News & Updates

05/23/2015 - Friday Update #129


This week, we’ve been doing some more programming work on the chat system, with the focus on expanding our original design for it so that we can include even more functionality and flexibility to it, which is especially important for any game that in aiming to be a casual friendly social game.
The main things that we’re looking at right now are ways to increase the ability to share information between players using the chat window – this was something that ‘City of Heroes’ did very well, from being able to drag and drop items into the chat window to let other players read their associated info, to being able to discover a player’s global chat handle by clicking on their current chat name, so this is something that we want to let players do too.
Currently, we now have customizable chat tabs up and running, so players can create tabs, customize the tab name, and then add or remove channels for each tab. We also have the combat data for player powers appearing in the chat, as well as messages for the rewards the player gains - area chat is working too, although global chat isn’t functional just yet – but we’re putting together a solid chat system.

Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


05/16/2015 - Friday Update #128


This week, we’ve been doing some more design work on some of the key values for powers, especially damage and accuracy, with an emphasis on trying to come up with a formula that will let them be balanced with each other, so that we can determine which powers are better than others.
This is very straightforward when dealing with only one value - for example, if a power has a base damage 10, and another has a base damage of 5, then going purely by damage, that power is twice as good as the other one. But it becomes more complicated when another value is added – for example, if the power with base damage 10 has base accuracy 55%, and the power with base damage 5 has a base accuracy of 65%, then it’s no longer so easy to set a comparative worth between the two powers.
Things get even more complicated when further values are added in, such as range, recharge time, casting time, and so on, especially with range, as ranged powers naturally have a lot more range than melee powers, making them automatically “better”.
Factors outside the powers themselves also have to be considered – values for buffs and debuffs can have their effectiveness and worth affected by the team size, or the number of enemies being fought, which makes grading them even harder, so it’s going to be quite a long and complex process to arrive at the basic worth of each power.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


05/08/2015 - Friday Update #127


This week, we’ve been doing some rebuilding work on the GUI, following the recent update to the HeroEngine, which resulted in some changes to how the GUI textures are sorted and displayed, causing a number of errors in our previous GUI set up.
The fixes shouldn't take a huge amount of work, but they will need us to reformat and re-upload a number of the GUI textures that we’d been using.

We’ve also been refining and expanding part of the design for the character creation system, specifically the area where the player gets to choose the origin of their character. This is a change designed more for the long-term expansion of the game world post-launch rather than for the launch game, as one of the things that we’re aiming to do is to create very solid and flexible foundations to support all the various directions that we have planned out for the post-launch game.
Part of this flexibly needs to be support for as many types of character concepts as possible that players could come up with, so that those choices are able to be acknowledged by the NPCs and the game world – we obviously can’t plan for every single character idea that players could imagine, but the kind of framework that we’re setting up should cover all the traditional types of comic book character concepts, as well as a few less-traditional ones.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


05/01/2015 - Friday Update #126


This week, we've done some more work on planning out the first group of test powers that will let us begin setting up our powers system – we’ve now got the basic stats worked out for a handful of currently generic power types, including a melee attack, a ranged attack, a self-heal, an AoE debuff, single target buff, and so on. The stats for these are all placeholders, and the intention right now is to get these key power concepts working, and just as importantly, interacting with each other – especially the buffs and debuffs, which are one of the core gameplay mechanics, and help make the teaming experience deeper and more varied.

At this stage, we won’t be working on the system that lets players enhance the various effects of the powers, as we first need to get the powers to function without over-complicating the coding and testing – once we’re satisfied with how the basic powers work, we’ll move onto the more complicated mechanics that are involved in the power enhancement process.
Any type of power enhancement system is, on a very simple level, the same as a buff/debuff system, as both involve the modification of the base stats of a power, so creating functioning buff/debuff mechanics will automatically make the creation of the power enhancement mechanics quicker and easier.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


04/30/2015 - In-Game Character Models - Part 2


We've been having some issues with uploading images to the forums, so this part of the recent update should have been posted on the 28th - we'll be using links as a stand-in until we can upload the images normally.



In game models for three of the NPC heroes:


Princess Zandra of Atlantis.

The super-speedster Silver Lightning.

And the psionic healer Empathy Spirit.



And another short video featuring some animation test concepts that we're playing around with for the player and NPC animation rig.