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Developer, just checking in and answering questions

JatarJatar Member UncommonPosts: 348

Hey, I haven't been here in a bit, we've been hard at work on Citadel of Sorcery.   However, someone told me that I was mentioned in a post as 'selling snake oil'.  Excellent, wish I had some to sell!  However, jokes aside, I thought I would come by and answer some questions, if any of you want to ask.  

Now, if you just want to  bash the game, or the hard working team making it, I don't really have time for counterpoints.  I'm not here to turn this into some kind of debate.  But if you wish to ask anything about the game development, the game, or the team, I'll answer what I can.  

Before we even get started, let's get this out of the way, yes, it's been a long time in development.  Small team, 99% self funded = long development, with some time to go yet.  We have never made any promises on when it would be done, since we have no idea (we haven't written a program that can see into the future yet).

However, we work on it every day, and have made some very good progress in the past few months.

So, any questions that I can answer?

 

Jatar (alleged snake oil salesman).

«13

Comments

  • f0dell54f0dell54 Member CommonPosts: 329

    Why in your previous posts especially this one ( http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/366872/page/1 ) did you not only call potential customers trolls but also argued with and degraded people for asking questions? Why would anyone want to ask a question when the best answer they get out of you is go research the website? People don't want to research a website on your 10 year, thus far; failed experiment. Furthermore, why would you think it is a good idea to treat potential customers in such an unprofessional way? 

     

    This is why it's funny that you think there is no reason for people to say you’re selling "snake oil." 

     

    Your customer service sucks and even if you do manage to finish your game I'm sure people will jump ship just based on your horrible attitude towards the people that put food on your table. 

     

    Don't bite the hand that feeds cause that fucker will come back to bitch slap you.

  • JatarJatar Member UncommonPosts: 348

    And yet, in the face of that, here I am, asking if players have questions, and willing to answer them.  

    If anyone would like to ask any questions, I would love to answer.

  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 16,465

    I have  no problem with a EQ1'esque looking game.

    What i do want is DEPTH in all systems,something other games have never delivered on.

    So i guess how will the combat be done,are there any grouping mechanics and player to player interaction inside of a group/combat?Most games end up playing like a a group of soloers and not really working as a group.

    Noticeable racial differences?Perhaps even speed,accuracy strength that is noticeable from race to race?

    Gear choices?crafting variables inside the crafting system.

    Various currencies to strive for,fame within various factions?

    Elemental properties such as earth wind and fire,will there be any resistances using the elements?

    weapons,will skills be leveled up such as piercing blunt slashing and will they be noticeable if say a player has level 1 piercing compared to a level  20 piercing?

    Will armor and mobs have resistances to those various types of damage?

    A few my biggest peeves in games,please tell me no matrix rolls or somersault dodging?

    UI i can't stand games catered to using WASD with space bar jumping, i want full ability to customize the UI,is that a yes/no?

    I could think of a million more questions  lol,yes i expect a lot from games,i want another FFXI to emerge but even better.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • DakeruDakeru Member EpicPosts: 3,713
    Originally posted by Jatar

    Skeptics are the reason why the MMO genre is stuck in the mud.  

     

    This statment from 7 years ago is all I need to know about this "game"

    Harbinger of Fools
  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Member UncommonPosts: 3,140

    It would be best to inform the users what new progress you've made for your title. Rather than coming to a forum that honestly hasn't had any information about your title for over 2 years. 

    image

    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade Member EpicPosts: 4,715
    Originally posted by Dakeru
    Originally posted by Jatar

    Skeptics are the reason why the MMO genre is stuck in the mud.  

     

    This statment from 7 years ago is all I need to know about this "game"

    And that's why MMO companies tend to have community reps that do the talking for the devs, while keeping the latter pretty much gagged and in the background. image

    Devs tend to be too human, and stick their foot in their mouth (especially when someone insults their creation). And then wind up getting reminded of it for years into the future.

    Kudos for standing up to the angry hordes, Jatar.

    My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

    https://www.ashesofcreation.com/ref/Callaron/

  • DakeruDakeru Member EpicPosts: 3,713
    Originally posted by Azaron_Nightblade
    Originally posted by Dakeru
    Originally posted by Jatar

    Skeptics are the reason why the MMO genre is stuck in the mud.  

