Welcome back to our new dev blog. This one is going to be a rather short one since we have been mainly working on level art/design and character customization which we will be talking about in this dev blog.
Note: All features we will show you are work in progress. The customization will undergo bug fixing and polishing work like everything else we are working on.
When it came to the character customization we didn’t just want to add a variety of pre-made skins for each character but to allow players to customize them to their liking. While pre-made skins can look cool, they don’t give the owner the “I made this :)” feeling (100 points if you get the reference). Even just changing a couple of colors on a character can make it look unique and give the player the feeling of having something special.
To make it easier for you to see which section you are currently changing we added highlights which make them flash up in a dark green. Highlights won’t affect the colors you are choosing for that specific part of the skin.
There are no limits on which colors you can select for your character. We understand that not everyone wants to see dragons in bright and flashy colors but limiting players to a small set of “natural” options is a huge restriction in our book. Instead we hope private server hosts will enforce a “only dark colors” rule.
While editing colors is pretty neat, changing body parts such as the horns and tail tips (and more if available!) of your characters adds a more unique aspect to the customization. We have already added a small variety of horns and a tail tip option for the European Dragon but more parts will be added over time since body parts are a thing to work on in-between all the other major tasks.
Another little feature we added is the option to choose between different animations for preview purposes. While the dragon has its wings folded in the idle state, you can’t see the patterns on the underside. To fix this issue we added a couple of animations which make them visible. However we will add a special animation in the near future which will properly display all sections that can be edited on your character.
The third customization option is “Accessories”. Accessories are objects that are not natural body parts. They can be masks, costumes and other cosmetics without any special purpose. If you backed the Custom Tier on Indiegogo or Patreon, which included a custom accessory, you will be able to find it here! Some backer items will already be included in the next patch of the pre-release version, which will be released once we have added the option to switch between patterns and have pushed the character customization through the first bug grinder.
That is all for today’s dev blog. The level design part will be included in a future blog when more progress has been made. We hope you like the character customization so far and are as excited for it as we are!
It is time for the next dev blog and we don’t want to waste any time, so we will get straight to the things we have been working on!
The Lindworm’s default texture has been finished and it also received simple markings for the start, which can be customized just like the Lindworm’s body colors. Together with the “starter set” comes a second pair of horns, which are longer and point forward like the second pair from the European dragon and an accessory set, which features a couple of green crystals on the Lindworm’s head and back. We chose this set because the Lindworm is a creature that prefers to live underground in caves, where rare minerals and crystals can be found.
Our second modeler has made a lot of progress on the Griffin. The high poly sculpture should be ready very soon and we are excited to finally start working on this character’s textures and animations and of course implementation. We hope you like its appearance as much as we do! ( mmm crispy Griffin wings…)
Our programmer has been doing a lot of work on the movement and its replication, which means we have got a large part of the flying done. However it still needs polishing to look natural. Our latest addition is the ability to strafe, which we have shown in a short clip on Discord and social media only a few days ago. It also features diving like birds of prey, but we will show off the whole (early) movement in a video and/or short stream as soon as it looks more polished and we feel like it is ready to be shown to the public.
One of our most recent additions is the model of the female Ka’sai. As we stated a while back, they will look only slightly different from the males. They are leaner and have a pointier head. Originally they were supposed to be shorter than their male counterparts, but after quite a few requests and suggestions from the community, we decided to make them taller. Some of you might wonder “Why no breasts?”. The answer is simple: Ka’sai are reptiles, so breasts would make no sense and wouldn’t have any purpose other than adding more visual difference between males and females.
We still like you, Argonians!
Instead of spending time on modeling reptilian melons, we gave the Ka’sai an additional texture, which is fully customizable while the original texture, we showed off before, was more meant to be a design for a specific character.
Level Art! Level Art everywhere!
We have done lots of work and rework on level art in the background and we still have a lot more to finish! This mainly includes Ka’sai structures, which you will run into right from the start as well as parts for larger locations on the map. Along with the things that “just look cool” we added the first objects, which allow us to add lore and quests, which are not being shared through NPC’s or other ways. Below are just a few basic examples of items, that can either start quests or share stories, which you can read on a stormy night. While the runes that are being used in the Ka’sai language are ready, we still need to do a lot of work on the language itself, which allows us to add more details to objects, such as scrolls and other items. Don’t worry, you won’t have to translate quests or entire scrolls!
