Saturday, August 2, 2014 1:27pm
It has been quite a while since we shook up the development team with new members, which makes the past month quite special indeed. While we are overhauling Antilia with a second-pass on all of its gameplay systems, we've also been overhauling our development team to be more productive.
The New Writing Team
As we work toward an initial release of Antilia, understanding the Taipii and their culture is becoming increasingly important. While the lore and back-story played a very limited role on the Isle of Kasau , the exact opposite is true of the Taipii's oldest city-state. Lantros is where they first landed on Antilia, it is the seat of the Kisan Monarchy, and is central to the Taipii's transformation from a people of nomadic tribes into farmers and permanent settlers. To develop the city of Lantros, we have to define not just how the Taipii arrived on Antilia, but who they were, where they came from, and why they abandoned their previous home.
In order to ensure this happens, we've established a new official Writing Team. The Writing Team includes our core designers - Jeremii da'Ariiel, Kathryn, and myself, as well as three new additions to the development team. All three have been members of the Antilia community for some time, and I hope you will thank Argentii, Lokosicek, and Fang for volunteering their time helping us develop and document the lore of Antilia.
Writing as a member of a team is very different than writing something on your own. Good communication between the writers and an understanding of ownership and responsibilities are critical in creating an effective team. We're meeting regularly each week to brainstorm critical topics, and I've set up a common web space for us to document everything we discuss and every decision we make. While brainstorming and discussion are important, it is just talk unless we document and organize our thoughts. The new team will be charged with documenting the lore of Antilia, creating new characters, and presenting the new lore to the community.
The Programming Team
I'd also like to welcome our new temporary programmer from the University of Denver, Mitchell Mayeda. Mitch has been learning the Anitlia and Toi engine source code, and will be working with me on the new gameplay improvements.
While expanding the team, creating development spaces, and getting new team members set up has required considerable time the past month, Antilia continues to progress. Our next version of Antilia will be the single largest update the game has ever received - with nearly every screen and interface receiving a second pass. This month we started at the beginning:
Antilia has been given a fresh, customizable user-interface theme, and a proper main menu. The new theme reduces wasted window space by reducing border widths, and even allows players to define their own color schemes. You'll notice the new login screen also introduces a few upcoming features - the option to play offline in a limited sandbox mode, as well as learn how to play the game via gameplay tutorials. These options will allow new players to ensure Anitlia works smoothly on their computer and learn how Antilia is played.
Changes to the character select screen are less radical, and more practical. The character select screen no longer loads and displays all of your characters in long scrolling line, but instead loads and renders only a single character. Additionally, it now remembers which character you played as last, and will suggest that character first. This reduces the load time for the select screen, especially for players with several characters.
Jumping in-game, the new user-interface has already been applied to several in-game interfaces, and a new inventory+equipment window is being developed that features 3D-renderings of inventory items. The 3D rendered objects make it much easier to identify crafted and customizable items like weapons and lanterns, and makes Antilia more visually appealing. As these new 3D interfaces only update when something is changed, they are surprisingly similar in performance to the original icon-based inventory.
Stay tuned! In the upcoming months we have plans for more game systems improvements. We'll be creating a new internal testing team (application process coming soon), and the Writing Team will begin posting it's own blog posts revealing new details on the Taipii and the world of Forra!
Discuss "Welcome Our New Development Team Members!"