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September progress report

September 23, 2008

   We have had additional progress on our new animation system for NPCs. This was a complex crossover from our previous placeholder system to the final animation system. It involved changing which 3D package we use to animate, changing model and animation formats to Collada, tweaking our animation pipeline to work with these, and programming our own code to read these formats. This has been a long crossover Work is still going on to fix various bugs in this new system, but we anticipate being fully functional next week.

In art, work continues despite the disruption of changing formats. We have lost a modeler, but immediately replaced him with a new artist, though the new modeler is still getting up to speed on our ways of of doing things, and using our tools. New model additions to the world this month include the University (with all 31 Cadre locations), the Spirit League Interior, finishing work on the Heroes League and Marksman League and the main Theater in the Carnival District. New character models and NPC models are also in progress as well as our first monsters (if you must know, a Ravager Fiend,and an Shadow Imp, two creatures from the DarkHalls). These have been turned over to the texture artists for completion before animation.

Concept art is now being done on Silvarian, the Eyes of Darkness. She is the key character who rules the Citadel. We're also starting concept art on the final look of the character races so that modeling can get cracking there as well. Up until now all characters and NPC models have been human.

We're still waiting on the next engine update, but have hopes for getting it in the next few weeks.

Design work (which is never ending on CoS) has been done in many areas, though character Abilities has been a major area of concentration lately. Currently a revamp of the Quest building process and corresponding portion of our Enact tool (phase two) has been getting our design teams attention as well.

In Level building the Tavern District is finished with all dynamic objects (decorations and such) in place. The Warehouse district is now under construction and work continues on the Merchant District. We're still concentrated on the Citadel area until programming gets to the main terrain system (this will be some months away still). Meanwhile we continue to work with terrain made the old fashion way, by hand. All that placeholder terrain will go away and be replaced by the new system terrain generator eventually (more on that when we get there).

Quest design also continues, though at a slower pace currently as we are concentrating on other areas of the game.

As for a new look to the CoS web site, some work has been done on this, but being low priority, it may be another month or so before we put that up on the web.

That's the news on Citadel of Sorcery in September; progress goes on at a steady pace.

 

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