Coffee Diary 23/11/20


Hey Exanimates,

This week we've been putting some final touches on the remastered assets, implementing the new itemisation systems we discussed last week and just patching our entire asset library for release. We also tackled the last few procedural materials that were missing, namely suede, silk and velvet which are quite tricky.

We were going to do a "final texture pass" on the new early tileset for the release, which ended up being quite significant, we spent a little more time on it, but we're very happy with the results. A lot more assets ended up being completely remastered, like doors, floors and various environment features. We're also introducing some new assets for arenas, and still making some brand new arenas too. It's a very exhaustive visual overhaul that should make the game feel quite fresh, but it's also a process of establishing our new workflow for various things, as when we make an asset once using these new tools it means 90% of the work is already done the next time we make something similar.

Updating assets is an ongoing process that we'll tackle gradually, but in terms of actual feature development for the update it's basically just about completing the new itemisation features and making existing items compatible with it. It's a much more complex system than what we had previously, and we are relying on doing a full save wipe soon to remove deprecated assets and items, but we won't be wiping saves until the full arena update. We still had a few things to figure out as we fleshed this system out, including how procedurally generated descriptions would be handled now that many more items will have randomised properties and there are many more properties to randomise, or change dynamically. The new system is just about complete, but we still need to handle various conversion cases for legacy items as the two systems are very different.

We are also making progress on the arena overhaul, and this is also largely part of it. The arena mode is getting its own unique environment assets, along with new unique arenas. The new itemisation system is quite important here too, besides providing more options and customisation, it is designed to create more varied and appropriate outfits for arena NPCs. You will no longer be fighting randomly generated characters each match, all NPCs and their items will be persistent and detailed and appropriate to their status. These items might also be traded between NPCs and players.

That's it for this week, we'll try to stop tweaking things (for now!) and just get it out when save game compatibility is fully resolved.

Have a great week!
-the BM team


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