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Illuvium Dev Blog — Oct 2022

Illuvium Dev Blog — Oct 2022

Intro

We’re starting to get into a steady stream of updates as we approach significant milestones. Arena 0.2.2 is now live, while Overworld 0.1.0 is nearly there. We’ve spent some time cleaning out tech debt caused by getting certain products out the door too quickly early on. Most of these are internal tools we use, so you might not see them, but we learned some hard lessons after pushing to get Staking done too fast, and we don’t want to make those mistakes again. We’ve also reconfigured certain areas with the intent of being able to provide a better roadmap to the public.

Most of the other focus is Illuvitars, which we want to get done right. We have many sales of Illuvitars planned and many feature add-ons that we want to include over time, so we need to get it right from the start as we did with the land sale.

Overall, October was about maturity, taking a step back, and deciding where our focus needs to be and how we can get through this next period of many product releases without going insane. Once we get these things done, I can assure everyone that progress will not only accelerate, but we can be more confident with our estimates and pass that information on to you.

Illuvium: Arena

We released 0.2.1 just a couple of weeks ago and just released 0.2.2. While no new features are included (except for some minor things), it is an update that we think you will all appreciate. It represents our first serious attempt to optimise the art assets, and people on lower-end machines can now play the game at much higher frame rates. The sweetener is that the graphical quality has not changed, so you will still get the same amazing graphics you expect.

Side note to Mac users like me: This update will be rough. There are some Mac-specific bugs related to Unreal that we won’t fix in this patch, as they will all be fixed automatically by the update to Unreal 5.1, which happens at the end of the year. We talked internally about not releasing a Mac client, but that would mean no Mac access. In the end, we decided to allow Mac users to continue playing, and we hope you can help us with bug reports so that our next update can fix the issues quickly.

Edit: We’ve just solved a series of bugs that caused crashes on both Mac and PC. The next patch will have the fix.

Ascendant Mode is still in progress, and you won’t see that soon, but internally we will play it enough to ensure you will have lots of fun when released.

Finally, the team working on Arena is going incredibly well. The core features are pretty mature now, so additions are easier to make than ever. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. New additions to the team have hit the ground running, and a lot of credit goes to the team for building it modularly. It isn’t without flaws, but we are proud of our efforts.

Highlights

Updated the UI and how we handle server errors.Moved all UI assets to a more performant system.Tech Art Optimisation.Bug fixes from all departments.Balancing Data Science.Internal refactoring.

Illuvium: Overworld

We’re closer than you think. Internally we had a meeting to decide if we would release Overworld 0.1.0 in October. We kept that under wraps because we weren’t sure if everything would be ready for release at the quality we wanted. Eventually, we decided to push it back just a bit as we polished some areas. The Crimson Waste was our first Region, and we made mistakes as we tried to find the best workflow. As such, there are still a few too many issues with little things that impact the experience. So we will clean them up and hopefully get them into your hands soon. These are extensive regions, and internally I already get complaints that Taiga Boreal is too big. It does have a drop from a giant waterfall that takes over 20 seconds to reach the bottom. The team might be on to something.

We have long-term plans that require these regions to be a decent size, but it takes longer to get them to the right level of polish. It also means that we need some additional features to keep you entertained. Those won’t come with 0.1.0, but that’s ok. It allows beta testers to give us specific feedback on the collection mechanisms.

Everyone needs to realise that these things take time to get to the eventual state that lets us finally say they are not in Beta. But it’s important to release what we have when it passes that threshold, both for our community and investors.

Highlights

Around 65% of the tasks were fixing bugs. With regions so large, that is an unfortunate fact of life. They take time to get right.Backend work complete.The leaderboard UI is complete.Almost all the UI integration is complete except for icons and descriptions.

Illuvium: Zero

UI improvements and optimisations are the names of the game. We have substantial art assets that look beautiful, and we need you to see them in all their splendour. So it will just be a bit longer to expose them to you in a way that doesn’t melt your phone. Progress is going faster than ever before. We bit off a lot, but this small team chews quickly.

Edit: We’re looking to release on PC and Mac instead of WebGL to speed along the Alpha. Android remains part of the plans too.

Highlights

UIs (nearly) wholly implemented. The current active sprint includes the majority of final UIs pending some future minor tweaks and minor polish.Addressable Assets allow the user to load Assets specific to each Region, including unique structures, shadows, music, SFX, animations etc.Next sprint to include Optimisations, final UIs, final backgrounds, shadows, and bug fixes ahead of Private Alpha Launch.

Illuvium Website

Making a comeback, the Illuvium Website has been upgraded over the last month. These are mostly minor tweaks, but they are worth a mention. But we have nearly finished migrating from Medium to our internal news hub.

Highlights

Tracking improved across the Illuvium.io and web apps.Migration to a more secure platform is complete.UX Review was conducted, followed shortly by dev implementation.Minor fixes for Tablet & Mobile.The move from Medium to Illuvium.io for our blog is nearly here.

