So what the heck is going on with you guys!
Let’s start off by acknowledging that we have been very quiet over the last few months. While it would be nice to say that it’s been because we've been invited to all the cool parties, going on cruises, and sitting beachside, unfortunately the life of an unfunded indie company is quite different.
What this does mean is that we spend more time working on the important stuff like game play, graphics, environments, etc. After our first Alpha/Beta test we had a tremendous amount of feedback to compile and produce a game plan around. We have been using this time to good effect incorporating some of the feedback and generally making the gameplay better. We have also added in some gameplay elements that we did not have ready for the first beta run. Amongst all of this we have also been exploring options with potential publishers.
As it is with any organization, it is difficult to retain talent, and made even more so by the limited resources we have to work with. Sadly this means that people leave with work unfinished. However, we stand by the quality product we want to bring and this means making sure we bring in artists, designers, programmers and writers that share the same vision to quality that we do and you deserve. On the positive side, being self-funded gives us unprecedented freedom in making the best decisions for our community and the game. This allows us to make the changes that we feel are going to have the most positive impact.
Some of the changes made are really going to have an ongoing impact in increasing the size and scope of the project. Additionally we have updated our servers to accommodate a bigger beta test and player load. One of the changes that you may have already noticed has been to our website. It has gone through a number of refinements and we are hoping that the site now is more reflective of the type of organization we are, the product we want to produce, and indicative of the proud community we have.
One area that we have clearly struggled in is meeting expectations on timelines, whether they be expectations our community has of us or even our own. Sometimes this is a result of the challenges identified for self-funded indie teams. Other times the delays are due to more technical reasons. All of these challenges have given us a better understanding of our own capacity and the technology we are working with.
So what does all this mean... it means that we are committed more than ever to deliver the best possible game that we can. There has been a tremendous amount of progress made in the last few months and we are very excited to share that with you very soon. In the meantime let’s highlight just some of the enhancements that have been made over the past few months.
The Meat and Potatoes of it all!
We now have a completely revamped combat system. One that is more in line with our original vision of FPS based combat in a RPG setting. This system involves a fast targeting system with active dodging along with character movement similar to what is experienced in FPSs. A good example is when you fire a projectile or bullet at someone, it travels though the world as its own unique entity and can be affected by the environment or hit unintentional targets before it reaches what you aimed at. We have also added in many different hit points on the character for more skill focused combat. As an example, if you hit a players arm, that may slow down his casting or if you hit his legs you may slow him down and of course there is the all-mighty headshot!
More upgrades have been made to our most unique feature. Our programmers have worked hard to bring one of the most immersive experiences by having a better Housing system. We are getting all of our required rules and solve all the challenges of doing an open world non-instanced housing system that makes sense.
Some of the improvements include:
- Better camera controls while building
- The ability to reset items while moving them around
- More ability to fine tune adjustments
- Ensuring you are not placing items on roads or too close to neutral towns
Additionally there has been a ton of new content envisioned by our artists and then brought to life by our modelers. Not the least of which is the impressive Guild Hall. Other pieces have been made to fill the world and give it more depth, each consistent with the aesthetic of our unique races. To enhance gameplay there are now more character options and the world includes more diverse ecotypes.
Nothing adds more to the immersion of a game experience than good sound design. We have some top quality sound designers and composers with AAA title qualifications (World of Warcraft, Disney, Warner Bros). It adds to the overall aesthetic feel of the game and engages each player by setting the proper mood for any scenario.
Of course all of this is almost meaningless until you the player can experience it for yourself. Despite our challenges, our goal is to bring that game to you as soon as we can without sacrificing the quality experience we originally set out for ourselves. Our community has been extremely supportive and we want to deliver a product deserving of that. Coming soon we will launch a closed private beta with the second phase of our closed beta soon afterward.
And depending on that experience we may even do an open beta before launching the game to the player. Keep your eyes peeled and ears to the ground for more information coming soon! And make sure you keep checking our Origins of Malu website for the most up-to-date information.
We have a lot work left but we are not going anywhere folks. Things may be hard right now but we want the community to know you have a committed team to bring the vision of Origins of Malu to life.