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Weekly Report Weekly Newsletter [#3]

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Jumuro

Chief Web Engineer
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#1
Introduction

And again we’re glad to welcome all our players! Project Genom is being actively developed and we strive to make it appear to you with all updates as soon as possible. But for now it’s not happened yet, so we propose to see what the Neuronhaze team did for the last week.

Software


This week we continued testing the network load with subsequent continuous fixes. The main task this week was the completion of network replicas responsible for the data transfer between servers and clients. Most network lags of the current version arise even with the weak load and are often associated with replicas. There is also work on improving the client's work with the database.



In addition, we keep on correcting AI, updated NPCs, and logs bugs. We write the functional for interactive objects in the world, in particular, the so-called "Eyes" — special marks in the world, which can help you get acquainted with the game world more deeply and also get special tasks or objects.



World


We continue working on the camp and its nearby environment in the radius of several miles in the open world. We set the base for all plot and additional quests so that they are not scattered randomly in an empty area.



The scientific camp construction kit was supplemented by some new elements and necessary unique objects. At the moment, it was transferred to the final low-poly modeling for the subsequent implementation of the game.



With complex objects, we modeled the transport for the rapid assembly and disassembly of the camp blocks. It’s based on an aerodrome tow truck, which is used for towing small starships on the Ark. We plan this vehicle to be controlled by players.



We also worked on the dungeons this week. At the current moment, we began reworking the Dump, which is known to all players who have completed the story to the third chapter.



As with all other locations, our main task is to improve the gameplay and the quest component. More logic, level design, and interest. The previous dump suffered from the abundance of useless spaces and bugs with falling under the textures and generally didn’t resemble a dump. Now it will be a real cemetery of unnecessary things, with its inhabitants, both hostile and peaceful. The player will meet new side quests, interactive environment, complex fights and improved graphics.



For those who are interested in development, we would like to say a few words about our way of creating such locations from the landscape point of view. Perhaps it’ll help someone.

For the open world, we use the complex landscape generation in the third-party software to subsequently takу the maps of erosion and slopes and transfer all this into the engine. In the engine, the data from the maps will be necessary for us to generate automatic coloring and vegetation. This process requires time and a separate development diary because the higher the quality of the generated world, the easier it’s to work with it and the better automatic generation will work on some parts of the terrain. For dungeons like the dump, where the landscape is also required, this process would be too energy consuming in our case, and at the same time not giving the required quality. In the big open world, we have freedom of action, and it doesn't matter if the certain plot point is located three meters away from us or two hundred meters away, as we have a mountain in the supposed place. But in the small limited locations, we need total control over the process. To do this, most of the work on the terrain is done manually. We paint with necessary textures only where we need it, we generate and arrange objects very carefully. On the other hand, manual modeling of the terrain doesn't give that quality of which can be achieved by using the popular World Machine. So we do a little trick. When we define the necessary appearance (choose whether we need mountains, valleys, fields, or canyons), we generate the required landscape in the World Machine.



After that, we don't render it in huge resolution, we don't take any maps and don't waste time. We immediately go to the engine, where the landscape is modeled by hands depending on the dungeon storyline. But we simplify this modeling with the sculptural Copy/Paste function, which allows you to create a region (Gizmo) with the possibility of loading a map of any height into it. As a result, if we need a canyon slope, we load our generated landscape into the region, place the region at the desired point and squeeze out the required terrain section with the brush. In the end, the work is done quickly and qualitatively.



Character


This week was marked by the final integration of the male character into the game. Now we make all the tests with the main character who’s got the new improved body and head.



Exoskeletons skinning for the female character is finished.



In addition, we created an initial set of five women's faces for testing and customization. Many players asked for it. Now there will be different races in the game.



We also began working on the male faces modeling.



NPC


We started working on the full implementation of NPC life depending on the time of day. This means that non-player characters will do their own business and also go to rest at night. Some, on the contrary, will appear only at night. Of course, the main story NPCs won't disappear even at night, depriving the players of the opportunity to take the task, but we’d like to hear your opinion on the secondary NPCs.
Which system would you like to see in the game?
The hardcore one, when some characters just leave to rest and it's impossible to take the task until morning, or a more loyal one, where you can wake up or contact even a sleeping NPC?
And by the way, what is the most optimal number of game days expressed in the real days in your opinion? In other words, how many times during the real day should the day follow the night in the game?



