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Monthly Treeverse Update #9
The ninth edition of monthly Treeverse updates. Read below for some game development insights on what we’ve worked on in the last month.
Following the release of our combat trailer, it was time for us to start iterating further on our combat system and unifying the workflow of the design, UI, art and engineering team. Towards the end of July and beginning of August it became apparent the workflow setup by the engineering team for the codebase was inefficient for the needs of the other departments. The engineering team crunched through the month to pull off a rewrite of the codebase into something significantly easier and familiar for the rest of the team using Unity's regular monobehaviour approach.
Concept Art Update
Some words from Scott, our Art Director:
“For the past month, the art team has been in the middle of heavy production for pre-alpha. We have nailed down most of our visuals and have a pretty clear idea of what each thing should look like inside the world of Treeverse. Before the team mostly worked with open green space; the team started to explore different types of landscapes such as forests and caves.
Due to the sheer scale of Treeverse, we want to start with themes that are highly reusable. Landscapes such as Grassland, Trees, and Rocky Caves are easier to reuse by nature. Carefully crafting these “foundational” themes allows us to build a strong core of art assets that will go a long way, including the open world space we will eventually have to tackle.
Outside of generic rocks and trees, the Concept Team is also working hard to try to create something unique. The ancient technology that dominated Arboros is something we want to emphasize through unique designs. You can see some of the early concepts below.”
The ECS workflow we adopted was one that heavily favoured the engineers, and as the cross-department communication grew between the engineering, art, design and UI team, it quickly became evident that we had to pivot back to using Unity's mb to continue development of the game in a more efficient way.
The needs of the design team are the highest priority. A fun game comes from iteration of features from our designers and it became quickly evident that our workflow was too unkind and foreign to the non-technical teams. To accommodate the demands and requirements of the design team, the engineering team pivot back to using Unity's mb to continue development of the game, focusing on the creation of tools that are significantly easier to use and iterate on than the previous workflow. This month of August really tested the engineering team but we pulled through to reproduce most of the features we needed in our project to continue smooth development and iteration as we approach our pre-alpha release.
Many of the features are things the engineering team were intimately familiar with already since we've implemented them before so it was a significantly faster process. Since the pivot, we have had much more luck with recruiting for experienced and talented developers, with two more Unity engineers joining the team. The iteration and prototyping is significantly faster and the non-technical team members who will be responsible for most of the content creation are finding it much easier also. The core Unity team now has significant ECS experience under their belt and this will be helpful as Unity's DOTS architecture matures into a production release. Their plans align with our workflow in allowing a hybrid approach to producing games and is something we are keeping a keen eye on for the future.
Some words from our Lead Game Designer, Max:
“To build up and fulfil the connections between all the in-game systems and the world lore design, designers have been focusing on the integration of system functionality, data, and layout performances during August. For example, the Forging and Recasting system, the main systems of the games, got lots of connections to other systems, and build a full game cycle of Treeverse.
The combat team has been polishing weapon designs and making sure all the weapons have their own specific functionality, such as significant damage with slow motions, something like that so that we can provide a diverse combat system and awesome combat experience.
Maps, monsters, items, and weapons. The world lore designer also created fascinating background stories that enrich our world and make a stronger base structure for our magnificent world.”
We have a little 90-second video that briefly explains Treeverse. Share this around with anyone who may ask! It also includes our plan for Pre-Alpha to launch in Q4 this year. We have an exact date in mind that we are aiming for, and will update you as soon as we can. Subscribe to this newsletter for exact dates and how to get the chance to join our Pre-Alpha.
We are actively looking for people in the positions listed below:
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.
The challenges faced this month with cross department communication has been an important hurdle for us to tackle as a new studio, and as the different teams start working together more, we’re getting significantly better at it. Following the rewrite of the codebase, the entire team are significantly happier with the new workflow and everyone has already started working together on it with fewer communication issues and improved coordination. This will greatly accelerate our development speed going forward, and we're excited to share a lot more progress in the upcoming months as we prepare for our pre-alpha release.
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.