     

    This statment from 7 years ago is all I need to know about this "game"

    And that's why MMO companies tend to have community reps that do the talking for the devs, while keeping the latter pretty much gagged and in the background. image

    Devs tend to be too human, and stick their foot in their mouth (especially when someone insults their creation). And then wind up getting reminded of it for years into the future.

    Kudos for standing up to the angry hordes, Jatar.

    Not sure what it has to do with being human.

    People were skeptical of him 7 years ago and he criticized them for not having any trust in him.

     

    Anyone asking for blind trust isn't worth of getting any trust at all.

    Especially not someone whose game hasn't moved on at all after another 7 years of development.

    Harbinger of Fools
  • thunderclesthundercles Member UncommonPosts: 510
    Do you have any gameplay videos? Even if it's alpha stuff.
  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade Member EpicPosts: 4,715
    Originally posted by Dakeru

    Not sure what it has to do with being human.

    I meant that he spoke in anger, while someone who's trained to "handle" people would've either completely ignored the criticism/personal attacks/whatever, or ensured everyone that their feedback matters a great deal to them, and that they're always considering what their players are suggesting (even if it's complete BS and they do no such thing).

    I'm generally mistrustful of all crowd funding and the shady tactics that go with it, so I see where you're coming from.

    In a couple of years from now I imagine we'll be seeing a lot of MMOs that are still in development years after their Kickstarter and what not has ended. (Isn't Star Citizen getting there too? I don't really follow the game, but it's racked up a couple of years by now too, hasn't it?)

    My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

    https://www.ashesofcreation.com/ref/Callaron/

  • DakeruDakeru Member EpicPosts: 3,713
    Originally posted by Azaron_Nightblade
    (Isn't Star Citizen getting there too? I don't really follow the game, but it's racked up a couple of years by now too, hasn't it?)

    In fact Star Citizen is mentioned in the same thread. Apparently SC and CoS were in direct kickstarter competition back then.

    Harbinger of Fools
  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade Member EpicPosts: 4,715
    Originally posted by Dakeru
    Originally posted by Azaron_Nightblade
    (Isn't Star Citizen getting there too? I don't really follow the game, but it's racked up a couple of years by now too, hasn't it?)

    In fact Star Citizen is mentioned in the same thread. Apparently SC and CoS were in direct kickstarter competition back then.

    Ah, I guess that makes them both the first generation of Kickstarted MMOs. And SC doesn't look like it'll be coming out anytime soon either.

    A lot of those backers are going to croak before they ever see the game they've paid for at this rate. (Heck, some of them probably have already, since 7 years is quite a bit of time) :P

    My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

    https://www.ashesofcreation.com/ref/Callaron/

  • waynejr2waynejr2 Member EpicPosts: 7,768
    Originally posted by Jatar

    And yet, in the face of that, here I am, asking if players have questions, and willing to answer them.  

    If anyone would like to ask any questions, I would love to answer.

    Will you make your bug database open to the public?

    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

    Epic Music:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAigCvelkhQ&list=PLo9FRw1AkDuQLEz7Gvvaz3ideB2NpFtT1

    https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_msdos?&sort=-downloads&page=1

    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

    John Henry Newman: "A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault."

    FreddyNoNose:  "A good game needs no defense; a bad game has no defense." "Easily digested content is just as easily forgotten."

    LacedOpium: "So the question that begs to be asked is, if you are not interested in the game mechanics that define the MMORPG genre, then why are you playing an MMORPG?"




  • JatarJatar Member UncommonPosts: 348
    Originally posted by Wizardry

    I have  no problem with a EQ1'esque looking game.

    What i do want is DEPTH in all systems,something other games have never delivered on.

    So i guess how will the combat be done,are there any grouping mechanics and player to player interaction inside of a group/combat?Most games end up playing like a a group of soloers and not really working as a group.

    Noticeable racial differences?Perhaps even speed,accuracy strength that is noticeable from race to race?

    Gear choices?crafting variables inside the crafting system.

    Various currencies to strive for,fame within various factions?

