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Development Info The New World Update #17: Status Report, Art Pipeline Overview

Infinitron

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Tags: Iron Tower Studio; Nick Skolozdra; The New World; Vince D. Weller

What, another The New World development update after only two weeks? Yes, indeed. It's another technical update - I guess those don't take too long to put together. It includes an overview of how the game has changed since June and a description of Iron Tower's new and improved art pipeline.

Our next milestone is the combat demo (don't ask me when), which is practically a game in itself as it requires pretty much everything: the character system, the combat system (attacks and NPCs' AI and pathfinding), the armor system, the gadgets, inventory, two hundred items (give or take) just to get the ball rolling, the interface, and god knows what else. It's a very complex task with a lot of moving parts that take awhile to define and even longer to implement. Here is Nick's status update:

Now, more detailed changelog since end of June:

- The core element of combat system - attacks, stored and edited in a data table. Open "AttacksDB" asset in ContentGameplayCombatAttacks to check it out. Configure an attack, then when editing a weapon, assign all the attacks it supports;
- General TNW animation system setup;
- Game states and player input states: game running, paused, busy (like when you see the hourglass cursor). The AI shouldn't think when the game is not running, the player shouldn't spam commands when PC is in the middle of attacking, that kind of stuff;
- Interactive cursor, proper cursor scales and hotspots;
- Setting up the human animation state machine. Simply put, it's a network of nodes and connections between them, where a node is animation type (idle, aiming, attacking, dying, etc) and the connection is a rule which controls the transition between nodes;
- Added idle animations, implemented triggering idle variations;
- Coded in combat structure, phases, implemented combat start/end;
- Added pistol and rifle animation sets;
- Implemented relative aiming and full body rotations towards enemy, wrote a framework of math functions to support that;
- Unified the world interactive objects within one class hierarchy;
- Pathfinding update: made characters path around each other in realtime movement, instead of bumping into one another. Finally got to implementing characters occupying (owning) tiles in the combat mode (see red squares on grid), updated grid object instanced mesh components to visually reflect that;

As you can see, most of this stuff sounds pretty basic, but every item on this list is a leap forward and a critical piece of game infrastructure.
Now that "where the game's at?" question has been answered, let's look at our art pipeline. Years ago Brian Mitsoda asked me about our art pipeline. I proudly told him that our pipeline's name is Oscar, but that was a long time ago and things have changed since then:

Step 1 is a rough Excel layout. Step 2 is a rough in-engine layout. Step 3 is painting over each building to define the overall look, lights, and assets needed:



Step 4 - the assets:



Step 5 - put it all together but we aren't there yet (we won't do it until the entire location is defined and all the assets are done, which would take a couple of months).

While it's not what Obsidian is doing with Deadfire, it's a big improvement over AoD and not just in terms of the overall visuals but also in terms of making the ship's environments more memorable. Hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised.​

Sounds like the basics are coming together nicely. There's an official website now, too. Hopefully things will continue to progress smoothly.
 

GarfunkeL

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Looking good VD!

Implemented relative aiming and full body rotations towards enemy,
Does that mean that character can be facing direction A and when you shoot at NPC in direction B, the whole character does not magically change direction but "realistically" twists/turns just enough to get the shot off? Or am I totally off base here?
 

Vault Dweller

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Does that mean that character can be facing direction A and when you shoot at NPC in direction B, the whole character does not magically change direction but "realistically" twists/turns just enough to get the shot off?
Yes.
 

Gay-Lussac

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Vault Dweller can we get a true orthographic/parallel projection rendering option instead of 3D perspective this time, please? In fact, wouldn't it make the whole game a whole more playable if you made and designed it that way by default? Having to rotate the game scene to get a good view of your surroundings isn't very optimal or fun.
 
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I'm not your brother, but I will help fight the good fight.
 

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