Time for another update from your friendly neighborhood MMORPG developers. That is, if your neighborhood is beautiful, downtown Fairfax, Virginia! Today’s update focuses on the P.A.T. #2 Checklist! We’ve knocked off more than a few items off the list; including some that I’d like to call your attention to.
First, here are today’s changes to the checklist:
1) Add toggle-able name plates
2) First pass – UV Layout for Stormrider heavy armor
3) First Pass – UV Layout for Viking heavy armor
4) Improved compression of UDP packets
5) Reduce client install size
6) Second stance animations for melee combat prototyping
And then we have some bonus items!
7) Control Game Improvements (Spawn at dais if enter mid round and vfx stop when round restarts)
8) Improvements to reporting of server-side collision data.
9) Unify server and client code for handling of assets in a zone.
10) Combined three different physics objects into a single gameplay-focused object to handle collisions.
So, what do these things mean to you? Well, let’s go over a few, starting with the UV layout. This represents our first pass at a shared texture layout for all characters, in order to prep a larger and more complex character art pipeline. This pipeline will involve our character armor, E.A.R.S system, tattooing, and dyeing, all wrapped into one consistent pipeline.
As for the compression of UDP packets, that will mean a reduction in the amount of raw data that we have to send back and forth between client and server. While we were doing a pretty fine job already (as our IT and Alpha testers know), the more that we can reduce the packets that have to fly around the world, the better. The reductions we made were pretty major, so we are eager to see this change in action during our next P.A.T.
The reduced client install size is also a plus because, well, we really needed to do some housecleaning. Now the client has been reduced by 60%. Wow, sounds like my weight loss goal (okay, not that much)! ☺ This is a good thing for a variety of reasons of course, but now, like any good development team, we have sooo much more space to fill with new stuff!!!!
One of the other important items is the second stance animations for our melee system. While we are not there yet, the journey to building our own animation system for melee abilities is getting ever closer to completion. It is a robust and interesting system, but it also isn’t done yet. Fortunately, it is one of those “must have” items, and one that we are spending a lot of time getting right.
That covers some of the more important items in today’s update. We are, of course, continuing to work on all the other items on the list, plus a whole lot more. For example, we also made some changes to our server spinup/configuration that allows us to more easily spin up special servers for testing with their own permission list. A handy little feature if you want to get special groups of testers (or visitors) into different builds of the game. So, the first, new, and special little flower server, “Castle,” bloomed yesterday.
In other news, the opening of the new Stretch Goal has been very well received by the Community, and we have begun more intense conversations with potential sound engineers/composers to fill that role for our game. We will be posting a job opening over the next month as we get even closer, but if you think you are the right person for that job, don’t hesitate to let us know now, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!
That’s it for today’s update. We are hoping to have another P.A.T. this Friday and possibly Sunday (depending on how much new stuff we put on Wyrmling’s back). We’ll announce the times on Thursday, November 6th, 2014.
As always, thank you for your support!