Intrepid Studios is still quietly plugging away at their new MMO project with My.com, Ashes of Creation. The MMORPG is coming together quite nicely, but has a long way to go.
The game is still working through the results of its initial testing phase, known as Apocalypse. This special experimental free-to-play phase included three game modes that players can take part in to test their skills in combat, all while helping test new features. And as part of promoting this massive game, Intrepid Studios has unleashed a small array of developer diaries aimed at showcasing various parts of the game.
Let’s start with the most recent one, a developer diary that runs through how the developers, artists and other workers have designed a dynamic world and filled it out with beautifully realized characterization and feel. A big part of that comes down to in-game modeling and animation. You would be surprised how much this often-forgotten element of game design can aid immersion.
Then there’s of course many more. For example, a video showcased part of the design process with more animation work, this time on weapons and modeling for the in-game tools of war. The creative process for how these weapons are taken from concept art to in-game asset is a treat, check it out.
In a more macroscopic view, a big part of building an enjoyable MMO that players want to spend time in is world-building. And just one small sliver of that process is creating the environment and locales players will visit and interact with. Ashes of Creation will put a ton of effort into the design and creation of these areas, and the developer is creating custom tools to help create different themes and cultural influences that will be rendered in-game.
Another major part of this creative process is the Nodes, the game worlds that will actually make up Ashes of Creation. Each Node will have its own influences and designs, giving a unique feel to each one. And what’s even cooler is that the game will randomize different elements and make each trip through the game world feel unique. Players will be encouraged to explore in Ashes of Creation.
And since there’s nine individual races, each with their own cultures spread across the Nodes, there’s a lot of work to do.
These Nodes must be uncovered by players and unlocked by players interacting with the Nodes within a given area. Each Node has attached to it a specific zone of influence, and the zone of influence will determine what type of activities can spawn for that Node. As players complete more activities, the Nodes grow with them, creating a world that is truly the product of the players.