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All of the interesting development this past week was done on the world building side of things, so I'll focus this update on that. (Short programming update: I continued to work on the network packets, and spent a little time on world loading improvements.)
The western side of the Isle of Kasau has received a significant redesign. Compare how the map looked a few weeks ago (on the left) with the updated map on the right:
Here's a rundown of the new regions:
Connecting Maulei Beach with the eastern side of the island there remain several smaller regions that still need development and refinement. I've had an idea for some time now about a "bridges across columns" region south of Maulei Beach, and what started out as an experiment cascaded into a series of big changes that reshaped the entire entire western side of the Isle of Kasau.
The Columns region is defined by tall columns, bridges, and waterfalls.
The Taipii at Maulei Beach are too cool for guard rails, so watch your step. There is a path leading back up to the southwest should you need it. (Turns out I needed it several times while testing & developing.) I'm sure it'll be fine...
I really love how the region turned out. I had initially planned for there to be some flying enemies that would make passage through the area a little challenging - but we'll see on that idea. With the lack of railings fighting flying enemies on the bridges may be too much of a nuisance. It doesn't take long to cross over the bridges into Maulei Beach anyway.
As I worked to fit the region together, it started to make sense to elevate Maulei Beach up so that the water it surrounded ran down through the columns. Like the other regions I've redesigned it's a bit of a departure from how I had things in the MMO, but then all water was restricted to share a single water level back then.
Maulei beach will be the largest Taipii settlement on the Isle of Kasau - more of a town than a village like Tasii Garden. I think that makes sense considering it is so close to the only viable shipping port (under Gajoi's Claw). Maulei Beach is pretty and has room for more guild halls, but it doesn't have many natural resources nearby and is dependent on trade from the port and across the island. Meanwhile the gardens are more remote but surrounded by resources - I hope this sets up a good scenario for travel and simulation.
I'm still in the process of designing placeholder buildings, including several small beach houses along the waterfront.
An overview of Maulei Beach from the south. Maulei Beach surrounds a lake now, rather than the sea. (That still counts as a beach!)
A view from the west. Notice the small cave at the base of Mount Gajoi feeding the lake. I may add a secret passage back there...
And finally just north of Maulei Beach it felt like there was room for a little more of the mangrove trees like those in the Tangled Lands. This area will have some small differences from the rest of the tangled lands, and can be accessed via a small trail along the base of Mt. Gajoi. I like that this area ties the two sides of Gajoi's Mouth (the large crater-like feature in the mountain) and provides a small "sampler" area to gather resources from for players who make their home in Maulei Beach.
A view of the Western Mangrove just north of Maulei Beach.
I am also continuing to add decorative weapons for characters to carry and players to collect. This week I added a set of daggers. (Again, these are just temporary "decorative" items and will be replaced when crafting and combat is implemented.)
I also did a little writing this week, adding information to the following pages in the lexicon:
If a Taipii wishes to join the Tasiiama or when one of their young comes of age they are required to undergo the Tasiiama Trials before they are accepted as a member. Each of the tribes have created their own set of trials, and sometimes it will be suggested that a Tasiiama who is experiencing some difficulty make camp with another tribe for a time and pass a trial that may teach them a needed lesson.
Taipii Security Guild
The Taipii "Security Guild" specializes in stealth, sneaking, and acquiring objects and information from difficult locations.
That's all for this week, thanks for reading!