New regular animations will help to make the NPCs even more alive. Five full sets of such animations arrived this week.



Storyline


Every day we continue working on the game storyline. We improve and expand the main story chapters and also the side quests. We improve the quality of dialogues, logic and make the tasks more interesting. This week we’ve seriously improved and revised the fourth chapter, the completion of which will give players the opportunity to get their own cabin.



Conclusion


While the development is underway, the most frequently asked question is still the question on the update. Despite the fact that we’re constantly responding to give details on why the update is impossible right now, we still receive many comments on this topic. We really can’t specify the time, because we wouldn’t like to promise something we’re not sure of. We will try very hard to release the update in the first half of the year, but the complexity of the work doesn’t allow us to determine the exact time of the update release. As soon as we are sure of some dates, we’ll immediately notify about it.
Thanks to everyone who believes in us!
 

TBonenom

Resident Of Avalon
Founder
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#2
I'm in favor of the NPC being more 'lifelike' by going to rest and such, IF the quest tracker updates his/her location. All in all, this is looking goood. The landscapes look so pretty :D
 
Joined
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#3
Your're doing such a good job with the game, i really love the way you're paying attention to the game's world and all of it's unique details, i think that's the better way to keep the players attached to the game itself.
Keep it up!
GJ
 

Dinariok

Resident Of Avalon
Gold Founder
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
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#4
"So we do a little trick."
Good luck in creating your magic! ;)
Speaking of NPC system.
I'd vote for easier schedule but maybe with some additional tasks: "to wake up sleeping NPC" a player should complete an additional task, find this NPC's night retreat or something else.
 

strider6000

Raider
Gold Avalon
Joined
Oct 29, 2016
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#5
Wow, really like how animated the bar area looked! If that kind of NPC animation flows through the whole ARK it will bring it to life. I really hope the sounds back up the animations! Nice work NH!

I would say make the in-game day spawn around 4 times in a real day. The day and night cycles need to be long enough to allow for us players to be able to log on and grab the quest and get back to the NPC for turn in. 6 hour timer for the cycles maybe a little to long but it would give players 3 hours at set times during the day to log in and be guaranteed it will be day time in-game something that players might set there watch by.

For immersion and the day/night cycle mentioned just now, I would like to see the hard core NPC mode this would give another layer of depth to the game and the NPCs we meet.
IF the quest tracker updates his/her location.
as TBonenom said this would be a nice addition if the NPC is still reachable just in another area/zone.

With this in place NH could add NPC vendors that only appear at certain times at certain places and it feel more immersive from my point of view e.g a black market vendor who appears at night for 3 hours and has a random spawn location like the alien from the event and he well sell rare pets, vehicles weapons on his own little timer so his loot table would change each week or day. Secret organisations that have side quests the operate only at night sending you on quests that require to be done at night.

Any way thanks for reading my babble, just my 2 cent.

Thank you for your continued effort with the newsletter. It makes my Monday for me!
 

Stratoz

Raider
Gold Avalon
Joined
Oct 22, 2016
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#6
Hi

I like what strider6000 said and think there could be room for a faction based system
Example:
The smugglers ( black market )
at rank 1 we get a hint/pointer where the should be around x time, rank 2 we are here at this time, rank 3 map mark and discount and so on max rank we get e dropbox to turn in mission/collect reward and a secret place/key for vendors.

this i think would make us feel that we work for a goal and prolongs continus game experience. And other factions for diffrent type of goals, npc's and rewards . Can this be implimented i would like PG even more ( if it possible for to like more :)
 
Joined
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#8
"Which system would you like to see in the game?
The hardcore one, when some characters just leave to rest and it's impossible to take the task until morning, or a more loyal one, where you can wake up or contact even a sleeping NPC?
And by the way, what is the most optimal number of game days expressed in the real days in your opinion? In other words, how many times during the real day should the day follow the night in the game?"


