I haven't slept for a few days and my freelance was supposed to finish yesterday, looks like it is going to wrap up closer to the 23rd, sorry for the delay between the last update and this one, the project ended up being much larger than anticipated (I started it in December), but it will fully fund Arakion development for the foreseeable future. I apologize if this update sounds a little rambly my brain isn't firing on all cylinders.
There is not much stopping release at this point other than making sure I have no other obligations. As soon as my freelance is wrapped up I'll release some gameplay videos of all the new and awesome mechanics, characters, levels and more!
Some Arakion information:
Alec, a coder, has joined the team full time, fantastic guy. He has really dove in and helped resolve issues that have been nagging Arakion for a while now. It always helps to get a pair of fresh eyes. He has helped ground me as I have a billion ideas and then want all of them implemented, he's put a lot of stuff on the chopping block so we no longer are no longer distracted.
Updated to Unity 5
With unity 5 Realtime GI is implemented
Early versions of Ent and Yin are now in game.
Scrapped the first level, redesigned it with new more intriguing mechanics
Stripped most fancy graphics out for now in order to just focus on whether or not the game is fun. Character models have been retained.
We'll begin delivering Kickstarter rewards shortly after alpha release (no later than beta). This means for the digital rewards, you'll be getting access to download the game from a private server and steam once it's on there. I want to thank everyone for their patience on the deliveries, a year and a half extra wait is too much.
As a reminder, EVERYONE will have access to alpha, we'll find a way to compensate the later tiers and people who had upgraded for alpha / beta access. If you have any ideas on this front feel free to shoot me a message.
If my freelance had wrapped up on the 16th I was hoping to have the alpha released on the 4th (my birthday) for everyone. I'm still going to shoot for that goal but may be about a week or two later depending on when this actually wraps up.
I'll post another update once I am back on Arakion to let you know the time and schedule.
Below are the high poly versions of the characters, feel free to comment.
This freelance project was the first time I got a chance to develop for the Oculus Rift. Specifically the Samsung GearVR version of it. I did a virtual recreation of Pompeii that people can walk around. It originally started out as a tech demo but quickly became us recreating large swaths of the town.
The technology is surprisingly immersive. I usually get sick from virtual reality stuff but this was not so bad. While I don't know if this form of VR is a passing fancy or here to say it's definitely a fun experience. Curious as to what the Microsoft Hololens has in store as it appears to not obstruct your view. For productivity and daily life this could be a huge game changer.
It has been a very fun experience even if I am antsy to get back on Arakion.
It's a video update! Part gameplay video - part just showing what the problem is. It's quite rough but it gets the point across. Sorry for the audio quality I didn't realize my good mic wasn't plugged in haha... In any case enjoy!
Just as an additional note, a whole wave of invites will go out all at once as soon as this last problem is fixed, it's been a thorn in the side for a while now. But we've narrowed it down substantially and are expecting it fixed soon.
Late night update, I still have a lot of work to do tonight before I head to bed so I'll keep this brief.
Next wave of alpha invites are going out this week. I put a momentary moratorium on invites as we were getting more bug submissions and general thoughts than we could handle. We're a small team we ask for your forgiveness! Haha...
Huge improvements since alphas initial release and a big ol' hug and thank you to everyone for your tireless efforts in helping make Arakion better and better!
We've implemented a more stable save system
Implemented a substantial host of new graphical settings to help optimize the game (we currently don't have any way to detect your best optimization so settings start midpoint by default)
New audio management that calls only audio within your surroundings
New sky system
More stable user interface ( it was acting wonky on some screen resolutions )
Implemented touch screen support (still buggy)
Improved lighting system
Facial blendshapes (Emotions)
General skill changes and balances are posted in the notes in game.
Gameplay and video tutorials are going to begin going up this week as well.
As you can see we've had an extremely busy few weeks since the first few alphas went out. Next invite will see an additional 100 or so people in we'll send them out throughout this week.