This is it for now and we hope you like the new additions and changes. More will follow soon!
We hope you are all doing well in this difficult time! While a lot of people are stuck in quarantine and are financially struggling, most of us are luckily able to continue our work on the game.
A few months have passed since the last dev blog and quite a few things have been announced on our Discord and social media since, so we will try to summarize everything as much as we can!
A new playable creature: The Griffin
Due to a super generous pledge, we can confirm a new playable species for the game: The Griffin. The backer asked for a corvid-jaguar hybrid and we settled for a default piebald pattern for the wings and head to add more detail to the character. Of course you will be able to customize it just like the dragon characters! While griffins are a rather unusual addition to the game, they will still get their own little place in the lore!
Foliage and unique carnivorous plants
We added new foliage to our game, to make it look less dark and to be able to add more biomes, which can still blend into each other without looking too different or off. Some aspects still need tweaking, but we are quite happy with the look so far. While the new trees don’t have any specific functions, the new carnivorous plants will be intractable and natural traps for smaller creatures. In some cases they will even be a source for materials, if you carefully approach them. Of course not all of them will be in such obvious spots!
One of the first things that will be added after the games recode is the character customization. A few backer accessories have already been finished right after the Indiegogo campaign ended and we recently added our own cosmetic set for the European dragon. While the set looks like some kind of armor, it won’t add any extra points to your characters stats. Together with the bone set, we did some major work on our character shader to support markings, different patterns and color customization! While we heard your concerns, that the full spectrum of colors might ruin the immersion of players, we don’t like putting a limit on it, because some players want to recreate their own original characters in-game and they don’t always have natural or dark colors.
The addition of the Eastern dragon is still far away, but some work on the model has already been done. While we try to keep the classic characteristics of these dragons, some parts have been and will be altered a little bit more to make it a believable, living creature and not something that has been taken out of a traditional painting. On top of that another one of our backers decided to back the “A New Look” perk and choose to add a furry version of the Eastern Dragon. The character has been designed after the backers wishes, however some small parts of the concept might still change until we actually start working on it.
Rework, Rework, Rework…
While we continue to make new additions to the game, we also keep reviewing the things we have already made and try to improve them. Our main focus is currently directed towards the animations of the European Dragon and the wing position (yes, we have seen your comments) since we are working on the movement part of the recode. Below is an example of what we are aiming for. While the old wing position blocked the view on targets in front of the character, this version allows players to move the camera around and still have a clear sight on what they are about to attack. Since full folding isn’t doable due to clipping issues, this way of folding them is a good compromise and also more natural looking.
A smaller change has been made to the concept of the Kirin. We improved its anatomy and also designed a possible regional version, since this character will be ones of the most common creatures. It also got a tail, but we still want to add the short variation as customization option.
Draconia on Steam
Our Steam store page is now live and you can wishlist the game. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1295900/Draconia/ Screenshots, videos and requirements are going to change as the game is being worked on. Once it releases, you will get a notification that it is available for purchase.
If you backed the game on Indiegogo you don’t need to do anything. Just keep an eye on your emails! Pre-release backers will get access to the build as soon as the movement and customization system have been worked on.
That is it for now. We hope we can show off the new movement in the next dev blog and maybe even portions of the customization system.
The Indiegogo campaign ended and we raised 23,042USD which is 30% of the amount we were aiming for! Even though we didn’t reach our goal, the achieved amount is a huge help and the development of the game can and will continue as planned. The majority of the money will go towards programming to make sure the essential part of the game is being taken care of, since art assets, sounds and music can easily be replaced later. Everything else is being self-funded and paid for through our Patreon. We added the majority of our Indiegogo perks to our Patreon page so people can still support us and claim some of the custom rewards, which remained at the end of the campaign. https://www.patreon.com/draconiagame
Backers who have chosen the Storyteller perk or higher should have gotten an email from us earlier. Please check your spam folder if you can’t find it in your inbox! Adult perk backers will receive an email once the pre-alpha version is available. We can’t give out an exact date when that will happen, but we will send the keys out as soon as possible. Game mechanics and performance will need testing and having a large group of people help us test these things will make the development a lot easier, since we can find and take care of bugs early on. Juvenile Tier backers will receive their keys a few days before full release to make sure everyone has the game in their library on release day.
The next days will be spent on necessary paperwork and preparations as well as planning. After that we will start doing a major re-code of the game to have a solid foundation to build on and work on the custom backer tiers to be able to add these to the game as soon as possible.
