attention was put onto combat. I should have more to share with you on that after we get a chance to test it out with a larger group during our next weekend test with the backers.
Thank you all for following our progress. Thanks again to our testers for being great sports and reporting their bugs like champs! Please share your thoughts on our progress over at http://trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/dev-blog-77.9881/.