Here we go! DevBlog #3!
Wow! It's crazy how far we've come in the past three months or so. The support from everyone here and through Reddit has been awesome! Since the last post so much has changed with the game. It's hard to even know where to start talking about the changes to 'Crazy Seas'. The whole team has been working their butts off since the last blog, and we had a very productive Easter vacation. Before I go any further, I am going to do a shameless self promotion.
As some of you know from previous posts, we have a twitter which you can find here! We try to post updates on the Twitter as well, so if you want to see progress before it reaches the DevBlog, that's the place to go. As the game progresses and we reach a public play-testing stage, we'll be revealing a lot more on there and you'll be able to see when and how you can get your hands on the game.
This week we also started a sub-reddit. You can find it here. The sub-reddit is a really important place for you if you want to stay updated on news and be able to actively help shape the game. If you have questions or suggestions, the sub is the place to go for that. We are looking for some community moderators, so if you have experience please let us know!
Anyways with that said... back to what you've all been waiting for; News!
Starting with some Art
Alright lets talk art. Over vacation we lost our artist. They moved on to try and make a living through solo gigs so we've been back to lacking in the art department, HOWEVER, I tried to pick up some of the slack. I've been trying to teach myself some art programs over the past couple of weeks and I finally have some things to show for it. I did a lot of GUI work. It's a little rough, but we have the starts of some menus and systems that are coming to the game soon!
The first one is the Log Book.
This is the menu where a lot of things are accessed. The symbols pictured above don't represent everything, but some of the things you'll find here are your Inventory, Mail, Friends, Announcements, Skills, the World Map, your Crew, your Glossary, and more. All (or most) of these things will also be accessible through hotkeys, so its kind of user preference whether or not you want to use the book. Below are some close ups on some of the symbols. Again, these are rough and were my first ever go at some real art so things can only get better from here!
Something felt wrong with my mail icon originally, but I figured it out now... I think!
I also did a temporary make over for the inventory just so we didn't have to look at the Unity placeholder eye-sore anymore. Now we can look at a slightly less eye-sore of an eye-sore.
And of course, we've been working on a chat system, so I did the art for that as well.
As you can see, we've made lots and lots of progress even without an artist. Being totally honest, I think we're even better off now because we realized we could do what they were doing without them anyways. However, we are looking for a much more artistically talented artist than myself so if anyone is interested, feel free to hit us up!
Oh and we have an indicator for combat tagging, but I didn't make this one all by myself.
I'm excited for this one.
In a previous post, we finished off changing the water color depending on where you were in the world. It's finally implemented into the build now and well, I'll just let these GIFs speak for themselves.
Look how seamless and pretty that is. You may have noticed the big yellowish thing on the top of the screen as well. That's our new transition scroll! It went through a couple of phases before it got to where it is now, and it's still using a placeholder, but this notification pops up whenever you transition from an area so that you can see where you are. It's going to need some modifying, but our eventual plan is for it to tell you what Crew has control of the area and whether or not it's PvP or PvE. But overall, the scroll is looking really good and I'm very excited for the prospective things that could come from it.
I was going to make you wait till the end to hear about the weapon additions but I figured you wouldn't want to wait that long. This post comes with two brand new weapons, and I'm very excited to introduce them both. I also made a TON of placeholder cannon skins for the test build so that we can start messing around with skins. I don't really have any ready to show off yet, but take my word for it, they're coming.
The first new weapon is the Sniper Cannon!
For now, it's just looks like a longer version of the Regular Cannon. It shoots a faster, smaller, cannonball that has medium range. The speed of the cannonball allows for a higher hit chance as it has less travel time than any other cannon. The reload speed of this cannon is faster than the others, but it deals much lower damage. The aim of this cannon is so that you can hit your target and know your shot will land. It's useful for enemies who are on the run and need one last hit to finish them off.
(This GIF has the old assets... sorry)
The next new weapon, and my favorite addition so far, is the Harpoon! (Harpoon Cannon? Not really sure what to call it...)
The harpoon is a weapon that fires, well, a harpoon, at an enemy ship. The harpoon attaches that ship to yours and drags them toward you for a brief period of time before breaking. You'll be able to extend this time depending on the type of Harpoon you find and with your perk tree. The rope length is also a variable that can change depending on the stats of the weapon. It's not perfect and still needs a little adjusting, but it totally changes ship combat. Since implementing it, we've decided its probably better in a front slot than on a side slot, so it will probably go where the Ram goes.
And speaking of Rams, I guess we technically have three weapons being added because the Ram is now in game as well. I've mentioned it in previous posts, but its in game and fully functioning now. It will Here's a GIF.
There's no indicator of damage or damage particles because that's not an actual player I'm testing it on. But normally it will produce particles and the enemy ship will take damage. You can ram an enemy ship without a ram, however you'll need a ram to negate the damage that it would cause to your ship.
If you ram a ship at a higher speed, you'll do more damage to it, but it will also do more damage to you. There is a falloff/recoil if you're not using a ram, so it's best to only be charging into your battles with a ram equipped.
The inventory system is coming along nicely since the last post. We now have separate player and ship inventories, and different tabs for the various things you'll be carrying. It's currently in active development, so I took some sneaky screenshots, but a lot of things are missing from it still. It'll probably be done by the time this post is actually out. Hopefully the new GUI art will be implemented for the next Blog post so you can see how pretty the inventory will actually look. Anyways, enough rambling, here's a GIF.
(The things you see in the player inventory are just testing.. ignore them... seriously, don't read into them.)
Here's a rock.
I'ts not very pretty, but it does its job. Rocks, and other sea objects, can be found out in the ocean. They help break up the boring ocean and also provide cool places to have fights around. As of right now, you can also hide behind them. I'm not sure if this mechanic will stay in game, but for right now it's kind of cool to not know when a ship could pop out.
Ocean Locations (Hotspots!)
Some ocean locations have been added to the game as well in preparation for the fishing mechanics. These locations provide two useful services. For one thing, they help to keep the ocean interesting and make it so you don't have to sail across plain sea for hours on end. Consider them to be "mini-biomes" if you will. The second thing they do is house different fish. At these fishing 'hotspots' you can find different species or harder to catch fish that you might not find in other places. As of right now there isn't anything to show for fishing, but work is starting on that soon. I'll go into more detail on the fishing mechanic in a future post.
Here's two of the three locations currently in the game. The have terribly awful placeholder art (I can say that because I made it) but they serve their purpose.
This is the Coral Reef and the Bone Graveyard. There's also a ravine but that placeholder is not worth showing.
It's been a very successful past couple of weeks. We're still working hard on features and will have a lot to show off in the next DevBlog. We have been working on a ton of back end and server side stuff behind the scenes so that we can start having people join in the game. Account creation, User IDs, and a lot of other systems are already in place, which is really good. We need to get a few more things done with the inventory and the markets before we can start to allow people to come into the game world as well. I didn't show it off, but we have started to build a town on the island. If you're an eagle-eyed reader, you may have even caught the name of our first island hidden somewhere in this DevBlog. Anyways to feed your interest, the next entry will probably feature some new weapons, fishing basics, and the finishing of the UI. I'll try to throw in some stuff about the islands as well. That's all I'm willing to tease as I want it to remain a surprise as to what else I'm going to share. Thanks again for all your support and for taking this journey with us!
- Jack from VG
As a reminder, you can follow us on Twitter here, and can stay up to date and participate in the community by exploring our sub-reddit here.
And one more extra reminder, we are looking to expand the team and add another artist. If you're interested you can add me on Discord at Jack#2228, or you can reach out to us in the comments or from one of the social medias listed above.
And we're back!
It's been just about two weeks since our last development post here, and I'd like to start by saying I've been blown away by the reactions from all of you. Between the first post getting featured in the first few hours, the messages and comments we received, and all of the applications to join the team, let me just say, thank you! I'm so glad that everyone here is just as excited about this game as we are even though its still in the very early stages of development. So like I said, it's been about two weeks since the last post, and a lot has changed since then. I won't bother you much longer with the boring introduction stuff, but as a basic reminder, please keep in mind that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, you see is subject to change. A lot of the stuff you'll see here are placeholders, so don't get too caught up in the art style or lack thereof. There will probably be another blog sometime in the next two weeks while we all have Easter break, so stay tuned for that as well.
Let's start with some art...
Right so since the last post we've had a ton of applications to fill the slots I listed at the end of the first blog. I'm happy to say that we have officially added two members to the team, one being an artist! Our artist has been hard at work since the moment he joined the team, and there's already good things to show from it.
We've started to take the similar style of the placeholder ships we were using and break them into our own similar aesthetic. We wanted to keep the cartoon-y feel but to also start to clean up the assets a little. Above is a concept of one of the new ships built more in the style we're looking for. We're officially starting to break away from the placeholder art we started with and starting to see our own art in game is a really good feeling.
The first week since the last blog post was spent mostly working on sails. We have plans for three sail types in the game:
Symbol Sails - These ones just have a random color and a random symbol assigned. Some of the symbols we're working on/completed/or have ideas for so far are:
- Hermit Crab
- Smiley Face with X eyes
As you can see, we've already made sizable progress on the Symbol Sails.
Pattern Sails - Similar to symbol sails, they'll be assigned a random full sail pattern, and then a random color as well.
Special Sails -These have full sail pictures or pre-assigned textures for special events like Christmas or New Years. They are a rarer type of sail to find but can still be found from looting/exploring.
The second half of the last two weeks was spent mostly on creating our own world pieces. We have some concepts for world objects, but I'm going to save those for another week. We have, however, finally reached a point where we can hopefully start building a more permanent world with some of our own art.
We'll keep you posted on art in the coming weeks, but the best place to stay updated on the fly is our Twitter, @venatus_games.
Something our early play testers and feedback have asked for the most was a way to turn on and off certain weapons so that all of your cannons weren't firing at once. As of this week's build, you can do just that.
We're still messing around with exactly how we want this to work, but for now it resides on your number keys. "1" disables the first slot, "2" disables the second, and so on. We're thinking a max of ten since that's probably the most weapons a ship will be able to hold. We're looking to add support for just clicking on the slot on the UI as well, so that will most likely be in the next build.
I'm not even really sure where to begin with ports. So much as changed since the last post. First and foremost, you can now exit your ship and re-enter it from the port.
There's some wonky stuff going on with the character model, but you can see the basic functionality is there. For now, you enter and exit with a button, but that's just for testing. You'll exit and enter the boat with your interact key in normal circumstances.
We're also playing around with how ports work. We want you to see other player's boats docked in the port, but we don't want the port to be filled to the point where you can't enter. To combat this, we're doing a couple of things. The first is making it so your ship vanishes after a couple of seconds if you walk away from it. This opens up the port slot and allows for another boat to dock. You can easily call your boat back from the port, and there will be plenty of slots, so this should allow players to use the docking system fairly seamlessly. Were also putting in measures to stop players from AFKing in the dock as the boat will only vanish once you exit it.
We also have early integrations of a Port Shop added, along with our first look at currencies.
Just a brief reminder, the shop is 100% a WIP. We're just messing around with systems and stock right now, and I don't really want to spoil too much of what we have planned just yet, as there isn't much to show for it.
I can talk about the currency though. Our game is planning to use a Copper, Silver, Gold method. One hundred copper coins equate to one silver, and one hundred silver equate to one gold. As of now, this is the method we're looking to use, but it's subject to change. This is something we will mess around with in play testing. If you notice in the first image, the currency is just chilling below the map. This is temporary and just for testing purposes as it will find its new home sometime soon.
Water had some cool changes since the last post as well. First off, the normal world area water got its own fancy new look, and is not as much a placeholder anymore!
Congratulations on becoming a man, Water!
Anyways, we worked on implementing a system for water to change colors depending on where you are in the world. If you're closer to the shore, obviously the water should change colors as its more shallow, just as if you're deeper in the water in should do the opposite. Below is a GIF of this system..
As you can see, we can use this for all sorts of cool things, and it's all tracked client-side as your water color might be different from someone else's.
Ship's also now have a (temporary placeholder) wake sprite behind them when they're moving in the water!
This is probably the part of the DevBlog I'm most excited for, but it is also the most Work In Progress. There is still a lot to be done here, but we've implemented the basics of anchoring to shore. Once you come in range of an island, you can toss your anchor with the anchor key, and throw your anchor to shore. From there, you can hop out of the boat just as you would at a port and go and explore the island. You can hop right back into your boat by interacting with the anchor and then you're good to sail away. This poses a lot of questions about despawning the ship, PvP protection, Anchor Customization, and all sorts of stuff we need to work on. But I'll save all that for later. Instead, here's a GIF.
Don't mind the size of the rope or the anchor, as we're still messing around with the basic functionality before we worry about things like that.
In conclusion, a ton has happened these past two weeks. Obviously, there's still a ton of work to be done on a lot of the features I showcased this time, but it's clear that progress has been made for sure! With two new members of our team and a holiday break coming up, the next post should be full of new features for you to gawk over. For closing words, and I know I sound like a broken record, I just want to remind everyone that there's still a lot to be done. We're only coming toward the end of the second month of development, and we have a lot of time ahead of us before we're in a state where we're ready for players. However, we're growing fast and working hard and we're just as excited as you to see where the future takes us. Remember, if you want to stay updated ahead of time or even catch our artist streaming some art design, head on over to our Twitter page @venatus_games so you can stay caught up on everything we're working on! We'll have some other ways to stay connected coming soon in the next few months. Thanks again for everything, and we love hearing from you! Feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch with us through other mediums with ideas or anything else that might cross your mind! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
- Jack from VG
Whoa! Our first Development Blog!
This is incredibly exciting for us, and hopefully will be just as exciting for you. Below you will be able to read some information on our up and coming game, 'Crazy Seas'. We have so much planned for this game and we are just in the very beginning stages, so before you read too much into anything, remember that 99% of what you see here is subject to change. A lot of the GIFs of in game footage you'll see here will be placeholder art or very Work-In-Progress. So again, take everything with a grain of salt. We are using a ton of temporary assets while we focus on development so try to look at the bigger picture. Alright with that said, keep on reading to find out more about 'Crazy Seas' and to even hear about some possible ways you can help out!
What is 'Crazy Seas'?
CS is a top down, 2D, pirate MMORPG that takes place in a fantasy pirate world. The game is planned to have a fairly large universe that is filled with player driven content. CS is a game that caters to you. If you want to be a total pacifist and stay away from any sort of combat, you can be a trader and stick to areas where you're unlikely to be sunken. Or, if you're battle hungry and lusting for loot, you can choose to be a fighter and dominate your enemies. Even if you're looking for a little of both, there's something for you in an Explorer like class. You can mix and match various classes of ships to fit to your liking until you're ready to take to the seas. You can earn treasure, gold, and experience from traveling in the world, and there's so much more than just these basic things. But for now, let's stick to the basics. Stay tuned in DevBlogs to come to find out what else is planned for the game.
Right now, ships have basic movement finished. You can sail around, make turns, and even bump into other ships. Neat right?
We have two ships currently in game, the basic ship and the Dinghy. The Dinghy, or something similar, will be the starter ship for all players when you first join. It has one weapon slot, but can still pack a punch.
Eventually, there will be lots and lots of different ship types. We want there to be many tiers of progression and lots of different classes of ships. A trading ship should have more storage than a fighter, just as a fighter should have more storage than a trader. The goal is for each ship to have a set slot count, but randomized stats depending on what class its in. Each ship type will also have some different skins you can get to make it look cooler because let's be honest everyone wants a bad ass ship.
Combat in ships is physics based. This way it requires some level skill to hit other players and doesn't automatically do it for you. This allows for even little ships to have a chance of surviving an encounter with a much larger ship. We have some things planned in the future to buff out weapons with various skills, (Fire cannonballs? Yes please!) but right now we have 3 weapons integrated out of a bunch that we have planned.
The first one is the Basic Cannon...
As you can see, this one isn't anything to fancy. It has medium range and in turn does medium damage. This is the most basic weapon and will probably be the most used. Just like ships, we plan to randomize that stat values of weapons and allow higher level players to use higher level weapons. Weapons will also have a unique skin system allowing them to function the same, but look 1000% more awesome.
We also have a Shotgun Cannon...
Currently, this is my favorite weapon by far. I mean just look at it. Shotguns fire in a cone and sacrifice range for high amounts of damage. Right now, a shot gun eviscerates a Basic Ship at close range. Obviously ships with more health won't be one shot, but smaller ships or ships that are low on health will be eaten alive. Here's a GIF of that.
Ships take damage in our game whenever they're hit, but there is a visual effect to it too. We want people to VISUALLY see the damage of the ship as it loses more health, that way you don't need to rely just on the health bar. When you hit another ship, it becomes combat tagged. Its speed becomes slightly slower and it's health bar becomes visible. This combat tag stops ships from speeding away (you'd have to use an ability to make a speedy exit now) and allows you to see how well they're faring. This also makes combat and aiming easier. Combat Tag will eventually be used to stop people from logging out or quitting the game mid fight as well. Here's a GIF.
And here's a GIF of some of the current cycle of damage ticks. We want to add some more, including some cool fiery effects.
Your health is reflected to you in your health bar, so if you take damage you can see it there.
The Combat Tag prevents us from having annoying health bars floating on all the ships 24/7.
Wondering why you haven't seen any sails? Well there's a good reason. They don't exist yet. Ships are going to be modular. What this means is you'll be able to drag and drop different parts on to your ship depending on how many slots it has. A fighter ship probably won't have has many slots for utilities, like sails and a crow's nest, but in turn would have more slots for weapons. Right now we have a basic system for this, but you'll have an inventory full of all your stuff later. (Also take a peak at the Ram, the third weapon that I mentioned earlier. It's in the game but doesn't have a function yet.)
We also have a dynamic wind and weather system in our game... or at least we plan to. Right now we have a basic wind system implemented. When you're not moving, you'll slowly, and I mean slowly, drift in the direction the wind is blowing. However, when you're moving, you'll receive a nice boost for following the wind. This allows players who want to utilize the wind to get a nice reward while at the same time not hindering players who need to travel in a different direction. We definitely want to incorporate sails into this system as well so that you'll be able to get an even bigger boost for changing your course to fit the wind. Here's a GIF of the temporary wind meter and demonstrating some basic wind.
The wind can change strength and direction, and does so randomly. The longer it has been since a wind change, the higher chance it has to change. The longer it has been since strong wind, the higher chance for there to be stronger wind. And vice versa. It's actually a fairly adept system. Weather will play a big role into the wind eventually as large storms and/or blizzards will have an effect on it.
Right now, we have a basic Mini-Map as seen here.
It's nothing to special. and we're still deciding exactly how it will work. You will be able to see nearby points of interest and other ships by using your Crow's Nest, and probably will be able to track quests too. We're open to suggestions. We want to have a larger map as well that you can use to navigate across the very large world. The Map will be heavily decided by players, and various player made crews will be able to claim sections of it, but we'll get to that in a future post.
This is really the last major feature I have to talk about in this blog, but it's in its very early stages as well. In CS you'll be able to dock at ports at various islands to access the towns where you can receive quests, buy and sell, and lots more. We want our game to have a player driven Economy, and without getting to in depth (save that for later , each island's trade goods will be different. You'll want to go where the best deals are. You'll be able to quick sell by just docking your boat at a port, but we also want you to be able to get out and explore the town or city. We're still designing this system, but here's a sneak peek.
The menu for switching your weapons opens up when you dock, but can be opened on the fly by using the "I" key. The opening of the menu at the dock is just temporary. You are locked into the dock once your there and you need to hit Undock to sail away. Eventually we want to have lots of space on the docks so you can see other players ported there. The islands and docks will be MUCH larger than they are now, this is just placeholder stuff for testing.
Eventually we want you to be able to toss an anchor up on an island that doesn't necessarily have a town or has a dungeon or other places to explore, but that's a heavy work in progress and there's not too much to share. Here's a tiny GIF sneak peek, but it's all placeholder for now.S
I'll have much more to share on land, treasure hunting, land combat, and AI in a future post.
So, What's Next?
Well first off, thanks for reading this far. If we caught your attention and this is something you're interested in, stay tuned for more posts and feel free to comment with questions and suggestions. We really want to be active developers and interact with out future community. If you have a genuinely good idea, don't feel shy. We may like it and it may end up in the game. In the next few update blogs, you'll be hearing about more developments on combat, skills, the map, land movement and interaction, and the economy. We have so much more on our road map than that, but it's going to take hard work and will be awhile before anything makes an appearance. We're open to the idea of a Kickstarter and are aiming to publish the game to an alpha version eventually, so please stay tuned.
I mentioned earlier about helping out and what you could do, and if you're skilled in anything, feel free to shoot us a message. We are looking to expand our team. Below are some specific examples of what we're looking for, but feel free to reach out in other ways. Our twitter is @venatus_games, and you can find updates there as well. Thank you so much for checking out our game, and we hope you stick around to help build a Crazy Open Sea created by the players.
Artists - We are looking to expand our art team and break away from placeholder art. Here are some concepts/styles we'd like you to be able to draw in or close to. You need to be capable of drawing module pieces for ships, terrain, and buildings. Be prepared to work on some items and other sprites as well. We are flexible. You can contact us by commenting below or adding Jack#2228 on Discord.
Programmers - While we already have a strong development team, we are looking to add one or two more programmers. You need to be efficient and know what you're doing with Unity, and also have some Networking experience. If you're interested in being a part of an epic game, you can contact us by commenting below or adding Jack#2228 on Discord.