Thank you everyone SO MUCH for the support! Not only financially, but also for sharing this project with others, participating on our social media, chatting on Discord and just generally leaving feedback! The community has grown quite a lot over the last few months and despite the larger numbers there is still a lot of positivity going around and we hope we can keep it that way. Having a community that is interested in the game’s success and keeping up the good vibes is just as important as developing the game.
We are looking forward to making this game a reality and sharing the progress with you!
It has been a while since we posted a dev blog and quite a few things have happened in the meantime.
Our Indiegogo campaign launched a little over a month ago and we still have more than 3 weeks left. At this point we want to give a huge THANK YOU for the amazing support so far. Not only on Indiegogo but also on Patreon. Some people even decided to support us on both platforms! There have been a couple of questions regarding the campaign. Mainly: “What will happen, if the campaign does not get fully funded?” The current amount that is coming in through Indiegogo alone already covers a large, essential part of the development. Once the campaign is over we will add the same/remaining perks to our Patreon page, which will allow people to back the game through PayPal since Indiegogo doesn’t have that option. A large part of the project will also be self-funded, which mainly includes 2D & 3D art. So no matter how the campaign ends, the game will be made!
If you have backed our Indiegogo make sure to DM a screenshot of your backer ID to a moderator or community manager to receive your Discord role!
The Lindworm The high poly model of the Lindworm has been finished. The Lindworm is the second main character and the first flightless dragon, which is being made for the game. It may seem weak, but its venom is strong and the ability to burrow into the ground will give it cover when it is needed the most. However it won’t be able to stay underground forever. The next steps will be the creation of the game ready model as well as textures, more customizable body parts and concepts for our animator since this creature will be rather tricky to animate due to the unusual anatomy. The next dragon to be made will be the Eastern Dragon, which focuses on supporting and healing other characters.
Character Concepts We revealed a couple of character concepts over the last few months without any clues about who they are or if they will even be playable. We still won’t mention any names, but we can tell you this much: These characters will be very important to the story of the game and eventually be playable after completing certain parts of the story line.
More about the Ka’sai While our dragons still get the most of our attention, we also made some progress on the texture of our main character Taruk (NPC). It is still open when the model will be rigged and animated, but due to the large amount of variation in terms of patterns & body parts it is quite important to work on this early. The world of Draconia will be inhabited by different Ka’sai clans. Some of them might live in the same village and hunt together but you will be able to tell them apart by their horn shapes and other custom body parts. Some will have horns that look a lot like antlers, others will have horns which are rather slim and pointy. Each clan is also focused on certain professions and skills and will mainly consist of characters with the ability to create healing items, weapons/armor or the talent to hunt creatures.
Plants, plants and…plants! Draconia will have a large variation of custom plants and mushrooms with different purposes. While most of them will be collected by players, a small selection will act as natural traps and be especially dangerous to young and small creatures. These plants are currently inspired by real life carnivorous species, but since it will be mostly players the plants are hungering for, we will also add more creative traps to make the environment more dangerous. As the character’s level increases, most of these green meat-eaters will become less dangerous, but not entirely harmless. *adds Lego shaped plant*
What is coming next? While we work on the things mentioned above, we are also preparing for the end of the campaign and the beginning of the recode of the current build as well as signing important contracts, which will make sure the game’s most basic needs are covered during and after the development process.
Our Role-Play Moderators on Discord are also working on a little surprise for everyone, that has been active in the role-play section of the dev Discord.
This dev blog entry has been long overdue and it is also going to be the last one for this year. A lot of things happened during the last two months and we are blown away by the support we have received!
The Drake This might be old news for some of you, who joined our Discord 2 months ago or earlier, but we confirmed a new playable species: The Drake. It is not part of our roster of main characters, but like we mentioned in the past, we want even the smaller creatures to be playable, as long as they are not throwing everything out of balance.
A short description of the Drakes: “Drakes will mostly move in packs and attack everything that enters their territory, but there have been indications, that they have also been used by the local Ka’Sai (dragon people) for hunting purposes. Their bodies are covered in larger plates and have underdeveloped membranes behind the front legs, which hint at their relation to the larger dragons. “
Their status of being secondary characters may or may not change later at some point. Nothing is final for now, so they might end up playing a more important role in the distant future.
