We haven't posted a news article here recently, so we thought we would at least add an update on progress.
1. There have been some delays in the programming of the tool set for building the A.I. net for the NPCs of the world. We got side tracked with some other problems, but work will be back on track this week. We're very excited about this portion of the game building tool. Once Phase 1 is complete we can build our A.I. nets in the world and then toss in NPCs who will immediately go about living their lives within the game world. This system will bring unprecedented realism to our NPCs. We'll release more on this when Phase 1 is completed.
2. Animation Pipeline. We've had some success in our new animation pipeline, which is automating our system for bringing character models into the world with a full set of animations ready to go. Once completed this system will shorten the time it takes to get a completed NPC model into the game. With the numbers of NPCs we need living in our world we had to have a pipeline like this in order to quickly populate the game. This pipeline is still in progress at this point, but we have gotten the basic system functional and we're testing with the first NPC output by the system. If this works out like we hope we will soon be abandoning the old slow hand done system completely and starting to mass produce NPCs for the game.
3. Game Design. Going along with the recent revamp of our Quest system (see earlier news post) we have been adjusting the system further. Quests are a hybrid of human written story, hand made portions and generated Quest segments. All of this within a system that allows the player's decisions to change the course and outcome of each quest to thousands of possibilities. We currently believe that a typical quest in our system will take average players between one and two weeks (real time) to complete. Don't worry about that long of a quest, there are lots of 'chapters' along the way so you can have some satisfaction in the short run before reaching the grand climax.
4. Art continues to improve, though at a slow rate. We are not concerned with the aesthetic side of the game at this juncture, but plan to attack that at a much later date when we can assign more assets. For now the game art is certainly functional enough to play test the world, and that is all we need while we develop the game play, which IS our primary focus.
5. We will be addressing the CoS web site with a redesign and overhaul. Not sure when this will go live, but work will get started on this soon. (It's low priority though).
That's what's happening at MMO Magic, Inc. on Citadel of Sorcery.