Darkfall Dev Journal #21: Summary Status

In the latest Darkfall developer journal, we get a status update from Associate Producer Tasos Flambouras and he promises to chime in with a community driven Q&A style developer journal next time.

Darkfall Dev Journal
Article by Tasos Flambouras (Associate Producer)

I skipped last week’s journal and was almost forced to do the same this week, trying to get back into the swing of things and catching up with a lot of backed up work. I’ll do a summary status update this time, and if Warcry is OK with it, I’ll do a QA type update inspired by Darkfall community postings for next week.

Anyway, since the last journal some people had a few precious days off to go home and spend the holidays with their families. This year we had a very short break, less than we’ve ever taken, trying to get back to the loads of work waiting for us. We’re regrouping now getting back to work on some really awesome new equipment. We’ve been doing a lot of work around the office setting everything up to run as it should. The new equipment has been helping to speed up the remaining tasks and making our lives a little easier with a lot of things. A sound studio is being set up on-site to help with the final sounds for the game. Also at the moment, we’re building a new server cluster.

Overall, we have a near complete implementation of the game, speaking of the technology and our feature list. A few things that are not implemented yet but in the works are some clan controls, the environment system, and some AI optimizations. The Darkfall AI resembles Quake bots in the Darkfall context of course. They are not the stupid predictable AI you meet in most MMOs, waiting around to meet their fate. They challenge the player and help train him since they behave like someone’s controlling them. A new tabbed message system is also being implemented where you can move and arrange your tabs anywhere and any way you like. It’s full of cool features like for example you can drag and drop items in there to show someone their stats, or you can arrange for your kill messages to pop up FPS style in the middle of your screen etc.

We’re running the game through proper QA testing at the moment, and doing full optimizations to make sure everything will run smoothly even when demands on the game are high.
Content of course is demanding a lot of our attention, and at the moment we’re building and placing infrastructure like roads, towers etc, still adding quests, and art assets for these are continually being made. Sounds are being added to everything and more effects on spells and wherever else they’re needed.

We’re making some strides in filling some needed positions. A new artist has already joined the team. We still have a few positions to fill, especially internal testers, and we’re always on the lookout for good people whether we have job openings or not. Since the positions we need are on-site and we’re in Greece it’s never easy since a great deal of qualified applicants need to relocate to come and work for us. It’s depressing sometimes to hear that some game studios have “screenshot teams” larger than our art department, on the other hand that’s what independent game studios are about.

I’ve been checking out the community forums and I have to say that I’ve enjoyed the level of discussion for the most part. I like some of the polls you’ve got up, and find them useful, and some opinion posts have been very interesting to read. I didn’t have much of a chance to look too far back after the break but I’ll check out your questions for next week’s QA. This would be the time to start posting some questions you’d like answered, and I’ll be checking forums every day for them.

Right before and right after the holiday break we showed the game to a couple of groups of high profile industry veterans. They were very enthusiastic about it and this gave us a big morale boost. I can’t be more specific, but it was a notable event around here, and this is a developer journal so I thought I’d mention it. There’s nothing to announce on publishing yet, and nothing on the beta but there’s been a lot of related activity on both.

I know I’ve said this before, but when I say “I” it’s important to know that I carry the voice of several people on the team in these journals and it’s not just something that I sit down and knock off in a few minutes. So depending on how busy we are, several of the Darkfall developers contribute in this journal. When I speak for myself I usually specify it.

Thanks for reading,

Tasos Flambouras

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