Male Ka’Sai Model The male Ka’Sai model has been completed and is currently undergoing texture work. If we get to add these as playable creatures, they will have a similar leveling, clan and crafting system like our dragons or even end up being way more complex, but how much will depend on the support of our community and the crowdfunding campaigns. These characters will also come with different horn shapes, tail tips, patterns and colors.
The European Dragon The European Dragon finally received its animations and we started working on the new (basic) movement code, which is a lot easier now, since we have more of them available now. As soon as the pattern/texture is finished we will also start working on the shader that allows players to choose their own colors. The dragon will have only one pattern for a while, because we want to makes sure everything works like it is supposed to, before we add more. We also gave it two different horn shapes and a voice! The call or roar is not final and can change several times during the development of the game. The horns and other customizable body parts will stay or be brought back if our dragons happen to undergo a visual rework during the development. That does not mean, they might end up looking completely different to the concepts though! We will definitely stick to the general shapes, but there is always room for improvement. Instead we are considering adding different body shapes the player can choose from e.g. with larger scales and or plates, horns, etc.
Interactive Environment & New Material A newer addition to the game is the interactive foliage or in this case: Mushrooms, which are heavily inspired by foxfire and start to glow as soon as a player or NPC is getting close to them. These will mainly be found in caves and light up your way or warn you that someone or something has been passing through recently. This mechanic will be used in different ways, but we will tell you more about it, once we have new things to show!
A new, rare material has been added: Viridite! (named by our dark Discord overlord Smok) It will mainly be found in deeper locations and can be used for upgrades and the creation of new items, but details will remain a secret for now, because we don’t want to spoil everything!
You thought we are done with the eggs… …we weren’t, but now we are! At least with the nests of the main characters. The Behemoth and the Wyvern nests got some love from us and are also getting a more scientific explanation right now in terms of writing. We made sure the eggs and nests look completely different from each other and tell their own unique story, which you get to figure out in-game. Their look will also affect the creation of them later down the road. This means players will need certain materials to build them and to be able to successfully hatch a dragon, because each egg will have special needs.
As mentioned at the beginning, this is the last dev blog for this year and we will be back in January. The development will continue, but we will take a few steps back and enjoy the last few weeks of 2019. That being said, we wish you awesome and happy holidays, get lots of presents (especially dragon-themed!) and a happy new year!! ———- Follow the development on Discord: https://discordapp.com/invite/Bhx4F8M Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/draconiagame
Hello and welcome to our fourth blog post! We have less visuals to show to you this time, but that doesn’t mean we have made less progress!
Quests & Story Right now, one of our main topics is the lore of Draconia and we have started to create characters and simple items, we worked on their background stories and their purpose in the game, this includes the quests they will start. So we have been writing the first quest descriptions, worked on rewards, which the player will receive for completing them and where these quests should lead to if they are part of a longer quest line. However not every quest will focus on the main story. We want the world to feel alive and give the player more information about its fauna and flora even if it is just about the purpose of a seemingly unremarkable mushroom. The inhabitants have been living there for a very long time and all of them left footprints, which have a story to tell.
Leveling & Map Setup Another interesting and important topic is the aspect of developing your character and keeping players challenged and engaged even after they have reached the max level. Draconia is an open-world game, but players will still have to level their dragon through fights, side quests and other tasks to be able to unravel Draconia’s story and accept main quest lines and participate in certain events. The map is separated into different sections, each with its own level range. That doesn’t mean we visually split the map, but players will run into stronger enemies the closer they get to the end of the main story line.
These sections have been changed a couple of times to avoid players of a certain dragon class having access to specific game content earlier than others. Main character story lines and locations like the nesting grounds and re-spawn points have also played a huge role in the separation of the map and we think we found the setup that keeps every player happy no matter which species they choose to play as. Despite the separation into different level sections, players will still be able to pick where they want to level, to some degree. This basically means, if you are tired of leveling in a forest, you can instead go to the plains and level your character there and maybe even find a new friend of a different dragon species (and maybe even a hatchling, which got abandoned).
A huge question from the community has been: “What challenges are there after I reached the max level and finished the story?” Of course we don’t want players to finish the game and then just have them sit around all day, not knowing what to do. There will be larger goals and rewards the player can work towards, without spoiling anything. These goals will be optional. So if you would rather just hang out with your friends and RP or do other things instead, you can just do that. But even if you reached the max level, you won’t be able to one-hit creatures in low level areas. Instead your characters level gets scaled down to a degree that still makes you feel stronger, but not too powerful. This, together with a couple of other features, which are still being fleshed out at the moment, will add a constant challenge to the game even after completion.
