We’ve been hard at work to get the first build out. There has been some snags that we are currently working through to get the build out in a reasonable time frame, but we are confident we will be working through them during April. This month’s update will focus on the progress made and showcase where we are with the game, the launcher, and Imaginator.
These are the current features aimed for the first build:
One face of the planet generating (very large area to explore).
Dirt, grass, sand, generic rock, and water blocks properly loading in.
Trees with log, branch, and leaves block properly loading in.
All blocks come in 4 sizes (full, 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4) for a smoother travel experience.
All blocks can be dug out and placed to build simple constructs.
All blocks can be subdivided by 3 levels to create smaller blocks for construction.
Simple day/night cycle with the planet face rotating and a nearby star acting as the primary light source.
Simple weather system with clouds that can form/dissipate. (No precipitation yet)
Full player movement including walking, running, sneaking, swimming, and jumping. (No player model or animations, only in 1st person)
First pass player UI implemented including: health/stamina/mana bars, skill slots, left/right hand functionality, and inventory, journal, character windows.
Fully working launcher to get the first build and subsequent updates.
Ability to choose what type of build you want to grab including: stable, test (latest but possibly not stable), and various tech demos being offered at the time.
Imagine Nations account to access the launcher (for backers once build is ready).
Launcher will include the latest news for the game, forums to post bug reports and discuss the build with the community, and the chat (yes we haven’t forgotten you).
Patches from the launcher will only push the changed portions of files, which should help out anyone with limited bandwidth.
We’re finalizing the planet generation process. James has been hard at work on making a rich and diverse planet face for first build. We have gone through multiple iterations to optimize both memory and performance in order to be able to have a lot of content on the screen, and so far tests have not disappointed. Some examples showing the amount of blocks during chunk testing using some perlin noise maps is below:
3d Perlin Noise Test:
2d Noise to Generate “Hills and Valleys”
We’re looking to get the launcher out within the next few weeks. This will allow all backers to get the latest builds as we push them, as well as pick other builds (such as the test build, and various tech demos as we build them). The launcher will be available when it goes live in the backer’s area for anyone that has the “I Am A Pioneer” tier level. At this stage, accounts will be manually created and we will reach out to all backers to get an account setup. A more permanent account system will be created once the early access build goes during this year.
This is the current workflow from our team:
Will – Finishing up the launcher, finalizing base chunk system necessary to render the large amount of blocks, and player controls (including mouse look).
Andrew – Beginning work on the basic weather system, and initial stages on subdividing blocks efficiently. This has been a difficult subject as subdividing block greatly increases memory usage, but we’ve found a solid compromise to make it work.
James – Continuing work on planet generation, and proper Locales used throughout the planet for a diverse landscape (our Biomes similar to Minecraft).
Dan – Finalizing Octree needed for efficient storage of all the blocks in the world, and raycasting needed to interact with 2D elements in our UI system, and 3D elements (like clicking a block to remove it).
Celes – Our newest recruit, she has been focusing on all the meshes and textures necessary for first build (detailed above).
Mike – In between ensuring our website and social media doesn’t explode, he has been working with Will on the launcher front-end.
Not too much has been going on with Imaginator as we’ve been focusing primarily on the game engine. We have created the Block Editor necessary to define each terrain block type, and we are in the process of building the Locale Editor to define the groupings of blocks for each Locale type (i.e. forest, desert, or ocean). Example of the Block Editor:
Our crowd funding campaign continues as we are working hard to build Imagine Nations. Support our game and earn “Backer’s Access” and other privileges.
– The Imagine Nations Team