“There are decades where nothing happens, and then weeks where decades happen”.
February might look like one of the least busy months in a long time, but it has been intense behind the scenes. There are so many different projects coming together shortly that March will be insane. You’ll notice many projects are “nearly complete”, but to be honest, this was not by design. Initially, we spaced them out so something would drop in November, December, January, and February. Projects have developed at different paces, which has meant congestion in our releases.
We will coordinate it all. Who needs sleep?
PS: I tried my best to condense this into something more concise. I know how much you all hate reading.
You’ll notice that none of the details below technically stop us from getting beta tester feedback. That’s a clue.
The final polish is underway, and the only unimplemented systems are Augments and Bonding.I have plans for overhauling Empowers and Hyper, but these are low priority, and the systems are currently functional.Quality Assurance testing is systematic now. We go through every design in the GDD to ensure that documentation matches the code and reality.One hundred eighty defects were found this month, with one hundred and sixty resolved.The first pass for Augment implementation is inside the game. (Disabled for private beta 1)We are adding/polishing many sound effects and visual effects.We added the ability to log in (with captcha support) and play in the daily survival challenge with waves generated by the server.Better Survival mode backend integration.Working leaderboard.UI Improvements: Updated Health Bar, UI Cards order, Synergies Panel improvements, highlight Synergies, Added Timer Toggle Before you start the survival Mode, and reversed the Filter System.Camera improvements.All VFX ready. Synergies and Weapon VFX. Just doing bug fixes at this point.We tuned the difficulty of Survival Mode to ramp up gradually.We completed most of the auto-balancing back end infrastructure. We need to get the final game so we can use it.
Most of the team have moved their focus to Overworld, the emphasis of PB2 (The Combat Engine from the Auto Battler makes an appearance here, but since this will be the first time people test the biomes, we want to get them right)
The environment team has made significant strides into finalising Crimson Waste. There are some lighting elements to sort out, followed by optimisation.The outsource studios are going well on Abyssal Basin and Brightland Steppes.Game features such as Drone Radar, Forging, Skins, Mining, and Harvesting are nearly polished.UI is functional, and the UI designs are all done. We need to hook them up.The inventory is persistent, and resources can be mined and then forged.Only Ideation of the final three regions remains for the concept art team.
There is an internal Beta! We’ll release gameplay footage soon. The small team has done a great job.
Some people will get access to the internal beta.Sounds are coming through now.We are working through most of the VFX.Design changes to make it feel more like a game.
Shapeshifters have begun the initial work on the cinematic. It will be shorter than the previous, but it will tell more of the story, and we think you will love it.
The script is undergoing a final pass but will remain essentially unchanged.PreVis is underway.We are prioritising using as many of our existing assets as possible.
Oh, and Shapeshifters has been busy. Don’t worry about that. But I’m not going to spoil EVERYTHING for you.
Please welcome the newest addition to the Dev Blog family. I can’t tell you how happy I will be when the number of products to report on DECREASES. Here you will be able to update all the details of your account. Each game uses this for validation.
UX and UI are mostly complete.The core server features are complete, but many features are still to come.It has reached a functional state for the Private Betas.
(Formerly Private Beta App)
The game loader is a tiny app right now, but eventually, this will form the core of patching, patch notes, downloads, the IlluviDEX and the Illuviary (as a web wrapper app for consistency). Those enrolled in the Private Betas will be able to log in and download the game and get some introductory notes and a leaderboard. Baby steps.
The UI is 70% completed.The backend work continues, including the leader board.The infrastructure team has organised Content Delivery.
Internal web interface testing is underway, which means all the web core features are ready to go. Last year, we would have made the mistake of releasing it in the current state. But that caused v2 in the first place. It was undercooked and rushed. We are using the whole QA team to break it as much as possible this time. We’ve already found a few minor interface bugs. These aren’t critical, but it’s good to release something clean. 3 Audits have concluded finding nothing major. We only await the Quantstamp audit.
The internal audit is complete.External Informal audit by white hat Samczsun is complete.Peckshield Audit is complete.Quantstamp reaudit is underway.
Land Sale and IlluviDEX
There is some big news here. We can confirm that the Land Sale event will be a hybrid L1 / IMX event. The sale will be L1, but we will mint immediately tradable IMX assets. Soon after the IlluviDEX is ready, players will utilise our custom-made solution that blows everything else out of the water.
There are minor design changes to support IMX, including some UI tweaks.Hooking up the IMX APIs.The developers will document the scripts by next week.Tier 5 auction announcement shortly. It will be a custom solution as we won’t have our English auction contracts completed on time. It will be fun and live-streamed, though. Super exciting.