Nesting Ground Rework & Raising Hatchlings A rather problematic topic has been the events involving the nesting grounds. Originally we planned to have players fight over 2 nesting locations (3 species per location), but a large portion of community members didn’t like the idea of forced PvP, so we changed the concept and turned it into a pure PvE experience. The new concept adds one nesting location per species. However players will have to clear these locations of AI to be able to claim them, which can only be done during events. To avoid performance issues, only one event will take place at a time and the game will rotate through these nesting locations one after another.
Just like IRL, raising children is a challenge, so players won’t just be able to claim that nesting spot and hatch a dragon. The “parents” will actually have to gather materials for the nest, have to incubate the egg, defend it from attacking enemies, feed their hatchling, keep it entertained and healthy and make sure it doesn’t run away. In other words: The players have to be good parents! In return they will receive a new follower, which will support them in fights and maybe even find something for them every now and then. A lot of these ideas came from the community in a very spontaneous meeting this morning and we think they add a lot of depth to the whole “raising-a-dragon” process. At this point, we want to thank you for all the input we have been getting, not just about the nesting process.
Golems One of our wild life creatures is the Golem, which got a complete overhaul, since the original design wasn’t very popular and also led to some issues on the development side of things.
We re-designed it to look more intimidating and agile than it used to be and also added different variations, which you will run into. It also received its animations and is already fully playable, but still needs quite a bit of work in terms of animation overhauls, sounds and other little details as well as the integration into the character system, which we will use in the future. However it won’t be available as playable character until this process is complete.
UI Work Some more work has been done on the UI side of things and we are close to finishing the basic work on the most important interface elements, such as the crafting menu, clan menu and other, smaller elements. These menus will undergo some changes with the addition of new content and mechanics in the future or if players find them too confusing. Below is a preview of the clan interface, which we kept very simple and in a more commonly used style.
Lindworms! Some of you might already have seen it on Twitter or Reddit, but we started working on the Lindworm model to have one flightless dragon to work with. This guy is going to be a large challenge for our animator, since there are barely any existing animals, we can use as references. We already have a couple of concepts for how the Lindworm could move, but the final decisions will be made once the animations are being worked on and we can actually see results.
Next Steps Over the coming weeks we will continue focusing on writing quests, stories and item descriptions and everything related to these things, but we also want to hold at least one more meeting with the community to discuss the PvP aspect of the game, since PvP is barely existing in the current multi player concept. Another plan is to have a larger meeting with the team in November to go over all the mechanics and features on our dev board and to work on the crowdfunding goals, the stretch goals and the minimum goal we have to reach to make the game a reality.
If you want to participate in the community meeting(s), please join our Discord server: https://discord.gg/Bhx4F8M We have a text channel specifically for those people, who don’t want to talk or can’t, but still want to participate and ask questions.
We hope this dev blog was informative and answered a couple of your questions. If you are still not sure about something feel free to ask about details on our social media pages, in the #questions channel on Discord or in one of the upcoming meetings, which will be announced in the #announcements channel.
P.S. Once we hit 1000 Discord members, we will announce a new creature for the game.
Thank you for all the feedback on our Discord server over the last couple of weeks. We have added a couple of your suggestions to our to-do list, some landed in the “maybe” section, but your input has been very helpful and we hope we can make Draconia an enjoyable experience for everyone.
More Eggs & Nests The eggs of our dragons have been getting a lot of love during the last weeks. The eggs of the Quetzalcoatl and the European dragon have been completed, while the Lindworm nest got a small visual overhaul to look more appealing. The appearance of the Aztec god’s egg is rather odd compared to the rest of the eggs we finished so far. It got a very bright sun-like shine, since Quetzalcoatl often gets described as “the new sun” (or earlier “son of the sun”) and will also be of the “light” element. The egg of the European dragon is also quite shiny, but not as hot as the sun. It earned it’s fiery appearance through the stories around the European dragons and their connection to hell or rather the magma moving inside the earth. But, don’t worry, that does not make our six-limbed children evil.
Lindworm & The Burrow We have been starting to work on the Lindworm model to have a dragon that is unable to fly as the next character in the game. We will feature the model in a future dev blog once we have made more progress. However the burrow of our flightless reptile has been completed. Since it is the weakest dragon in the game, it will get a special ability, which allows it to temporarily escape from attackers, if there is no other way out. This feature will undergo a lot of tweaking, because we don’t want Lindworm players to be immortal or always be able to escape from fights.
