Welcome to September! We hope you had fun participating in our Birthday gift free download event the end of August. The month of September is packed with anticipation this year. September 13th, 2015 heralds the end of the Shemitah year (the sabbath year at the end of a 7 year cycle) at sundown. And this year is extra special because it marks the start of a year of Jubilee which only happens once every 49 years (the end of seven Shemitahs). September 13-15 are the Jewish holy days of Rosh Hoshana (Feast of Trumpets). And September 13-23 is the Jewish holy 10 Days of Awe. Then on September 23 is the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement). Then on September 28 is the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). Some of you who are familiar with the Jewish calendar may know all this already. Some of this may be new to you. We are learning as we go. Life is a journey of learning and teaching and growing and helping others.
In the Celestial realm we are expecting a partial solar eclipse to happen on September 13th. Then on September 28th is a total lunar eclipse. This lunar Eclipse is a special one because it is happening at the same time that the moon is closest to the earth making it appear 14% larger than usual, called a supermoon. To have a total lunar eclipse at the same time of a supermoon and also at the same time of a Jewish high holy day is a really rare event. The lunar eclipse will turn the moon red for a period of time. Some people are calling it a blood moon, because the Bible prophesies that in the last days the moon will turn as blood and the sun will turn as sackcloth. If you live in North America you won’t be able to see these celestial events, but they will be seen over Jerusalem.
What does this all mean for Visions? Well it means there are exciting things happening in the real world right now! We are working very hard to get quests (real quests!) working in Visions, but we’re not sure if we’ll get it done this month or not. We’re trying very hard. But we’re also watching the events happening around us and wondering if God might have some bigger plans in store. There could be a big shaking coming to America and possibly to the world. We don’t know if it will happen of course, and we’re continuing with business as usual, but we are also making preparations in case of emergency. There have already been massive forest fires raging across the Northwest to put us on alert. One of the preparations we have made is to write a letter that can be printed and left somewhere for loved ones to find it. If you would like to print this letter for your loved ones, you can download it for free over here.
We’ve gotten some amazing work done in the last month, since one of our programmers has had some extra time to spend on game development that he previously was unable to give. Here are some of the things that players will see in the next patch.
Server/Client General Improvements:
Cleaned up server/client data objects to improve server performance, and packet security.
Client Quality Improvements:
Fixed materials on a number of objects so they now contain spec and normal maps.
Starting a terrain texture touch up in starting area.
Client Performance Improvements:
Enabled batch rendering on a number of objects.
Added LOD cut off distance to a number objects.
Removed unneeded static objects in starting area.
Removed an extra water object in Starting area.
Fixed up missing or corrupt vlo errors.
Changed rivers and ponds to use cube map reflections.
Fixed a number of file mismatch errors.
Swapped out some of the houses for houses using batch rendering.
Reduced total draw calls in some areas by almost 20%
Added in basic quest system. The system currently only supports dialog quests, and waypoint quests.
Added in foundation for dynamic spawning of creatures and other objects. This is the ground work which multiple spawning systems will be built upon and will improve server and client performance down the line.
We are hoping to get a patch released later this month. Be on the lookout for the new content and bug fixes! Not everything we are doing is visible to the eye, some of it is just performance improvements. But we are most excited about the quest system, and hope you are too. We’re getting closer to implementing the game content we designed for Visions so very long ago. Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to playing with you!
If you don’t have access to the Visions alpha test server yet, you can get the client here: http://store.tinyzoo.com
If you would like to support the work of our volunteer team, we accept donations through Paypal.