Happy Birthday Visions!

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August is the Birthday month of our company. It is also the birthday month of our project leader, the company’s owner. She has decided to make Visions free for the remainder of the month as a birthday gift to all of you.

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We don’t have a new update posted yet, but we are working on some new stuff for you to do!  Our Lead Programmer, Eric, and our Senior Programmer, Branden, are working on getting the new quest system working. This is a huge task but it will get us one step closer to having some of our core game design goals functional in the game world. Having quests working will make it feel more like the game we intended to create rather than a demo. We are really excited about this work being done and think you will be excited too when it is released. Since it is primarily behind the scenes code work being done, there aren’t any screenshots of tangible progress yet, but this is where the magic happens. Branden has spent a couple of weeks cleaning up some bugs in the code, which will make the implementation of the quest system a little smoother.

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Again, no really interesting screenshots of that since it is all code side, but it does make the game run better!  This is about all there is to show of that stage of testing, for a while the tradeskill tools were not loading, and then we got them working again. Exciting screenshots, right? Now you know.

Of course we are still working on making the new zones prettier. Here are a couple of screenshots of what they look like when we first load them into the world.

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And then this is what it looks like after we blend the edges together to make the edges match up correctly.

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You can see the interior of the zone is still really rough and unpainted but the edges match up nicely. Next step is to smooth and define the ocean floor of the new zones, and paint all the terrain so that it looks like real terrain instead of looking like one solid color.

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Pretty soon the new areas will look nice and blend seamlessly into the older zones. The 2 newest zones are mostly ocean area, so there won’t be as much land to paint there. But they do complete the perimeter of the island of Cyprus, so players will be able to run all the way around the coastline on foot now. It will take about 45 minutes to an hour to run all around the coastline on foot, but it can be done. :) Running/swimming the full perimiter of the 6 zones will take much longer. Each zone is 6 km x 6km in game measurements, and we have 2 rows of 3 zones loaded now to complete the island of Cyprus. We will add more zones later (allowing the players to reach the mainland, and eventually experience a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in game) once we get the island closer to a state of completion and the game working with all the core features we want to implement.

Meanwhile we still have a lot of work to do. Even adding small things takes time and effort. Even something as simple as adding a new weapon to the game requires bug testing and often multiple iterations before we get it right. This is how the new bow and arrow quiver looked the very first time we loaded it into the game world.

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It was about 3x larger than the house! Of course it’s much better now and will be the appropriate size to be equipped by a player, as soon as we finish implementing the code to make it possible to use a bow for long range combat. And yes we are working on combat!  Eric has been trying to get melee combat to work, as currently the only type of combat that we’ve had working so far is a type of ranged using the Bigworld Staves that came with the game engine. We’re trying to make the combat experience a little bit more realistic, and less fantasy.

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There’s a lot going on behind the scenes right now. You can’t see all of it yet, but I promise you it will make the game a lot more fun to play in the near future! And the next update should bring some fun new stuff. Get ready!

In the meanwhile, you can see the 2 new zones in their current rough form, and the new herd of horses in the 4 city valley, near Chytroi.

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Get familiar with the terrain so that in the next patch you’ll be able to find your way around easier and experience the new content more easily.

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Download the client to play in Visions (Alpha) for free through the end of August.

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