    Elemental properties such as earth wind and fire,will there be any resistances using the elements?

    weapons,will skills be leveled up such as piercing blunt slashing and will they be noticeable if say a player has level 1 piercing compared to a level  20 piercing?

    Will armor and mobs have resistances to those various types of damage?

    A few my biggest peeves in games,please tell me no matrix rolls or somersault dodging?

    UI i can't stand games catered to using WASD with space bar jumping, i want full ability to customize the UI,is that a yes/no?

    I could think of a million more questions  lol,yes i expect a lot from games,i want another FFXI to emerge but even better.

    That's a lot of questions!

    1) Combat.  Our game uses an icon based system, but one that we have attempted to design so that random button mashing is a good way to get killed.  We are working toward a lot of strategy elements, things like parry and feint.  Each attack uses either Vitality or Concentration (depending on what it is).  If you are low on either one, this not only affects your ability to use certain attacks, but also opens you up to attacks as well.  By using a feint, you can fake any attack you have.  This fake takes no Concentration or Vitality (hence you recover some during this moment).  Better yet, if your opponent attempts to parry a feint, that opens up their defenses for your next attack.  This is just one of several strategic elements we're adding to our combat system.

    2) Grouping mechanics during combat.  We are working on quite a few of these.  Our combat A.I. for your opponents includes group tactics, which means that players will need to employ them as well to counter.  There are many Abilities available that will help players work together in combat.  There is also the fact that terrain matters in combat, and we are building in changes to how things function based on the terrain.  Simple examples are that high ground will be advantageous in various ways, as will cover.  Therefore, player will need to fill roles in combat to assist their team members, and move to good positions in the terrain to help with that role.  A narrow location (between trees or boulders) to hold off attackers from archers or mages, who will want to take cover, or seek that high ground.

    3) Racial differences.  Absolutely.  However, we are being careful not to make racial differences lead to class styles based on races.  In other words, we need every race to have mages, warriors, archers, etc, instead of one race being good for one type.  Our racial characteristics are things like differences in nigh vision, or speed underwater, or jumping from high places, or just plain bad luck (which is a racial disadvantage and advantage), functional superstitions (again, for both), camouflaging and more.

    4) Players make just about everything anyone wears.  Each item has a crafting potential value, and that value can be used as the Crafter sees fit.  There is a very large variance in what any item can be turned into in our system.

    5) Yes, there are various currencies, though they are not all precisely 'money' (We're still holding some of this back since it is a crucial element to our game).

    6) Fame within factions.  Absolutely.  Ever important thing you do in the game is tracked, and makes a difference to your future.  There are no redoes, you live with what you accomplish, or do.  This includes building relationships and tearing them down.

    7) Elemental properties?  Yes, we include Earth, Wind and Fire, as well as Air elemental properties.  In fact, we have an entire League of Knowledge devoted to the spirits of these, called the Spirit League.

    8) Yes, there are resistances to the elemental properties, along with many more types.

    9) There are several types of physical damage, and they do make an extreme difference as you face various monsters, but there are also magical other types of damage as well.  Armor, and mobs will indeed have resistances, forcing players (especially on higher Tiers of the game) to have more diversity in their Abilities to be able to handle more types of mobs.

    10) Not sure on the matrix rolls and somersault dodging, though we haven't put anything like that in currently.

    11) You can remap any function to any key, so yes.

    12) Thank heavens you didn't think of a million more questions! 

  • JatarJatar Member UncommonPosts: 348
    Originally posted by waynejr2
    Originally posted by Jatar

    And yet, in the face of that, here I am, asking if players have questions, and willing to answer them.  

    If anyone would like to ask any questions, I would love to answer.

    Will you make your bug database open to the public?

    I see no reason not to, we will certainly have a public reporting system, and why not keep players informed?  

  • JatarJatar Member UncommonPosts: 348
    Originally posted by Mtibbs1989

    It would be best to inform the users what new progress you've made for your title. Rather than coming to a forum that honestly hasn't had any information about your title for over 2 years. 

