In today’s development update, we’ll talk a bit about what we have been doing the past month. It’s a whole lot, so please bear with me as I go through some of the most important topics. First off, I would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to those who have been testing the game with us for the preceding week. The test turned out to be very fruitful and informative. Note, we’re aware the test wasn’t all too clear for some of you and certain actions needed a lot of grind/work, but it was required as we wanted to see how it would be in a live environment. The next testing session will be a lot more streamlined and more easy to access.
While the Mankind Reborn team was present during E3, we didn’t officially present the game during the event itself (think: having our own booth). We networked a lot plus managed to touch base with Epic Games and show them the progress of the game, as well as meet up with some people that have shown interest in a potential partnership. We’ve been in talks and we should have something more concrete in the upcoming weeks.
Our E3 test was rather enlightening. It was quickly put together to offer players somewhat of an early view of the game’s content while at the same time made the game difficult, intentionally, to see how the players would react to the mechanics in place. We learned a few things from that, we have to tone down and make the grind interesting. No one wants to play something for long hours just to lose progress in a few seconds, at least for a pre-alpha and also that the backend/server infrastructure is as equally as important as the frontend part of the game. So, we have shifted some of the game’s priorities and are currently reorganizing our entire pipeline, such as switching to JIRA and Confluence, for improved bug/task tracking and organization of the game’s documents.
We’re also in the middle of switching our backend/persistent player data to GameSparks. Currently, our backend is running off the same server everything else is operating on and it’s typically not something one would use for game development, so that’s why there’s been a lot of rubberbanding since one server box is processing all of the UE4 servers, the backend and our perforce server.
GameSparks also has A LOT of other cool features we’ll be slowly implementing, so far we’re around 50% done into replacing our save/load system with GameSparks.
We expect to do another test sometime around late July/early August to test the new GameSparks implementation and also we’ll switch things up and have something interesting for the players to do that doesn’t revolve around grinding mindlessly, we’ll be releasing more details about the next test soon™.
Overall, we are very happy to say that both E3 and the prolonged testing session was a great success, as we were able to find and fix a lot of bugs which eluded us. Thank you for that.
Moving on, we have fully implemented the first pass of the economy core loop. This means; mining, production and the market system. Our first attempt at implementing a fully player-driven market was successful and players now have the ability to list items to sell on the world markets.
Factions have always been one of the more interesting features. While the system we have developed so far is still very bareboned, it sets the foundation on which we can expand upon in the future. Players can now choose and represent their faction upon entering the game for the first time. In its current state, it only shows a basic identifier which shows right beneath the player’s name; player name and faction affiliation. Later down the road, we will be implementing faction chat and everything that goes with it, but more on that later!
Next up is our new player models and full player customization feature! This means players now have the ability to choose, colorize and customize their items of clothing, again, solidifying the core foundation of how our customization features will operate in the future. We see this as an absolute milestone, we cannot stress enough how excited we are! We really want to emphasize player customization and offering players the freedom in selecting their own appearance.
Players can now accept and complete contracts in order to gain money. The system itself is, again, quite bareboned and will be expanded on in future builds. For now, these are pretty basic; think exploration missions and the like. More intricate missions will soon be added to the system.
As most of you already know, we’re heavily focusing on providing a solid experience to both PvE and PvP veterans. Our main focus in terms of PvE is our Alien AI implementation and the Alien Eggs play a huge role in that aspect. Players will be able to perform biological warfare/terrorism by planting alien eggs which will hatch at a later time, allowing them to devour their unwary prey. Uh oh!
Frogsucker and Jord have begun placing art assets onto the Spaceport level Lou made. Any changes made are of course not permanent and may change in the course of the development. In addition to that, Kuuwahi has made some sick improvements to Lower Union.
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