State Of The Game #2 – On 2018, Alpha 1 & UnityFebruary 1st, 2019 at 5:05 pm
Get an overview of development progress in 2018 and a clarification of recent events. Includes exclusive pre-alpha screenshots!
Hi, fellow gamer and MMO enthusiast!
2018 has come and gone, Alpha 1 is behind the corner, and it’s been a while since we’ve released a complete overview of progress made in the development of Fractured. Well, here it comes!
Warning: if you haven’t been included (yet) in the Fractured Pre-Alpha, you’ll find plenty of game footage “leaks” in this post – so get ready to get excited!
As announced in the September 2018 Alpha 1 Map update, the first alpha test of Fractured will take place on Myr, one of the continents of the Human planet Syndesia. Its size is roughly 60km2 – quite a large territory to explore!
Compared to our Pre-Alpha Gameplay video from April 2018, you might notice (we hope you do!) a large, all around graphical improvement. Textures, models, shaders – it’s literally all new!
Let’s get to it!
The building blocks of the world of Fractured are biomes – environments with coherent morphological features, containing resource nodes and creatures that are often unique to it.
As of today, 6 core biomes are in the making for the continent of Myr:
- Dry Plain
The uniqueness of resources in different biomes is an important drive for exploration, and is expected to generate heavy trading between towns located in different areas of the world. You can recognize at a glance when you’re transitioning from one to another; here’s a comparison of two flat areas, a Grassland and a Dry Plain:
Moreover, there can be visible differences even within the same biome. Here’s an example of a Birch Forest and an Oak Forest sub-biome within a Grassland biome:
During the second half of 2018, we’ve greatly expanded the number of creatures players are able to find in the world and what they can do. While previously they only had access to 1 melee attack each, making them quite repetitive and predictable, they’re now able to perform different attacks (melee or ranged, with multiple animations each), apply Status Effects, and cast (almost) all the spells available to players.
Below is a recap of all the creatures we have available so far – about 40, split into temporary categories.
- Dire Wolf
- Brown Bear
- Grizzly Bear
- Deer Doe
- Deer Stag
- Giant Rat
- Giant Snake
- Giant Spider
- Mountain Dragon
- Lizard Warrior
- Demon Lord
- Hateful Gazer
It’s unlikely we’ll be able to use them all, since we have to give each of them a meaningful loot. A couple dozens should make it to the game though, which we believe is a decent amount for a first alpha version!
We’ve discussed land claiming, town management and politics in Fractured in a large update during our Kickstarter campaign. In our Development Roadmap, we’ve also explained that the first test is set to include building only, while the more complex managerial and political features are planned to be implemented later in the Alpha 1 development cycle.
Work on land claiming and building is almost completed at this point, so let’s have a look at what you can do so far!
To claim a piece of land for yourself and contribute to the rebirth of civilization on Syndesia, just explore the wilderness until you find a small cluster of ruins like this one:
Once claimed, you gain full rights over the parcel of land. Time to clean it and fill it!
Erecting a building in Fractured requires multiple steps. First, you must lay the foundations of the house, then you can construct the walls and floors to finally have access to the roof.
Each step requires carrying heavy resources by hand, so we suggest you team up with friends for the job. You can share the house after!
Done? Now it’s time to decorate it and put together some crafting stations! Most items you can add have a specific purpose beyond their purely decorative side.
The bulk of house building is completed, but interiors decoration still needs development, and the whole UI work is admittedly a tad behind schedule. We’re working hard to complete the whole system before we hit Alpha 1!
Characters are another side of Fractured that has seen a dramatic improvement in 2018, particularly since we hired a dedicated character artist in the second half of the year. Let’s have a look at what changed.
Our characters have been completely reworked since the days of our Kickstarter campaign – along with most of our other game assets, as explained in the beginning of this article. Here are a couple screenshots of how they look like today:
Both male and female are shown wearing furs, but other armor sets have been completed (rugged clothes, leather), and more are in the making.
We sadly don’t have much to report here, since for now character creation only features the selection of attributes. We’re soon going to expand it allowing you to choose a background for your character, which provides you with a suggested set of attributes that you can change as you like during character creation.
As for the customization of your character’s look, we’ll try to sneak that into Alpha 1 as well, although it’s not guaranteed we’ll make it.
As previously announced, during Alpha 1 – Test 1 armor and weapon crafting will be largely restricted to primitive items, since more advanced forms of crafting require tools and processes that are still under development.
Worry not, however: you’ll have enough content to keep yourself busy for the duration of the test!
Progression is the last and hardest point for us at the moment. The Knowledge System is one of the core features of the game, but it’s also a particularly challenging one to develop. Plus, it requires a lot of game content for the “learning” part to feel right.
Right now, we’re working on a simplified version of the system that can realistically give you an idea of how the complete version will feel. If it turns out to be good enough, we’ll include that in Alpha 1 – Test 1. If not, it will be moved to Alpha 1 – Test 2.
Unity vs Improbable
You likely know about the Unity vs Improbable quarrel, as it’s been featured everywhere on gaming media. If not, we explained that in brief in a forum thread when the news broke.
After some heated exchanges on the press, Unity changed its Terms of Service to allow any Third Party Service (such as SpatialOS) to use their engine as a server and re-instated the Improbable licenses. Case closed.
In the end, it was all just a big scare. We are still working with Unity, SpatialOS, and the awesome integration between the two that is allowing us to build an ambitious MMO like Fractured without a AAA-sized team!
Test 1 ETA
That’s why you’ll be happy to hear that while the Unity vs Improbable quarrel has slowed us down a little, we’re still set on Q1 2019 for the start of Alpha 1.
As for the last two waves of invites for the Pre-Alpha, the first will likely be sent out in the second week of February, the other one a couple weeks later. We’ll keep you up to date if any development issue that might slow us down arises.
See you soon in game!