     

    We moved on to our own forums back then, and have posted thousands of replies there all along about  the game development.  MMORPG is a fine site, but one of only many forums.  We choose to centralize our information so that players could all come and follow our progress.  This includes a Development Blog that we have run since the beginning, which always goes over what we have done recently, and what we are thinking.   (www.mmomagic.com).

    As for coming and posting everything we have done in the last seven years of development, that would be a wall of text many many pages long.  This is why I asked for some specific questions.

    I'm sorry if you feel that this is the place we should frequent, but we chose another.  However, I don't mind answering a few questions here for a few hours.  Then I have to get back to making the game.  We have no marketing staff, we are purely a developer, we work on games, nothing else.

  • JatarJatar Member UncommonPosts: 348
    Originally posted by thundercles
    Do you have any gameplay videos? Even if it's alpha stuff.

    We haven't released many to the public yet, though we have to those that donated through our Live Webcasts and Patron Dev Briefings.  This is not a request for your to donate, in fact, we will be releasing some movies of the game to the general public in the near future (within this year), so you can see them then.  Currently you may watch a few clips that we have posted on our Facebook page, here:  

    https://www.facebook.com/CitadelofSorcery

  • AenraAenra Member UncommonPosts: 45

    How interesting. Damage control. Not even a day after my post here:
    http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/435638/Stay-away-from-them.html

    Coincidence? Why surely. After all this silence right? Because that's communication at its finest, taking donations while keeping everyone in the dark, hmm? The "lead" and a senior dev, out in the forums. At last! After having erased my posts of course. Let us not make life harder yes? Who needs arguments based on logic in this day and age :)

    To the people reading "Phil"'s posts here, forget about me, forget about any other person making any a statement. Focus on his replies. Just what he has writen.
    Notice the overly general, nothing specific, no set of nothing in stone, ceaselessly postponing/future projecting methodology he constantly uses. For OVER three years now.

    And try to imagine just why, or rather, to be more exact, just what kind of a person employs these kinds of tactics.

    Or more to the point;
    Why and when have we seen """devs""" responding to us in such a manner?
    Why and when do we get to see damage control? And what is it that's usually behind it?

    Conclusions your own. For myself, i am happy enough that this ..step.. has occured. While my intention may seem dubious to the team if not to everyone else as well, i --am-- happy to know that maybe, just maybe, we can start getting some answers. Maybe. Even though we probably will not be liking them very much...

    With all awareness, i must once again warn people to be smarter than me.
    Stay. Away. Or read whatever posts Phil has NOT deleted, and decide for your own..
     

    Pride, honour and purity

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Member RarePosts: 14,247

    "Currently, the developers of CoS (MMO Magic) have an extreme prototype of CoS.  This means that the overall gameplay is near complete, and the game is fully playable. Although, this does not mean it is ready for release.  Things like art and the leveling system (and several other things) are still being worked on."  - Mike's CoS FAQ , July 2008

     

    How far along from the extreme prototype would you say CoS is now, and is development rolling along faster than expected, slower than expected, or just as planned?

     

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • JatarJatar Member UncommonPosts: 348
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    "Currently, the developers of CoS (MMO Magic) have an extreme prototype of CoS.  This means that the overall gameplay is near complete, and the game is fully playable. Although, this does not mean it is ready for release.  Things like art and the leveling system (and several other things) are still being worked on."  - Mike's CoS FAQ , July 2008

     

    How far along from the extreme prototype would you say CoS is now, and is development rolling along faster than expected, slower than expected, or just as planned?

     

     

     

    Definitely slower than expected.  Unfortunately, this comes along with doing a lot of R&D, then writing a new engine to make use of that R&D.  We have had to (our choice) create new technology in order to achieve all the goals of our original design.  

    Now, I've talked about this before, but in brief, ten years or more seems like a long time, and it is in some ways, but in terms of development time, based on a small team, it isn't all that long.  Major MMOs started by major publishers often have teams of up to 500.  Even if they only had 300 if you compare that to our team of around 30, we are only one year into development compared to a full size team.

