News & Updates

08/19/2016 - Friday Update #194


This week, we’ve been doing some work on expanding the functions of the character controller – the system that defines the movement of the player character. The default character controller is set up for the kind of basic movement that would be expected in an MMO character – which means that it doesn’t have the more extreme movement types that a comic book MMO would need, such as flight, superjumping, and so on.

The default character controller also needs to be expanded to cover some non-super movement types that feature in a few MMOs, but not enough to have had them made into a standard movement package, such as sitting in chairs or on other environmental objects, or crouching and crawling.

Having super movement animations also requires extra work on the transitions between them and non-super moment animations – for example, while a normal game might only need a transitions between walking, running and jumping from, land into water, when a float idle is triggered, a comic book game needs those transitions, plus transitions between all the types of super movement on land when they move into contact with water deep enough to trigger a float idle.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


08/12/2016 - Friday Update #193


This week, we’ve been doing some more design work on the various districts of Titan City, with a focus on trying to make the various districts of the city blend well with each other, in spite of having different styles and feels to them. This is more challenging to do in a seamless game world, where there are no barriers between the districts, unlike Paragon City in City of Heroes, where each district was a self-contained zone that was visually cut off from the rest of the city by the war walls.
This allowed the CoH developers to create various changes in styles and atmosphere for each zone without needing to blend them into the neighboring zones, with a minor example being the way that Kings Row was not only grittier in style than Galaxy City just to the north, but was also always more overcast too, and a major example being the extreme change between the sunny Talos Island and the nightmare of Dark Astoria directly to its east.

Where we’re having issues is trying to make the planned district styles blend with each other, as some of our architectural tests have shown that a few of the chosen styles are quite difficult to combiner where they border each other, but each style is still required to fit some of the storylines that we have sketched out for each district, both visually and in terms of providing the right mood and atmosphere for them.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


08/05/2016 - Friday Update #192


This week, we’ve been continuing to work on our default animation rig for NPCs and player characters, and have had to make a few adjustments to it after testing it in the engine – there were a few issues with how it was handling some of the non-human parts attached to it, such as wings and tails, and how they interacted with the main skeleton, but we think we’ve come up with a solution for that, although we’ll need to test it quite a bit to make sure that it works in all situations.

We’ve also started setting up the finalized Sewer Slime models in the engine, along with and their animations, although we’ve has a few issues with synchronizing them across all the connected clients – the position of the models will sometimes display differently to different players, rather than showing the model in the same position for every player, which is obviously not a good thing for a multiplayer game, as everyone needs to have the targets displayed in the same positions all the time.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


07/29/2016 - Friday Update #191


This week, we’ve been doing some animation work, using the finalized version of our basic all-purpose humanoid body rig, which will be used for all female, male or robotic humanoid body shapes, both NPCs and player characters. And now that this is finalized, we’re also starting to add in some of the basic movement animations that will be used as the default animation set for al humanoid characters, including walking, running, and several idle stances to cycle through.

We’ve also been refining the interactive object highlighting system, with a view to removing the need to use color tinting on interactive objects, which could cause issues for players with colorblindness, and instead looking at having the objects have their normal colors turned up to a very bright, almost glowing effect, so that it’ll be the emission of light rather than tinting that picks out the objects that players can interact with in the environment.
As an additional visual aid, we could also have the objects blink or pulse, if they were located in harder to find places.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


07/22/2016 - Friday Update #190


This week, we’ve been doing some more design work for the overall zone and map structure to try and come up with the best way of handling phasing – the removal or addition of things into the game world as a result of story actions. These can be small things like changing the status of a single NPCs if they were killed/rescued during a mission, so that they would no longer appear in a zone if they died, or start to appear if they were rescued – or it can go right up to larger things like buildings or whole city blocks that could be destroyed/rebuilt, depending on what choices players made.

The biggest issue with this kind of phasing is that it also requires some players to be phased to – for example, if an NPC contact dies, or is otherwise removed from the game, then players who have completed the story where that happens shouldn’t really have to see players who haven’t completed it talking to what would appear to be thin air. This problem becomes even more important in the case of enemy mobs that are removed from the world as a result of a players action, such as cleaning up a neighborhood or taking down a gang leader – to player who have completed that section of the story, players who hadn't completed it would appear to be fighting invisible enemies.

These kinds of situations obviously bring up challenges for the social interaction aspect of the game, so we need to make sure that there’s a good balance between player interaction with each other and the requirements of the various storylines in the game.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team