Weekly Newsletter [#51]

Introduction

Hi everyone! The development has gained momentum: we’ve done a lot of work, and if nothing unpredictable happens, soon we’ll announce testing of the global PTS version update. In the meantime, here’s another traditional weekly report on the work done over the last week.

Software

Our team continues working on the PTS project version and prepares it to be transferred to the main game servers.

This week, we’ve finished working on the non-player characters mechanics. In particular, our team has significantly reduced the load increasing because of the NPCs and also revised how the NPCs are implemented after we revised a number of tester reports.

This week, we’ve completed the trading system and optimized the interaction between the database and the server with the client trading window (as the result, we’ve significantly increased the speed of the movement when an item is purchased or sold, there are also no freezes and additional loads during this process). Our team has also completed the trading interface for merchants. We’ve added the ability to display the merchant model or vending machine model in the trading window with the minimum load.

We’ve improved the pop-up descriptions (tooltips) that appear when the cursor is over a particular item. Our team has also completed the item requirements. Now all items are adequately displayed in the inventory.

The character progression system has also been improved, namely the processes of experience and skill points gain. We’ve also completed the connection between the progression system with the server and the database, as well as saving and loading, and the effect that leveling up has on the game items and requirements for them.

As we’ve improved the character progression system, we also completed the character parameters window. More specifically, we made various visual improvements (aligned all elements, improved the bars and numerical parameters performance, improved the background, made sure that all elements are stabilized and perform adequately when the cursor is over them). Our team has improved the leveling up logic based on the test results that we received (for example, we’ve separated the bars and the skill buttons, and added tooltips for each bar instead of descriptions for all bars being showed at once). In addition, we’ve set up the connection between the window and all its bars, elements, and values with the actual character stats that are saved in the database.

The skill windows mechanics and visual components have been revised and configured. We decided that it’s better to hide the entire lower part of the window. All skill descriptions are shown as tooltips only. The connections between the nodes are drawn automatically and are fully set up. We’ve also begun working on the creation of the first skill trees. This work will be carried out gradually, as and when necessary.

World

This week our team has focused on the optimization. We started from the most resource-intensive location area, namely the Scientific Camp, and used it to test the work pattern. Initially, we assemble such locations with structures as if in the construction set: each wall, floor, ceiling, window or sofa is a separate object. We don’t use baked color maps or normal maps for such objects, and all materials are divided into logical groups by physical material or color (metal, plastic, white paint, orange paint, etc.) overlaying necessary parts of a model (ID). It significantly speeds up the process of creating models, as well as the level design, but eventually creates an issue due to a large number of draw calls per frame. Each material used on the object creates an additional draw call, and each object itself also creates a draw call. As a result, one small house made of 30 objects may result in up to 400 draw calls, which is incredibly expensive.

Overcoming some technical difficulties with the objects merge, we’ve reduced the number of draw calls by tenfold. Each house, consisting of separate objects, is being merged into one object, and the same materials are no longer duplicated.

For each object, models with a lower level of detail (LOD) are created. These models have only one overlaying material with a baked card acquired from the original model, which makes the LOD non-heavy and reduces the number of draw calls on remote objects to one.

Also, we adjust the object clipping and all interiors are no longer shown even at a small distance from a building.

We still have some tests to conduct, as well as other optimization possibilities to implement, but even now we can say with the work we’ve done brings very good results and we’ll continue the same working pattern on other parts of the in-game world.

Character

This week, we’ve finished working on the Imp organic cover animation. We’ve created and set up the controller, as well as all the basic animations of movement, attacks, skills, and transformation for both male and female version of the cover.

Enemies

This week, we’ve created all high-poly models for the Brawler mobs and also started working on the low-poly in-game models.

Conclusion

Our team is as busy as ever, we enjoy the good spirits and are full of energy, as the project is getting closer to new major testing and the main servers update. We’re incredibly grateful that you stay with us and help the project to develop, and we hope that the release we’re preparing will happen very soon.

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:

http://steamcommunity.com/games/pgenom/announcements/detail/1448322996834571608

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.

Weekly Newsletter [#50]

Introduction

Hello, friends! The game development goes on and we’re coming even closer to the main server update.  While we prepare the project for this major event and try to fix all the found flaws, here’s another traditional weekly report on the work done over the last week.

