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Illuvium Dev Blog — Sep 2022

Illuvium Dev Blog — Sep 2022

Intro

September was a chaotic month, and it will probably precede an outwardly quiet October. That tends to be the general cadence as we deliver products and build others simultaneously. We released updates for Illuvium: Arena and the IlluviDex, which took a lot of our time, but other things were also happening in the background. We also learned a lot of lessons that will help speed things up in the future.

Illuvium: Arena

Releasing PB2 (Arena 0.2.0) was a significant milestone with a great reception. The feedback has been helpful so far (even the negative) so keep it up. In the background were many optimisations, most not making it into 0.2.0 or even 0.2.1, but we expect them to be ready soon. We’ve recently added a few big brains to the team that have done a fantastic job ensuring that the code is maintainable and extensible. Over time people will appreciate how important that is. The bug rate was high but has dropped precipitously, allowing more time to add more incredible features. We get closer and closer every day to achieving our goal of the first-ever cinematic-quality auto battler.

Highlights

Major rework of the VFX system to increase the frame rate on lower-spec machines.Research into ways to reduce texture sizes while keeping the same (if not better) visual fidelity.Simulation reworks to ensure better communication between server and client.Significant improvements to the Simulation CoreTargeting works much better now, with fewer errors and a much smoother experience.Changes to the attributes of abilities give us much more freedom for the behaviour of the next Illuvials.UI changes to clarify information and goals.Significant improvements to the Server connection resulted in connection bugs dropping by orders of magnitude.

Note: Patch 0.2.2 probably won’t arrive in October, but if you have a low-end machine, the wait is worth it.

Illuvium: Overworld

We experienced some delays due to some internal systems not working as well as we would like, and we decided to look at the Crimson Waste with fresh eyes after doing such a great job with Sanctum Mesa. The time it has taken to review Crimson Waste isn’t so significant because we’ve learned many lessons and improved our workflows.

Highlights

Sanctum Mesa is in its final state for the upcoming Beta.Crimson Waste had extra work done to improve all aspects.Implemented a leaderboard so players can compete for the best runs. (in place of giving real NFTs)Capturing is nearly completed, with many “resist” animations now implemented.Dynamic Hair is implemented and will be finalised for the Beta.All the signature rigs and 80% of the idle animations are complete.Extra work on the Crimson Waste Battle board.General UI polish.

Note: There are many features for Overworld that won’t be available in the first Private Beta. I want to stress that we aim to test SOME of the core features and show off the world. We’re deliberately holding back some story and game mechanics. We need the underlying game to have a level of polish that you expect, which means building piecemeal. If you’re lucky enough to get a spot in the Beta, please use it to help us improve these features with quality feedback.

Illuvium: Zero

A lot of progress has been made on the art and gameplay. We finalised all regions, so we only need to test internally before releasing it to the public. In the background, we’ve been working on some awesome ideas for cosmetics, customisation, and monetisation.

Highlights

The art team finalised all region art.The dev team integrated all region art successfully.We added minor gameplay improvements, with paths and holo statues now playing more than a cosmetic role.UI improvements are ongoing.We conceived additional research items to give more variety, especially with cosmetics.

IlluviDEX

The IlluviDex is relatively mature now. Most of the work done was to hotfix or polish aspects of the recent release.

Highlights

Production Deployment of IlluviDex v2Move all testing to a new testnet. (Goerli)Improved Analytics and Fraud detection.Minor hotfixes with minor enhancementsIlluviDex v2.1 In developmentAccount Areas in Support of IlluvitarsTransfer to L1 FunctionalityLand Region Map FilteringWallet LinkOffers/Bids on Listed Items

Illuvitars

Now the exclusive focus of the Web team, we are starting to get through the tasks. IlluviDex required some updates in preparation for the sale, and now that they are complete, we have a clear path in front of us.

Highlights

The bonding flow is nearly completed, including the artwork.The minting flow is nearly completed, including the artwork.Purchasing is underway. Our system has some challenges, but we can solve them quickly.Trading on the IlluviDex is now relatively trivial with all the work done on IlluviDex, so this should go fast.The Launch Party page is fully designed and relatively simple to execute.The only area not heavily underway is the Collections piece. However, we postponed that because the scoring system wasn’t finished, and the overall work is simple.

Play / Account

I’ve added Play back to the list because there have been improvements for the launch of PB2 and Illuvitars. There isn’t much to do here, but it completes the user journey.

Highlights

Added the ability to change Ranger Name.Added the ability to update profile pictures. (for Illuvitars)Streamlined Play app to make it easier to update games in the future. Previously this was a manual process.Account AreasWallet Link

Illuvium Launcher

While still something for the future, I added it back as the updates will come faster. For now, it’s still in the UX / UI process.

Highlights

Clarified and improved the user flows to allow for multiple games.Added the ability to easily add extra games to both the “Coming Soon” and “New Releases” sections.

Launch Cinematic

You’ve seen some stills that should help you to understand the quality. However, don’t expect to see much more until it is ready.

Highlights

Animation work for many scenes started.While voice work hasn’t begun yet, we have sourced the talent required.There were minor story updates and dialogue tweaks, but nothing major.Look Dev for lighting underway.All significant art assets are exported and ready.

Note: We’ve tried to ensure parity between the original story and what we are building here. However, with an evolving project that isn’t even in Open Beta, expect there will be some retcon. Sometimes new ideas are just too good not to be implemented.

Merchandise Store

While we don’t have a launch date yet, we hope to have something available before Christmas. However, we will not reduce quality to get things out faster. We have narrowed down our suppliers to one in the Netherlands (We like this option the most as our Lead Concept Artist Rogier is from the Netherlands), But we have also looked at a factory based out of Portugal. More info on this soon.

Highlights

Development Progress is nearing Feature complete stateWe have completed the essentials apparel collection, and the Illuvials collection is 80% complete.Plushies are currently being worked on and are around 50% complete. We won’t have a vast range to start with, but we will include your favourites.The packaging designs are complete. We want all merchandise unboxing to feel like a fantastic experience.Some other cool things in development are metal plates for Illuvitars and a small range of Illuvials, plus an art book — more details soon.

General Updates

Story

We’re beginning to drip-feed some story elements soon in a way that is not quite interactive but should be fun to experience. There is still a lot of work required here, but we don’t have much time to do it, so it’s time to put on our big-boy pants.

Infrastructure

Nothing groundbreaking here. We have a mature infrastructure, which mainly does what we want and requires little upkeep. We are still building it out as requirements arise, but this is one area where we spent a lot of time upfront, ensuring we took the right path.

On a tangential note, some other departments, required to build fast from day one, have a bit more tech debt built up that we need to clear through. We’re still planning on building while cleaning, but if some areas slow down, it will be because they must ensure the final product scales well.

Summary

September was fun. The community saw new content and experienced how far we’ve come in many ways, while internally, we changed our focus to new products and goals. We’re trying to find ways to improve communication while having a decentralised group of contributors worldwide. It’s a challenge.

We’re confident that everyone will soon see the scope and vision we have for Illuvium. It isn’t just a game. It’s a home where millions can have fun, interact, and build experiences together. The core needs to be just right, and we appreciate your patience on the journey.

Release Order

IZ Alpha → PB2 OW → Merch Store → News Hub → Illuvitars → PB3 Arena → Launcher

Illuvium Dev Blog — Sep 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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