Well, E3 has come and gone, and as far as MMO Magic is concerned it was a big success. We met with numerous publishers and found a high rate of interest in the game. We have several follow up meetings scheduled where we will see about settling down with one of these publishers. Unfortunately, due to NDAs and other confidentialities, we cannot really get into who and where on these quite yet.
All I can tell you at this point was that almost every publisher we met showed some level of interest, some were cautiously optimistic; others were downright amazed at what this game has to offer. Our goal is to go into partnership with one publisher by the end of this year.
In other news from E3, we saw a few interesting games coming out, and a lot of the same old rehashed stuff we always see. Plenty of flash and bang with little game play substance, yet there were a few good nuggets for you gamers.
There was a neat game from Gamigo, where you build your own dungeon to trap and kill other gamers who try to pillage your stuff. If they are successful you lose stuff, if the dungeon kills them, you get their stuff. Meanwhile, you can also raid their dungeon. However you gain stuff you use it to keep building and improving your dungeon. This is not completely original, but on the other hand, some previous games that tried this game did not really manage to really finish off the concept, but the Gamigo game looks like they did.
If you like vehicle warfare (and we do, since some of our team come from a background in making Return Fire and Return Fire 2) there is the new World of Tanks game, which looks like fun.
The Activision MW3 gamelooks pretty cool for warfare as well. We all know about the new Knights of the Old Republic MMO, which will no doubt be fun. Warner Brothers has War of the North which is still looking fun for a three player RPG kind of game. The Tera by En Masse has some nice looking graphics for a current MMO offering.
So that is our report on E3, it was a fairly typical offering of new games, with only a few companies trying for anything new, most stay with the tried and true grinds with flashy particle effects we have all come to expect at most of the booths at E3.
In other more local news about CoS, we have had a lot of progress, even with most of the team taking off some days for E3 fun. We slowed down some of the progress on the new terrain engine while we shored up some new routines for better translucency, ambient occlusion and bloom effects. These needed some improvements and additions to make them more efficient.
We have also got the lighting engine back at full feature, so that light passing through glass picks up the colors and shapes of the glass, which looks great when passing through things like stained glass windows. We’ll post some screenshots soon. We are getting back to improvements on the new Terrain system this week.
In game play areas work continues on writing stories for the various types of game play elements of CoS. The game designers never rest, and though we have locked down most of the major systems now, there is still a lot of fine detail within those systems that designers are filling out. Right now there is a lot of concentration on player equipment. We are finalizing how equipment is crafted, what options there are when improving a mundane item to magical, soulbound or Monogrammed. What features a piece of equipment can have (spell slots, gem holders, hieroglyph sockets, etc.). How Talismans and Charms can be worked into a piece of equipment, and how you can make other improvements through epic questing, like dipping your blade in dragon’s blood, or petitioning a frost spirit for ice protection for your armor, etc. Or how much you can do to an item before it becomes soulbound, and how you can ‘sign’ an item as the creator. Lots of detail work on equipment customization.
In Art we are working hard on new elements as we have been starting to make some actual game art rather than place holder stuff we have used in the past. Art has always been the last thing we wanted to do for the game, but the time has come to start that major overhaul. We plan to hire a lot more artists and level builders in the near future (see publisher comments above). Up to now we have been top heavy with designers and programmers, but that is about to change.
Many other things are seeing improvements as well; too many to detail without going into a lot of pages, but there has been more work on Abilities, UI, the Epic Story system, new tools for planet modification, A.I. Net and other NPC management, and much more.
So, progress continues… and picks up pace. We are going into a busy time at MMO Magic, and Citadel of Sorcery continues to move toward eventual testing phases. No dates we can share yet though, much will depend on our the wishes of our publisher and their time table, but we are looking forward to shifting gears into major content construction using all the game design,writing, tools and technology that were developed for just this purpose.
Keep up the faith, the game is still on track and headed for the station.