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Illuvium Dev Blog — April 2022

Illuvium Dev Blog — April 2022

Things are starting to get serious.

Intro

What a month! We delivered our first beta to the community, starting with only 50 testers before expanding to 500+ by the end of the month. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, which is great to see. Especially when you consider this beta only focuses on a small part of the game. The main thing we are testing is the Combat Engine for Arena. That is the most complex part of the project (the economy might give it a run for its money, but more on that in just a second).

I apologise to those that aren’t in the beta just yet and ask for your patience. We have to roll out gradually. A lot of the technology we use is cutting edge. There is always the possibility that a misconfiguration costs time or money when we release at large scales. We plan to allow more people into the betas, eventually getting to about 20,000 before our final push (which I won’t spoil here).

But I’d like to try something different this month. If you’re only interested in the current progress, please skip past, but we’ve created a new blog series where we dive deeper into the philosophy of the game. Click Here to read.

The report isn’t as detailed as usual, but it should give a good idea of the state of each project. I still can’t believe how many projects we have running simultaneously. Still, they are all necessary if we want to achieve our vision.

Illuvium: Arena

Arena gets better all the time. The different game modes are all fleshed out, with a few new ones based on feedback. The great thing about this game is the Combat Engine does all the heavy lifting. The rest is just rule sets, of which there are endless, but we will keep them tight. It is always better to get everyone playing a few fun modes than dozens of games that lose their sense of identity. For us, that means Survival (which also acts as our PvE mode and a type of tutorial), Ascendant (the premium eSport mode), and Leviathan (for the heavy hitters). The news is that we are creating competitive versions of each, but we will have more on those details next month.

Highlights

Private Beta 1 Released.PB2 includes updates to make Survival even better.More units, more better.New hires leveraging the incredible art to get the combat engine closer to cinematic quality.Dozens of bug fixes, focusing on cleaning up tech debt so that new features launch as cleanly as possible.

Illuvium: Overworld

While PB2 includes updates for Arena, we believe Overworld is just as anticipated. Like Arena, the PB2 will be about 80% polished. We will mainly test the functionality, but minor improvements will come later, like custom animations per plant, better physics, more movement choices, and other goodies. The same ‘feels polished’ feedback we received for Arena is what we are after here. We’ve come a long way from Overworld being a top-down, 2d old school pokemon-style adventure. A new video will be released soon showing the improvements.

Highlights

Crimson Waste looks mint, and they tell me this is only 80% polished. What? WHAT?!?Fully functional.UI is nearly done.We aimed for a May release of PB2, but we’d like to improve Sanctum Mesa so that players can achieve the entire experience.

Illuvium: Zero

Zero is another game that has come a long way. Originally meant to be a super simple idle clicker, I ruined that by seeing a way to have it bridge the world of gamers and investors. In addition to that, the potential for this in the long term is limitless. We didn’t want to release something that looked just like every other crypto game. Eventually, this will compete with top mobile city builders.

Highlights

Alpha release in May all Core Features and Assets.A huge polish pass on all the art underway.The gameplay is much more solid now.Tycoon Leaderboard incoming.WebGL version means we can be platform agnostic.

IlluviDEX

The IlluviDEX is the biggest Web3 app in the ecosystem. Over time, it will grow as we add the features required to hook into various game pieces. The focus is Land Sale integration, but we’ve started to look towards Illuvitars and game data.

Highlights

One audit completed, one to go.End to end testing is underway.Test run scheduled for mid to late May.

Land Sale

I’ve split this apart from IlluviDEX because there are technically different things. The Land Sale plugs into the IlluviDEX. We’ve set our date: June 2nd, and we hope you break ground with us.

We are taking another pass at gas optimisations. Still, I want to be clear: we finished the essential solidity best practices months ago. Ours is vastly more complex than most other PFP and Land sale projects. We mean clever ways to ensure fewer failed transactions while prioritising safety when discussing optimisations. We decided a while ago that the IlluviDEX will generate the actual plot you purchase live for you, which means that some gas optimisations aren’t available to us. Why? The land sale experience needs to be epic. We make up for it by minting on Layer 2 for free. It’s all a balancing act.

Highlights

One audit completed, one to goEnd to end testing underwayGas optimisations

Illuvitars

As with the Land Sale, we’ve broken this out into a new section of its own. Illuvitars is another long term project that will have many phases. We’ve leaked a few more assets, and the feedback has been phenomenal. We are taking PFP projects to another level.

Highlights

Artwork completed for Tranche 3. (No joke)We completed the blockchain work, and it is under audit but requires a slight rework for the bonding process.The backend now takes a more prominent role, giving us the first customer-facing Fusion test.

Launch Cinematic

We have primarily focused on the gameplay for the last few months as we find a partner to help us deliver this. We prefer to make this epic and push the date back since it isn’t necessary for the gameplay. We will time this to land when we are ready to make the push to the mainstream.

Highlights

A beautiful motion comic version is underway.The cinematic script is final, pending any learnings from the motion comic.

Game Launcher

As the digital hub of the Illuvium Universe, this is such a critical application. Most engineers work elsewhere because we need them for the beta. The best way to think of this is as a wrapper for other Web3 Apps. If you want to buy something from the IlluviDEX, you’ll get the same experience in the launcher as on the web (since it is the same thing).

Highlights

Long term vision locked in.Wireframes completed.UI/UX underway.

General Updates

Story

The central focus has been game-related work.The bios for each Illuvial are in overdrive right now. These will form a part of the IlluviDEX. We’ve shown you some of these, but every Illuvial gets one, and the completed ones need to be updated.Directing the storyboarding for the Cinematic Intro (via motion comic)Scene breakdowns for the cinematics.Scene breakdowns for the <redacted>.In-game dialogue for the Rangers and Drones. We think you’ll like the dynamic between you and your drone.Scripting is underway for the in-game tutorial.Chapter Z. (aka Illuvium Zero tutorial)Started the search for a second writer.

Infrastructure

We implemented enhancements, further guaranteeing the availability of the current feature set.We successfully carried out tests concerning core servicesOur Content Delivery Network got exercised in production for the first time — serving binary downloads for Private Beta 1.

Production

More work on cleaning up our deployment process to make it robust.We improved the Release Tracker to ensure accurate dates and issues addressed earlier.We started work on integrating technical documents with design documents so that core contributors can glean a holistic view.Integrated tasks directly into the documentation to allow better communication between teams.

Summary

The team is excited. We’re hitting our stride and getting better all the time. Less than 18 months in, we’re a team of 250 people who have worked better than many teams together for 10+ years. There are always challenges with such a complex project. We are decentralised and new, but we seem to overcome those challenges better than most. We hope you’re in it for the long haul so that we can share with you our final vision.

Illuvium Dev Blog — April 2022 was originally published in Illuvium on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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