I feel that no tasks should be unavailable to do unless it is available for most (50-75%) of the time. Waking up a sleeping NPC seems like a great idea! Also, depending on the day and night, the NPC could be at either of two locations - this would make quests more nonlinear and dynamic.

Until we have a better understanding of what exactly changes (besides the NPC animations) between the day and night, it's hard to say how quickly the day and night should switch. Every 4 hours sounds like a good start - not too often but not too long so player's can't be on to witness these changes.

I'm very happy to see the updates to animations and sound quality. While having a big world and new quests is nice, the biggest focus should be directed at engaging new players by providing an immersive environment:
  • Less focus on quantity
    • Number of quests
    • Length of storyline
    • Size of the world
    • Number of aquireable items
  • More focus on basic features of the game
    • Great sound quality, in English too.
    • Beautiful graphics
    • Smooth, well-rounded control of players
    • More customization of player (tatoos, hair, colors, more faces, muscle tone, etc)
    • Networking
    • Functionality of existing items, NPC's, and objects
The most basic elements of a game should be the main focus this early on in alpha stage, which is what I'm seeing from these newsletters. Keep them up! Thanks ;)
 
Joined
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#9
Thanks for the update :) as long as quests give updates that tell you when a NPC is sleeping and when they are not I am all for them having a sleep cycle. As for a day night cycle it needs to be one that changes when night and day hit from day to day. For example if some one can only really play from 8am to 9 am and the night day cycle makes it makes it night at that time everyday it could be a little frustrating if there are things that can only be done during the day. So I feel it's important that when night day hits changes from day to day in a predictable fashion that allows players to plan ahead.
 

DeadSkullzJr

Phazon Clan Leader
Gold Founder
Joined
Jul 22, 2016
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#12
This update will look spectacular, I just hope that it won't take a day to update the game when it goes live lol.
 

Kuroza

Inquisitive
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
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0
#13
Hi all!! I just purchased the game and really excited to join this community and play with you all!! Great Job!!!
 

caino666

Raider
Gold Avalon
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
Messages
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#14
Which system would you like to see in the game?
The hardcore one, when some characters just leave to rest and it's impossible to take the task until morning, or a more loyal one, where you can wake up or contact even a sleeping NPC?
And by the way, what is the most optimal number of game days expressed in the real days in your opinion? In other words, how many times during the real day should the day follow the night in the game?
You appear to have said it mostly correctly already. The key NPCs with quests which are highly important could probably be placed next to or near a terminal however, at least within proximity to one. You could perhaps add a simple system at first where you can access these terminals around the map to contact an NPC who's absent or to accept/complete a quest they've got for you while they're in their sleep cycle. That way you don't need to wake them up, just complete and accept a quest using a terminal by reading a note they've set for you, or setting a note for them. When they wake up, you get the quest funds transfered to your bank account. This, of course, adds the need for a bank and warehouse at the quartermaster's office...

Rant Start[
The terminals may even be superceded at higher levels as you gain access to a telecommunications device which combines the functions of the Radio and a Terminal. In either case, the current Radio feels lackluster as it is as well. Then at extremely high levels you could even begin to embed this system into a suit's AI system. Then different suits could have different features available for onboard computing, making for example tactical armor have more AI core and auxiliary slots, improving the number of features their AI can have at once, and assault having the least per tier.
This means that assault may be able to use some target tracking software, making your shots hit anything within a small radius for the cost of, for example, 5/6 slots. But a tactical armor can use a better one for 11/15 slots, or use 3 modules which cost 5/15 slots each for target tracking, reflex enhancement (dodge chance) and a low capacity backup shield.
]Rant End

Just bare in mind that NPCs shouldn't be walking around too often. If they only do it a few times per ingame day that will probably be enough, if they move too much then they'll be impossible to find. Like, having them work shifts and be at home or their favorite place of entertainment for the remaining time, or asleep at home. That gives you only 3 possible places for them to be, which should keep the complexity down from "some random place on the ark", as well as maintaining the sense of continuity or realism that you're trying to create. The key point here is to keep it as simple as possible for the player, new players get lost as it is, so ease of use really is key to these dynamic systems.
 
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