News & Updates

07/18/2014 - Friday Update #85


This week, we’ve done some preliminary work on programming for NPC placement and spawning – and have encountered some unusual behavior from our test NPC, which has seen it appear randomly several feet away from its spawn point, even though it’s been set to be static.
While this mightn’t seem like a show stopping bug at this stage of development, it’s important if the NPC is either meant to be interacting with an object - such as sitting at a computer or work a machine or other device – or is near a larger environmental object like a building that they could potentially get stuck inside if they spawned behind its surface, making it impossible to test any of the interactions attached to the NPC.

We’ve also been planning out the immediate post-tutorial story situation and sequence of events that leads into the first full set of stories, based on the preferred content theme that the player chooses during the character creation process, as well as their origin choices.
The main thing we need to take into account is the desire to explore Titan City that many players will feel the moment they exit their tutorial – and combining this with travel powers available right from the start, then it could possibly lead to players ending up a long way from where they should be to pick up the post-tutorial storylines – so the current focus for planning these particular storylines is to make sure that they’re both well placed and intriguing and attractive enough to get the player’s attention as soon as they’ve completed their tutorial.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


07/11/2014 - Friday Update #84


This week, we’ve done some more work on trying to create a usable elevation platform, which would be used for elevators, among other things.
In many cases, a familiar form of teleporting elevator can be used, where the player clicks the doors to enter the elevator, the doors close, then open shortly afterwards at the new floor, giving the impression that the player has moved, when in reality they’ve simply been teleported to the next floor, with the mechanics hidden behind the cosmetic effect of the elevator.
But with an actual moving platform, there are a number of cool possibilities that open up if players are able to move, interact or even fight on a piece of the environment that is in motion and not just giving the impression of movement, which is why we’re giving this particular aspect of the development some attention, even if it’s a relatively small part of the overall game.

We’ve also been refining our system of story progression, to make sure that it fits properly with the pace of player power progression, so that the rate that players move through the game world and experience the stories and lore is kept direct and clean, without getting cluttered up with anything that could muddle the in-game timeline, or cause confusion for the players as they get more powerful.
Most of this refinement work has been focused for now on things like average mission length, rate of XP gain, and so on, to ensure a smooth path of progress through the game, no matter what team size, power choices or playstyle the players use.

Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


07/04/2014 - Friday Update #83


This week, we’ve done some rewriting of the key-binding set-up to make it more robust, and it now has a full range of default key settings, plus alternatives. There’s also now a functioning reset-to-default button, and each individual change to the key-bindings is instantly saved, meaning that if the window is closed by mistake, or the game crashes while a player is in the middle of customizing the key-bindings, they won’t lose any of the changes that they’ve already made.

We’ve also done some basic design work for the base building system, with the initial focus on trying to create a system that has a lot more functionality than the community might be used to, especially the number of room types and how they will be able to be combined in various ways to create a base that suits the needs of any sized supergroup.
One of our design priorities with bases is to make it open to the possibility of players being able to recruit and place NPC helpers to maintain the building - but while we want to make sure that the system has enough depth and variety in it to allow for a very large range of options and customization, we also need to be careful that it doesn’t become too time-consuming and detailed for a casual-friendly story-driven MMORPG, and end up resembling some kind of micromanagement strategy game.

Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


06/27/2014 - Friday Update #82


This week, we’ve been doing some more work on our skills system, to set it up in a way that makes its functions and the player’s progression with it to be logical and intuitive, rather than abstract and somewhat random.
Part of the work on the skills system has also involved some very long-term planning, as it’s unlikely that many new skills will be introduced to the game once it launches. The reason for this is that the skills system is being designed to tie in a lot with the stories and missions, so introducing new skills at a later date would mean that they would either be unusable in any of the older content, or would require all the older content to be adjusted to present options for using them.
As either option would be a huge amount of time and effort, we’d prefer to make sure that every possible skill will be included at launch, so that even if some of them only get occasional use in the launch content, they’ll get more use in the post-launch content that several of them have been designed for.

Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


06/20/2014 - Friday Update #81


This week, we’ve added in a generic place-holder NPC into one of our test areas, to allow us to start experimenting with some of our mission system ideas. At first, this will just be setting up the absolute basics of the planned storytelling system – things like a choice of responses when answering an NPC, to let us test the best way to save a record of the player’s replies, which can then be checked at multiple points in the future to make sure that the game world reacts in an appropriate way to the choices that the player makes, as well as to create a branch in the immediate storyline.

We’ve also hopefully finalized the layout of the GUI for our achievement system, and as with all our systems, the two key things that we try to have with them is to first be intuitive, so that a player doesn’t have to spend time trying to figure out their way around the UI – and second, to be flexible, so that every system can be built on and developed further post-launch, even if its launch state is quite simple, without requiring a complete rewrite of the GUI.

Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team