Mission Map Upgrades Video
As always, we’re eager to hear your thoughts. Keep an eye on the upper-left corner of the video to see when we’re showing the old mission map and when we’re showing the new, revised version.
With our upgrade to Unreal Engine 4.18, we have more props we can employ, including some that we made ourselves for this mission map – and for others, in the future. The doors are new, and we’ve redesigned most of the flooring, and some of the ceilings. Overall, we’ve given this map a very “lived-in” look; crewmen have been working here recently, and they’ve had to leave some of their tools behind to evacuate.
Is the lighting in this big control room too bright now? Was the central laser beam cool, or just a distraction? And should we have something more eye-catching in the center, or is the collection of view screens sufficient? We’ve been debating these questions internally.
Using the vertical height of the room to increase playing areas seems like a good idea to us. The Justice is massive – it’s a highly-advanced generation ship, an entire country in space. It would be pretty silly if all the rooms looked like they were crammed into a generic submarine, and no one wants to live or work in bland, copy-pasted corridors if they have a choice.
We’ve just shown that we can adapt the look and feel of any space or mission map pretty comprehensively by altering the lighting, props, and art style. But what do you, our community, think of these changes? You’ll find a thread – maybe more than one – in our game forums where we are discussing the matter. Join us, and let your voice be heard.
This is a longer video designed to show off some upgrades we are making in our mission maps. The primary focus is on how we are improving the maps by adding and replacing technical art assets. Several of these changes are thanks to the artistic skill of one of our new hires in our environmental art team, Steven Zhu.
We begin with the map we first showcased just over a year ago, on May 10th, 2017. You’ll notice certain technical changes during the run-through, including:
Overall, the look and feel of the map has changed considerably. We have a lot more props, textures, and materials now, and we have the ability to upgrade our future mission maps. Several new doors are in use in this map, and you’ll see some cool-looking view screens scattered about as well.
Lighting and reflectivity changes improve the atmosphere, making the area appear more positive, and more like an in-use section of the Justice, all without dirtying things up – Ambassador runs a tight ship, and the crew aren’t slobs.
We’ve been working on a spring cleaning project for SoH; we made this video after it was completed, and in UE 4.18, in part as a demonstration that our cleaned-up code base still works as planned.
This internal map is not affected by our new day/night cycle, since the holographic sky projection would not be visible in the underground areas of the city.
We’re working on several tasks in parallel right now. Our next video may show off the new Healing Nanites powerset, but it’s not set in stone yet. We have some additional lore related to Nanites in the queue as well, and we’re hoping to get that published before we go to the next Alpha event. The next alpha event is a login test which will help the dev team prepare for a raid test later this year; we’re hoping to get a couple dozen or more members of the community to volunteer to participate. Check the forums for a sign-up sheet within a few weeks.
One of the key goals in any game is immersion in the story. One facet of immersion in an MMO is allowing significant numbers of players to be one the screen at the same time. But the players are not the only people in the universe – we also need to populate the FHS Justice with civilian NPCs and cars to make a believable city of the future aboard a generation ship on the outskirts of the Human Federation.
At the beginning of 2018 we thought you would like to see the latest progress in the Ship of Heroes playing environment, Apotheosis City. While there is a lot happening with the city, today we are focusing on improvements to the Warehouse District down by the water.
Each of the 20 ship modules in the Justice has layers: a layer above with an artificial sky, and multiple layers below where the crew work, and ship activities take place. These lower levels are brightly-lit at the top, near the surface, and become darker and more dangerous the further a character descends.