News & Updates

06/24/2016 - Friday Update #186


This week, we’ve been doing some more design work on our items and crafting system, with a focus on ideas for crafting components and what form they could take, as well as how players might gather them in the context of story-driven gameplay.

The type of crafting system used in a game also has an affect on the process of zone design – a standard MMO crafting system generally uses crafting materials that can be harvested from the landscape of a zone, and from mobs placed in a zone. But for a traditional comic book setting, that kind of material harvesting doesn’t really fit – which is why ‘City of Heroes’ had so few of them, with the only major example of generic landscape-based harvesting being in the Shadow Shard, where players could gather Kora Fruit plants that could be converted into Inspirations.

An example of more specific mob-based material harvesting – although it didn’t have a crafting element attached to it - was used in the Hamidon raid, where players could gather the special Essence of the Earth Inspirations to make the raid easier, but which didn’t really have any use outside of the Hive zone,


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


06/17/2016 - Friday Update #185


This week, we’ve been doing some basic testing work on ways to implement items in the game. Although a traditional comic book game naturally doesn’t need anywhere the number of items that a traditional fantasy game might need, there are still a reasonably significant number of situations where players would need to be able to acquire one or more items by various means.

Many of these would be story/quest items that would be specific to a unique plot point of a story, so they would need a specific type of functionality just for the particular use that they’d be required for in the story.
But we’ll also need a selection of more generic items that will be used as part of our crafting system – although unlike the crafting system in ‘City of Heroes’, we’re aiming for our components to be more intuitive and logical rather than the somewhat random groupings of salvage use to craft things in CoH.

As standard MMO crafting isn’t a perfect fit for a traditional comic book world – and also because it’s not a universally popular activity in MMOs – our crafting system will naturally be totally optional.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


06/10/2016 - Friday Update #184


This week, we’ve been working on a test power for damage over time effects (DoT) – currently, it’s still a single target power, and it still isn’t quite working correctly, so once we get it fully functional, we’ll eventually expand its function to create an AoE version.

We’ve also been continuing to expand out cast of NPCs that the players will be interacting with, either as friends or enemies. As each new character is created, we naturally write them into the game’s backstory, which often means adding them to some existing event, or in some cases creating a new event in the timeline to match our conception of the character and their role in the world.

Their relationship with other existing characters also needs to be defined, and in a way that feels natural and not forced, and then those character’s backstories need to be revised to take the new character’s presence into account – which, along with adding new events to the backstory, can trigger ideas for more new characters, which the leads to more additions to the backstory, and so on, helping us to expand and deepen the game world that players will be interacting with.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


06/03/2016 - Friday Update #183


This week, we’ve been doing some more coding work on our basic test powers, with the focus this time on movement debuffs. These come in 3 main types – slows, which just slow down the target’s movement; snares, which trap the target in one place, but allows them to move on the spot; and freezes, which completely immobilize the target.

All three of these present animation challenges to get them looking right – a slow needs a way to slow down the animations of the target, either through making new slower animations, or by finding a way to decrease the speed of the standard animations; a snare needs animations that depict the target struggling as they’re held on the spot; and a freeze needs either a special single frame animation to show the target held immobile, or a way to halt the standard animations mid-play.

We’ll need to test each of these options to see which one works best from a technical and artistic point of view, and pick the combination that balances both of those considerations the best.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


05/27/2016 - Friday Update #182


This week, we’ve been doing some more work on our recently reformatted basic power templates, using some of the earlier powers that we’ve been testing before and transferring them over to the new system - the current power type that we’re are debuffs.

We’ve also been continuing to flesh out the game’s backstory, including the wider universe, which we’re developing alongside the more local backstory centers around earth and especially Titan City.
Although we obviously can’t create something with a volunteer team in less than 4 years that will have the same amount of complexity and depth as the traditional comic book universes that have had thousands of writers and artists working on them for decades, there are a few ways that we’ve been looking at that can give an impression depth and complexity to the backstory without needing to fall back on massive amounts of exposition or info dumps, which is not only poor storytelling, it’s also very bad for creating good gameplay.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team