Monthly Treeverse Update #5
The fifth edition of monthly Treeverse updates. Read below for some game development insights on what we’ve worked on in the last month.
An update on Treeverse. A look at our development and art team progress. We will be posting monthly for you to follow along the development of Treeverse, so make sure you subscribe!
It’s already been five months since we started our monthly updates, wow. Time goes fast when you’re having fun! Since it’s now the end of April, we have the art direction around 80% set which means we can start to create things like the website. We spoke internally and the plan is to release a “teaser” version with new information like the team and lore while creating a complete one in the meantime. We have begun working on it already.
Anyways, I’d like to start this update off by introducing our new logo for Treeverse:
Concept Art Update
As said above, our art direction is almost complete. We are extremely proud of the work our team in Taiwan has produced and we’re striving to make Treeverse a truly beautiful game. While taking inspiration from other games and focusing on small details, our unique look is coming together.
Some words from Scott, our Art Director:
“The concept team is continuing to work on building the world of Treeverse, the focus so far has been on dungeons and combat, so the team is working to create everything the player might see inside an instance environment, with some of the artwork you can see below. Tackling the dungeon environment allows us to verify our combat design and make sure the foundation of the game is solid.
For the past month, the look development team (Concept and 3D) has been working hard to confirm the art style, we have completed the initial look of the game and are now working to iterate on the first version to reach the quality result we are aiming for. We will have more to show for this portion of the work in the future.
Below are some work-in-progress of the UI, various animations, water shader R&D, and more. Remember that none of these works are final and are all part of the iteration process.”
During April, the internal prototyping team was able to create a sufficient playground for the designers to play around in and get some iterations going and then switch over to learning ECS these last two weeks. We made further progress on the ECS based repository. We solved some significant challenges this month, mainly related to the communication between ECS and unity Game objects, AI and Combat based systems. We’ll discuss our current solutions for these below.
Before this, let’s first explore the idea of separating the codebase into multiple layers in an ECS system, which modularises functionality and responsibility of features explicitly into folders and assembly definitions. In an ECS system, different systems interact can interact with each other via modifying data on entities instead of directly interacting with each other, which allows for this separation of concerns. This helps tremendously with managing dependencies in our codebase.
ECS and Game Object Communication
We have a layer which is responsible for the synchronisation of ECS entities and game objects (those that require it), allowing us to leverage the power of unity game objects. We don’t have the time to be able to create custom tooling for AI behaviour, Animations, Navmesh for pathfinding or more and are prioritising actual features being developed first before optimisations further down the line.
AI is somewhat complicated since there are so many different ways to implement them. We've decided to proceed with the use of behaviour trees using the incredible opsives behaviour designer tool in unity for the purposes of creating our AI behaviour. This can only be used with monobehaviours, so the AI logic is a part of the game object layer and is a large part of why we needed a synchronisation layer between game objects and ECS. The behaviour designer tool also has the capability of allowing us to transition over to utility AI which is almost entirely data-driven and therefore fits better with ECS. We will explore that further down the line. Another important part of creating any AI is pathfinding. By using game objects for our AI components, we also benefit from unities AI packages as well, specifically the NavMeshes.
The combat in our system is really the bread and butter of our game. It's going to take some significant work to make this as good as possible. Initially, we opted for a tab-target based combat system similar to league of legends, but after some playtesting most of the team really like the feel of action combat, so we are most likely transitioning towards a more hybrid approach instead. This will appeal to a more skilful player base but really does make the game feel more dynamic, making dodging skills a much more significant part of the game.
From an engineering perspective, we've mostly built the basic ability casting systems, trying to keep it as generic as possible so we can create all sorts of skills in-game. It still requires the creation of specific systems for specific abilities, but we have the most common types of skills covered; projectiles and AOE. The animations and VFX are mostly just a presentation layer and handled as a reaction to abilities in the game object layer.
We will speak more about game design in our monthly updates starting today. Many people don’t realise but separate from the developers who create the game and the artists who beautify it, game design is what will determine if a game is fun.
Some words from our producer, Robert:
“The game designers have made good progress in systems design, combat design, level design, and lore design.
Our system designers have completed the profile system which allows players to view stats and NFT collections of anyone living in the world of Elderwall. Housing system on the other hand allows players who have NFT plots to select any piece of available land to build their dream homes on it. In terms of combat design, since we are a classless MMORPG, we have finished designing the foundation of our weapon system and beginning to iterate through multiple different basic attacks & dodging mechanics.
We’d like to make sure we have the best combat experience through multiple variations of iteration. In addition, we have expanded our lore, even more, this month and confirmed our supervillain along with a couple of new tribes to enrich our world. More concepts will be shown in the coming weeks.
Last but not least, we have started the work of creating our official game guide. Sneak peeks will be shown when the guide is in a more complete state!”
Make sure you are following our Twitter for constant news. Our Timeless pixel designs are now complete and we are discussing with different Web3 virtual worlds to integrate them. We will update once integrated!
We are actively looking for people in the positions listed below:
Lead 3D Artist
Senior Environment Artist
IT Recruiter / Recruiter
If you are interested in any of the roles, have the right experience and excel at what you do, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the artist roles, check out some of these roles on our Artstation page.
We hope you liked this monthly update. Separate from our amazing team working on the game, we are working on some extra stuff behind the scenes. We can share more once things are finalized. As mentioned in all the other updates, building an MMORPG is hard — and we are doing it with a brand new team in a short amount of time. However, our plan for releasing at the end of the year is an alpha and not a complete version.
The funds will allow us to build for years to come. We think long-term and we are very excited that so do many of our believers in the community.
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.