Developer Blog – September #2
Hello again readers! After the initial, rambling intro of a post from last time, I’m going to go ahead and take a more of an informational (if no less rambling), approach as to the on-goings in Utherous’ development this time around.
All heads are down and plugging away to get our baby in shape to shoot footage for our infamous media push. We’ll be relying heavily on organic community growth via word of mouth to make our big media and crowdfunding efforts a success, so there isn’t going to be a lot of new design talk or high level changes during the next few months as we work to produce consistent assets and functional, essential code.
Keeping Things Moving
A few last minute UI assets have been delivered in the way of armor slot silhouettes and some minor button additions and, as always, some great illustrations, modeling and texturing is also being realized. I’ve personally been plugging in (some long overdue), icons into the database before our weapons and armor get setup for in-game crafting and use. This will be a very exciting addition to the game as crafting will integral in players’ survivability and success in Utherous. Resource gathering, crafting and combat all being in game will be a huge milestone in the game’s core loops being enjoyed.
As for code progress… there’s just a ton of stuff going on over there. A bunch of day/night system fixes have been introduced, patcher issues have been resolved, and some login bugs have been addressed.
The day/night cycle on our alpha continent will function on a 4-hour real time interval. This time split is pretty evenly with 1 hour of darkness 1 hour of sunlight and then 1 hour each for twilight and dawn. We experimented with many variations on this schedule to try to allow for the best player experience. Eventually, a 4 hour schedule was determined to allow the most flexibility of play as well as adding a distinct feel of time progressing.
A little inside baseball on the time cycles; We had originally tried to offset the times so they would not always line up with a real world clock. So for example 4pm Eastern Time would not always be the middle of the night in game. After several permutations of this system it was causing a massive amount of errors with internal timing and for keeping the cycle in sync. Eventually we had to settle on a number that was a factor of 24 to make everything line up.
Breaking Out the Bug Swatter
The patcher issues that a small group of players noticed in the last alpha should all be resolved. This includes the game not installing properly, the download getting stuck, and the login credentials not being recognised.
One of the hardest issues to pin down was a login issue that caused the ground to be… not so ground like. Characters were, at times, spawning in and then falling directly into the ocean, or even worse, the center of the earth! We have adjusted spawn locations, and also the ground mesh, and now everyone seems to be on more sure footing. I am sure some of you will find new and creative ways to explore the underworld in the next alpha.
Also worth noting is with advanced actions like combat and resource gathering, some work is currently being done on sounds coordination as well. Many other fixes involving UI and interaction with the world are also in the works.
K, Thx, Bye!
As you can see, we have a lot of plates spinning at the moment, as is the nature of game development, and we definitely appreciate your patience during this project. Stay tuned for news on the next alpha test and please spread the word to those you think may enjoy the open world sandbox Utherous.