Back to work for me, per usual if you have any questions or comments feel free to message me.
I've been trying to respond within a day of receiving a message. Once I have some free time I'll be getting the new website, forums and wiki put up. My focus has primarily been on development at this juncture and will likely remain that way for at least a couple more weeks, or until I have some spare time.
Until then, enjoy this short clip showing off the new graphical optimizations.
The wait is almost over!! The first leg of our journey together is ending and the next one is starting. It's been a few days without sleep but the game is currently getting built! All information about what is in Alpha 1A was reviewed in the previous update, so please check it out if you haven't already.
So long as I don't pass out (go go energy drinks!) I'll be dolling out the access information to everyone later tonight through Tuesday in private messages. If I fall asleep and they don't start going out till tomorrow I apologize, force of will can only take me so far. If you haven't received a message by Wednesday and you feel like you should have please just toss me a message, I may have just missed you. After this initial batch of testers the next group will be invited for Alpha 1C.
As we're gearing up for Alpha (I know I know It's already a little late and we've put our deadline at Sunday, Yes in answer to your question I do feel like George RR Martin in South Park "It's coming it'll be here soon!!") I just wanted to send a message out to anyone and everyone about our road-map, what to expect in alpha, a few tips and tricks and moving forward! Also I'm not going to proof read this as it will take to much time that I don't have, so I apologize in advance for any... typos or general issues this update may have in that regard.
I know this is a long read but this is stuff we're going to be asked about so please take a moment to read through it all is it is pertinent information.
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux although the later two haven't been tested heavily but that's what you're all here for!
Minimum Requirements: We have no idea. We all have an array of computer specs and have optimized a ton (are optimizing everyday) and the game runs extremely smooth for us. With that said I'm unsure how low the game can go. We use a mock GI (Global illumination) system that will weigh heavily on some GPU's. With that said we're making improvements everyday and if you're having problems, that's what alphas for, be sure to let us know so we can fix it!
Lets go over a few tips and tricks for when you're first entering the game.
Now most of this stuff I'm just going to show through the main menu, as it's simply easy and convenient and I have a lot I want to work on before alpha gets to you all
Change Log: So first things first is the change log. If you click this button you'll be able to view the most recent changes as well as ones that will likely be included in the next update. This will include bug fixes, content updates, general changes and more. So be sure to check back at least every time you receive an update.
Profiles are important! When you start the game for the first time it's going to ask you to create a profile. Now every so often we'll likely be erasing or asking you to erase the profile. What is the profile? Well it saves all of your adventures in the world of Arakion. It also saves unlocked content (professions, races, buildings), customizes your menu screen, saves any configurations changes you've made and much more!
This means if you want to start a new party or adventure, you'll either need to erase your current profile or create a new one under "Change Profile"
You can conveniently view your current profile just above the logo in the main menu.
GUI Controls : Always show options:The amount of user interface customization in Arakion is going to grow substantially but these are two large ones for now.
GUI controls are for people who like to play with just the mouse. This will add buttons for "Movement" "Interact" and "Pause" onto the primary user interface of the game.
While always show user interface is important for people who are annoyed by our minimalist style of UI in the game. Basically the UI is always hidden unless you're hovering over a character, this makes it so it's always shown. I may make this toggled on the default but as players ourselves we like the minimal look.
Tooltips and Vague Stats: So this upcoming image is going to show you two things I want to tell you about at once. The first is character stats: Character stats fall into four main categories.
Weapon Power :: Skill Power :: Endurance :: Nimbleness
While all four stats modify many aspects of the game they heavily influence one area:
Weapon power influences how powerful your melee strikes are
Skill power influences how powerful your skills are
Endurance determines the amount of punishment your character can take
Nimbleness influences ranged damage, hit chance and dodge (dodge is a bit wonky atm)
In the current setup you will never see an "Exact" stat. The UI will never say you have 23 Strength. I believe it's distracting and it pulls you from a game when you're constantly looking at numbers saying "Oh man this new staff gives me +5 swag!" Instead you'll see a bar that will give you a general idea of how powerful your character is in any given aspect (characters will also physically change stronger character has more muscles etc... eventually). The same goes for health, looks about dead (red), heal him or her up! The next hit may be their last. Just like in real life you don't have a number floating above your head that says you can take 5 more arrows to your skull before you die, in Arakion nothing tells you exactly when your character is going to die but you'll have a general idea.
