Hail, Devblog! It’s been awhile. We’ve been insanely busy around here since we last met, but let me assure you that the team is growing and firing on all fronts. And speaking of growth, this community has been exploding lately. Welcome to all of our new friends both here in the USA and abroad! Here’s a breakdown of what we’ve been up to on the development side:
Wizard Class Development
We’ve started our class development phase with the Wizard class. Due to the complexity of developing the spell system, the thought was that we would dive right into it by building out the base kit for our most pure caster class. From direct damage projectiles and instants, to elemental area of effect spells, fire-based damage over time effects, cold-based slows, buffs and debuffs, and even some utility spells, the Wizard has it all when it comes to casted abilities.
This choice has largely been a success. Not only have we completed the basic ability kit that was initially laid out for the Wizard, we’ve created excellent templates for a wide range of spell types that can be re-used with future class development. Jessie put together a great montage of the Wizard testing here:
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Throughout our development and testing of the Wizard abilities, many updates and improvements have also been made to supporting systems. UI, character movements and animations, particles effects, combat text, optimization, post-effects, netcode, and even some new NPCs have received updates during this phase. This has led us into our first rounds of internal Alpha testing. On 6/27/19 we formed a full 6-man group and performed our largest combat test yet, using 6 Wizards:
Environment and Camera Updates
In addition to the spell systems and combat components, we’ve started to refine our environment art, vegetation, lighting, camera movement, and post-processing stack. Wizard testing is taking place in the forested zone of Thelrodan’s Valley (see our full map here), where we’ve been testing a new vegetation system and many new environmental prefabs, as well as some additional camera options. Check out our testing of the ‘Adventure’ style camera rig here:
Thelrodan’s Valley is also site of our Alpha 1 Teaser Trailer:
Brace Yourselves, Dungeons are Coming!
We’ve been fortunate to bring on multiple new contributors to the project in recent months, and our new Level Designer, Pyye, has dove right in and impressed the team with some excellent work on dungeon development. Defend The Night aims to return to the more classic approach of designing MMORPGs that truly feel like a living, breathing world, and dungeons will be a large part of our world of Certovia. Pyye’s work on some of our first dungeons are an excellent reflection of this perspective, and we can’t wait to get some testing groups crawling through these zones and share more progress with the community.
As we wrap up the Wizard development and move into more extensive combat testing, we look ahead to the development of our next class, the Shadowknight. This will be our first melee class and will play dramatically different from the Wizard, and we’ll be using the templates developed through SK abilities to move into our other melee and hybrid classes down the road. From there, we plan to dive into one of our support classes and enable some real group mechanics in our testing phases. Network testing, combat testing, and new content creation will continue throughout this cycle as we work bug/fix and move closer and closer to a persistent full game loop for our early levels and zones. As always, keep an eye on our Twitter for frequent updates, join the conversation and contribute to our design in our Discord, and if you haven’t already, Register to stay informed on all of our latest news. Thanks for reading!