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Weekly Report Weekly Newsletter [#41]

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Jumuro

Chief Web Engineer
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Oct 21, 2015
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#1
Introduction

Hello, dear friends! Our team is extremely busy with the Project Genom development and is ready to share our weekly report on the work we’ve done over the last week.

Software


We’re still adding final improvements and upgrades to the PTS version of the game. At the current moment, close attention has been brought to the critical bugs that are found by our testers. PTS servers are constantly updated as we improve our project by correcting all mistakes found by the players willing to participate.



Our team is fixing errors with the transport system, mobs, quests and other game elements of the game, which directly depend on the network.



The Mech system is also being revised and upgraded.





World


Another challenge that we faced was creating a 3D map of such a big in-game world, given the need to considerably optimize the project in terms of the MMORPG features and retain the possibility of making further permanent changes in the world. Our initial calculations and plans proved to be insufficient — we needed better picture and optimization. In this regard, we started looking for other options. First of all, we evaluated an option of transferring the models from the Engine to the third-party 3D packages with subsequent optimization. But it wasn’t what we’ve been looking for, as this option was laborious and time-consuming, in addition, it created a need for the vast number of polygons and materials.



Then we considered the option of creating a map by means of displacement as it is done in a number of modern games. In general, this method is based on baking the height texture map and then “squeezing” all heights on the plane surface. On the one hand, this method seemed rather good in terms of performance. It also looked well due to the color map baking and won’t take much time in comparison with our previous experiments. On the other hand, such 3D maps should not be made rotatable, since the side faces of all objects would be represented as flat planes with stretched textures. This feature also created the so-called “ledge issue” — if there is a large object that above the ground like a ledge and the character can walk under it, it’s impossible to represent it on the map and take into account when squeezing the surface. The final model would feature this ledge smoothly becoming the ground and the character walking under the ledge of a cliff will be shown as if the character is inside the model.



After a few more options, we made our decision to use an adequate pipeline, which would meet all our requirements. This final option featured all the advantages and best features of our previous experiments with the 3D map. We decided to transfer objects from the game to third-party 3D packages stitching all objects into one model on each square mile of the map, removing all unnecessary polygons and with subsequent retopology (reducing the number of polygons of the 3D model). In addition, we used the color map baking that is used in the displacement method, which allowed us to quickly add color to the model without using complex shaders and a huge amount of materials. There also was a number minor technical features of model preparation, but if we omit this, in the end, we got a 3D map, which can be rotated at any angle and zoomed in up to very small buildings. Also, the final map parts are relatively fast in means production and have the least number of polygons than all the above-mentioned methods would allow.



Another great advantage of this method is that these map models will be used in the game as the last level of the object fade distance on mile-wide parts of the in-game world. This detail level will be used when displaying objects located at a distance. This will allow seeing the whole world at once, without overlapping it with a dense fog, and at the same time, won’t affect the performance. Using the same models for the map and object fade detail levels has significantly reduced the time spent on two major tasks. At the moment, we’re creating all pieces of the map according to the tested scheme.



Character


This week, we started creating models for the last armored suits series that we’ve already mentioned in one of our Weekly Newsletters. This eighth series will feature the flying armor plates that our team is busy creating and implementing.



Conclusion


The non-stop game development makes us really excited. The biggest goal we’ve met this week clearly was finding the way to create a light and good-looking 3D map. We’d like to note that we take all your wishes into account and encourage all the players to leave feedback. One of the popular wishes will come true as we’ll significantly improve the in-game navigation (compared to the previous version).

The most pressing challenge is the software part of our project that still needs improvement and undergoes never-ceasing testing. Bugs and flaws that our players find via PTS do not allow updating the main game servers.

We’d also like to remind you that at the moment the main work on the project is done on the PTS servers. We’ll transfer the updated project to the main server only after we finish and successfully test the quest system. Now all players who want to see that the project is moving forward have an opportunity to take part in PTS testing. To take part in the test, you must have an activated copy of the game and follow the registration as described on this page:

Steam Community :: Group Announcements :: Project Genom

And, once again, we want to remind everyone considering purchasing the game that it’s still in its Alpha stage, and we don’t recommend buying it if you expect a full-fledged finished project. By purchasing the game now, you support the development and have an opportunity to see its early stages. If you want to enjoy a full game experience with the maximum number of game mechanics and no critical errors, we advise you to wait until the project enters the beta testing phase or even later.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2015
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#2
All the team did an amazing work and progression throught the entire project in these months, every news was also very clear and explanatory with the development of the different parts of the game, i really hope that this effort and harworking attitude towards Project Genom and it's community will extend over in the near future.
The game is starting to take it's own shape and style by mantaining the promisies made and by being strongly committed to the game.
GL for everything!
 

AmmokK

Raider
Silver Avalon
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
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#3
Great work on the map!

I also loved the more in depth explanation of things. I could get used to that ;)

This will allow seeing the whole world at once, without overlapping it with a dense fog
Does that mean unlimited viewing range (if your PC can handle it)? This would be awesome!


Keep up the great work. <3
 

Cavadus

Inquisitive
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
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#4
For the map why not just use typical military topographic approach? You could still leave it 3D but the textures would be super simple and the shapes would be very simplified for lower polys. It also comes with the benefit of easy to use gridzones.

 
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