July is coming and going and the Dark Form staff has been busier than ever. This month we have been focusing our efforts on reducing the project size and starting on the optimization early.
Okay I lied... we actually wanted to work on the guns but Frostreaper thought it would be a great idea to upload packages that were not compatible with the project and basically broke the whole game. Not to worry however, that is the reason we have really large backup drives. A backup a day keeps the corruption away.
This set back was not terrible though, Frost is back up and running and chugging away at the weapons which are proving to be fortuitous foes. Thankfully Frost overcame a huge obstacle this month causing some of our weapons to not work in-game. From what we can gather the weapons were apparently rotated wrong when exported causing the animations to go berserk at times.
Frost: "I think I got the SMG working finally"
Acid: "Gun slanting is so tactical bro"
In all fairness this little delay has let us reorganize our project so that when the time comes for pre-alpha the game will at least be semi-optimized. The great accomplishment of this month was the weapon animation issues. We hope moving forward weapons will be easier to get into the game and assets will be easier to find and utilize.
We have some interesting things to show off here soon and some awesome developer blogs being written up to show more the of game (Story, Weapons, Maps etc) Keeping it short again this month but in August we have some special things planned out :)
Half way through 2015 already! This month we have been working on fixing our weapons. Adding new animations, balancing, texture work and bug fixes. Most of the core systems have been completed for alpha and just need to be added. We recently added an account system which ties into ranks/achievements. This will eventually allow us to build an online profile for your soldier.
Right now the team is focused on the weapons (which is probably one of the more important features of a FPS) animations are being cleaned up and textures are being created for the different teams.
We are experimenting with shaders and how the weapon/hands are affected by the environment lighting. In the picture above the shader is reflecting the sun, not what we wanted but can help with effects in the future.
Balance is proving to be a bit more work than anticipated. On one hand you want to balance weapons based on their real life counter-part. On the other hand any of these weapons would probably make short work of you in real life. Since Desolation: Earth is completely F2P we need to make sure that even low-ranks and new players have a chance at playing the game without P2W or OP rank based weapons. So we have started a pretty in-depth spread sheet on how we want damage to play out per weapon type.
We believe customization will also be an important factor. As you rank up, veteran players will gain access to many different types of weapon customization options. Take this Kriss Vector for example, while an ACOG may not be the best decision for CQB style players you have that option.
Here soon we will be posting another blog on the different maps the alpha will feature. We also want to list the guns and type of customization options that will be added. When the alpha progresses further we will be adding additional maps/weapons for testing. The goal of the alpha is really network testing. We want to make sure that by beta all network related bugs are ironed out. This also means getting Frostreaper to comment his code :) As the alpha date draws near we will begin showing more screen shots of the game and some of the finalized GUI, that will be replacing our current 'programmer art' The Desolation: Earth website will be finalized and we can start pushing the game out to the world.
Whats a developer without a plan? Well its something like what we did last go-around. When we were developing Desolation: Earth on the older engine we just through the game out there and went with the current. We had no future plans and just went along with things. This time around we have a road map and goals in mind for each phase of the games development. I'm really excited that we will be able to release the road map here soon so everyone can get a better idea of where we are and what we want to accomplish come release.
Unfortunately we have to keep this blog short, plenty more work needs to be done before we can show off some of the more juicy content. The team is really excited to get these last touches finished. We feel at this rate we can expect a public alpha release shortly :)
A blog almost on time? Blasphemy! Yea we know. We tried to stay on time with this one to make up for last months delay. May is going to be another great month for Desolation: Earth! This is one of the first weeks we have had a working in-house development build to test some of the features we have implemented. It has also allowed us to switch to the new servers. Our Internet speeds actually cap on upload! Our last blog talked about finishing up some GUI work. We are quickly learning that you don't simply finish GUI work, something is always being adjusted. For example we are still working on the Armory.
Where has Dark Form Entertainment been? Unfortunately that is a long answer for which no blog is big enough. Personally I have moved (again) and things have been absolutely crazy from the get go. It was seemingly impossible to find a day job at first, and school became a nightmare. Plus being the Lead Project manager for Dark Form Entertainment, kind of set everything off the edge for me. I literally stopped working on the projects with the team and had to focus on my efforts navigating through the swamp (AKA Florida).