Developer Blog – September

Hey y’all. I’m Eyal (pronounced ‘hey y’all’ without the ‘h’), Project Lead for Utherous. We’ve been working hard over the past few years to develop a new MMO that old-school sandbox players are sure to love and make their own. We’ve provided a slow trickle of information and have had a few alpha tests that have begun to see the fruits of our labor take shape, but we have a lot more planned for both the near and not so near future.

Now, you might be saying to yourself, “Hey Eyal.. weird name, and why haven’t I heard that much from you guys yet?”. It’s somewhat by design. From the very beginning we’ve been adamant that we don’t want to be a studio making a lot of promises we know we can’t keep and to launch a crowdfunding campaign selling gamers a bill of goods that can never materialize. It’s become something of a trend in this industry to overpromise and underdeliver, especially in the independent development world, and we are committed to avoiding such practices. As such, we’ve taken the approach of delivering a working, feature rich, playable game before going to crowdfunding platforms to help carry us to the loftier goals we’d like to achieve.

Big Minimum

Make no mistake—even in its current state Utheria (the land of Utherous) is impressive. The continent of Nor (the first of our planned 14 continents), is absolutely huge. The landmass and surrounding waters come in at roughly 617 mi². That’s over twice the size of New York City’s landmass. In the latest alpha we saw the introduction of resource nodes including trees, ore, minerals and rocks. The quick math adds up to a combined resource node total of 1,593,272 harvestable and regenerating nodes on the continent of Nor.

Before any crowdfunding attempts are undertaken, and in addition to the features already functional, we plan to implement at least 3 full craftable armor sets along with 4 races, and whatever other fixes we can plug in before the time comes. We will also have, the very crucial, player created villages mechanic ready before asking for any help from future players in reaching our end goal.

Our hope is that these features will bolster your confidence in our humble 30 person indie team. We aim to establish ourselves as a serious development studio that you can invest in with confidence. We want to create a world that players can enjoy for years and to create a healthy rapport with our community. This starts with honesty and we will do our best to never put forward disingenuous marketing material or mislead players about what is to be expected from us. This strategy is not only borne from our company philosophy, but is a promise to you, the patron, that we will never knowingly engage in such activity.

The State of (and Imminent State of) The Game

I’ve mentioned the land size and you can extrapolate on the proposed land size of the final game should we reach our funding goals (which are still being determined), but a little recap of how much we’ve already accomplished in addition to terrain building should serve to illustrate our work ethic and resolve.

We’ve conducted a resource gathering egg hunt where players competed for prizes. I mentioned the resource node creation but want to stress just how difficult and time intensive it was to achieve this goal… consider it stressed. Our XP system has been tested and is functional as well as our skill tree and inventory systems. The questing system has also been tried out as well and is in a functional state. We have most of the backbone of our game in place and can’t wait to show it to players.

These core mechanics highlight the most technically challenging programming features that we’ve been able to implement, but also worth noting is our art team’s accomplishments. We have nearly 20 armors in various states of completion, 70+ weapons and shields traveling the pipeline and dozens of 2D assets primed for, or already viewable on the website.

Our next test will feature crafting, armors, weapons and some animals to combat with as well. The code team is optimizing the wildlife ecosystem to make it as dynamic and realistic as possible. We may only release a few animals at a time, but the backend to a robust “ecosystem” will be in place in some capacity. Each feature implemented has better prepared us for the next and paved the way for our future development.

Much More to Come

Thanks for checking in with us here at Skill Check Games for I plan to be one or many posts about the ongoings of our ambitious indie title, Utherous (pronounced ‘Luther-Us’, but without the ‘L’). How’s that for an analogous callback? We’re in this for that long haul and hope to impress you with what will hopefully feel like a release ready title shortly, but with a crowdfunding proposal that will be aspirational, yet achievable with respect to what will have already been accomplished.

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