    So even though we are only a short way into this game as measured in man hours, ten years is also a long time if measured in other ways, like how fast technology moves.  In our case, in the beginning we were using an innovative new engine, but with a small team it took too long, and technology advanced beyond what we had.  Six month ago we were getting ready to show the demo to publishers, but decided to wait on  a new version of our engine to bring it up to, and in some places, past current technology, in other words, visually the game was dated and we needed to catch back up.

    The new engine upgraded us to DX11 and 64 bit, and came with an entirely new renderer, while also replacing much of the other code.  Now we have a new physically based renderer, and a new hybrid polygon/voxel/point cloud engine that can do amazing detail close up and yet let you look out over vast vistas, without killing your frame rate.  The engine did keep some things, but these were elements like our wind, water, gravity erosion systems, and a lot of the tool sets for building our unique game play, as well as our A.I. net and Event systems, though even those had to be upgraded to DX11 and 64 bit.

    In the end, we feel it has been worth the extra six months to give the game a better 'look', though this is still ongoing as the last of the new modules are just coming online.  This is what we are waiting for before we release some new movies of Citadel of Sorcery.

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 27,108
    Originally posted by Azaron_Nightblade
    Originally posted by Dakeru
    Originally posted by Jatar

    Skeptics are the reason why the MMO genre is stuck in the mud.  

     

    This statment from 7 years ago is all I need to know about this "game"

    And that's why MMO companies tend to have community reps that do the talking for the devs, while keeping the latter pretty much gagged and in the background. image

    Devs tend to be too human, and stick their foot in their mouth (especially when someone insults their creation). And then wind up getting reminded of it for years into the future.

    Kudos for standing up to the angry hordes, Jatar.

    There is some truth to that.

    I often wonder why developers don't hire or retain someone to even tell them "no, don't say it that way ... say it 'this' way".

    Sometimes it's even "how" it's said not "what is being said".

    to that end OP, I am available for all of your ambassadorial needs! image




  • WraithoneWraithone Member RarePosts: 3,802

    I've been following this game, off and on for years now.  They have some fascinating concepts, that I'd really like to see in application. But as with all such, the down side is that with a small team, the time required tends to be rather long.

    The matter isn't helped by certain parties with an obvious axe to grind, and a negative agenda.  Propaganda/disinformation isn't only for Dev's.  There is little worse in that regard, than fallen True Believers.  Their bitterness and bile tends to fuel their Crusade to absurd lengths.

    Everyone should do their own research, and make up their own minds.

    "If you can't kill it, don't make it mad."
  • MendelMendel Member EpicPosts: 3,304
    Originally posted by Jatar

    1) Combat.  Our game uses an icon based system, but one that we have attempted to design so that random button mashing is a good way to get killed.  We are working toward a lot of strategy elements, things like parry and feint.  Each attack uses either Vitality or Concentration (depending on what it is).  If you are low on either one, this not only affects your ability to use certain attacks, but also opens you up to attacks as well.  By using a feint, you can fake any attack you have.  This fake takes no Concentration or Vitality (hence you recover some during this moment).  Better yet, if your opponent attempts to parry a feint, that opens up their defenses for your next attack.  This is just one of several strategic elements we're adding to our combat system.

    I've not followed this game, nor heard of it before.  I see a lot of things that are concerning to me about the game design and development, and am curious about how a small development team handles these issues.

    • First off, in the post above, it appears that this game is planning on an act-and-react type combat system.  How are you developing this aspect, and how are you attempting to make this tolerant of network delays?  More importantly, how is this aspect being tested?  (Nobody likes to play with lag).
    • In several replies (not quoted), I got the impression that development is far behind what was originally anticipated.  Does the team work to deadlines, or does the development take a "when it's done, it's done" approach?  I've seen numerous non-gaming projects fall subject to this phenomena.
    • (General question).  What was in place before this project started?  Business plan?  Development plan?  Game design?  Budget?  Game design?  Marketing plans?
    • (General question).  What would you say your most innovative feature?  What game is it most like?
    Thanks for your responses.

     

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Member EpicPosts: 7,747
    Originally posted by Jatar
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    "Currently, the developers of CoS (MMO Magic) have an extreme prototype of CoS.  This means that the overall gameplay is near complete, and the game is fully playable. Although, this does not mean it is ready for release.  Things like art and the leveling system (and several other things) are still being worked on."  - Mike's CoS FAQ , July 2008

     

    How far along from the extreme prototype would you say CoS is now, and is development rolling along faster than expected, slower than expected, or just as planned?

