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Age of Decadence January and February Updates

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Age of Decadence January and February Updates

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 3 March 2015, 00:54:45

Tags: Iron Tower Studio; The Age of Decadence; Vince D. Weller

I missed the Age of Decadence January update which announced the launch of the Ganezzar beta. Probably because it was only published in Iron Tower's news blog and not in the forums. Whoops! Well, better late than never:

The beta of the third ‘chapter’ is now available to anyone who has the game in their Steam library. To access the beta build, right click on the game in your Steam library, select Properties, click on Betas tab. If it’s set on “None - Opt out of all beta programs”, change it to Test – Private Testing Branch.

Enter the Access Code (‘blacksheepwall’), click on Check Code, and wait for Steam to download the files.

About this beta. It’s a 'work in progress' build with many rough edges. It's in the same state Teron and Maadoran were when we released them to the testers, so for us it's business as usual (except for releasing it to all Early Access’ patrons rather than to the closed beta testers). For people who just want to play the next chapter expecting a few odd bugs here and there, it might be not what they expected.

To remind you, we put the very first playable build on Dec 24. We spent the next 3 weeks improving it, testing, moving things around, tweaking, etc, so the chapter is in a much better shape, but at this stage it’s still about functionality rather than form.

It would take us at least 4-5 weeks to bring it to an ‘enjoyable’ level and another 2-3 weeks to get it to the same state as Teron and Maadoran.

What makes a game city a city? In AoD it’s:
  • Interconnected faction quests that are the foundation. They are the hardest, most time-consuming development aspect. Scripting them is a nightmare.
  • Side quests that aren’t connected to anything. They are isolated situations that fill the city with activities and random things to do. They are a pleasure to write and script and can be done in 2 weeks at most.
  • Static NPCs and visual touches that would make it *look* like a city
  • Things you can click on it and read descriptions or interact with.
So far we did a rough implementation of the faction quests, which means that the city is fairly empty and lifeless, which can be jarring. So if you want more, wait a few weeks.

Now that we did release something, we will update it on a weekly basis, improving the foundation, adding all the missing things, and making it an enjoyable and atmospheric location, so stay tuned.​

Since then, the beta has received five weekly updates, which you can read about there or at the game's Steam community hub. And last month, Vault Dweller published this modest February update:

The main reason for this update is to let you know that the beta will be updated on Friday. The reason for the delay is the art changes in Al-Akia, which is a key part of House Crassus' questline. Why now? That's the beauty of our budget-free development process. Mazin, our artist extraordinaire, is working part-time as he needs to support himself, yet still finds time to help us.

His time is valuable to us, thus we have to use it 'strategically'. For example, now he's working on Hellgate, which is an ancient command center where a lot of explorers died rather painfully, so it has to look the part. We were planning to go with our old design for Al-Akia which is the best we could do but not good enough.

Mazin couldn't change the entire place in a few days but he made a couple of great suggestions, did a couple of sketches (something we can tweak in a week), so that's what Oscar is working on now. Apologies for the delay but in the grand scheme of things a week delay is more than manageable.

Overall, things are going well (more or less) and we're planning - hoping? - to finish Ganezzar by mid-March. By then all Hellgate-related art and animations should be in place. We're almost done with the faction questlines. After this week's update all that's left to do will be the 'Maadoran is destroyed' and 'House Aurelian is destroyed' scenarios as well as using the ship to break the siege. We should be able to do it in a week and then focus on side quests, npcs, visual polish, and scripting issues.

As always, thank you for your support and patience.
Check out the full update for a few images of a fearsome monstrosity that lives in the Hellgate. "The deeper you go into the ruins, the stranger things get."

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