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Monthly Treeverse Update #17
The seventeenth edition of monthly Treeverse updates. Read below for some game development insights on what we’ve worked on in the last month.
The team has been working hard on various things this month! We have [redacted] that we’re really looking forward to announcing next month. Treeverse is slowly building up using our new codebase and development strategy, and bringing in the art assets from pre-alpha whilst working on world + map building. Expect the frequency of art posts from us to increase on Twitter.
And the care package we mentioned is currently in the works, here is a quick look at the tree plushie and bucket hat included in it:
We also have a really cool soulbound NFT that we will be releasing for those who participated in our Pre-Alpha:
For the month of April, the art team is supporting the creation of a new coastal area in the game. The concept team, as well as the 3D team, is creating a series of assets all related to the area. We will start by sharing a few of the NPC concepts, shown below.
With these NPCs, the team first started with heavy planning, in order to establish a rule set for all NPCs to follow. These rule sets, or templates, will allow us to share assets between NPCs. By rotating and combining different components, we can create a variety of NPCs with a limited number of art resources. However, each area will still have a few "special NPCs" that are custom made, to ensure variety and uniqueness. We are also sharing one of the creatures that could be in this area.
There is also non-visual work going on behind the scenes. Our 3D artists are researching and working to establish a framework that will allow us to scale up the world to a level capable of supporting an MMORPG. We will be able to demonstrate this visually in the future.
Engineering And Design
We spent April migrating most of the features we had in the video we showed last month to Unity ECS. It has a steep learning curve, but nevertheless, we’re making steady progress. Once again, ignore the very scrappy UI for the prototyped system, it’s a waste of time to make it pretty until we have the UX and features precisely as we want.
Here’s a wall of text on some things we did:
Instanced Scene Loading
Interaction Graphs and interaction systems
AI System + Utility AI implementation
Debug tools for combat
Party System, joining parties
Dungeon selection and joining dungeons as a party
Started working on the knowledge tree
Bringing in our assets and maps from pre-alpha
Defining basic AI behaviour of all monsters from pre-alpha (20+)
Added traps in the game, and defined trap behaviour
I’ve wanted to move away from just writing a block of text regarding the monthly update. So here’s a small video to showcase a few things. The first is the party system, dungeon system and ability editing system. They’re all very primitive, but we really just need to get things ready for play testing and focus our energy towards the things we realise post-play testing.
Node Based Approach
We’re still experimenting with a node-based approach to developing out interactions, features, abilities and more which is still looking quite promising. A fairly extensible approach to defining behaviour and gameplay using data instead of additional code. Static data is converted into blob assets, and we read that data during runtime to determine what characters should do.
The same pattern and system are used for creating the building blocks of the game; basic interactions, AI, quests and abilities. It’s still not as straightforward as we would like and can get quite overwhelming sometimes, but with some experience and quality-of-life improvements, it will probably work for most of our needs.
Utility AI Graph. AI decides which actions to perform based on various considerations:
Traps Graph (treated the same as monsters):
Ability Graphs to define ability behaviour:
Interaction graph - Here’s a simple interaction that makes the player perform an action when they try to interact with it. Used for simple things like chopping trees, mining rocks, catching fish etc:
For knowledge tree progression, to unlock new capabilities etc:
For quests and more complex interactions requiring conditions and branches etc:
Development always comes with challenges, but we’re hard at work at solving these. Unity ECS does indeed have a steep learning curve, and working on an MMO is notoriously difficult. The last thing anyone wants is to build a game that nobody wants to play, so looking forward to creating a special community feedback group to start getting the dev team heavily into the shipping mindset. We want to build features that are good, enjoyable and that our players actually want.
Crypto market in general is looking much healthier, and we’re well positioned to keep building out for the next few years.
We have migrated our Treeverse News substack to this one. This will now include monthly publications to follow up on development for Treeverse, Timeless posts, exciting unveils and big announcements on any future game / collectible releases we do.
Disclaimer: Please note that anything written in this document should not be taken as financial advice. Endless Clouds is dedicated to producing a fun, enjoyable game that integrates NFTs. NFTs are a new and highly experimental technology and should not be bought for investment purposes.