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Monthly Treeverse Update #22
The twenty-second edition of monthly Treeverse updates. Read below for some game development insights on what we’ve worked on in the last month.
All 9,420 Timeless characters are now live as Vtubers!
Never exciting when delays happen—but the care package is almost ready! This means we will be taking pre-orders starting next month. If you are interested in this, keep an eye on our Twitter. Alongside this, we have 200 plushie packages that contain our Tree + Baafi that you can buy separately.
If you are just interested in the official sale and want to be notified for it, subscribe to this Substack!
For the month of September, there are two main challenges the art team aims to solve. First, it’s adapting to the evolving direction of gameplay design. One of these big adjustments is the decision to tie weapons and gears heavily with the monsters. This has significant visual implications, as the art team has to make sure the visual can communicate to the players clearly the connection between the two elements. Below, you can see some of the early explorations to show that the monsters and gears are heavily tied together. We are taking inspiration from Monster Hunter, a game that has done this extremely well. Our goal is to make sure the connection isn't over the top so it becomes too much like a costume, but can still show the link between the monsters and the gears. Please keep in mind none of these designs are final, and we will be making continued iterations to improve the design.
The second part is the environment. The town of Lorwick is moving along nicely but is still in a partially complete stage, we will be ready to show this a bit later. The team is also expanding the map pool and asset pool. Below you will see the new mountainous environment the team is working on, as well as the finished look of part of the skeleton dungeon. As mentioned in the previous monthly update, the dungeon is built in a modular format to allow us to set up many different rooms, maximizing our limited art resources as much as possible.
Engineering And Design
We are set on the design of the game.
It's a pretty simple framework for what the player's objective and aim are, and allows us to build piecewise, chapter by chapter, like content packs.
Sounds and looks very cool; we think it'll be very memorable.
Programming - Mostly refactoring and handling technical debt this month
We mentioned a couple of months ago that we were actively looking to expand the engineering team. Just before September, a new DOTS engineer joined the team and is helping us elevate the codebase.
We've been using their experience to start improving the codebase significantly. Mostly, we are working to heavily reduce the amount of polymorphism we have in our code, which is sort of an anti-pattern in most cases. While it worked quite well initially, we're starting to notice the cracks as we keep adding more code.
Split the client and server in the Unity editor into their own worlds.
The previous interaction system was extensible but not very maintainable. We maintain the same idea of graphs but have changed the implementation so that it is both maintainable and extensible.
Refactoring the Interaction System using delegate entities.
Sets an extensible and maintainable framework for how we can string together multiple actions.
Refactored the Gameplay Effect System for handling events in the game.
Better usage of dynamic buffers and processing systems for these instead.
Ongoing refactor of our networking code.
Fixed issues causing build failure due to scene loading.
Refactored our scene-loading mechanisms on the server and client. Better performance and uses some clever internal techniques.
Fixed bugs we were having.
Issue in AI target detection.
Fixed issues with destructible animations replaying on the client side when they reappeared in view.
Improved target selection of AI using weighted chance.
Player equipment updated.
VFX timeline tool for the client side. Improved how we use it and started bringing in the VFX to the client side.
Adjusted ability input handling.
We're also talking to another highly experienced engineer in DOTS who can assist as a consultant from next month.
We initially planned to have a bigger build end of this year, but for long-term quality purposes, it makes much more sense for us as a company to keep focusing on building out the game rather than divert attention to make a complete bug-free Alpha build, at least at this stage. We are more heavily focused on setting the foundations of the game engine than anything else right now.
However, we are still aiming for a Dev build, and most of you who have been keeping up with us for a while will be invited to this.
In 2024 we will hopefully be making a lot of progress that you and the public will be able to see. This year has been slow because we’ve been focused on pre-production and most of the work you cannot see, but it builds up the base that is essential to making this game.
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.