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Design Preview June "In-Development" Update AmonGwareth
June 2, 2006
AmonGwareth
Three! Three design updates in a row.  This might be a trend folks!  May was a busy month for us here at Tulga so I thought I'd try to summarize everything that happened and let you know where we stand with our various projects.

To begin with, we had a great E3. (Electronic Entertainment Expo) While we didn't have a booth, we garnered quite a bit of media attention with the announcements of both Horizons: The Settlements and Dark World Online.  We also were able to speak with several websites about Horizons: Empire of Istaria regarding the growth we've been experiencing and progress we're making.

We've continued patching out numerous files, including the new assets for the Confectioner revamp as well as a few new monster assets.  Neither are available to players just yet, but things are moving along nicely on both fronts.  Other assets will be coming over the month as we begin working on fixing the occlusion on many of our existing models.  Combined with the client work that is on-going, soon you will begin to see improvements in performance in towns across Istaria.

June is also going to be a great month for us because we'll be adding two new people to the Design Team: Zach Whitten and Michael Hampden.  Both are great guys who bring with them a lot of enthusiasm and we can't wait to get them up to speed on our tools and the game and let them start to make their mark on Horizons and the future.

So, with that in mind I thought I'd discuss what we're actively working on right now.  Our "big list" really hasn't changed much from the update two months ago so I'll just be visiting the active projects in this update.

  • Island of New Trismus - As with the previous update, work on New Trismus is on-going. The Warrior and Mage Schools' quests can now be said to be complete and have undergone rigorous testing. We've gotten a lot of great feedback on these from players and testers.  Thank you all for your help!  The Cleric quests are now in and will be undergoing the same treatment.  Scout is just entering the pipeline and should be appearing on Blight within the next week or two.  Finally, writing on the 4-part story quest for the island (The Steward's Quest) is complete and it will also be appearing on Blight shortly.
  • Confectioner - With all of the assets for the resources done, we've begun work on the foods and formulas themselves.  In June you will likely begin to see spawns of new resources appearing throughout Istaria while other resources involved with Confectioner move around a bit.  We're also beginning work on the quests and other lore-related issues with Confectioner.
  • New Monsters - As before, work on new monsters is still underway.  Crabs, Scorpions, and at least two new monster types are being worked on and will be part of a future project that players have been asking for since the beginning.

  • Player-Written Quests - work on the documentation and FAQ continues.  The Quest Editor has entered wider testing and continues to inch closer to full public release.  The first set of player-made quests (created by LaughingOtter and made using the Quest Editor) will be reaching the live servers in the next week or two.
  • Flying Cargo Disks - We previewed these disks last month on MMORPG.com and work on them is moving forward.  These will be dragon-only cargo disks that a Dragon can tow behind while flying. Additional details such as storage capacity and construction requirements are still being determined.
Well, that about covers it.  As with every month, our on-going goal is to fix bugs whenever and wherever we come across them.  And, there are other smaller projects we work on (such as adding Lairshaping bonuses to Lunus/Helian machines) that aren't mentioned except in the patch notes.  

We thank you all for your continued support.  We've had a great spring and we hope to have an even better summer.  Subscriptions are on the rise, new players are trying Horizons out and over half are staying with us.  We'll continue to try and do the things that need to be done to grow Horizons and we hope you will continue to provide us with your valuable feedback and support.
Have a great June and a great summer!

Amon Gwareth and the Horizons Design Team

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