We’ve just passed the middle of the first quarter, which I suppose is as good a time as any to post a status update!
As you might recall, at the very end of last year, I posted a lengthy article detailing what our beta goals were. This year was divided up into quarters, and this one will be ending at the end of March. Thus, we’re roughly halfway to the end of the first quarter. For these three months, I set out the following goals:
- Finish concept art.
- Implement libRocket.
- Conclude metagame discussion.
- Finish the website.
- Start implementing tutorial mode.
- Start assembling a texture base.
Now, I’ll give you a general sense of where we are with each of these goals. On average, I’d say we’re somewhat more than halfway done with them, putting us roughly on schedule, or even slightly ahead of it. There has been progress all-around, and you’re more than welcome to contribute feedback, or even take part in helping us out directly by joining our team.
Finish concept art
At the beginning of the year, there was a pretty large gap in what we had concept art for. We’ve made closing this gap a priority, as naturally, we need artwork for new modelers to work off of. There has been quite a bit of progress over the last month and a half, and at the moment, I would say we’re not far from completion. In regards to concept art, the last things we need to finish up are the jetpack, battery pack, and battlesuit for the human player model; the drill and repeater for the human buildings; and the hive, barricade, booster, and leech for the alien buildings. If something has not been listed here, it’s currently in development. The sole exception is the defense computer, which we’re very likely dropping from the game, as we can’t quite think up of a good use for it.
We’ve had a lot of movement on this. Of course, the goal for this quarter is only to implement it, not to actually use it just yet, but we’ve been making progress on getting it to work in our game. We’ve managed to make it display some things in the UI, and I would say we’re not far from being able to actually use it. If you’re interested in following progress on libRocket’s integration into our codebase, you can follow it on its GitHub branch.
Conclude metagame discussion
Again, something we’ve made a lot of progress on. Quite a few things have been resolved, although we do have some open questions, like how players will receive funding for kills, as well as things pertaining to the pacing of the game. Of course, we’ve already made the resource system public, and you can play around with it on our development & testing server. Again, if you’re interested in following the code-side progress of it, check out the resources GitHub branch.
Finish the website
As you might have noticed, the website looks a lot better now than it did at the end of December. There’s that automated gallery thing on the front page, the media section has been filled with new screenshots, and some aspects of the appearance have been tweaked. At some point, we’ll retheme the menus, and then we’ll figure out what’s been going wrong with the database that has been giving people issues logging in to some parts of the website.
Start implementing tutorial mode
We have a training server up, where you can practice against bots at any time of day, shooting up or biting your favorite artificially intelligent friends as much as you’d like. Of course, that isn’t the only way for people to practice, and as such, we’ve been looking into ways to make the bots more interactive. Our solution seems to be in behavior trees, which we’ve already implemented in the new bot code that has come out with this past alpha release. This allows us to give the bots more complex behavior, and with the right behavior trees for the bots on the training server, they’ll be more intuitive for new players to practice against. You can follow the new bot code on the bots2 branch.
Start assembling a texture base
We’ve been hard at work on getting together a good set of textures, whether by finding them online, or emailing artists and asking them for permission to release their texture sets under our license. For one, I’ve gotten Philip K to release his PK01 and PK02 texture sets on the Creative Commons license, and Viech has gotten evillair to allow us to make derivatives of his eX texture set. Internally, we’re setting up a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system using ResourceSpace to better keep track of our assets in a more professional manner than our old Dropbox account.
Now, with this week’s article finished, I’d like to make a shameless plug for our social media accounts. Make sure to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, watch and rate us on Mod DB, and give us a thumbs up on SourceForge. You’ll be glad you did! Or, I don’t know, maybe you’ll get a warm, fuzzy feeling at some point. If that’s not good enough, here’s a picture of our alien team together. See you next week!