Animations & Fire Breath Attacks Our animator has been quite busy, but is currently working on the European dragon animations. We have shown a few of them on our social media already, but they all are still work in progress, so expect some updated animations some time next month.
One thing we really enjoyed playing around with is the fire breath attack, which is still a work in progress. We plan on making different attack variations, including spitting fire balls for those who don’t want to replay the end of Game of Thrones and burn everyone and everything in their path. (It is really satisfying though!)
Dragon Dens A highly requested feature that we started to work on is the dragon den. Only the owner and their friends will be able to enter the den, granted they are not in combat and have actually unlocked them. Since they will come with their own indestructible storage room for materials and food, they will require quite a bit of work to be unlocked. They will also feature a couple of trophy spots and a few other things that will make your dragon life easier.
We hope you like the new things we are working on and are looking forward to reading more of your suggestions and ideas on Discord: https://discord.gg/Bhx4F8M
It has been almost two weeks since the last dev blog was published. Some of you may have already seen a few screenshots of what has been worked on during that time, mainly on Discord, but we didn’t go into any details so far.
Dragon Eggs and Nests The dragon eggs and nests have been something we worked on and off. A lot of players are excited to build nests, but they are not really part of our main focus at the moment, since the dragons themselves aren’t ready yet. However, some work has been done and we finished the Eastern dragon nest.
In Draconia, the Eastern dragon represents the water element like it often does in the Asian culture. Since water is an essential source for every living creature, the Eastern dragon’s strength will mainly lie in abilities which regenerate health and remove or weaken negative status effects instead of its defense and attack stats. Even though it is often describes as powerful, it will be a rather gentle creature and we wanted to represent this characteristic in the appearance of the Eastern dragons nest by giving it a lotus-like appearance.
Ka’sai A not-so-official species of the game are the dragon people, also known as “Ka’sai”. Reptiles with humanoid features can be found in several mythologies, but they are often a result of shape shifting and don’t have their own category, so we let the community decide over their name. To answer the often asked question, if they will be playable: It will mainly depend on how well the crowdfunding campaign goes. The Ka’sai are a vastly more complex species than our regular dragons and they should be treated like that, which means, they would get their own special skills and mechanics, which aren’t easy to do, especially when it comes to interacting with the dragons. Both live in the same environment and should therefor be able to interact with each other in either beneficial or destructive ways depending on the players play style. Regardless of the outcome, they will be found in certain parts of the map and even guide you on your way. The image you see below is a screenshot of the work in progress model of the main character “Taruk”, which has been worked on as well, but is still far from being finished. His model will get more attention once the European dragon is done.
The European Dragon The low poly version of the European dragon has been completed and is now undergoing texture work.
The pattern colors can be modified later in the customization menu and the dragon will receive more patterns as the development continues. In the above screenshot you can see the dragons maximum size. Your character will be rather small at the beginning and grow and get stronger with each level. However, we are playing with the thought of adding in-game items that temporarily set the character back to a weaker level, which should mainly be interesting for role-players.
Level Art Lots and lots of work has been done on the level art side of things. Since the Ka’sai are part of Draconia’s world, they will need places to call their home. Players will be able to find several of these points of interest, which can be (but not only) villages, camps or monuments created by the Ka’sai. Many of these locations will tell a story about how the Ka’sai live and what happened to them before the player entered this world.
The village above is a very early example of what such a point of interest could look like. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will add more buildings and smaller details as well as some things that will make each place feel more alive, unique and interesting to explore.
That’s it for dev blog #2! With a bit of luck, we will be able to show you the first animations of the European dragon in dev blog #3, so make sure to keep an eye on our social media or join our Discord: https://discord.gg/Bhx4F8M
We usually tag everyone on our Discord, if there is any news, but a Dev blog is a good way to sum up all the major and minor things we have been working on recently.
Dev blogs will be posted based on progress, so there is no fixed day when these will appear. Everything we post here is subject to change and we will also post about mechanics or content that may or may not make it into the game in the future, which means: Unless we officially confirm it, it is not set in stone.
The European Dragon Model The high poly model of the European dragon has been completed and it is now our task to work on the low poly, rig, textures, animations, etc. This model is to be seen as another placeholder until it gets an overhaul down the road to improve its visual quality. However the overall appearance of it will stay the same. The horns you see in the preview below are based on the default design, but there will be more variations, which will give the player more freedom to customize their creature apart from colors and patterns.
