Status Report August – September 2018

October 4th, 2018
Status Report August – September  2018

Even during holiday season we managed to put a lot of effort in game development.

First we have focused on animal AI. Animals where categorized depending on their primary movement style – walking, swimming and flying and their behavior – prey and predators.  We have realized soon, that build engine AI path finding is not suitable for us. We had to develop our own mechanics from the scratch for fish and birds. So we had to design not only movement, pathfinding, but collision handling and evasive maneuvers as well.

Next part of development included the creation of first map and environments available in demo. This includes area(z) such as coastline, beach, jungle, bamboo forest, meadow and a secret area. The final frontier for player to conquer is deadly swamp.

We were not only creating the area(z) itself by modifying the terrain and plating plants. The work included decision how the map should be designed to provide required resources for survival and crafting for best player experience.

To provide player a resources to survive – we deigned our version of loot economy. This calculates not only the spawned loot, but considers even items already crafted.  Economy is based on zones – not on predefined spawnpoints. And there can be multiple zones for each item. The animals (like fish) spawn the similar way.

Some animals act as “border control”. Especially sharks are spawned when player swims or is drifted by sea currents out to open sea. If player manages to swim back towards the beach, they will lose their interest.

In swamp we have prepared and tested dynamically spawned natural obstacles – so player will have to find his way thru the swamp. Just finding the one static way on Wikipedia or elsewhere, will not work. We want the player to rely on his own knowledge, experience and skills. And luck as well …

With area(z) created on map – the next step was the environment itself. We have set up the day/night cycle, wind, and light settings. Also sea tides, sea currents (which affect loot and player character as well) and fog. Only the temperature impact will be added later in bigger update – as it is complex issue. Anyway the temperature is already affecting loot, and is also changed by fire heat and material being wet (wet items will cool down). Same will be done on the side of player character later. Also we have to connect it to basebuilding – like shelters – which will provide some heat comfort.

All above mentioned is connected to one “environment manager”. It allows us simply to decide what part of the day it should be and how fast will be the day cycle running. It will set up properly all values, including sun, wind, fog, sea tide level and currents.

Also we have being working on first postprocess parts –such as blood stains, underwater view etc.

As the game is closing to the first milestone – playable demo, we had to work on legal, tax registration, licenses and other connected issues.

We are finalizing our first presence on web, social media and working hard on STEAM game page, so we can publish them officially.

Once again I would like to thank all the people, who are helping us with this project as well to our supports.

Really can’t wait to see first players to test the game demo and provide us first so needed feedback.

Duro Bulo
AreaZ Game Developer