Darkfall: Developer Journals

Darkfall Developer Journal #13: Development Update


After a few weeks on hiatus, we’re back with a brand new exclusive Darkfall developer journal. In this new issue, Tasos Flambouras brings us up to date on all that’s gone on behind the scenes since he last had a chance to write.

Dev Journal: Darkfall
Written by Tasos Flambouras (Ass. Producer)

Today (Friday) we have a new Darkfall version up, which is almost feature complete. The features not enabled in this version yet are enchantment, which should be patched in next week, a feature where you can see where other characters at looking at including up and down, some spells and skills are not enabled yet because of their animations and effects not being finalized yet, and some special coding for the Mahirim which is being tested at the moment. This version has already been tested by the programmers and will undergo rigorous testing by the entire team starting today. This will be done without using any developer cheats, to make sure that everything is working as intended. As soon as I’m done writing this journal, I’m logging into Darkfall to start testing the new version myself.

We’re working on hardware compatibility and hardware support issues. There are some minor problems with some older NVIDIA cards which are being addressed. Some Z fighting issues are also being dealt with at the moment. Z fighting is basically a graphical glitch where you get some flickering in areas where polygons meet or are placed too close together. It has to do with world building and the placement of objects.

We’re building tools for ourselves to automate data integrity testing, and to report inconsistencies in the content.

We’re testing a file archiving system which makes dynamic loading a lot faster, and this is important since Darkfall is a zoneless world, and this work is directly related to the preparations for the beta testing of Darkfall.

We’re doing some research on hardware needed for launch.

Some character collision issues with tree branches have just been fixed.

The display of the chat/event/messaging system has been upgraded to more clearly differentiate actions and events.

Some super secret stuff is also being worked on at the moment. More on this later because Kjetil won’t let me talk about it right now.

Most of the work now consists of adding and testing content, mainly quests, NPCs, and dungeons. We’re adding all kinds of things though, for example something we’re doing right now is adding monster armor sections which can be looted and worn by characters. Each of these needs to be fitted for all races and each sex, so 12 templates in total for each armor bit. We have hundreds of unique armor sections now which can be mixed and matched, and dyed, giving millions of possible combinations.

Roads and road signs are being installed in the game and Banks and post offices are also being placed. Areas that were created a long time ago are being upgraded and finalized.

Resource animations are being wrapped up, those are animations related to resources, like crafting, mining, etc. We’re brushing up older content like the Mirdain architecture which needed some extra attention. Racial structures in the clan city resources are also being brushed up. Particles and special effects are also getting some final improvements, and we’re also working with some terrain optimizations.

We had several people at the Game Convention in Leipzig on our behalf while we stayed behind to continue working. Same applies to the upcoming Austin Game Developer Conference. As for the public beta, we’re still in the process of preparation and waiting for something to break as discussed in the last update. Unfortunately there’s nothing further I can say about this yet. I might have more to say on that in the next journal – or not. In the meanwhile we keep working on the game as you can see here.

The Q&A I talked about in the last update will have to wait until the week after next.

The fires in Greece were and still are terrible, there were days where it rained ash and the sky was black from the smoke. One of the fires stopped a block away from my house before it changed direction, and I came home to about a foot of ash everywhere and a scorched environment. Thanks go out to all those who where concerned, or sent messages of support, or to ask if we’re OK.

Thanks for reading.

Comments? Let’s hear them.

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