I’ve been driving product-focused advertising for a long time, but our website isn’t great, and there is a new one coming. Very few resources have been allocated to this until now because we’ve felt getting out the products is critical since they will sell themselves.
We no longer send links officially so that you can identify phishing attempts quickly. When you get a notification from us, it will tell you to access that initiative (be it a promotion, competition, or sign up page) directly from the website. We recommend you bookmark our site. Don’t get caught out going to fake sites.
We designed the UX and UI to allow more straightforward navigation.The website will act as a hub to everything we do, making it easier for you to live there permanently.
These aren’t your standard procedural profile pictures. We have some of the best artists in the world outputting the best art the blockchain has seen. Each item is hand-drawn, AND hand placed. Imagine Cryptopunks, but with good art and complexity of approximately 1000x. The concept art team are beasts. The sheer number of combinations are insane. I hope people can appreciate when they get their Illuvatar that a world-leading artist will have drawn, hand placed, and shaded your NFT. Each combination is quality controlled, not just spit out of an algorithm.
Set 1 is now complete.Set 2 has been decided and is underway.The smart contracts are at the internal audit stage.We may choose to do a similar system as the land sale, with the contracts on L1 but the minting on IMX.
The Dao Dashboard is mostly on hold as core contributors work to finish other projects.
All UI and UX Complete.Front end work has not begun.Backend work has not begun but is minimal.
The Illuviary is mostly on hold as core contributors work to finish other projects.
All UI and UX Complete.Front end work has not begun.Backend work has not begun but is minimal.
Another new addition. Last month I mentioned a solution for not being ready for public launch before token unlock. The Investment App is a large part of that mitigation strategy. The other part is still under wraps.
The Investment App will allow retail investors to buy $ILV at a discount in exchange for an extended lock-up. These tokens will be limited in quantity and also available to institutional investors, but everyone gets treated equally.
There’s more, but I can’t divulge it just yet.UX work begins next week.
NOTE: The investment app won’t be ready for the end of March, but that may be less relevant if we can arrange the other part of the plan.
I might be a monster. Our lead writer constantly tries to lift the story and bring out the high concept glory of a space opera. And I try to make people cry. I tasked our art team with some lofty goals when designing the story of the world. You’re supposed to feel emotions without knowing why. My job is to punch you in the gut with the why. We are happy with the progress. There may be some continuity errors, but I can’t see them. We might get some outside assistance to ensure we are on to something worthy of the project.
I want to reiterate that you will travel the world capturing and training Illuvials. You will also collect resources to deliver on community goals. There is one more purpose, but you can’t know that until the start. Illuvium is not a single-player campaign, and you aren’t going to see many cutscenes. You might impact the story, but you aren’t the hero. I can promise you the narrative will reveal itself over time. If you’re looking for a custom story that’s all about you, look elsewhere.
Governance took a back seat in February. However, March will include quite a few proposals. You might know the results when reading this, but I don’t. So this is one of those rare times that you have more information than me. That makes me smile, though. One day you’ll understand.
NOTE: Yes, for those who caught it, that was deliberate. For the clever, you might see the metagame. Don’t tell anyone else.
We have refined our marketing strategy to focus on the current addressable market for Illuvium, crypto gaming, NFT enthusiasts, and Alt Coins investors. We are doubling down on what works and putting on ice what doesn’t. We are increasing efforts in influencer marketing and earned media (AMAs & interviews) because those have generated the most growth for us thus far. We are onboarding international influencers in multi-language areas (German, Arabic, Filipino, etc.) We have assigned a dedicated resource to booking higher quality AMAs with our co-founders and core contributors. We are de-emphasising paid advertising and “general gaming” targeting for now and running test campaigns to see when it is best to invest more into these areas. As a result, we have promoted Andrew Wall to Head of Marketing, given his fantastic track record with influencers. We now have 7-figure followers across our marketing channels and are launching a new initiative in March 2022 called “Illuvium Insider” to begin growing our official Twitch account.
Two more talented Product Managers joined the team this month. The groundwork for our overhaul is underway. As most people know, I’m very “anti-manager”, but with nearly 200 people, it was the right time to up the team from 2. We were at the limit of our abilities.
We have delivered on phase one for serving our game binaries via CDN.Data logging is underway with our first operational dashboard.We delivered on automation testing for backend deployments
I’m sure there are many frustrated fans out there. All I can say is good products take time. Perhaps we are too cautious, but considering January, can you blame us? It can seem like we aren’t doing much for those not following closely. I’m more confident than ever. We are all working hard to deliver something properly good. Where we have made mistakes, we have made up for them. The Discord hack compensation concluded this month without any issues. The sILV claim is just about to drop. I’m doing my best to oversee as much as I can personally. But there are only so many hours in the day, which means we need everyone to be patient.
If you can do that, good things may come.