There has been a lot going on with the development of Imagine Nations, and we apologize for being as quiet as we’ve been. A lot of the work being accomplished has been under the hood, so to speak, and there wasn’t a lot of fancy images to capture what was happening. However, this month’s update will show where we’re at, and which features are still in the works for first build.
As we have mentioned before, these are the current features aimed for the first build (along with their progress and any changes to the goals):
- One face of the planet generating (very large area to explore). – 80%
- Dirt, grass, sand, generic rock, and water blocks properly loading in. – 80%
- Trees with log, branch, and leaves block properly loading in. – 10%
All blocks come in 4 sizes (full, 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4) for a smoother travel experience.All blocks can either be full height (0.5m) or any height less than that. As shown in the last update, this allows us to have a gradual elevation increase to support mounts/vehicles moving along the ground easier. – 50%
- All blocks can be dug out and placed to build simple constructs. – 20%
- All blocks can be subdivided by 3 levels to create smaller blocks for construction. – 60%
- Simple day/night cycle with the planet face rotating and a nearby star acting as the primary light source. – 5%
- Simple weather system with clouds that can form/dissipate. (No precipitation yet) – 5%
- Full player movement including walking, running, sneaking, swimming, and jumping. (No player model or animations, only in 1st person) – 100%
- First pass player UI implemented including: health/stamina/mana bars, skill slots, left/right hand functionality, and inventory, journal, character windows. – 5%
- Fully working launcher to get the first build and subsequent updates. – 100%
- 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. – 100%
- Imagine Nations account to access the launcher (for backers once build is ready). – 100%
- 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). – 100%
- Patches from the launcher will only push the changed portions of files, which should help out anyone with limited bandwidth. – 100%
To sum up the above, our focus has been on planet generation which is nearly there. To show this progress, a picture (or a few) are worth a few thousand words:
As you can see, general world gen is coming along fine. Alex is in the process of adding “layers” which will give us a much more realistic look (rather than having all hilly terrain). Rendering of the blocks based on type (grass shown in these examples) is working appropriately.
As mentioned above, once the new layers are added in, there will be many other terrain types outside of hills and mountains. One big emphasis on world generation is that its not just a matter of plains at sea level. With our world generator, there could be planes at massive heights just as much as at sea level, with towns being built next to rivers flowing from mountain springs and down a thousand block drop.
For anyone that missed our update last month, this image basically encompasses the 3 types of blocks that can be found within the game (and are being incorporated into the world generation system now): full blocks (at top) which are 0.5m (half the size of Minecraft blocks), sized blocks (grass block ramp) which can be any height up to 0.5m and allow smooth elevation changes, and complex blocks (rock pile in the middle) that will be used sparingly for some terrain generation, but overall used for detail in construction.
As it stands right now, we’re finalizing a lot of the layers necessary to generate the entire planet face. We have all the necessary assets complete, so once the layers can support all the block types, we will see a more or less functioning planet with appropriate climates dictating the type of blocks seen in those areas.
We have also done away with any understand of “biomes” with the specific blocks, fauna, and flora dictating their optimal conditions to show up. With the various ways we’re generating the world, appropriately content would show up at the proper locations, and blend accordingly between two areas of differing parameters.
Once we knock out these last few steps along with water and the weather layer, we will be ready to launch the first build to all backers. For anyone that has already downloaded the launcher and can login without any issues, the build will automatically update when we announce its launch. For all others, you can preorder the early access version of Imagine Nations which will get you the launcher now. All builds from now to final release will be sent through the launcher.
We’re hoping we can get the first build out during July, but we can’t make any promises as we want to be sure everything is working to the level we’d expect playing the game ourselves. As soon as we are confident its where we need it to be, we will get the build out. Its been a bit of a wait, but we are almost there. And we thank everyone for their patience during this time. We expect the rest of this year to be a bit more interesting with some of these current tasks out of the way.
- The Imagine Nations Team