     

     

     

    Definitely slower than expected.  Unfortunately, this comes along with doing a lot of R&D, then writing a new engine to make use of that R&D.  We have had to (our choice) create new technology in order to achieve all the goals of our original design.  

    Now, I've talked about this before, but in brief, ten years or more seems like a long time, and it is in some ways, but in terms of development time, based on a small team, it isn't all that long.  Major MMOs started by major publishers often have teams of up to 500.  Even if they only had 300 if you compare that to our team of around 30, we are only one year into development compared to a full size team.

    So even though we are only a short way into this game as measured in man hours, ten years is also a long time if measured in other ways, like how fast technology moves.  In our case, in the beginning we were using an innovative new engine, but with a small team it took too long, and technology advanced beyond what we had.  Six month ago we were getting ready to show the demo to publishers, but decided to wait on  a new version of our engine to bring it up to, and in some places, past current technology, in other words, visually the game was dated and we needed to catch back up.

    The new engine upgraded us to DX11 and 64 bit, and came with an entirely new renderer, while also replacing much of the other code.  Now we have a new physically based renderer, and a new hybrid polygon/voxel/point cloud engine that can do amazing detail close up and yet let you look out over vast vistas, without killing your frame rate.  The engine did keep some things, but these were elements like our wind, water, gravity erosion systems, and a lot of the tool sets for building our unique game play, as well as our A.I. net and Event systems, though even those had to be upgraded to DX11 and 64 bit.

    In the end, we feel it has been worth the extra six months to give the game a better 'look', though this is still ongoing as the last of the new modules are just coming online.  This is what we are waiting for before we release some new movies of Citadel of Sorcery.

    What is so R&D about your game? When someone says their game has R&D this makes me as a gamer listen, so please what are you working on?



  • JatarJatar Member UncommonPosts: 348
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
    Originally posted by Jatar
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    "Currently, the developers of CoS (MMO Magic) have an extreme prototype of CoS.  This means that the overall gameplay is near complete, and the game is fully playable. Although, this does not mean it is ready for release.  Things like art and the leveling system (and several other things) are still being worked on."  - Mike's CoS FAQ , July 2008

     

    How far along from the extreme prototype would you say CoS is now, and is development rolling along faster than expected, slower than expected, or just as planned?

     

     

     

    Definitely slower than expected.  Unfortunately, this comes along with doing a lot of R&D, then writing a new engine to make use of that R&D.  We have had to (our choice) create new technology in order to achieve all the goals of our original design.  

    Now, I've talked about this before, but in brief, ten years or more seems like a long time, and it is in some ways, but in terms of development time, based on a small team, it isn't all that long.  Major MMOs started by major publishers often have teams of up to 500.  Even if they only had 300 if you compare that to our team of around 30, we are only one year into development compared to a full size team.

    So even though we are only a short way into this game as measured in man hours, ten years is also a long time if measured in other ways, like how fast technology moves.  In our case, in the beginning we were using an innovative new engine, but with a small team it took too long, and technology advanced beyond what we had.  Six month ago we were getting ready to show the demo to publishers, but decided to wait on  a new version of our engine to bring it up to, and in some places, past current technology, in other words, visually the game was dated and we needed to catch back up.

    The new engine upgraded us to DX11 and 64 bit, and came with an entirely new renderer, while also replacing much of the other code.  Now we have a new physically based renderer, and a new hybrid polygon/voxel/point cloud engine that can do amazing detail close up and yet let you look out over vast vistas, without killing your frame rate.  The engine did keep some things, but these were elements like our wind, water, gravity erosion systems, and a lot of the tool sets for building our unique game play, as well as our A.I. net and Event systems, though even those had to be upgraded to DX11 and 64 bit.

    In the end, we feel it has been worth the extra six months to give the game a better 'look', though this is still ongoing as the last of the new modules are just coming online.  This is what we are waiting for before we release some new movies of Citadel of Sorcery.

