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A May update on game progress

May 20, 2009

   Time for a small update (to keep the wolves at bay). Work progresses in all departments.

Programming has been handling some issues with Enact, mostly server communication and a few other areas. The fact that Enact works in the live game world has made for some interesting bugs. They will soon be moving onto the world terrain creator (the world is currently using older style hand created terrain pieces, but this is placeholder).

Art continues to add structures and NPCs. Upcoming work includes some architecture based on the different ages of the world (some of this will be ruins, of course, but some castle and keeps as well).

Quest Writers are working on writing more quests, and pushing the limits of what can be done in quests to make them exciting, fun and as addictive as possible. These Quest designs take an incredible amount of work. A single Quest design for CoS can be 50 to 100 pages, including various flow charts and spreadsheets, and each one is a mental maze to design since the player choices change the way the quest unfolds AND the quest has to be adaptive for use within the customization system for individual player stories. Novels are easier to write, trust me.

Level Designers are currently writing Bios for various. NPCs. Since all of our NPCs have lives, jobs, hobbies, interactions with other NPCs and players, friends, enemies, political views, etc., each has to be designed with a full bio. NPCs also have to work within the community, meaning have proper interaction with all the other NPCs. Work on this is barely started and will go on for months.

Game Design is working on character Abilities (which seems to be endless, with approximately 1400 to design). The Story Tool has recently been completely redesigned to handle some of the new quests and missions being written by the Quest Writers. The object of the Story Tool is to allow the writers to design any quest they can imagine. As previously stated, our quests should take players a week or two to complete if they play a couple hours every day (although there are smaller achievements within each quest so that you get a chance for payoffs along the way rather than just the big one when you reach the grand climax of the story).

Overall the game progress is steady, and fairly on track. People keep asking us how close we are to being finished, which is a question that cannot be answered. With all of the R&D work and pushing the game and MMO design envelop, the project will just be done when it is done. Thanks for your patience, we are working hard, and Citadel of Sorcery is progressing.

 

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