News & Updates

07/04/2015 - Friday Update #135


This week, we’ve done some more design work on the basic concepts behind our current Archetype system, with a focus on trying to refine and expand its scope to try and fulfill to our goal of giving the players the kind of platform that they will need in order to be able to create the vast range of potential character concepts that they would expect to be able to make in a comic book game.

The Archetype system used in ‘City of Heroes’ provided support for quite a broad range of potential character concepts, although it did have a number of blind spots, which is something that we’re looking to address with this current design work.
This will also require us to rethink some parts of the current UI layout – although that’s still a work in progress as we’re still revising most aspects of it as we continue to refine the other systems too, so it won’t, add too much extra work for us beyond what we’ve already planned for.

We’ve also done some more work on the central area of Prometheus Plaza, with another of the main buildings there almost completed, as well as some further details being added to the lower sections of the middle of the plaza to make it easier for players to move around between buildings on that level.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


06/26/2015 - Friday Update #134


This week, we’ve done some more coding work to test the teaming system, and now have the basics of team invites functioning, along with the ability to change the leader and quit the team. Right now, the team invites only works by clicking the player to target them, then selecting an option to invite them to join a team – the ability to send a team invite through the chat window hasn’t been set up yet, and neither has the function of being able to invite a player through the player search window.

We’ve also done some test work with how to display buffs and debuffs as part of the team UI, but we haven’t finalized exactly how they’re going to be displayed yet – the main thing that we want is to have them able to be read and understood at a glance, so that they can provide valuable info in the heat of battle.
Having the buff/debuff icons stack in a somewhat similar way to how they were displayed in ‘City of Heroes’ is one possibility – but that does cause potential issues with smaller monitors having too much screen space taken up by them, which also goes against our design goal of having the UI be as streamlined and as un-cluttered as possible


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


06/19/2015 - Friday Update #133


This week, we’ve done some test coding work for parts of the teaming system, starting with functioning tooltips when a player mouses over the name of another player on the team UI – this will be used only for displaying permanent information about the selected player, such as power sets, level, supergroup – while things like temporary status effects, such as buffs or debuffs, will be displayed separately elsewhere on the UI screen.

We’ve also got different colors working on the map now – we’ve not finalized what colors we’ll be using for the player and NPC markers yet, but it’ll likely follow a convention color coding of green being other players on the team, red being hostile NPCs, blue being friendly NPCs, yellow being neutral NPCs or contacts, and so on.

Naturally, whenever any information is going to be presented through colors rather than text, the issue of color-blindness or other visual impairments comes up, and there are a couple of ways that it can be handled – while using single letters, such as “H” for hostile, “F” for friendly, it isn’t that practical on a small map, as they can still be quite hard to read - using abstract symbols such as circles, squares and triangles would be clearer. Alternatively, an extra UI customization panel could be attached to the map that would allow players to customize the colors of the map symbols using sliders – or a combination of both this and the abstract symbols could be one of the ways that we go with this.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


06/12/2015 - Friday Update #132


This week, we’ve done some coding work on the player search system, and have the basics of it in a functional state – it now shows all the players who are currently online, along with which zone they’re currently in and its instance number, plus each player’s level.

The other major feature for this kind of system is deciding just how many players it should display - we’ve not tested the system enough to see if there are any technical limits that would require us to have a fixed limit for it or not, but even with a fixed limit, we’ll still need to decide if the number that shows up in the window will require more than one “page” to view – and if it does, how we could best to implement a multi-page search window, using either backwards and forwards buttons to flip through the search results, or a scroll bar to one side of the window.

One of the additional functions for the search system that we’re looking at is to allow players to hide themselves from showing up on the search list, so that players who wish to play undisturbed by players not on their friends list can do just that – and we’re also looking at letting players be able to hide themselves from showing up in the search even to the people on their friends list too, if they want an extra level of privacy.
We’ll also need to decide on what kinds of filters to add, which would let players sort their searches by player level, Archetype, current zone, and so on.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


06/06/2015 - Friday Update #131


This week, we’ve continued to work on our chat system, this time focusing on the issue of profanity, and ways to filter it from the chat. We’ve set up a very small sample list of banned words to test the concept, and the swearwords on the list now get replaced by random characters such as “@”, “#”, “&” and so on – these also aren’t direct one-for-one letter replacements, so a 4-letter word, for example, might display between 4-6 of these random subtitle characters, which will also help to water down the intention behind the profanity.
However, as we’re expecting the majority of the players to be adults, the profanity filter will only be optional – although by default it will always be turned on, so that each player will then be responsible for choosing to view profanity rather than having it forced on them by the game.

This basic concept of a filtered word list can also be expanded to cover other undesirable aspects of online game chat, such as the names of websites offering gold farming or selling services, as well as those that offer power-leveling.
A further use for a chat filter could be to implement short chat bans for users who send the same message within a short space of time, which might help to reduce the chat channels getting clogged up with repeated spam requests from players looking for a team, begging for gifts of some kind, demanding power-leveling or constant super-group recruitment messages.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team