I know that particular adjustment is going to be hard for some players but give it a chance! I promise you won't be disappointed.
And as you can see in the image as well there is a Tooltip. Now tooltips are anywhere that you may need to know information. Just let your mouse hover above something for a moment and a helpful tooltip will pop up.
Translations! I'll be running the entire game through Google translate for loose translations to most other languages. There are also a few people who are offering their services as translators that will give an official translation into a few languages. You can start to expect these in Alpha 1B. If you'd like to lend your hand with translations it is being done over Google Drive and you can feel free to join in!
Saving: The game saves automatically unless you're in town. Since town will not be implemented yet you'll see a little icon whenever it is saving. So don't worry when you don't see a big save button!
This update has already gotten kind of long so I'm going to stop the Tips and Tricks for now and just move onto important information. In the next update I'll be sure to add in more tips.
Here are the initial release notes. As a bonus note you'll always be able to find release notes both on the forums and in the game.
Most content currently uses "filler" graphics. This isn't because we don't have graphics done it's simply easy to iterate and create when you're using the same sword for 35 "unique" swords. I can quickly test stuff out without worrying about if the sword I created is facing the correct Y direction. Same goes for characters, I actually want to make a video update on what all goes into making a character work in game, it's an extremely long and arduous process for Arakion. For now a lot of stuff uses a robot looking character, they'll be replaced rapidly.
Professions: Professions are all pretty heavy WIPs. While I have 8 professions planned (including the backer profession) there are currently 4 professions that you'll be able to choose from. Professions base skills are fully functional so you get to make some stuff explode, kick some butt and heavily beat up some dudes.
Races: All races are playable, they are just using filler graphics. Also multiple races will become... "Locked" as we move into beta so be sure to try them out while you can without having to earn them.
Level 1... yep but levels are large, don't fret.
Character creation: Because we're using filler graphics we've turned off most of the graphical customizing for characters. You will still be able to name your characters, choose race and gender, profession, traits and other core features that affect how your character plays.
General stuff and known issues:
Settings appear to be working, but who knows stuff goes wonky sometimes.
Every once in a while there is a crash for an unknown reason after killing a group of enemies. We're hoping to have it resolved before release but it may not be.
Sometimes enemies spaz out and wont attack you, also hoping to have it resolved.
If the game looks "incorrect" or "weird" in any way please submit a screenshot so we can find out what's going on. This is probably a shader issue but in our test group 1 person experienced it and we were unable to resolve it.
Key features missing in Alpha 1A:
Alpha 1A is here to get Arakion out and get you acquainted with the general controls and world, make sure everyone runs the game smoothly and the patching system works. We'll be rapidly adding content and patches almost every week to make the game a bigger and more vibrant experience! I expect Alpha 1B (the first major patch) to be 1-3 weeks after this initial release, it will likely require an account wipe. We also want to get a general idea for balance, do you feel 1 race is to strong? How about a particular profession? Since you'll be starting off without being able to customize your character (post creation) this is a good point to have your voice heard on the initial skills, races, professions and balancing for each.
1B minimum will include:
Replacement of a lot of graphical fillers
We have a ton going on and lots to work on but if anyone has any questions about the content that I've went over today please feel free to leave a comment or send me a private message and I'll get back to you as soon as I see it.
As I said for the timetable our deadline is Sunday (bugs and all at that point), but things could go perfectly and we could release tomorrow. With that in mind, everyone with a 50$+ pledge or if you've been active on the forums, will be receiving a private message with information on how to download the initial version by Sunday afternoon.