Materials & Resources An important thing in the game will be the the use of materials. Of course you can play entirely without the crafting system and just fly around and be a dragon, but using it will make your life as a dragon much easier. Now you might be asking yourself “How does a dragon craft things?”. Crafting is a term that shouldn’t be taken too literally. It is a general title for creating things in Draconia. These creations can be simple burrows, nests, hoards or even objects with magical properties.
But in order to make anything you will need materials, such as wood, rocks, bones, ore and so on. To make it easier to explain the potential effect of materials, we will use the “Hoard” as example.
The hoard is simply a type of chest in which you can store your gathered resources, since you won’t be able to carry much as a dragon. The model in the middle represents the most basic form, which is made of bones, a few rocks and branches. Since we don’t want players to hoard immense amounts of loot that is untouchable by anyone or anything, these will be destructible and even start to fall apart like they would naturally. The players task will be to maintain their hoard by adding materials every now and then to repair it.
Now you might wonder if there is a way to improve your hoard, so you can worry a bit less about your treasures. Yes, there is! Here you will have to decide what is more important to you though: Do you want your loot to be hidden or do you want your hoard to have a higher resistance to damage? – If you want to add some camouflage to it, because you don’t want to guard your loot all the time, you will have to upgrade it with branches and wood, which makes it look a bit like a bush. – If you are the type of player, who is never gone for very long but worries about others destroying the hoard in the meantime, you can improve the damage resistance by upgrading it with rocks, which are obviously harder to break. Both variations will still be decaying and you will have to add the same materials you used for the upgrade on top of the base materials, so there is a cost for every upgrade you make.
This is a basic example of how the different materials affect the things you make. How in-depth this will be in the future is not decided yet, since we want to give the player something to work on apart from story and character progression without making things complicated.
That being said, here are the in-game models for the more common ore, copper, silver and gold, which have recently been finished.
These will be relevant for dragons with a higher level and a potential species, which would be able to work with them in a more complex way from the start. The rocky base they are placed on will be the same for all future ores. The thought behind this little design decision is simply that players shouldn’t be forced to run around, hitting everything they see, to figure out if they can gather materials from an object or not. We have been playing around with them in-engine and made them break apart to see if we want to add this as a visual indicator when the entire node has been mined, but this is further down the line, since we will have to test the performance impact of such simulations on actual servers with players.
Character Selection The UI of the character selection might not be the most exiting thing in the world, but it is still a rather complex thing to work on, since it needs to be appealing and simple to use. For now we will just stick to the topic of selecting your character without going into the customization part.
Above you see the part of the UI where you select your dragon species, which is located at the top of the screen. Instead of using a preview image of each type, we use the symbols that represent them, which can also be found in-game. Hint: If you want rare loot, these will be relevant to you. Some people have been asking, if we will make the wildlife playable as well and the answer is yes, but it won’t be nearly as in-depth as the main characters. So the next step will be to integrate each animal into the character selection without them distracting from the 6 main species. The idea here is to place their icons in-between the symbols, but rather inconspicuously. It needs to be obvious that these animals are just there as a bonus and are not as in-depth or relevant as the dragons.
Character Movement Since the game is currently getting an overhaul in a new engine version, the old version is being used for tests such as movement code. The most important part is the flying movement. The controls should be simple and the movement should feel natural, which is harder to achieve than it sounds. Unfortunately our placeholder dragon doesn’t have a very large set of animations, so we are working with what we currently have until the European Dragon is ready.
Concepts From Another Dimension One of our Discord members mentioned that it would be fun to have some sort of war paints for your characters. This is the moment, where we have to dig in our “Maybe, Eventually Box”, where we store all the things that might be added depending on Draconia’s future. These concepts were made for our potential dragon-people species, but there have been thoughts of adding the same for dragons. The reason we didn’t handle this idea with more interest is simply that war paints should rather be added in two cases: – The dragon people (Ka’Sai) get added as playable species, which can interact with the dragons and apply these war paints – They get added to represent clans and will only be available to them instead of banners, which you can find in other games. This isn’t a “No” from our side, but it is something that should be looked at when the game is more developed, because war paints only have a minor cosmetic importance.
That is all for today’s dev blog. Make sure to join us on Discord for more frequent updates!