More recent screenshots

It’s been three weeks since my last post, time for another recap.

While the two first weeks that will be covered were mostly oriented on getting big systems working, or on improving existing systems, this last week has been the occasion of working on a multitude of minor details that need to be ready for an interesting user experience. I’m currently working on making a first test version for a few concurrent users. If successful, I might try to gather more people – even if there’s nothing to do in the game at the moment outside of fighting each other or mobs – to check how the server application will handle a real load with real network latencies. At the moment, I’m still targetting a few hundred concurrent users.
But for now, here are more screenshots of recent development:

I keep (slightly) improving graphics, adding some details here and there, modifying colors… It was the case for the sky, that is now a bit closer to what a sky should look like:

Updated sky color.

I improved the water depth feeling, and added some algae:

Not obvious on a screenshot, but those algae are waving.

Mostly for testing purpose – at first – I added character collisions using terrain tiles as the base for them. I’m still testing them and need to improve them a bit, but so far I’ve been quite happy, since they give an extra TRPG feel, especially with the grid and tile indicators I’m currently using to make them obvious:

A grid to simplify tile visualisation, and colors for collision zones.

I took some time to test the render of low-resolution low-contrast textures on the terrain. On one hand, it’s satisfying to have more details, but on the other hand, it tends to make non-textured objects less attractive. I’m still not sure whether or not I’ll go for this textured style – if you have an opinion, I’ll gladly hear it. So far, most people had a preference for the simple color style over the textured one:

Textured Terrain
The textures are quite small, 8×8 pixels, and match the voxel resolution of trees.
Trees Shadows
An example of what can be done with textures: pseudo-shadow around tree trunks for a better integration.

I’ve reworked large parts of the biome and LOD system, and optimized a bit the graphic engine. It allowed me to improve by two to four the previous framerate, for a similar view range. It now allows this kind of scenery with the default settings:

Level of details view range
Probaly a bit hard to tell at first, but there are three level of details in this screenshot.

And in the most recent images I uploaded to Twitter, I’ve shown a bit more of the characters, that have been reworked to include tails for some races, and the keyframes for the future dual weapons:

Running fox-based character
Beginner stuff on a fox-based character and dual beginner swords. Not amazing, but should be kinda cute!

Last week recap in screenshots

I’ve been recently stepping up how and how much I communicate, starting by creating video, and I’m now trying to increase a bit the news on Twitter, on what I work, and when possible, with a small screenshot. That’s what happened especially last week, since I was working on graphical improvements. And here comes the recap of all of these screenshots:

I started the week by improving the combat system, not only gameplay wise, but also by adding some polish to it with better skill chaining and a somewhat basic but very efficient special effect : the weapon trail. Thank to it the combat looks a lot more dynamic than before.

Vertical weapon trail
Vertical weapon trail on a rotating attack.
Horizontal weapon trail
And another rotating attack with a trail, this time horizontal.

Last week was also a good time to improve a bit the environment, with the sunny (and hot) weather that matched well the development done, which started by adding both water and swimming:

Like it was masterfully said on Twitter: “blub blub blub”

And also, clouds! And a sky! Giving a nice aspect to clouds when using voxels is really hard. Considering what I ended up with, I’m very, very satisfied:

Sky and voxel clouds
Oh, the blue blue sky!

The next step was to add more travelling methods, which included this “balloon”, that does not really fly, but soften your fall a lot. You can’t go higher, but can glide quite far away:

Flying balloon machine
The sky shall be mine!

Considering how I quickly came to hate swimming in water (which divides the speed by two), I’ve added a non-planned feature in the form of sailing. It restores a normal move speed, but to sail, you’ll obviously need to get a boat:

Metaworld sailing
Quietly sailing.

And last, but not least, I’ve also added a new mob, mostly to renew a bit the game for me, but the result is quite interesting, especially the weird skill cast animation of the thing (you’ll see that in the next video for sure!):

Metaworld Moai
Moai inspired mob, hits like crazy, but it has long cast times.

See you next time!

Screenshot saturday #7 and map editor video

New screenshot based on what I’ve worked the most these days: improving the environment. To do this, the map editor has been upgraded (check the video below to see it in action), the biomes has been slightly reworked, a sea level has been added and both a vertical fog and an horizontal fog has been implemented. Nothing ultra fancy but the rendering is quite better, and it now allows to find some interesting sceneries that I’m not necessarily aware to create when editing the map from above. For example, this scenery :

Moutain view
Newly added water and far distance fog on a small moutain equals to a somewhat nice view.

And here the video showing the map editor. Quick and efficient with the procedurally generated biomes transforming a plain heightmap into green hills, rocky mountains, or sea shores:

Screenshot saturday #5

New screenshot for this (freakishly hot here) saturday.

If you remember my post from two weeks ago about the UI, you may remember aswell that I was planning to rework the text display. It’s done. Much nicer with antialiasing.

The screenshot contains a mob fight with a hundred entities around. It was mostly a load test, but makes for an interesting screenshot. Note that I can go up to 500 fighting entities on that little square of map before encountering problems. Not exactly what is supposed to happen.

Fighting Mobs
3… 2… 1… Ready? Fight!