Dev frames’ format is changing a little bit, adding new sections and content categories, and including much more about what’s coming in the future. The original parts are here to stay of course, so don’t worry, we expand our posts, not change!
Seeing as many of you are very interested in details on those features that haven’t been in active development yet, we had some internal discussions going on last week, and decided that our current dev frame’s format is quite restrictive, since it only shows a progress of the team throughout a single week. With this in mind, we’re bringing fresh ideas for our dev frame posts starting today!
The first addition is a straightforward answer to the demand mentioned above. While most of the content will obviously still be about features our coders and artists are working on from Monday to Sunday (yes, some even work on Sunday nights!), there will also be posts describing features that are awaiting their turns on our to-do list. Details will vary, since some designs are more defined and strict than others, and not all features might eventually turn out to be exactly the same as envisioned in early drafts.
We will try to provide as much information about what we expect those new implementations to be like, what they will bring into the game, and how they will be integrated within the current system, but we will still appreciate all your feedback and suggestions about what else you would like to read in our weekly dev frames or maybe even what is redundant and simply not interesting in their current format.
Another new content category is called “Progress”, and has its own separate section. While we initially wanted to stick to exclusively big chunks of information about upcoming features, we realized that there is often interesting progress going on during the next week after a dev frame is posted containing that feature’s description, but the amount of changes after the main part of it is done is generally not enough for a full post. Because of that, the new section will include small-sized updates about various mechanics and features that were already thoroughly discussed in previous blogs.
If you’re mostly interested in learning about big implementations coming and how they will function, “Progress” section might not be a thrilling addition for you, but if every bit of information gets you excited, then it should be a great opportunity to get even more of it!
Picture at the top has been taken by Patata. Original link if you’d like to see it in full resolution – http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=969607219
Schedule Your Raids
“It would still be good to have some reminder/notifications as early as possible though.”
Clan feature is getting some final changes like a mechanic to transfer a clan’s leadership to another player or a special team balance rule that makes sure clan members end up in the same teams when playing Conquest or Skirmish. Once it’s done, there is another feature that we’re exited about, and intend to start working on quite soon from now. Similarly to the new clans system, we expect it to be used in the strategic map in the future, but functioning independently meanwhile.
What it means is that the feature will be accessible and useful in the game, even though its main purpose is to be used in a feature of a larger scale. Some of you might have already known what it is without any details or descriptions, but for those who stick to dev frames as the only source of information about the development, the feature we’re talking about is scheduled battles.
Oversimplifying, scheduled battles feature, currently called a Raid Mode in our internal development, will allow clans to start battles in desired time, and providing them with loot if they manage to win them. We will go into more details in a moment, but please keep in mind that it is fully based solely on design, and not on actually implemented code.Some of those elements might be changed once added and tested, and most of the terms in the dev frame are currently used internally, so there is a good possibility that you won’t find exact names once the feature is implemented.
Once a clan joins the Raid Mode, all of its members are presented with a list of fiefs that can be chosen for an attack by any clan leader and their fellow clan mates. Fiefs vary by names, time it takes to launch attacks, amounts of loot, and their sizes, which determines how many players can join a particular battle and what is the smallest army that can start an attack. When deciding to attack a fief, a player is presented with a number of available time slots that define when his attack will start, but all slots have to be around a specific for that region prime time (time when the biggest number of players is active; usually around 7-8pm). Afterwards, that player is free to choose how many “resurrection points” he wishes to send to the battle. Resurrection points will then function as tickets that are consumed with every death on one side, and will mean the end of the battle once either side has none of them left.
If a member of a clan launches an attack, that clan has to then find a number of players to join their side. While the easiest way would be to ask fellow clan members to join, there is no guarantee that the enemy won’t have more warriors on their side, so it is highly encouraged to either find friendly clans that will agree to fight on your side or look for lone wolves that could function as your mercenaries.
One thing you must always consider as a clan leader is that players may also join the opposite side and fight against you, which would bring them much shiny loot must they destroy all your forces!
If your side is strong and numerous though, you have a good chance of being victorious in a battle, and increasing your clan members’ morale by sharing a good amount of loot among every participant. The most valuable loot you will be able to find in the Raid Mode is more Resurrection Points, but we also consider other forms of rewards.
This is a rather basic explanation of the planned feature, but it fleshes out the most important parts, so you’re able to make your mind and start discussing it, possibly forming an opinion and providing valuable feedback for us. We will start with the Raid Mode shortly, and are hoping to implement it as quickly as possible, so don’t wait with your suggestions!
Fun and Games
“For example, there are height differences proposed in the lobby map training area.”
It was already briefly mentioned that the team is considering creating a single unified lobby map instead of two small maps we current utilize in the game. Even though it could seem as a simple level design choice, you might be wondering why it is placed in the “Coders” section of the dev frame. It’s very simple, with a new map there will also be a grand overhaul of the entire lobby system!
