This week we’ve taken advantage of the work on the personality system done last week, and used it to push a much larger variety of combat personality and functionality for both humanoid and non-humanoid (creature) NPCs. We’ve also significantly improved the visual quality of the game by adding the new distant landscape, along with the standard update to one of the older game areas.
This week's additions
This week features another substantial improvement to the visual quality of Vizaris. This time in the form of distant landscape. In previous updates we added LOD meshes to the existing game world, allowing all the other levels to be loaded in one form or another into memory. However, we only included the south western corner of the planned first area of the game, as including the rest of the game world would’ve added several gigabytes to downloads with no real benefit. With this week’s update however, we’ve added a low resolution render of the rest of the game world, along with an even lower resolution 10 kilometer skirt in each direction around the game world. This allows distant mountains and landscape to be visible while exploring the world, and helps to significantly improve the visual quality of the game, with no significant cost.
Recalibrated Fog (For Distant Terrain)
Because of the new distant landscape, we had to completely recalibrate our fog system. In the process, we updated it to produce more realistic and quality results. This slightly affects the ambient lighting of the game world, pushing it to be slightly less red/orange.
Revised Sa’le’talo Canyon
The western half of Sa’le’talo Canyon was revised this week, and also slightly expanded with a new higher ground area. The western half of Sa’le’talo canyon was very dense, and a significant amount of new objects were added to the area, notably changing the feel of the area.
Some additional work was done on the NPC personality system. Now, depending on the personality of the character, they will now taunt the player. This is actually done almost entirely for the player’s advantage, giving you openings to attack NPCs, as often the NPCs will be attempting to block and prevent you from landing an attack.
It is also now possible for NPCs to perform recovery actions which will leave a temporary opening while they attempt to heal themselves. Most of the NPCs in the game don’t really take advantage of this very often, but it’s now possible for NPCs to do this.
NPCs now also have more advanced positioning and movement patterns. Slowly advancing on the player, strafing, backing off etc. This makes for much more dynamic and interesting combat, as opposed to two damage sponges meeting up and mauling each other until one of them dies.
Better Moonsinger Glow
The special weapon Moonsinger, a quality sword with a magical glow, has had it’s glow tweaked to be both more useful and less annoying. It now creates substantially less lens flares off the blade, making it much more easy to use in a dark cave.
Looping Creature Surrender Animation
An update was done to the creature surrendering from last week, allowing non-humanoid NPCs to loop their surrender animation. None of our creatures currently have surrender animations to make use of (Unlike the human enemies), but they will loop one of their idle animations until we have something more concrete to replace them with.
Creatures will now actually dodge as well. The system fully supports both animation and movement driven dodging, allowing NPCs to quickly back off the player to avoid attacks. The likelihood of them doing this is of course driven by their personality and base stats.
Creature Power Attacks
Creatures will now also power attack. This is especially vicious with regards to the dolfog as the power attack takes the form of a sudden and violent leap forward. These attacks, similar to player and human power attacks can stagger and even knock down the player, so keep your guard up if you don’t want to be a tasty morsel.
Creatures will also now block (Again, depending on their personality), which can cause the player to stagger when using a regular attack on the blocking creature. Players can use power attacks to punch through the block. Of course, since our creatures generally don’t have blocking animations yet, there’s a little bit of debug text that appears on the creature to indicate whether or not they’re blocking.
Agility Virtue now affects Creatures
The Agility virtue now affects creatures, modifying their movement rate, attack speed, and attack animation speed.
Updated Map Icon Colors
Map Icons were updated to have a slightly different color, and generally be brighter, hopefully making the map a bit more legible.
Fixed: Salis’da’coro Ascent Cave Lighting
Fixed a bug caused by the Salis’da’coro Ascent Cave being too far underground in certain places to receive a shadow at all times. This could cause the lighting to brighten when the player looked down (away from the landscape above), and overall was very messed up and glitchy.
Behind the scenes, quite a bit of new art is being constructed for the game, with the purpose of FINALLY getting the village ingame. It should tell you a bit about the significance of the village based on just how much art and effort is going into its creation. The Village is a nexus for so many of the gameplay features we’re going to be adding, not to mention the hub and temporary home of the player. The village will be a continual source of quests, and a location you return to time and time again to purchase upgrades, ditch gear, and refuel for additional adventures. The village is also where we plan on debuting most of our non-combat oriented gameplay features – not to mention the dialog which will provide more insight into the world of Vizaris.
New animations are being made for the dolfog, which will be integrated into the game in a few weeks. Next week should see some final cleanup work on the AI personality system, before we shift back to getting some other smaller features out of the way, before pivoting to -non- combat related AI personality and functionality (For both the village and general use)