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Character Creation Demo Now Available!

Saturday, September 29, 2018 3:09pm
jeff
Lead Developer
The Antilia Character Creation Demo is now available for download!

Please note that this is still a work in progress. We have plans for improving our meshes and animations, and will be expanding and refining the character creation options over time based on feedback from the community.

If you'd like to give it a try head over to the Downloads section and grab the installer!



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Video: Antilia Update for May 2018 (Version 0.4)

Friday, May 4, 2018 7:49pm
jeff
Lead Developer
This month we completed Antilia version 0.4, with a focus on implementing and expanding the character creation system! The system allows for new color and combinations that were not previously possible, as demonstrated in the video.



If you haven't been following Antilia on YouTube, I've made a regular habit of uploading a new video each week. Here are some additional videos from this month which you may have missed:





Finally there was also a video for Antilia version 0.3 which never received a proper blog post. For the sake of completeness, here is the April 2018 update video as well:



Antilia is really moving along now, and in May I'll be working on rendering buildings and getting the building editor to work. Stay tuned!

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Video: Antilia Update for March 2018 (Version 0.2)

Thursday, March 15, 2018 5:05pm
jeff
Lead Developer
I've posted a video update on the state of Antilia, our first internal test version, and more details on the inventory system!



Video on YouTube

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Antilia's Inventory System and Project Goals for 2018

Monday, January 1, 2018 3:52pm
jeff
Lead Developer
Happy new year, everyone!

As is my custom, I'd like to start off the new year with a bit of reflection on Antilia's development in 2017. I'd like to present a few decisions that have been made, and my goals for 2018. But first, and in order to set the tone for the new year, I'd like to present our first game system designed and built for the Antilia sandbox RPG.

Antilia's Inventory System


To start, let me say that it was an absolute joy to work on this inventory system and finally see it become a reality. I worked late into the evening hours numerous times while building this, not because of time pressure but because it was just so much fun. I have been planning improvements to Antilia's inventory for several years now, and I am both delighted by and proud of the result.


((Full resolution image available here!))

Some highlights of the new design:
  • The inventory is fully 3D rendered - I expect players to continue filling their inventories with uniquely designed items in Antilia, and unlike static icons the 3D rendered inventory makes it easy to identify crafted items.

  • The inventory can be expanded - Players will find items to expand their inventories across Forra including chests, crates, weapon racks, and mannequins for clothing and armor.

  • The inventory can be customized - Expansion sets can be collected, applied, and removed. I want to encourage the player to experiment with different arrangements and tune the layout to their play style or task.

  • Manage Items in Groups - Groups of items can be moved around by dragging the group's container. Equipping an outfit will be as simple as dragging a mannequin from your inventory or a wardrobe and dropping it on the character.

  • Inventory slots of different sizes - This will create new challenges and decisions for players, and allow us to better tune the game's balance. It also makes it easier to recognize items such as fishing poles and spears when they are given an appropriately shaped space.

  • The inventory is responsive and interactive - As you hover over items they respond by jumping out of the slot and rotating as the information pop-up appears. While moving items the slots will be color-coded to indicate where an item can and cannot fit.

This is the first of several game system redesigns I have scheduled in 2018, so stay tuned!

A Retrospective on 2017


Unlike the year before, 2017 was a very busy year for Antilia's development. Hundreds of hours were spent on design work, brainstorming game systems, and writing up a 60-page initial draft of our game design document. Across a dozen additional documents we have been collecting, organizing, and distilling all our ideas for Antilia’s lore and gameplay. Dozens of whiteboards were filled with task lists that were then slowly crossed off. Many of those tasks were of a technical nature that wouldn't make for good blog post but needed to be completed, such as synchronizing and caching scene data between client and server.

A large amount of development time in 2017 was spent in the development of content tools for Toi Studio, something for which I have mixed feelings. On one hand we built the Landscape Tool, which will be required for our small development team to have a chance at building the varied environments of Forra. On the other hand it took until October to get the Landscape Tool working. I had planned several tools in my goals for 2017 based on editors we built previously for the Antilia MMO, but clearly I did not appreciate the amount of development effort re-creating and improving the old tools would take. To have all the editors and features I want in Toi Studio will take not only take longer than I had hoped, but longer than is practical.

