Development Blog #11

Posted by: Ghostflex

Unfortunately, fallout from the Kickstarter results, changes to the team structure and time spent rebuilding game foundations has led to slower progress, and less information, since the end of Kickstarter. Thank you for your patience and support over the last few weeks, we're now back on track and working hard to increase community involvement.

From now on we will be posting updates every couple of days. There will be weekly dev blogs covering our progress over the previous week with smaller updates in between. A member of the team will also be streaming on Twitch every weekend, either showing behind the scenes work, or running Q/A sessions. On top of that, we have members of the dev team chatting in Discord most days, often sharing their current work or discussing game design.

With that out of the way, we're excited to show you what we have been working on over the past few weeks, and give you a glimpse of what is still to come.

Updated Art Style

Our biggest focus since Kickstarter has been on updating the visual appearance of the game.

We felt that our previous style was too generic, we had made use of asset store models to prototype, and we needed a way to stand out as our own game. The overall style of the game is staying the same. It will still be low poly, stylised graphics, just with some improvements and tweaks. Our aim is that you will be able to see a screenshot of the game, and immediately know it's from TitanReach.

New Character Design

Solar has been working on completely remaking the entire character model.
This was one of the most requested features from the Kickstarter demo and we wanted to give you the opportunity to feel more invested in your characters, and to let you make a character individual to you.

In order to do this we have built a new character with a much higher level of fidelity than before. This allows us to offer new customisation options such as eyes, eyebrows, new hair styles and the possibility of so much more.

Female character model
 
 
Male character model
 
Example customisation options
 

Changes to the character model also leads to changes to armour and weapons. This means that hard earned armour, weapons and fashion choices will be able to have the level of detail they deserve. Ninja and Solar have been working together to create the new armour designs.

Work in progress leather armour model (left) and concept (right)
 

Models

We are in the process of replacing 3D models bought from asset stores with our own custom models. This transition takes a lot of time - we may not be able to replace all the assets before the next public version of the game, however we are working hard to rebuild as many of the larger assets as possible.

Previously most of the game models had flat colours, Sean is creating new stylised textures which gives us the option to include detail where we couldn't before, improve the general appearance of the game, and create models more easily in the future. An example of these changes is to the ground textures and the game grass.

Example of some of the new textures
 

New Lighting System

Unravel has been reworking our lighting system. Previously our lighting system was in its most basic form. This system has worked well enough until now because most of the world was outside and we didn't have many areas to need specific lighting setups for. However, taking the cave as an example, you knew you were inside a dark area, but it didn't look or feel dark.

We will be using Global Illumination in order to make a more realistic lighting system. This provides us the potential to build a wider variety of environments and atmospheres, from gloomily lit caves or dark haunted ruins, to warm homely taverns and grand palaces. We are also increasing performance by baking a lot of our static lighting & shadows.

New Map

For the previous demo we had only built a small section of the world map, and the technology (systems) we had used to build that map was very limiting and caused some issues. Unravel and Trickzbunny have overhauled the way that we build the world behind the scenes, allowing us to start working on much larger sections of the world. Certain systems were adjusted or changed entirely. Now that they are setup properly, all the terrain has been re-added and Alyssia's scale has been locked in with all it's coasts.

Although this work was essential for the future of the game, this change, alongside the new 3D models, has meant that we have had to completely rebuild Glimmermoore from the ground up. Trickzbunny is taking this opportunity to make several improvements to the layout of Glimmermoore, and the rebuild process is well under way.

Website Updates

Spyda is redesigning the website to have a more modern appearance, and to allow us to showcase more information about the game. We have already added a news section to the website, and more information will be added as the site is re-built.

Work in progress website design
 

Account System

Spyda has also finished building our account system, along with a private login API which can link into the launcher and game client.
We hope to open account creation soon, with some fun randomised names until we open username reservation.
Alongside this we now have several public APIs such as a news feed, which will allow for links to public bots or the wiki.

Game Launcher

Ghostflex is building a game launcher which will automatically install the game and patch the client when we release updates.
The launcher will also show recent game news, and will include the login system and some game settings.

Finally

Thanks again for all your support and continuing to follow TitanReach!
We will have another update coming soon regarding our plans for funding and opening up the game for you all to play.