In an early teaser we showed off our vision for mounts: rideable animals that increased your movement speed. This was early in our prototype phase, however, and as time went on mounts were almost dropped off the featurelist for release... almost.
During world editing we needed a way of getting around the map fast. It was at this point that we realised that if we felt slow and sluggish when moving between zones then players almost certainly would too. And thus mounts were re-prioritised.
We've mentioned a few times now that atmosphere of a high importance to this title. With the game lacking animation it felt lacking in life and so we've created a way for tiles to act as particle emitters to make things feel more lively.
Currently leaves fly off trees and fires give off sparks that move in the wind. This is the first utilisation of this sytem and we have many more planned to make the world feel a lot more polished.
The world is now coated in a noise texture giving the illusion of hills and adding a bit of spice to large single tile surfaces.
World Editing Tools
Post-release we intend on opening up rentable private servers for players to play with their friends and carve out unique worlds and stories together. We've been hard at work creating better user-focused tools for building the world, and the screenshot below shows the current form for these features.
You can now click and drag rectangles to draw and have quick shortcuts for turning on and off collisions and other world tile settings. This has already allowed us to build out new areas significantly faster than before.
With most of our core game systems now complete we're focusing in on content. To that end we've created 4 new zones: the Mining Colony of Shieldbreak, the barren and lawless Wilderness, the slowly spreading eternal winter of the Western Cold and the volcanic ash of the Southern Mountains. Further expansion has also been done to the capitol city of Swordbreak and to the south of Squall's End.
Along with the new zones we've aded over 50 new lines of dialogue giving further depth and texture to the world's story.
Next week is the final "core feature" week where we're aiming to have all systems ready to go for the closed beta on January 29th. We'll be tightening up the progression system and finalising questing, then it's all out on content!