It’s 2016 and we’re trying to shake off the laziness inherited from all the food and drinks relentlessly consumed in the past two weeks. Nothing better to wake us up from such slumber than this week’s post being about the things we’ve got ahead of us — since it’s a lot, we better get on to it!
Following our last playtest, we’ve been focused on fixing and tweaking systems to prevent griefing and exploits, as a few have appeared already. From now onwards until launch (and beyond!) this will be a priority for the team: checking what works and what does not, following your feedback immediately, and acting fast to fix any issues. A couple of practical examples are shipyards paired with multitools, enabling only authorised crew members to interact with the building of a ship; and turning the player more exposed when salvaging an item.
Speaking of ships, we’re finally working on the hull crafting system to enable any shape and form of ships imaginable. This will greatly enhance the strategic options offered by different craft surfaces, how they perform when cruising, battle and transporting, a world of possibilities really. This was always a key element of Worlds Adrift’s game design, and it’s about time we retire the old ‘here’s a fixed hull shape you have to live with’. Bring on your creativity!
Procedural island generation is another system in the works now, with more shapes, caverns, vegetation and scale. Soon we’ll release a tool for everyone to design and make their own islands as well, which we will then put up for voting and the best uploaded into the game world as it expands. This will strike the balance between what’s generated by the algorithms versus special places hosting lore, with extra significance, amplified by the creation through the hands of the community as well as by the development team.
Following on the back of the island generation system upgrade comes the implementation of ruins of deceased civilisations. A lot of care is going into the architecture that represents each of the different cultures of the world before the great cataclysm ripped it apart, as these will play a key part in the evolution of characters through exploration. And, of course, they need to become a good stage for puzzles, dangers and rewards for explorers — in other words, worth docking your ship nearby for a bit of exploration within.
Converging on islands and ruins are the creatures that inhabit the world. A bit about the AI and capabilities being created for the simulated ecosystems in WA has already been discussed in past posts, but the next step is integration into the layers of sky and islands, which is already taking place. Soon the skies and islands will become more interesting, dangerous and rewarding in equal measures thanks to a host of different and weird animals filling them up with their own drives to survive and prosper.
Last, but by no means least, is the weather system and barriers. These are giving the team quite the headache, but the strides made in the past few months are finally bearing lightning bolts of awesomeness, which are already working in-game. Ships being rocked inside tempests, struck by electrical discharges, battered and choked by sand storms…soon in a playtest near you!
The next couple of months will see the highest amounts of new and transformative features making their way into the game in quick succession. Fingers crossed you’ll like the result!