News & Updates

09/23/2017 - Friday Update #251


This week, we’ve been continuing the design work on our day-night cycle, especially for time-specific missions/events and how they fit in with one of our major design goals, which is to have the game be as pick-up-and-play as possible.

For example, if the day or night sections of the cycle are too long, then a player who has, say, an hour of free time to play might log in and find that their next mission is a time-specific one, but that the time period it was active has just ended, and won’t come around again until after their available playing time is over, meaning that they’re totally unable to progress their character further through the story for no fault of their own.

One simple solution to this would be to make the day and night periods short enough so that no matter when a player logged in they wouldn’t have to wait very long for either period to begin, but as we’ve mentioned before, a comic book game really needs a substantial nighttime experience/environment to go with its daytime one, and having these last only a short time wouldn’t really allow players who preferred one or the other to really enjoy it for very long before it switched to the opposite one.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


09/15/2017 - Friday Update #250


This week, we’ve been continuing with the design work on our day-night cycle, with the focus on trying to find the best balance between how much daylight and darkness to have in each cycle, as well as trying to find the best number of cycles to have occur within a real-world 24 hour period.

As we’ve mentioned previously, getting the balance right between how much of the day-night cycle is given over to daylight and nighttime is quite challenging for any game, but it’s especially interesting when it comes to a comic book game, as there’s a whole sub-set of comic book characters who operate mostly – or even exclusively - by night, from well-known ones like Daredevil and Batman to general supernatural character types like ghosts, vampires and werewolves.

So not only does the genre of our game require a significant nighttime experience for lore and narrative reasons, it also needs one for those players who we feel it’s safe to assume will want to create their own vigilantes, darker heroes and supernatural character types.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


09/09/2017 - Friday Update #249


This week, we’ve been doing some more design work on the day-night cycle for the game – which might sound like quite a straightforward element of the game to develop because of its very limited requirements – it’s either day, night, dawn or dusk – but the major issue is less about the technical aspects and more about its overall effect on the game world and then players.

For example, judging the length for the overall cycle is quite challenging – for games that have day-night cycles, the majority use the standard set-up of having the day section last quite a lot longer than the night section, which is done for a number of technical and artistic reasons.

First, from a narrative angle, with the pre-industrial fantasy genre still dominating gaming, having much of the story play out during the daytime makes sense. From a graphical angle, it also makes sense to have way more time devoted to daylight in order to show off the game world to its full advantage – and from a practical angle, it’s generally better to make sure that gameplay mostly takes place during the day part of the cycle, particularly if any of the game systems – and especially the combat system – relies on a lot of visual indicators to help players get the most from it.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


09/01/2017 - Friday Update #248


This week, we’ve been doing some more planning work on the layout for some of the basic combat AI for enemy NPCs, with a focus on trying to make sure that there’s a major difference between those with ranged attacks and those with melee attacks, which was something that ‘City of Heroes’ didn’t do well at all.

For example, no matter what the ranged attack that they had was, the CoH enemy NPCs would only ever discharge one or two shots before charging into close combat, which made no tactical sense, especially if the player was melee based, as they were completely throwing away their advantage.
This major AI fault was even worse in the case of groups that were presented as highly trained paramilitaries, rather than just gang members, such as the Council, 5th Column and Malta.

Making a clear distinction between ranged and melee AI behaviors for enemies is one of the key parts of our goal to make our combat much more diverse than in CoH, so that there’s a wider variety of tactics that players might need to use, as well as letting us present the various enemy groups in ways that help them stand out from each other.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team


08/26/2017 - Friday Update #247


This week, we’ve been doing some more coding and design work on the system for letting players pick up and throw environmental objects, as part of our aim of making the game world more interactive than it was in ‘City of Heroes’.

There are two major aspects to creating a system like this – the first one is how far we should go when it comes to weaponizing the environment, as not only are there potential performance issues that come with adding more moving pieces to the environment, but there are also the effects on tactics and balance that come into play if you give melee players access to a variety of ranged attacks from environmental items.

The second aspect involves the amount of regulation that should be used to help keep the scale and the pace of the environmental destruction at a manageable level, so that a single player – or even a group of players – would be unable to vandalize the whole city at once, as that would be disruptive for other players.
Cleaning up areas that had seen some environmental mayhem also needs to be done in a way that doesn’t make the reset happen too quickly, as that undermines the sense the player should get of having taken part in a classic superpowered street fight.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team