Software

Our team is still preparing the major PTS version update. At the current time, work is being done in all areas tested by the players. We’re finalizing the network, transitions between servers, and the database. We’ve completed our work on the interface improvements, refined all in-game windows, and added little bonuses such as a special label for pointing out the newly acquired items in the inventory or different frame designs for items of different quality.

The dialogues system has been completed, and we’ve expanded the system functionality to correctly add the branched quests. We’ve improved the NPC’s possible reaction to dialogues (NPCs now turn to face the player and stops if the player interacts with a walking NPC)

We’ve improved the quest reward functionality and redesigned the window that now correctly displays any reward number. In addition, our team added new tabs for various completed tasks.

We’ve added the function that allows tracking player’s path to the set point on the map. The number of simultaneously tracked quests has been expanded to 10. Our team has also worked on the quest area displaying function — now quest areas can come in all shapes.

Our team has worked on the tags and pointers for the minimap and added the path tracing for the large map as well.

We’ve improved the chat and the channels.

Ammo boxes are added to the game.

Our team has improved the objects interaction system that works via special form and not via standard dialogue window. We’ve also improved the Eyes.

World

We’ve finished working on a large Raider camp. The main decor elements are now arranged, lighting and effects are adjusted.

This week, we’ve added the morgue on the initial location.

This week, our team has begun an extensive work to optimize the game world. We need to improve gaming performance by graphics to update PTS and, we hope, the main servers as soon as possible. At this stage, it’s necessary to reduce the number of draw calls in frame (object drawing command for the graphic API), configure LOD for all objects, check and configure vegetation generation in some particularly heavy-loaded biomes, adjust lights and shadows, set up rendering distance for numbers of small objects in the environment and their subsequent fading out from the frame. This work requires a certain amount of time, but it’s extremely important, especially for mid-range computers.

 

Character

This week, we came to the final stages of our work on the Imp organic cover animation. We’ve set up the controller and all the basic animations of movement and skills. All we’ve got to do is add more skills and begin working on the female version of the cover.

Enemies

This week, we’ve begun working on the high-poly models of Brawler mobs. So far, our team has created models for three Brawler species that can be found in the woodland area of Avalon.

Our team has created concepts for various types of Sliders: common, desert, wild, and alpine ancestor of modern Sliders. As usual, all Slider species will differ in behavior, habitats, attacks, and reward for killing them.

Conclusion

We’re sure that the most important development stage of the last month was the work our team has done on the major PTS servers update, that should significantly improve the project and lay a sound basis for a quick update on the main game servers. We work on the software issues but also improve the game appearance, expand its functionality and make the gameplay more convenient. We’re grateful to all players who tell us about their wishes or leave comprehensive feedbacks that help us a lot.

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:

http://steamcommunity.com/games/pgenom/announcements/detail/1448322996834571608

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.

Weekly Newsletter [#49]

Introduction

Hello, dear friends! The game development goes on, we’re coming closer to the main server update, and here’s another traditional weekly report on the work done over the last week.

Software

At the moment, thanks to the efforts of our enthusiastic testers on the PTS version of the game, we were able to collect enough data on all the components that require improvement and received comprehensive information on most of the critical bugs. Thanks to all the information received as well as the extensive code optimization, now we’re able to conduct a full improvement of the PTS version to make it playable as soon as possible. Besides this extremely important development phase of the current month, this week we’ve:

  • Improved the Mech weapon system.
  • Refactored the chat with the process affecting the database.
  • Added the /changerole chat command that allows loading roles from the database, changing them and saving them in the database.
  • Fixed the local chat channel.
  • Added the ban command.

World

Our team is also focused on expanding and developing the quest zones.

This week, we’ve added and set up a Brawler cave.

We’re creating a large Raider camp and work on the surrounding terrain. This camp will be a well-fortified settlement where players will face many well-armed opponents and a mini-boss posing a serious threat.

