Draconia Dev Blog #13

Hello everyone!

Welcome to our Dev Blog #13, which is going to be quite long. A lot of things have been worked on over the last 1-2 months, but we will try to keep things short and summarize everything in this blog.

A New Map

With the new update we introduced our new map “Altuis”.
Some of you might wonder “Why add a new map, when the old one isn’t finished?”.
There are several reasons, which made us decide to remove Larimara and restart from scratch.
The main reason was the size and the general overlay. The old map was quite small compared to Altuis. It didn’t take long to travel from one end to another and it had very limited space. Quests and NPC’s would have been very close to each other and would have made the different areas feel overcrowded and unnatural. As a dragon you want to fly and explore, find secrets or your own little favorite spot without bumping into another player or NPC every second.
Due to the size of Altuis we have more freedom when it comes to filling the world with NPC’s, villages, quests/quest chains, points of interest, secrets or simply bosses without having to worry about the level design being too overwhelming or immersion breaking.
Future aspects also played an important role in our decision to discontinue the work on Larimara.
Due to Altuis being a huge island, we are able to add aquatic creatures and give them actual space to move around in without having to do any re-designs of the map in the future. While we plan on giving aquatics the ability to move on land as well, their main habitats should still be lakes, oceans and rivers.

Abilities, Vocal Calls, Resting and Sleeping

Another larger addition are abilities, which are currently kept very simple until we have done further testing and improvements.
Each character, with the exception of wildlife, has gotten one melee attack and a special attack based on the element the character represents. In case you wonder where the regular fire breath went we showed in one of our social media posts: It will make a return with the addition of the modern Wyvern!
However a skill tree system, which would allow you to swap abilities is not off the table!

Combat has been added and we needed a more efficient way for players to recover and heal their wounds. A simple way of doing this is by resting and sleeping. Entering these states recovers certain stats faster than they normally would.
The recovery rates are currently not final and will be heavily adjusted with the addition of new things, which affect any of the character stats, to make sure the new states are still being useful when the game is more developed.

Because our characters want to communicate we also gave them the ability to simply roar at each other. Right now each character has one basic call, but we are already exploring the possibility of adding different calls including different animations to allow you to threaten someone, if they are trying to steal your treasure or to show them you mean no harm.

The Griffin

While the Behemoth is still in the making, we finished one of our backer creatures, the Griffin (Corvid/Panther mix)! Texturing this guy has been quite a challenge due to the large amount of feathers this sassy animal has. It comes with a piebald skin by default, which also includes the colorful reflection some birds have in real life. Colors and reflection strength are – as always – fully customizable!
This rather small friend is currently being rigged by our second animator and will hopefully join our other playable animals soon!
Make sure to hide your bread crumbs!

Titles & Generated Names

Always wanted a special title for your character? You can now choose one in the character customization menu by simply selecting one from the drop down menu above your dragon. The title will then show up in-game next to your characters name in a golden color.
Right now there are almost 100 titles to choose from, including 25 Indiegogo & Patreon backer titles and the number is steadily increasing.
However, not all titles will be available right from the start. Some will have to be earned through basic or more complex in-game tasks!

Sometimes it is hard to come up with a character name so we added the option to randomize character names. Simply clicking on the icon next to the character name field will generate a random name for your character!

Quality of Life

Screenshot by Jhorla

The latest update included a large amount of Quality of Life improvements, which we found have been necessary and have been requested by our community. Since it would take forever to list every single change and give a detailed description, we will quickly go over the most important parts with a brief explanation.

– The camera can freely be moved in the character customization menu by holding the middle mouse button
– Our effect & interaction system has been updated to go hand in hand with our ability system (e.g. your character will now burn, if someone hits you with fire breath)
– Effects like buffs and de-buffs including their timer and stack amount will now show on screen right next to the health bar
– FOV changes based on character speed
– Photo mode has gotten more options, including the option to take 360° screenshots and can now be toggled by pressing “P” instead of just opened
– Players are finally able to rebind their keys in the settings
– Volumetric clouds can be turned off in the settings, which replaces them with more performance friendlier 2D clouds
– Chat now shows system messages and announces when a player is joining or leaving the session
– We have added new settings, which allow players to turn off nametags, chat or the HUD entirely
– Color-blind mode with several settings has been added
– Character color saturation can now be reduced in the settings, which makes look every character in the game less vibrant
– Loading screens with tips have been added to let you know when the game or a map is loading
– In-game camera zoom so you can take a closer look at everything
– The option to get your character unstuck and teleported to the nearest spawn point
– Cloud saving, which uploads your savegame file to the steam cloud

There have been a lot more additions, but these are the most important ones and as the game is being developed we will continue to make more QoL changes based on our own tests and player feedback.

Screenshot by MoodyLittleZephyr

We hope you enjoyed the new dev blog and the update, if you have pre-release access to the game and please don’t stop making suggestions, because they help us to make QoL changes where they are needed!

If you like what you see and want to support us, don’t forget to wishlist, follow and/or share the project:
Steam – https://store.steampowered.com/app/1295900/Draconia/
Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/draconiagame
Discord – https://discord.gg/draconiagame
Twitter – https://twitter.com/draconia_game
Reddit – https://www.reddit.com/r/draconiagame/

See you next time!