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Design Preview May "In Development" Update AmonGwareth
April 28, 2006
AmonGwareth
No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you.  Two design previews in a row!  There is so much to talk about that we just couldn't wait to get another typed up and posted for you all to read.  So, without any further delays...

May is going to be a busy month for us.  We have some content on Blight that will be (barring unforseen developments) patching to the live servers.  This content will include the next event titled "The Offensive Continues" as well as the beginning of the New Trismus overhaul.  The invasion of the Withered Aegis towards Harro heats up and your beloved war-hero, Jatell, continues to predict the movements and actions of the invading forces with uncanny skill and accuracy.  On New Trismus, six new quests for both Warrior and Mage are available and we hope new players enjoy them.  Quests for Clerics and Scouts as well as the other three base schools (Monk, Spiritist, and Druid) will be coming in time, but we aren't yet done with Warrior and Mage.  We have an additional five quests for each that will be added in the near future, including a four-part story quest.

You may have noticed a lot of patching going on lately!  And you're probably wondering what is up with that?  Well, we're doing a bit of clean-up.  We're patching updated versions of all textures that have been re-compiled to preserve more detail between the texture detail levels.  We're also patching new particle effect files that have been fixed so that they will properly scale.  Particle Effects are meant to scale with your skill level so that the higher your level, the better the particle effect looks.  This was not happening before and all particle effects were being displayed at their highest level all of the time.

This month is also going to be busy for us because of the E3 Expo in Los Angeles May 10th through 12th.  While Tulga Games won't have a booth this year, several of us will be there the entire time wandering and probably making a general nuisance of ourselves.

Now on to the meat of the preview, though actually it isn't so much of a preview as a list of projects that are "In Development".  What does that mean?  Well, it means that the projects listed below have been assigned development time.  That means they will at some point make it public, though it would be hard to say when because it depends upon the size and scope of the project as well as any technology, art and content that may be required, and any number of other factors that can influence scheduling.  In addition, you may notice that there are far fewer items on the list than the last preview or even the ones last year.  Well, you've seen the "big list" of what we want to do in last month's preview.  So we thought we'd just give an update to the projects we're actively working on right now.

  • Island of New Trismus - A full scale overhaul of the island of New Trismus.  Every NPC is getting a face-lift to his or her dialogue, numerous quests are being added for every school on the island, monsters as well as spawn regions are being adjusted and tweaked, and finally a story for the island is being established and written in the form of a 4-part quest that all players (with adventuring levels) can participate in.  And without further delay, meet the newly arrived boss of the island, Urgat the Wicked:

Boss

  • Confectioner - A total overhaul of the Confectioner school that encompasses the death point and food system within Horizons.  Many new harvestable resources as well as numerous processed, purchased, and bonus resources are being added.  Taverns will now encourage players to eat food in central locations.  New animations for eating, while sitting down and standing up.  Finally, a flexible system of formulas, foods and seasonings that allow players to make foods the way they want to make them.  Add whatever you want to your soups or your steaks.  Chocolate-covered chicken kabobs?  No problem!  Want to read the latest updates on the Confectioner overhaul?  Go here.  And here's a sneak preview of all of the new resource nodes:

Foods

  • New Monsters - Crabs, Scorpions, and other new monsters will soon make their way into the world.  These monsters will attempt to fill previously under-utilized environments such as the desert and will also bring new challenges and fun to Horizons.
  • Player-Written Quests - A long-term project that involves new tools, extensive documentation, and the creativity and multitude of ideas from our dedicated player-base.  This project will allow players to write their own quests and then if approved, see those quests entered into the game for everyone to enjoy.
  • Poison - With the introduciton of new monsters, some of which are often associated with poisons and venoms, we're looking into the creation of actual poisons within the game.  This may involve new spells and potions, though it's too early to say at this stage.

And then a couple specific client projects that relate directly to players:

  • Terrain - Continued work on the terrain system to improve performance, memory usage and network bandwidth.
  • Pref Files - An overhaul of the pref files to separate character-specific and game-specific settings for those who like to play around with their prefs.

Well, thats about it.  Smaller than last time, but we're actively working on these projects daily so that kind of gives you an idea of where we stand.  We thank you all for your continued support and we look forward to your feedback about the items listed above as well as other ideas and feedback.

  • Wondering what was on last month's design preview?  Go here.
  • To discuss this topic, go here.
  • To read and post general suggestions for the game, go here.

Have a great May and happy hunting!

Amon Gwareth
and the Horizons Dev Team

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