Appreciating now that this is the case, I've made the decision to exclusively prioritize my development effort on Antilia this year. Plans for porting and improving editors including the Mesh Editor will be shelved, and instead content will have to be built using pre-existing software wherever possible. I fear I have let Antilia's following down by holding too strong an opinion toward products such as Blender based on my initial bad experience, and I am going to change this behavior. It may also disappoint some who had hoped to use the Toi Studio tools for modding, but in the future I want to develop custom tools for Antilia only when there are no immediate alternatives.

Goals for Antilia in 2018


For 2018 I'm only setting one goal: To build fun, quality game systems for Antilia like the new inventory and get the community testing them.

Many thanks again to the wonderful people who continue to follow and support our project, and I wish you all a good year in 2018!

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New Antilia Screenshots and Toi Landscape Tool

Thursday, October 12, 2017 1:46pm
jeff
Lead Developer
Greetings everyone, it's time for another update on Antilia! I am not the kind of person that is content with talking about or merely dreaming up ideas, I also enjoy the process of making ideas into reality. For this blog post I had decided some time ago that it needed to include new screenshots of Antilia itself and not just our editing tools. It is very exciting to see the hard work put into the development tools begin to yield results that we can view directly in Antilia’s game client. We have not presented new screenshots of Antilia since the MMO, and for the development team this is an exciting milestone.

I’m extremely encouraged by the progress we’ve made in several past months and it is still our goal to resume alpha-testing in 2018.

New screenshots of Antilia


It was surprising how much effort it took to reassemble the pieces required to produce these screenshots. While many of these pieces are familiar or similar to their counterparts in the Antilia MMO, we are taking the opportunity to give many of these systems the second pass they had long been in need of.


((Full-resolution version available here: antilia-game.com/data/blog/AntiliaSceneWIP1.png))

In order for the new screenshots to really convey that they were screenshots of Antilia (and not just a landscape demo) we set a couple goals. The first of those goals was that the scene would be loaded and controlled by the Simulation Engine. Secondly the new screenshots had to include an animated Antilia character.

Antilia’s characters from the MMO had grown quite complex - a collection of partial meshes and textures that must be carefully combined in order to render a character. To achieve this some time had to be spent rebuilding and improving our systems that composite Antilia’s unique characters.


((A brief excerpt from a game data file that describes to the engine how to build Antilia's characters.))

Once our tools were able to produce new landscapes, the next challenge was to begin assembling new content in the game and walk around in the environment to get a sense of what is and isn’t working well. Scale is surprisingly complex, as it affects not just the overall size of the gameworld that can be explored, but also how frequently the game engine must load in new scene data.


((Full-resolution version available here: antilia-game.com/data/blog/AntiliaLandscapeRenderingWIP24.png))

Having a moving character helps significantly in understanding the sense of scale from the player’s perspective, and gave us the opportunity to begin work improving Antilia’s movement system.


((I also spent some time improving the ocean shaders. Full-resolution version available here: antilia-game.com/data/blog/AntiliaLandscapeRenderingWIP18.png))

Toi Studio Landscape Tool


In order to create the world of Antilia with the sense of scale we are aiming for, we realized early in the year that we would need a much better tool for creating Antilia’s diverse landscapes. Our new Toi Landscape tool allows us to create detailed terrain with the ease of drawing a map. While I don’t want Antilia to be a procedurally generated world, I see great potential in using controlled procedural generation as an artistic tool.


((Full-resolution version available here: antilia-game.com/data/blog/ToiStudioLandscapeWIP15.png))

The new tools and screenshots have energized the development team, and everyone is excited to begin creating the world of Forra with the new tool.

There are more exciting updates planned for the upcoming months, including a video in which we will use the Landscape Tool to collaboratively design the landmass of Forra, and screenshots of a new gameplay system.

Stay Tuned!

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