May 2022 Producer’s Letter
May saw the expansion of the team here at Visionary Realms, with the addition of four new team members in our Environment Concept Artist, 3D Environment Artist & Worldbuilder, 3D Character Artist, and Animator & Rigger roles. Each new team member has quickly settled into their positions here, and have already begun to refine and expand upon the art of Pantheon including further developing the visual footprint of Thronefast, creating modular building kits for Human architecture, polishing the models of our existing player races, and expanding our animation suite.
The rest of our art team continues to focus on the development of the Wild’s End zone. Sorhiryth continues to be fleshed out with new Halfling architecture and bespoke structures such as the tavern and bank, rounding out the building kits that can be used to expand Halfling influence elsewhere in Wild’s End and broader Terminus. With the Halfling capital’s footprint well-established, we begin to turn our eyes towards the remainder of Wild’s End and the various elements that comprise the larger zone biome.
On the programming side of the house, we are entering into the final stages of ViNL implementation and are beginning to plan allocation for the myriad systems and improvements that have been dependent on our new networking infrastructure. At the top of that list is converting our game world into its seamless state, and support for dynamic entity spawns that will allow us to flesh out quests and encounters, as well as set the stage for our pet systems. We have also completed the initial implementation of our crafting and gathering systems, with both now in a playtest-ready state.
Design meanwhile is heads-down getting Avendyr’s Pass ready for its post-HDRP debut by touching up the gameplay areas within the mountain regions, reviewing NPC populations and level ranges, re-itemizing in accordance with balance tweaks, and incorporating crafting and gathering gameplay elements, while Thronefast is now seeing a polishing pass on narrative development, with a goal of expanding its task and storyline offerings.
It’s exciting to see all of these different elements of development coming together!
Roadmap to Alpha Progress
To Do – Denotes items that have a finished implementation plan and are scheduled, but work has not yet begun. This can also apply to items that are partially implemented that are awaiting additional work to be fully completed.
In Progress – Denotes items that are currently being worked on but are not yet ready for Alpha release.
Complete – Items that are in-game and ready for Alpha release.
Items marked UPDATED have a new status or information from last month’s Producer’s Letter.
Programming & Design
NPC Combat Awareness: Complete
What it is: Support for advanced NPC decision-making and tactics based on their knowledge of the surrounding environment.
Asset & Terrain Streaming: Complete
What it is: Development of technology to support performant streaming (both client and network) of game assets, visuals, and server data.
HDRP Conversion: Complete
What it is: Conversion of our existing project to a new rendering pipeline to allow for higher definition graphics, more powerful rendering tools, and improved client performance.
Class Development: In Progress
What it is: Implementation of remaining core class components such as unique resources, mechanics, and UI.
• Reminder: due to outstanding dependencies, deployment of the Ranger, Summoner and Druid classes remain on hold until the integration of our new Networking stack is complete.
Network Overhaul: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Development of a custom network solution to enable performant player concurrency and server-side calculations on the required scale of an MMORPG.
Pets: To Do
What it is: Development of the systems and user-interface required to support permanent and temporary player-controlled minions.
Ability Loadouts: To Do
What it is: Development of a tool to allow players to save and load pre-defined hotbar configurations.
Gathering and Crafting: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Development of supporting tools, UI, and infrastructure for the implementation of Gathering and Crafting content, gameplay, and progression.
Perception System: To Do
What it is: While we are able to support preliminary implementations of Perception content, additional development is needed for supporting tools and UI required to implement Perception and its related features and progression on a larger scale with the quality intended for Alpha and beyond.
Faction: To Do
What it is: While the Faction system is fully integrated and working, additional development is needed to support leveraging Faction for other aspects of gameplay, such as gaining access to specific Tasks, Storylines, Merchants, etc.
Climbing Improvements: To Do
What it is: Refinements to the existing Climbing system to introduce a climbing-specific resource and related UI, associate Climbing with an improvable skill, implement new surface types with different climbability challenges, and improve climbing animations.
Swimming: To Do
What it is: Implementation of a swimming locomotion system including support for Z-axis movement, the creation of a new suite of swimming animations, and implementation of a water system.
Acclimation: To Do
What it is: Implement improvements to the Acclimation user experience by improving the audiovisual components, improving the UI and Glyph acquisition/equipment systems, and implementing additional climates.
Dispositions and Traits: In Progress
What it is: Develop systems required to improve the support for Disposition and Trait spawning rules, as well as dedicated UI components to display Dispositions and Traits to players.
LFG Tool: To Do
What it is: Develop a UI and supporting infrastructure to allow players to list themselves as looking for a group, or looking for additional members, using specified criteria in order to find other players to pursue shared gameplay goals.
Basic Guild System: To Do
What it is: Develop a UI and supporting infrastructure to allow players to form guilds with a private chat channel, basic hierarchies, and membership management commands.
Banks: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Develop a UI and supporting infrastructure to support the storage and retrieval of items.
• Currently working on support for storing containers within banks.
Improve Starting Experience for New Players: In Progress
What it is: Develop tutorialization to introduce players to gameplay basics. Add and refine content in starting areas to provide a robust and engaging early-game experience.
Zones: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Develop game zones to support planned content and gameplay. Convert greyboxed zones to sculpted terrain and develop with unique props and environment art passes to realize aesthetic goals.
• Current emphasis on more fully developing mountainous biomes, shape language and content areas within and surrounding Thronefast, Avendyr’s Pass and the adjacent areas.
Player Models: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Rig remaining player race models (Skar, Dark Myr, Archai) so they can be animated and conform all non-Human races and genders to our entity outfitting system so they can equip/unequip armor dynamically.
• We have identified a path towards optimizing our player character rigging pipeline, and plan to perform a feasibility check in June.
NPC Models: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Develop new NPC and creature models for use in world population and content development.
General 3D Assets: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Develop 3D assets for equippable weapons, armor, and various non-environment world props.
Animations: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Develop player and NPC animations to support locomotion, combat, emotes, and other gameplay.
• Completed an initial polish on sprinting animations
• Began work on developing unique racial idle animations
• Work is currently underway on developing the remaining Monk staff technique animations
• Work is currently underway on developing additional casting animations
Audio: In Progress
What it is: Develop environmental soundscapes, create unique sound effects for players and NPCs, and introduce ambient and signature music.
|Producer’s Letter||Monthly Recap||The Early Monk Experience||Verified Human|