    What is so R&D about your game? When someone says their game has R&D this makes me as a gamer listen, so please what are you working on?

    One of our goals was to create a world that cannot be explored fully.  As in all areas of the game design, we looked at what frustrated us as players, or made us leave the game eventually, and looked for ways to solve these issues.  One of those areas was exploration, and how most MMO games can be fully explored in a short amount of time.   Their worlds are just too small.

    So we set out to make a world so big it can't be explored by one person.  We decided to build a world the full size of Earth.  We choose that size simply because it was easier to understand than something else.  Players can picture Earth, and think about how long it would take them, on foot or horse back, to just explore the area around where the live, let alone the whole country, or continent, or entire world.

    But most game engines weren't built to create terrain that size.  They use modeled terrain, built by artists.  We had to create technology that can procedurally generate planets.  But even that isn't enough (and in fact, other companies have been working on this as well in recent years).  We wanted the planet to be realistically generated.  This has involved a lot of work (that R&D I mentioned).  We first created a tool to let us create continent layouts, they figured out temperatures based on many things, like latitude, slope, shade, weather patterns, etc.  We soil typed the world to many different types of ground, and then wrote wind, water and gravity erosion simulations.  The water erosion washes sediments down as it creates rivers, lakes and fills oceans.  Those sediments wash according to their soil types (rock less than sand, etc.).  

    That gives us a planet with nicely and realistically eroded terrain, with millions of years of this (including weather pattern changes over time), but it has no plants.  We then wrote a plant growing system that uses seeds and distributes them based on soil type, and then grows all the plants, making every tree and bush, etc. unique.  As a side benefit, these can continue to grow over time as the game world progresses.

    But this is a fantasy game, so we also wrote a system where we can hand make terrain shapes, or hand edit the terrain that was generated.  After these shapes or edits are done, the entire erosion system is re-run to incorporate those changes into the terrain system.

    To show all this detail we also had to create new methods of rendering, and created a hybrid system that renders the world close up in polygon, with high res texture detail, and transitions through voxels and point cloud rendering the further away you get.  This was done to give the game the highest possible level of detail close up, and yet let you look out from a mountain across the world.  

    None of this was easy.  And it has taken many years to perfect.  However, we will be showing some of this off fairly soon, (within this year).   This terrain system has gone through three iterations, the last of which is part of the DX11 / 64 bit upgrade we did recently.

    With this world, and the way it is generated, there are places in the world that no one will have ever seen (not even us).  It means that a player can go exploring and not only constantly find things they have never seen, but possibly find things that no one has seen.  You will not need to take our word for this, the fact is that it exists now, though we will continue to work on adding biomes over time.  It will eventually release it for players to enjoy, with the first looks of the third version coming soon.  You can watch a version of the second iteration of the terrain right now, we did a fly over of that version and posted it on our Facebook page, but the new version is coming soon.  

  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Member EpicPosts: 7,747
    Originally posted by Jatar
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
    Originally posted by Jatar
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    "Currently, the developers of CoS (MMO Magic) have an extreme prototype of CoS.  This means that the overall gameplay is near complete, and the game is fully playable. Although, this does not mean it is ready for release.  Things like art and the leveling system (and several other things) are still being worked on."  - Mike's CoS FAQ , July 2008

     

    How far along from the extreme prototype would you say CoS is now, and is development rolling along faster than expected, slower than expected, or just as planned?

     

     

     

    Definitely slower than expected.  Unfortunately, this comes along with doing a lot of R&D, then writing a new engine to make use of that R&D.  We have had to (our choice) create new technology in order to achieve all the goals of our original design.  

    Now, I've talked about this before, but in brief, ten years or more seems like a long time, and it is in some ways, but in terms of development time, based on a small team, it isn't all that long.  Major MMOs started by major publishers often have teams of up to 500.  Even if they only had 300 if you compare that to our team of around 30, we are only one year into development compared to a full size team.

    So even though we are only a short way into this game as measured in man hours, ten years is also a long time if measured in other ways, like how fast technology moves.  In our case, in the beginning we were using an innovative new engine, but with a small team it took too long, and technology advanced beyond what we had.  Six month ago we were getting ready to show the demo to publishers, but decided to wait on  a new version of our engine to bring it up to, and in some places, past current technology, in other words, visually the game was dated and we needed to catch back up.

