Just some notes about things… there’s lots of things happening, but I’m totally overwhelmed and failing to blog about them. Let’s see:
Title and Logo!
For now (and quite probably forever) I’m actually calling the game Project: Gorgon. That wasn’t the original intention — it was just a codename for the game — but codenames have a tendency to become real names, so I’m not super surprised. Fortunately, the name does make sense from a lore perspective — I won’t spoil anything by saying more than that — and who knows, maybe I’ll even get a gorgon monster to add to the game.
Here’s a work-in-progress version of the game’s title graphic. It references the big bad from the game’s story:
I keep forgetting to get a good screenshot of the praying mantis! Here’s one chilling in a field. I need to get some action shots, though.
The giant mantis is an apex predator that thinks nothing of eating players. From a mechanics standpoint, the most dangerous thing about her is the Rage Attack — if she builds up a full Rage bar, her attack goes from being rather mediocre to being horrifically lethal. So this is a creature that’s very dangerous if you stumble into one, but if you manage the Rage bar, it’s relatively easy to handle.
But there’s another kind of mantis, created by a mad wizard, that has psionic powers… and is significantly more dangerous. More on that one later.
The mantis was made for me by Anthony Cook, who also did another new creature that I’ll introduce a little later. (Very excited about that one, too! It feels very unique to the game setting.)
New Theme Song! New Sound Effects!
I’ve hired Conor Brace to make a first batch of custom sounds and music for the game. Music definitely changes things a lot. I’m very happy with the music tracks, I just wish I could afford to get tons more music made. More more more! But this is enough for now. I have a title theme, a dungeon track, and an idyllic village track, and I can drop in more music down the road.
I knew the music would have a big effect, but I wasn’t quite as prepared for the sound effects. I’d been using stock sounds as placeholders, and I admit that in the back of my head, I was wondering, “should I really bother to get custom sound effects? These stock sounds are okay…”
But let’s just say I don’t regret the investment. :) I think it’s one of those Dunning-Kruger things, where I literally didn’t realize that I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.
Conor went over the game with a fine-toothed comb and came up with some great ideas on how combat should sound. He’s still making the sounds, and I’m still working on getting the sound effects coded into the game, but I can already tell this will be a big improvement in making the combat feel fun.
Still No Forum, Why?
If you’re in the pre-alpha and wondering why the forum isn’t back, there’s two reasons. The big problem is I’m scared to just put it back up the way it was, and I haven’t had time to find a better forum solution.
It turns out that the forums were hacked by somebody who knew the sign-up password. In other words, one of the people I invited to play-test ended up hacking my forum. I don’t think it was any of the active testers (based on IP addresses), but it’s very disheartening. I fixed the specific exploit they used, but I’m pretty sure this forum software is a sieve of exploits, and they may just come right back and hack it again.
So I’m thinking I’ll abandon the testing forum. Instead, I’m thinking about using Facebook to get play-sessions together and gather feedback and bugs. (So if you’re interested in hearing about those, please enliken the page: http://www.facebook.com/GorgonMMO)
However, eventually I will have a forum again, one which works both in-game and out of game. Within the game, there will be literal message boards that players can use to communicate with other players, to set up trades and so on. These will be mapped to regular forum message boards that are also accessible outside of the game.
I may end up coding that forum completely custom in order to get the integration really tight. (I’ve written a forum before so I have most of the code lying around already. Which is another reason I’m frustrated at having to use that buggy forum software — I could do better!)
So much more to talk about! The ice bomb effect for battle chemists is in (thanks to Kalamona for the custom effect!); the treasure system is getting more and more buff; I need to talk about how necromancy’s mechanics will work soon, too… but I gotta get back to work right now. Will catch you up on more soon!