IlluviDEX

Almost all efforts have moved to Illuvitars, so there isn’t much to say here. Some backend tasks are in progress that allow us to execute the first Illuvitars sale, but other than that, you won’t see much progress on this for a long time to come.

Highlights

Development continues for IlluviDex v2.1, which includes Account Areas supporting Illuvitars Delivery.Delivery includes improvements to log-in, Registration, Wallet Linking, Account Linking, and User Settings.Minor bug fixes.

Illuvitars

You’ve seen a lot of leaks recently, so anyone watching closely knows how rapidly this is developing. Illuvitars represents our most ambitious web product to date. It means many teams coming together, and that is always a challenge. Some 50,000+ hand-drawn art files allow us to deliver billions of combinations. There are cinematic-level card reveals that will blow your mind. We committed to a complete Layer 2 event on IMX so that you don’t pay unnecessary fees or experience slow response times. There is an entire web app aimed at gamifying the collection aspect.

We’re also talking to some of the world’s biggest brands about launching limited edition promo D1sks soon after the sale. These D1sks will contain exclusive Illuvitars that seamlessly blend into the ecosystem.

And because these are all NFTs, we need to be incredibly thoughtful about our structure. There is no going back once we launch. Decisions such as adding the Lynxes and free Tier 0 Illuvials necessitated a more complex design which took some time to nail down. Overall I’m proud of the product, even though I think we could have launched sooner if we (mostly me) had been more thoughtful with some early choices.

You’ll love it, though.

Highlights

Significant progress has been made in trading Illuvitars.Purchase D1SK, Bonding, and Unwrap D1SK Flows are in a great state.Collection Landing Pages and Item Pages are progressing quickly.IlluviDex: Illuvitars specific Account Features in development.Tremendous work completing the animations and reveals.Design nearing completion.Illuvitar Power system complete.

Play / Account

No significant updates on the Play App. Most of the features required for Illuvitars were done last month, so it is in a good place.

Highlights

Overworld Product Page Complete.Beta Registration Flow v2 In design.Updates to Video Content for Arena.Arena PB2 Support Copy, Feedback & FAQs Updated.1:1 Feedback Session Booking Portal.“Learn About Wallets” Flow for user onboarding in progress.

Illuvium Launcher

We’re looking into ways to provide a stopgap solution while we build this. The good news is the solution might save a lot of time early on and become something we use permanently. It could also provide us with a lot of exposure.

Highlights

Negotiations are ongoing for a 3rd party launcher while we build our own.

Launch Cinematic

We’re locked down when it comes to news from the cinematic, so I can’t let you peek behind the curtain just yet.

Merchandise Store

The Store uses a different set of people from everything else, so they have no dependencies on other teams. As a result, they have completed much of the work, and we are near completion.

Highlights

New product lines of plushies and plates (Illuvials and Illuvitars)First-of-its-kind Web3 functionality.Design implemented across Desktop, Tablet, and Mobile.Work on Shared Authentication & Single Sign-on to ensure a seamless User Experience for Users when navigating through our existing Web-Apps.We are currently conducting an end-to-end review of the existing design and looking to improve where possible to deliver a AAA result.Created custom tech packs, so apparel is the exact quality and fit you see in high-quality fashion brands.

General Updates

Infrastructure

We saw increased adoption and further development of our pipelines. The move to a new service has opened up additional opportunities for teams to contribute and get involved in increasing automation efforts. We also saw the start of Phase One of the operational observability initiative, which is now well underway. This initiative aims to improve our application monitoring, logging, alerting, and triage possibilities on a day-to-day basis. Last but not least, we’re constantly improving our security posture around build pipelines and continuing a drive towards least privilege access wherever possible and clearly defined and executed secrets management processes.

Story

Worldbuilding, specifically regarding the various factions and sub-factions in the civilisation, symbols, religious customs, and the like.Story writing around the events in Chapter Z and Chapter 3. Both of which are backdrops to ILZ and Overworld.An Email RPG campaign is currently in progress.We are working on fleshing out the lore around plants in the game and ideas for cosmetics.200+ weapon and item flavour text.Finalised and soon to roll out Illuvial profiles.We are streamlining story department processes.

Summary

I’m so excited about the products we have coming. I had the same feeling just before we released Staking v2. Back then, people knew there would be improvements, but without having them in their hands, it was hard to understand the benefits. There were also many things going on in the background to ensure the safety of your assets, and it was quite possibly the most complex contract in DeFi to date. We hit the bytecode limit multiple times and had to optimise to fit it all in.

The current set of products in the pipeline feels like that. Illuvitars has HUNDREDS of times more hand-drawn art than the next best product on the market. We’re talking about a system that allows art configuration on par with assets only seen in leading AAA card games. It makes sense since some of our artists have made art for Magic the Gathering, among others. The work required to support that with an interactive collection game is massive, and we’re doing it while we build out three titles. It’s a lot.

I’m so glad we have a fantastic community of supporters. We know you’ll enjoy what we build because what we release to you will make us proud.

Release Order

PB1 OW → Merch Store → IZ Alpha → News Hub → Illuvitars → PB3 Arena → Launcher

Illuvium Dev Blog — Oct 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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