News & Updates

05/20/2017 - Friday Update #233

This week, we’ve been doing some more work on our mission system, this time setting up a basic framework to let us use multiple objectives within one mission.

This is obviously a vital thing to have for any story-based game as it gives so much flexibility with how the stories can be presented to the players, especially when it comes to dialogue-based interactions with NPCs within a mission, which also goes a long way towards helping us break down the traditional dependence on NPC contacts to help drive a story.

While cutscenes give us a more cinematic way of presenting player and NPC dialogue, it’s not always suitable to use them for every single instance where it happens, not just because a cutscene is generally a certain minimum length to justify its use, making them less likely to be used for short dialogue exchanges, but also because having a non-cutscene dialogue interaction between players and an NPC allows other team members to still be active while it’s going on, unlike in a cutscene where everyone has to stop while it plays out.

Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team

05/12/2017 - Friday Update #232

This week, we’ve been doing some more work on the structure for area transitions, continuing to focus on the best way to eliminate the need for as many loading screens as possible.

We’ve got to the stage where we’re pretty sure that we can reduce the need for loading screens down to only being active when a player switches instances of a zone or map, which is one area where loading screens are the lesser of two unsatisfactory alternatives.

The other option would be to have no cap on player numbers in a zone, meaning that we’d never need to create new instances of a zone – but that could cause major performance problems in a an uncapped zone if the amount of players in it reached the point where they began to slow the game down, with the worst case situation being so many players in an uncapped zone that the game would grind to a halt, as well as causing crashes and disconnects.

We’re also working on a few ways that might be able to help keep supergroups in the same instances, meaning that if you regularly ran missions with your SG, then the amount of potential points where a loading screen might show up would be reduced even further.

Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team

05/05/2017 - Friday Update #231

This week, we’ve been doing some more work on converting various art assets for use in our chosen game engine, which isn’t too challenging, but can be time consuming.

One of the biggest changes in gaming since ‘City of Heroes’ started development back at the start of the century has been the explosion in indie games, which has been driven by a mix of affordable high end game engines and equally affordable art assets that cover various common game settings, such as fantasy, sci-fi or the present day, as well as various art styles, ranging from photo-realistic to cartoons.

Obviously, with such a huge range of assets being made available to indie game makers there are sometimes quite obvious differences in the quality levels as well as the art styles, so it can take time to find ones that are suitable, but since we began the ‘Heroes and Villains’ project we’ve been steadily building up a very large library of assets that we can make use of for various areas of our game setting.

When we’re building very large urban areas, it’s a massive help to have things like downtown buildings, skyscrapers, offices, factories, warehouses, apartment blocks, suburban houses and so on available to us without needing to build them totally from scratch.

Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team

04/29/2017 - Friday Update #230

This week, we’ve been doing some more work on another key part of our zone set up – the invisible walls that will surround each area.

Although they can be a bit frustrating for players, especially ones who like to explore, as there’s always visible terrain beyond the limits of the invisible walls, they’re a requirement of any game that doesn’t plan to create literally every single square foot of Earth or any other planet that players can be on, or put up various physical barrier to block players from traveling outside the set limits of an area, which is a very tough thing to do in a game with superpowers like flight and teleportation.

‘City of Heroes’ managed to reduce the noticeable presence of inviable walls in a lot of places by turning them into actual physical features, like the war walls in Paragon City and the protective barrier fence around Praetoria, so players had an in-game explanation for their existence.
Unfortunately, that kind of set-up can only work in some situations, and having Titan City walled off doesn’t fit with the story background of ‘Heroes and Villains’, which is the spiritual successor to CoH and not an actual part-for-part complete replication of it.

Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team

04/29/2017 - In Game Character Models - Part 6

To mark the anniversary of the launch of 'City of Heroes', we have a small art update featuring a few more of our NPCs, starting with the vigilante Twilight Watcher:

Twilight Watcher.jpg

The Skorpion group's deadliest assassin, Arachne:


And the leader of Skorpion itself, Baron Skorpio:

Baron Skorpio.jpg