Weekly Newsletter [#3]

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!