Ringing in 2019!
What a rollercoaster 2018 was for us! Just six months ago we Early Access launched ToA: Exile, and it has been an exciting journey since. In that time we have welcomed new team members, parted ways with a few others, and received a great deal of fantastic feedback from our community that has helped us improve the game as well as determine where to focus future development.
The team would like to share the departure of two team members with the community. Michael “Dyer3D” Dyer, one of our 3D artists, has decided to start down the hard road of creating his own studio. Meanwhile, one of our programmers Jesse “emrys90” Norris accepted the opportunity to pursue his passion for VR programming. We wish them both the best of luck and thank them for their contributions to the project.
Now that they have had a chance to settle in, I am excited to announce our new team members. First is David “KaliGS” Partouche. He joined the team as a programmer and has previously worked on AI at Atari and Frontier Development. We are very excited to have him on the team and David has already made solid contributions to the game’s development. Our second new team member is Corbin Reeves, who filled the position of Game Designer. He teaches game design at a university during the day and spends his evenings reviewing our game design documentation and improving the design. We’re eager to begin implementing several of his changes in the coming months.
We’re also looking to expand the team further! If you head over to our Hiring page, we have postings for a C#/Unity programmer, an Environmental Artist, and an Audio Specialist. If you have the skills for the job and think you would be a good fit for our team, you can send your application to email@example.com.
During the last two months, a few members of our art team have been busy working on a major upgrade to our customization system. Once all their changes have been fully implemented, players will be able to customize their character at a whole new level. Character height, shoulder, hip, and waist width, and facial characteristics will be customizable for humans. We are still determining what kind of customization we can include for raknar and dragons outside of the basics.
Additional steps for the dragon nests have been implemented and are in testing. More bugs have been tested, confirmed, and fixed as well, including the odd one that allowed for tree climbing.
Our first goals for 2019 include upgrading Unity to allow for greater native support, implementing several much requested improvements to the user interface, and the continued work on the dragon systems. We also want to make it so that the tutorials are less intrusive, correct some of the inconsistencies with interactions, and move the inventory to a grid system, so that icons won’t overlap anymore.
We haven’t forgotten the dragon gameplay improvements we promised! As much as we want to start adding additional content to the game, we feel that it is equally as important to fix any issues that exist in our current content. If he hasn’t started already, Corbin will be going over the the new dragon mechanics we’ve designed and look for anything we might have missed, find better methods to implement our goals, and so on. As we continue to develop the game, we will be looking into ways to permit design edits so that we could possibly allow modding of the game in the future.
A roadmap that outlines those mechanics, and other future mechanics, should be up soon on the website for you all to follow. As with the old roadmap, there won’t be any dates, but it will allow our fans to follow along with our progress and see the direction we want to go in the future.
Speaking of new features, that brings me to a few changes we are implementing now in the New Year in regards to updates. We had originally wanted to release a new build every month and include whatever we had finished in that time. However that wasn’t working well for us as a team and now we are instead going to release themed content updates with fully completed features. So that means that we will not be releasing a new build until the mechanic we are working on is completely implemented and as tested as we can get it in-house. The only exceptions to this will be patches to fix bugs that are discovered after the build is released.
Thank you for following our progress and we look forward to another year of ToA: Exile development! Please share your thoughts with us at http://trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/first-post-of-2019.11718/.