Hello and welcome to update number 2 of Puppet Masters! For this post I am just going to show the starting zones in the map as well as some functional parts of the environment like the day / night cycle and jumping volume for when people are near the surface of the water. I'll start with a video of the sunset and sunrise in the world of Puppet Masters:
To achieve the smooth transition between colors in the environment 8 different parameters for colors and light intensities had to all be automated at once. The daytime lasts for approximately 11 minutes, the night lasts for 9. Dusk and Dawn are roughly 1 minute long each, the reason for this is so that players have plenty of time to kill rare mobs that will only appear during these windows of time!
Here are some screenshots and the transitions of each zone for the vanilla release of the game along with a description on what is in store for them. On launch only the Winding Plains and part of the Grizzly Forest will contain mobs. Every 2 weeks after launch I plan on releasing content updates alternating between new game mechanics / cards and populating the other zones. This map will grow over the course of about 6 months after release then once it has been completely filled portals will start opening up to new areas beyond.
Every good MMO needs an iconic capital city, for Puppet Masters I decided to dig a big hole. The city is called The Hollow . There were a few reasons for putting the town down in the ground, the first was that I've rarely seen anything like this done before so it just seemed like an interesting experiment. The second was I contemplated the alternatives of a city that was level or a city that was floating and decided that I could get more mileage out of the smaller map size that a Core game requires by not revealing the far edges of the map to people right when they login for the first time. I also thought it would be cool to convey this sense of tension by being stuck in a hole when you're in town so that when you take the elevator up to reach the open fields you feel a bit of freedom and relief. A lot of community content assets made the making of this town very fast, I do plan on having a CC credits board somewhere in town on release as well as leaving comments for all the creators letting people know it was used in my game. Thanks to @StayPunny for the custom lamppost!
The Winding Plains are going to be the initial beginner zone. I figured the open-ness of the plains would be a nice dramatic contrast to the dark hole in the ground of the city, also nothing tells the player "this is a beginner zone" better than a wide flat area. This zone is also going to help me initially figure out the what weird issues need to be ironed out with the platforms being able to spawn in different spots on the map. Right now it is populated with 25 level 1 Foxes for players to fight. I will definitely be expanding it soon but for now it is fox grinding season and would take players 1,000 hours of killing foxes to reach level 100. I'll go into more depth on the spawning system in another update soon!
The Grizzly Forest covers most of the southern and eastern portions of the map. Because it is so large I plan on splitting it into two sections. For the initial release the highest level mobs will be contained in the southern portion of the forest. I plan on having the first world boss spawn at the pond in the southeastern corner on some kind of a 4 - 8 hour timer. The ponds in this forest are where the water jumping volume was prototyped and is currently implemented here is a quick video clip of it in action,
The water jumping was created to remedy what I felt was a problem with the default underwater volumes. In the majority of games you are able to jump once you have reached the surface (even though that is definitely physically impossible lol) making getting back onto land an easy task if you run into any hard edges on the outside of the body of water. Huge thanks to @SnoFlak for helping me figure this out, he had the idea of momentarily increasing the buoyancy of the players when they are in the collision volume. It isn't perfect at the moment and there are moments when the player can 'rocket' out of the water but most of the time it works pretty well and gives a dolphin diving effect if you repeatedly press space. Once I work out the minor kinks in it I think this will be my first contribution to the Community Content!
Thanks for reading! As a reward for making it this far I'll let you in on a secret, the Closed Alpha is LIVE! If you want to become an alpha tester then join the Nuldrums discord, head over to the #alpha-invite channel and react to the post. You'll get the Alpha-Tester role applied to you and a bot will direct message you the invite link. As a disclaimer parts of the game are a little broken atm but hopefully most of the key mechanics will be running smoothly in about a week. Every Friday I will compile a list of all the changes and release patch notes in the #announcements channel with a ping for all Alpha-Testers. I also stream EVERYDAY of development so if you're ever curious about how things are made or want to check the progress come swing by my Twitch channel! Links to all the socials are down below.
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