Weekly Newsletter [#8]

Introduction

Hello, friends! Another development week is over and the time has come for our Weekly Newsletter.

Software

With the complete network and a number of small technical issues, we conducted the first internal test of the open world this week. Identifying the possible flaws in the new architecture as well as determining the further optimization goals was the top priority. The tests showed good network performance and the fact that the network required a number of minor improvements. We also faced no serious optimization issues but there’s a lot of work to be done in order to reduce the CPU load.

This week we continued working on the switching between servers. In addition, the database is being finalized, it’ll be ready soon.

This week our team began putting the final touches to the mechanics on the initial locations. Interactive objects, dialogs, and “Eyes” are being transferred to the new architecture and interface. We carry out tests and fix bugs. Also, we add minor mechanics, such as the one making the picked up item disappear from the world.

The basic NPC capabilities on the Ark are being finalized. These NPCs will later be present in all other locations. The NPC routine system is being tested. In addition, we continue improving the dialogue system eliminating all minor defects.

Our team continues improving the weapon and character movement sounds.

World

We expand the open world and fill it with new basic elements. As the character moves around the world, a gradual biomes shifts take place, from pine undergrowth to snow-capped mountain peaks and deciduous forests. We add some game mechanics and initial buildings of the ancient Gunar race which will be involved in some side quests.

At the current stage, it’s necessary to fill the world foundation in the best possible way within a minimum amount of time. The world will be gradually supplemented with details, buildings, and extraterrestrial flora as the key zones and quests are developed for the global game update. These additions will make the deciduous forests more interesting both visually and in gameplay.

We’re about to complete the Raider research camp dungeon. All the main quest zones have been finalized. There’s still work to do on the filling of some secondary zones and a more detailed design of nature in this location. All this will take no more than one working day.

The work on creating low-polygon objects for the scientific camp has come to an end. In the near future, all these objects will be transferred to the game.

Character

This week, we began working on creating animations for the female character. As we mentioned before, all female character animations will be different from the male character ones, they’ll become more feminine and natural in the updated version of the project.

NPC

This week, our team completed creating all basic animations for non-player characters, i.e. about 90 animations for male and female NPCs. Also, we want to remind you that the player character skeleton is no different from the NPC one, which means that all these animations are technically available for the player character. We will definitely use them and add opportunities for the player character, for example, to carry a box, or to sit down at the table, when the introduced game mechanics will demand it.

More characters from the remaining list of mandatory quest NPCs are added to the engine.

Besides, most of the created characters are skinned immediately, which makes us able to directly add them to the game with all the animations at any time.

This week, we created almost all animations for the Digger Guard  mob, which are necessary for its full introduction into the game and testing its unique mechanics.

Conclusion

An important stage of this week was the internal tests of the open world. It’s one thing to see it within the development, and it’s quite another to test its full-fledged packed game version on servers. These tests confirmed that the network part operates well. At the same time, they showed us the direction for further work on the game optimization.

In addition, completion of the NPCs animations provides an opportunity to finalize all necessary non-player characters mechanics and focus on the player character and opponents, which is an important step in the game development.

We thank everyone who believes in our project and our team. We’re so glad to see your support and desire to help! Your participation in the life of the project and positive emotions motivate us the most, as our main task is to create a high-quality interesting game. It’s a pleasure to have you with us.

We’d also like to remind everyone who suggests buying the game — it’s in the alpha stage at the moment. So, we strongly recommend not buying it if you expect a full-fledged finished project. Purchasing the game now you support the development and get the 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 game enters the beta testing stage or even later.