Enemies

Our team is adding details to the in-game world and expanding the quest zones. Now we’ve begun working on different enemy species. This week, we’ve created concepts for several types of Brawlers (also known as Gores) inhabiting forests, snow-covered areas, deserts, and swamps. These big monkey-like creatures are one of the most adaptable species of Avalon and can be found in almost all corners of the in-game world. It is believed that the Brawlers are closely related to the extinct Gunar race, although there is little information on this. Like other types of mobs, Brawlers will differ in behavior and abilities and will cause a lot of trouble.

Conclusion

Project Genom has been developed and improved. We hope that very soon we’ll be able to take the PTS version to a qualitatively new level and announce the approximate dates for 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:

http://steamcommunity.com/games/pgenom/announcements/detail/1448322996834571608

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.

Weekly Newsletter [#48]

Introduction

Hello, friends! The game development goes on and here’s another traditional weekly report on the work we’ve done over the last week.

Software

This week our team focused on improving chat and Mechs, as well as technical server processing. This week we have:

  • Finished working on personal messages.
  • Added a system for creating and deleting location channels. When a location is opened on the server, a separate local chat is created. The channel is deteled after all players exit the location and it’s unloaded.
  • Added chat connection with the database that provides adequate functionality.
  • Refined loading from the database. Chat command chatUser shows chat roles. Required for implementing the command system with GM priority (bans/disconnects/teleports).
  • Refactored loading in the character editor that allows correct testing by two and more characters.
  • Worked on the Mech’s camera, movement, jumps and dodges.
  • Began working on the Mech weapon tuning.
  • Redesigned the server configuration system.

World

The development of the game’s world goes on. Our team is working on different parts of the terrain, adding new rivers, roads, rocks and details of the world.

Main work on the world of Avalon lies in adding and working on new points of interest based on the game plot. For example, we’ve added the transport service on the initial location.

We’ve added the first Almer transmitter. In addition to the plot one, such transmitters will be hidden in some parts of the world, and if found, they can bring a lot of benefits to the players. Or kill them.

Our team worked on the woodland area that is natural habitat for one type of gores. These big monkey-like creatures build huts from fallen trees and make a lot of troubles to travelers who have decided to cut the road and take a stroll near their houses.

Storyline

Our team is constantly working on new and old side tasks and missions. This week, great importance was given to the Gunars, their history and influence on the world of Avalon. Each discovered ruins of this ancient civilization will tell a little more about the extinct race.

Conclusion

Work on the game continues, and we’re constantly update the PTS servers, bringing new features and as well as new bugs, that players help us finding. We’d like to thank everyone who helps us make the project better. Without all of you, testing and developing the game would be impossible.

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:

http://steamcommunity.com/games/pgenom/announcements/detail/1448322996834571608

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.

Weekly Newsletter [#47]

Introduction

Hello, friends! Our team is working on the project and is trying to make all the essential game features playable and ready to be uploaded to the main servers as quickly as possible. We’ve also prepared another traditional report on the work our team has done over the last week.

Software

This week our team has been dealing with the code refactoring that regards the character controller, weapons, parameters, customization, and inventory. We’ve also made possible to dynamically change the character’s sex. This feature is crucial for adequate Mech and transport functionality. In addition to the overall code refactoring we’ve:

  • Refactored the Mech. Our team has set up two modes: Mech spawn for the transition between servers and second spawn mode for the Mech mounting/dismounting animations.
  • Added the prediction function that momentarily shows sent messages in the chat client.
  • Added the possibility to switch between chat tabs.
  • Added the basic chat commands (help, unstuck, who).
  • Added and implemented the log system in the chat.
  • Added the private messages function in the chat.

World

This week we continued working on the main in-game quest points. For example, the Polonez brothers’ Camp was refined and improved. Our team added a number of details as well as light sources to make the opponents visible during the night time.

We’ve added an area with several Cave Hound lairs that will become important battlegrounds for serious clashes during the main quest.

Our team has worked on the Raider camping site located near the Schientific Camp in the abandoned mine ruins.

Some details were added to a large area with stray Hounds and a mini-boss.

Character

We continue working on the Imp organic cover. In addition to technical features we work on the animations and Imp organic cover version for female characters.

Conclusion

The development goes on in its due course and fortunately we have no incidents to report. Our team hopes that soon we’ll have some important good news to share with you.

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:

http://steamcommunity.com/games/pgenom/announcements/detail/1448322996834571608

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.