Discussing the map itself might be a bit pointless at this point, since artists often change their minds while working on bigger implementation. In short, the idea is to have a some sort of a fortress that could later be expanded with a village below the fortified area and other zones like wilderness. Different areas will serve various purposes, and might even be using different servers due to their sizes, but more on that later, since it’s a much more distant implementation.
The way it is right now, a lobby is kind of a mess with arenas blocking most of the space and bots running around aimlessly. It does serve well, providing quick and fun gameplay while there are not many volunteers for rounds of Conquest or Skirmish, but it was never defined as a whole, and was more of a place where we put independent modes and mechanics that aren’t really supposed to function together.
While we do have quite big plans for the new lobby feature like random events and co-op missions, we’re currently focusing on redesigning what we currently have. For now, the idea is to split a map into three zones that can be easily accessed from the very beginning:
- Combat Zone – Where players will be able to practice against each other or bots of chosen difficulty. It will work similarly to what the original duel was, with some changes to how bot fighting can be started, making it more immersive.. To make it clear, we still do want you to be able to duel other players in any other place of the lobby, but the Combat Zone will be specifically designed to look and feel like training grounds of a fortress.
- Archery Training Zone – Where archers and crossbowmen will be able to shoot targets and master their skills without having to be creative with workarounds like it is now.
- Tutorial – Where new players will be able to learn the most basic combat, which will be implemented instead of the current forced tutorial. We would like players to be able to skip the tutorial if they wish so and start it over if they would like to refresh their knowledge.
Another change that we currently plan is to move Hold Your Ground and The Arena to their own servers, which would result in increased performance, and would allow to expand on both modes, even if only from a level design perspective. This is more of an idea at the moment, and would require some more technical reviewing, but we would also like to know if you consider it to be a good thing that those modes are placed on the same map as the lobby or would rather have them all in one place.
“just committed some heraldry fixes and the rest of the crests”
Heraldry has been finally added this week with the clan feature! If you’re a proud leader of a clan, you’re free to choose from a set of pre-made emblems created by our artists team, and even choose their colours. They will automatically become visible on your own and your clan members’ equipment. For now, that includes only body armour, but the list of supported pieces is rather big even in the first version of the feature. The rule of thumb here would be to pick a top layer item to has either cloth or leather as a visible material. For example a surcoat, coats of plates, gambesons, and so on.
There are still some changes planned, even though the feature itself is pretty much done. One of the things the artists are working on is to display heraldry on shields the same way it works on armour at the moment, but it’s certainly not the last thing they’ll be doing for clans!
We’ve been making it clear on many occasions that “as much in-game customization as possible” is a very important game development philosophy for our team, since it encourages creativity and promotes playing as a truly unique character. Clan feature and heraldry specifically is not an exception!
Starting now, all clan leaders are able to submit their own emblem designs that will eventually be added to the game for their clan. The process is rather simple:
- Create an emblem.
- Submit it on our forums.
- Artists review it and tweak issues if such are present.
- Your emblem gets attached to your clan.
Even though it’s easy and straightforward, the process of creating your own design is a hard task, so if you’re not comfortable with image editors, we advise you to either cooperate with your clan members or ask around the community if someone else would be willing to help you. There are not many rules when it comes to heraldry, but one of the requirements is that it has to look authentic to medieval times, and fit well into our game’s artistic design. Here’s the list of rules you have to follow if you decide on making a unique emblem:
- Heraldry has to look authentic and believable.
- It has to fit into medieval style of the game.
- It can’t have colours that wouldn’t normally appear on medieval heraldry (bright pink/green, etc.).
- Official Rules apply to heraldry, specifically:
- No pornography.
- No advertising.
- No harassment.
- Heraldry has to be created using the official template. Template can be found HERE.
- Don’t include the template itself in your submission (remove the layer).
- Use transparency if needed.
Once you’re satisfied with your design, please submit it on our forums – http://ofkingsandmen.net/forum/threads/custom-clan-heraldry.67/
Here are some of the examples of previously submitted emblems!
“Woah, that’s insane, I’ll have a look at that also.”
Krom has been doing some changes and tweaks to the new Hold Your Ground area, which was briefly shown in a previous dev frame. We will be including it in the game as soon as the new AI behavior is thoroughly tested and improved if needed.
There are plenty of new screenshots of the arena too!
“what’s the map? is there even a navmesh?”
AI has seen quite a lot of improvements lately, but it will still require some more work before being fully applied to the game. For example, bots shouldn’t keep running forward if there is a wall in front of them as well as other obstacles too. That change was required in order to allow for more complex areas in the lobby instead of somewhat boring arenas.
Another recent change was making bots aware of their weapon’s length and a distance between their opponents. While the old bots would normally get as close as possible and try to swing, even if it’s a two meters long spear, the smart ones will try to backpedal to achieve the best results with their weapons.
Those changes are currently on our nightly server, and it would be incredibly helpful if you could share your thoughts and bug reports if you manage to test them!