Gorgon Chat Logs, pt 2, and Status Update

Player 1> is there any way to link items in chat?
Player 2> not yet... and i dont know if the unity engine is able to do that

It surprised me how often this idea came up — the idea that the Unity engine would limit what the game can do. Actually, Unity only handles the graphics and the physics. Everything else is coded by me. The inventory system (and even the concept of items), chatting, combat, everything.

So when it comes to game systems, there aren’t a lot of inherent limitations, except for the amount of time I have to code! (And yeah, there will definitely be a way to link items in chat eventually.)

> I like with deer how I can switch out whenever I want
> you can? you don't have to spend 3k gold?
> Well gold doesnt really matter to me at least. I have 40k right now
> man, you guys play harder than I do.
> One-hitting Goblin boss has its perks

There were some test items that let you turn into pigs and deer (which are curses from much later in the game). The items could be expensive, but there were lots of ways to break the economy and get a ton of money, which made testing these curses much easier.

I didn’t hear much about whether the deer and pig were viable combatants, though. Anybody who tried it want to comment? I’m guessing deer were so-so. Deer have a lot of abilities with “Kick” in the description, which means unarmed jewelry that boosts Kicks would also help deer. So I think they could do decent damage with the right stuff. (Plus, who doesn’t like the mental image of deer decked out in gaudy magical jewelry?)

I suspect Pigs are kind of screwed though. They have some nice foraging abilities, but their best combat ability is Piggy Dash — it lets them flee in terror faster.

> I'm seeing hygiene bonuses on gear. have no idea what that does

It wasn’t implemented yet, so in the last test, Hygiene Boost items did nada. But I’ll implement it soon! Hygiene will affect your interaction with NPCs, so if you have really low hygiene you might have lowered vendor prices and so on, but for the most part, hygiene is mainly important to elf characters, who are obsessive about cleanliness. Getting a lot of combat gore on you will lower your hygiene to the point where it distracts you, giving you small combat penalties. There are lots of ways to get clean again, though. Jumping in some water is the easiest, and higher-level elves have cleaning spells. And, of course, some items make it easier to stay clean.

Hygiene is just one of several race-specific systems that will be in the final game. I struggled with different ways to make humans, elves, and rakshasa different, but the usual tricks didn’t work very well: stuff like boosting a skill by 5 points or whatever — it was either so shallow as to be completely meaningless, or so important as to be game-defining. Gorgon is all about game mechanics, so that’s what I eventually settled on.

Individual game mechanics like hygiene just seem silly, and rightly so. But you get a few of them together and it can really help make a race come to life. I hope. We’ll see. Like all game mechanics, these will probably require some iteration and replacement over the coming year.

Status Update

I’m still way behind in replying to all the feedback and email. I suck at handling my email in a timely fashion and I’m sorry if you’re still waiting for a reply. I’m starting to get back into the swing of MMO coding now, though (after several weeks of exhaustion and then a slow pickup), and I answer email in between coding bursts, so I’ll get back to you eventually! Hopefully. If it’s time sensitive feel free to send email again.

On the art front, there seems to be some good news on the horizon! Been talking with Aaron Victoria from the Legends of Etherell indie MMO. They’ve got some amazing artists on board, but only a couple of part-time programmers, and after a switch from Torque to Unity, they don’t have a lot of code.

Hmm, they have a lot of art but not code, and I have a lot of code but not art. Seems like a trade would work here! And so we’re negotiating toward that idea. The trickiest part for me is that I don’t have a lot of time to help support another team all the time — if I have to do more than a couple of hours of tech support per week, it will really derail me. Eventually the game will have a “Gorgon Engine” that other people can use, but right now, what they’ll be getting is a “Gorgon Work In Progress With Some Pretty Shitty Parts Still”. But it’d still be a big jumpstart so they can focus on game mechanics instead of the low-level stuff like sockets, area-of-interest management, and so on.

So I’m optimistic we can make something work. And so are they — their character guy Will Barry is already modeling the first Gorgon player avatar, the female elf. Here’s a work in progress:

Oh, I should mention: here she’s wearing is the “skimpy in-town elven clothing”, plus some armor bits overlaid. Elves wear skimpy clothes in town, but in combat they wear protective armor, not metal bikinis. (Despite what the placeholder art in the pre-alpha looked like!)

This is a big step up in quality, and very exciting. Having better character avatars would really help the game a lot.

I’d also like their MMO to succeed for another reason: it’d be great to have other indie MMOs that I can partner up with, for things like cross-promotions or ad sharing. When you’re indies, pooling resources is a really big win. (The Humble Indie Bundle being a great example.)

It’s still early days, but I’m optimistic!

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8 Responses to Gorgon Chat Logs, pt 2, and Status Update

  1. Scoboose says:

    That elf looks amazing. Will it have that high of a polygon count in game?

  2. Samuel says:

    Even in indie titles, Elf females have to wear slutty clothing. :(

  3. Lolin says:

    one of the things I loved about AC was the huge variety of armor styles I could get. Perhaps in time we could have that kind of variety so that elf females could be demure if they wished. Outside that, she is beautiful.

  4. Lolin says:

    More importantly….where is the updated avatar for us career cows???

    http://spooningmoons.com/Becca/UO/careercow01.png

  5. whackedenforce says:

    Man I just want this game to enter alpha it sounds so fun and is looking great for early stages with only 2 developers on it!

  6. Eric says:

    Hahaha Lolin I love it!

  7. Kaldane says:

    I played deer a bit and it was interesting to say the least. I didn’t like how similar it was to the other animal classes but I am sure that just takes time for you to code more skills. The Sprint skill needs a bit of a boost as it hard to notice when you are using it. Doe Eyes was a probably the best skill that I saw on the deer. IMO animals need a decrease in power cost or more power because their skills take so much power it seemed like in fights with high HP enemies I would run out of power half way through the fight.Overall I liked the deer more than I did the cow (saying baa is so much cooler than moo)