I was just chatting on the side with one of our forum posters, and he suggested that I post a list of things we've done in the last few months. This got me thinking, and prompted by the suggestion, I wanted to share some of that thinking. I told him we are working mostly on six big areas of the game:
1. The characters, costumes, morph targets, and related character art.
2. The city, props, buildings, mission maps, and other environmental art.
3. The code that works with the Unreal Engine, and creates the game.
4. The powers, animations, FX, and SFX.
5. The mission and big battle systems.
6. Leveling and advancement.
And then we talked about sharing more details. So I asked our led coder for a list, and he gave me this:
- Upgraded to 4.18
- Changed GM Calling command structure.
- Lots of meshmerge work.
- I'm not sure if Popcorn FX was added around the time of this upgrade or if it was new from shortly before but I see a lot of the early Popcorn stuff in there. Adding example beams and such. Many popcorn FX integration tweaks which can be branched into this note.
- Lots of Mission and Public Quest work as well as Quest Tracker upgrade.
- Damage Meter changes.
- Improved menu interactions, widget resizing, dynamic UI, and settings tweaks.
- Significance Manager
- Lots of folder restructuring and cleanup, that would break any reference to the moved items.
- Power system revamp.
- Targeting system revamp.
- Focus targeting system for things like target of target and focus assisting.
- Follow target.
- TrueSKY which is our day/night system.
- Status Effect Resistance and other improvements to Status Effects.
- Capsule shadows.
- FPS Meter
- Cast speed enhancements.
- Many optimizations.
- Custom character movement code.
- Civilian NPCs can now be spawned in large numbers.
- Update Rate Optimizations and skipped renders of invisible objects.
- Grounding optimizations.
- Health bars and nametags.
- Inventory slot improvements.
- Ability to hide/unhide UI.
- Target Frame Rate selector.
- Can activate keybinds when using the chat widget now.
- Targeting socket changes.
- Cooldown Buff/Debuff implementation.
- No longer tries to open up secondary programs when launches.
- Mouse controls now in C++.
- Controller ticks now in C++.
- Completely revamped the Character Player Hierarchy
- Re-setting movable UI in place
These are the items listed when we look at our code revisions for the last 4 months or so. All of this relates just to item 3 on the list above. Some of these things are really big, like the upgrade to UE 4.18, and adding TrueSKY (which required a month or more of work to get it the way we want it), and coding a custom significance manager, which allows automatic changes to deliver a reasonable range of FPS in-game by downplaying some things (like distant movements or distant shadows), or many, many improvements around the frame rate goals we set in place two years ago.
A lot of this is very, very technical. Of course, we're proud to have succeeded with so many improvements, but it also has taken a lot of our time and attention. Many of these items are things we decided to do, in order to improve the player experience with the Login Test.
In the end, this post is sort of test. Do you guys want me to talk about anything on this list? Is this too boring? I know most of the community are not actually coders...
Is this a good post? Too detailed? We do like to be transparent.