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Memorial Weekend Update

May 28, 2010

   Happy Memorial Day weekend! Sounds like a good time for some development news on Citadel of Sorcery.

Our Art Department has been busy with upgrading the in game User Interface art. Our goal is to add this new art to the game within the next month. In addition our modelers have been building castles, lots of castles, big castles, massive fortresses and tall fantasy castles. With a world as massive as CoS we wanted to make sure that the castles were equally impressive. I know you would like to see some screenshots of these castles, but we are holding off on those until the new terrain system is far enough along. Be patient, it will be worth the wait.

Design has been working on our Guild system. This is very important to the game and the designers have been revisiting the Guild system to make sure that it has everything we want. Guilds will have a physical Guild Hall that Players build out in the Reflected Worlds. They can build them, improve them, add new halls and ramparts and they can keep improving their Guild Hall over time. In addition Players may purchase land around their Guild Hall (from the Guild) and construct their own house and business. Eventually they will construct their own village or town around their Guild Hall. Only Guild members may enter the actual Hall, but other players (non-guild members) can visit the village / town and make use of the various player run businesses.

There can be a whole economy setup and run by the Guild in these locations and we are trying to give the Guilds many options on how they want to run their Guild.

In addition the designers have been working with the artists on some of the various types of mounts that will be in the game: land, air and water. Your first mount will be fairly standard, a horse, but over time there will be many types of mounts that players will own and/or ride. They can even have a stable at their house and keep extra mounts for different situations (or as replacements if their current mount is killed).

Programming is concentrating on three areas right now. The primary one is the new Terrain system. Some of the preliminary screenshots of the terrain look very promising, with overhangs, arches, natural bridges, caves and more. The level of detail is extraordinary, even though these shots are still from an early version of this new technology. We are very excited about the progress and potential for amazing terrain over a vast world. We have mentioned before that the size of the world is going to be 900,000,000 sq. kilometers (basically the size of earth). This is the terrain system that is building that world (and replacing the previous placeholder standard terrain system that we used in early development of the game).

The second area of programming concentration is on Enact, or world building tool. Enact is a series of tools, some of which are working, many of which are still coming. In total, the Enact Tool set allows us to do almost anything a level builder or designer can imagine. The work on adding more tools to Enact will continue for several months and is an important concentration of a portion of the programming team.

The third area of current programming work is on the user interface system, which includes the chat and instant messaging system. We expect to see a lot of that system fully functional in the next few weeks.

Level Designers continue to work on scene decoration in the Citadel and testing of new features on the latest version of Enact while they wait for the new terrain system.

Our writing staff continues to progress their stories in anticipation of the day when the Quest Building portion of Enact is completed and we can start play testing some of those quests. Each of these stories would be worth an entire RPG game, and there are many stories currently being written. So the writing staff is plugging away at these epic adventures and climbing a mountain of required work. Writing on these stories will continue for many months to come in order to have enough content for a game that relies on its novel quality storylines to power the primary game play.

I should mention our interns. We have been working with a series of interns over the past couple years of the project. Many come and many go, but whether they are still here or not, most of them have put forth very good efforts. Right now we have five interns helping on the project (and learning). Several people who started in the internship program have now also joined the team permanently. We require potential interns to already have some game building skills in place, so if you have talent and knowledge and would like to gain experience, go ahead and contact us and we will see if you have what we are currently looking for in interns for this project.

So that is it for the moment, as always, we make no promises on when the game will be done, only that we continue to stay our course and follow our design goals. We would love to hear from any of you who have questions. To send a question, go to the CoS Q&A section of the web site and submit your question through that system, we try an answer every submission. As to forums, we are considering adding them to the site eventually, but not quite yet.

Last but not least, each player in our game will play the part of a Fallen Hero, a person who fell defending freedom in the mythos of our world. But the true fallen heroes are the men and women of the real armed forces who fell defending freedom in the real world. Here is to those fallen heroes on this Memorial Day weekend, long may they be remembered.

 

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