UNDERWRAPS

Last month we brought on board another team member, Kyle Olsen, to join the programming staff. He brings a bunch of knowledge and skill that changes the game, figuratively and literally.

Kyle’s been working on a new character controller. The character controller is the software that connects your character animations to the game world. For example, when you jump off a cliff and hit the ground, the character controller triggers which animations take place when you jump, when you fall, and when you hit the ground. With Kyle’s new controller, validating client actions on server side becomes trivial. Why is this exciting? It allows us to do things we haven’t been able to do until now!

You’ll remember all the new animations Ross is working on. The new character controller is currently being hooked up and allows those animations to trigger, and also triggers them based on the environment and actions the player takes. Check out this short video as an example:

Keeping in mind that some of these animations are “programmer art” as work-in-progress stuff, this is quite exciting for us. The ability to dynamically leap to an edge and grab on, seamlessly transitioning into the climbing feature, is a pretty darn cool thing to do. Then, landing and rolling (instead of the bend-your-knees-and-break-em style of games gone by) also adds a whole new dimension of immersion to Pantheon.

Fluidity of animations and transitions is one of those things that makes a game “feel right”. Without it, it’s sometimes hard to pinpoint why a game feels awkward or disconnected. But when it’s there, boy, does it feel great. That’s what we’re putting a bit more attention into as we continue on with Project Faerthale—making things feel right.

So, while Kyle and team wrap up getting the character controller in place, the rest of the team continues work on Project Faerthale. The Programming team is also optimizing load times and refining all of the abilities that are now in-game. The Art team has moved on from the encounter and is working on Oldwood, another section of the overall Faerthale zone. This section will play a big part in our first release of the Faerthale project, as it houses a unique storyline.

And rumor has it that someone on staff is working on updating portions of the website, which will allow for some more highly-requested features and functions. More on that when we’re ready to reveal it!

We’ve got lots going on, and still lots to go, but it won’t be too much longer now until you’ll be able to see the official unveiling of all of the work we’ve done this year.

In the meantime, thanks again for reading and read on—we’ve packed a ton of updates in here this month and would love to know what you think.

Until next month!

Ben Dean
Producer, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen