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
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.