    The new engine upgraded us to DX11 and 64 bit, and came with an entirely new renderer, while also replacing much of the other code.  Now we have a new physically based renderer, and a new hybrid polygon/voxel/point cloud engine that can do amazing detail close up and yet let you look out over vast vistas, without killing your frame rate.  The engine did keep some things, but these were elements like our wind, water, gravity erosion systems, and a lot of the tool sets for building our unique game play, as well as our A.I. net and Event systems, though even those had to be upgraded to DX11 and 64 bit.

    In the end, we feel it has been worth the extra six months to give the game a better 'look', though this is still ongoing as the last of the new modules are just coming online.  This is what we are waiting for before we release some new movies of Citadel of Sorcery.

    What is so R&D about your game? When someone says their game has R&D this makes me as a gamer listen, so please what are you working on?

    One of our goals was to create a world that cannot be explored fully.  As in all areas of the game design, we looked at what frustrated us as players, or made us leave the game eventually, and looked for ways to solve these issues.  One of those areas was exploration, and how most MMO games can be fully explored in a short amount of time.   Their worlds are just too small.

    So we set out to make a world so big it can't be explored by one person.  We decided to build a world the full size of Earth.  We choose that size simply because it was easier to understand than something else.  Players can picture Earth, and think about how long it would take them, on foot or horse back, to just explore the area around where the live, let alone the whole country, or continent, or entire world.

    But most game engines weren't built to create terrain that size.  They use modeled terrain, built by artists.  We had to create technology that can procedurally generate planets.  But even that isn't enough (and in fact, other companies have been working on this as well in recent years).  We wanted the planet to be realistically generated.  This has involved a lot of work (that R&D I mentioned).  We first created a tool to let us create continent layouts, they figured out temperatures based on many things, like latitude, slope, shade, weather patterns, etc.  We soil typed the world to many different types of ground, and then wrote wind, water and gravity erosion simulations.  The water erosion washes sediments down as it creates rivers, lakes and fills oceans.  Those sediments wash according to their soil types (rock less than sand, etc.).  

    That gives us a planet with nicely and realistically eroded terrain, with millions of years of this (including weather pattern changes over time), but it has no plants.  We then wrote a plant growing system that uses seeds and distributes them based on soil type, and then grows all the plants, making every tree and bush, etc. unique.  As a side benefit, these can continue to grow over time as the game world progresses.

    But this is a fantasy game, so we also wrote a system where we can hand make terrain shapes, or hand edit the terrain that was generated.  After these shapes or edits are done, the entire erosion system is re-run to incorporate those changes into the terrain system.

    To show all this detail we also had to create new methods of rendering, and created a hybrid system that renders the world close up in polygon, with high res texture detail, and transitions through voxels and point cloud rendering the further away you get.  This was done to give the game the highest possible level of detail close up, and yet let you look out from a mountain across the world.  

    None of this was easy.  And it has taken many years to perfect.  However, we will be showing some of this off fairly soon, (within this year).   This terrain system has gone through three iterations, the last of which is part of the DX11 / 64 bit upgrade we did recently.

    With this world, and the way it is generated, there are places in the world that no one will have ever seen (not even us).  It means that a player can go exploring and not only constantly find things they have never seen, but possibly find things that no one has seen.  You will not need to take our word for this, the fact is that it exists now, though we will continue to work on adding biomes over time.  It will eventually release it for players to enjoy, with the first looks of the third version coming soon.  You can watch a version of the second iteration of the terrain right now, we did a fly over of that version and posted it on our Facebook page, but the new version is coming soon.  

    Thats a huge undertaking. Makes me wonder how you will address content. Something as simple as dungeons, how will you make sure every square miles has enough content to make people want to play, or test the dungeons to make sure they are worth playing?

    With a world that big how will you address travel? You want people to see your world but when you have a world that big being able to get to friends to play with them will create problems. Make world travel easy and they dont see your world, so why bother making it. Or make travel hard and people get mad because they have a hard time hooking up with their friends. How will you address that?



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