Serafina, World Fusion's President and Atriarch Designer,
will be demonstrating some really cool new game features,
and never-before-seen game mechanics at the upcoming
Game Developer's Conference (GDC),
Serafina, World Fusion's President and Atriarch Designer, will be attending the upcoming Game Developer's Conference (GDC) during March 9-13, 2010.
Physics in the World Fusion Engine powering Atriarch has been completely overhauled. In place of our original physics algorithms we have plugged in the Bullet Physics Library, the leading free software / open source physics engine with amazing capabilities such as dynamic physical constraint systems for levers, joints, ropes, and sliders; and soft-body dynamics for cloth and flesh. Atriarch physics is now more exciting, immersive, and closer to our vision of a truly physical MMO world.
Atriarch content and World Fusion Engine code repositories are now managed using Mercurial, one of the leading free software / open source distributed source control management systems. Although we got great mileage out of CVS and Subversion, distributed version control is much better suited to the kind of decentralized development model that we use for Atriarch and the World Fusion Engine.
Emails have been pouring in lately asking about Atriarch.
We think gamers are anxious to see something new and different and are hoping Atriarch will be it.
Many people are curious if Atriarch is still in development?
What is the status?
Why are we so horrible at updating?
Anything cool you can show us?
The answers are simple and positive.
Yes, we are working on Atriarch. Yes, it is absolutely in development!
We remain dedicated to and excited about the World of Atriana and possibilities this new alien world brings to fans of MOGs.
The small and dedicated Atriarch team is working feverishly on as much alieness fun as possible!
This Summer and Fall a lot of progress was made.
Here is some of what has been going on in the world of Atriana....
We are bringing forth a new style of user interface.
Our goal is to cut down on clutter and UI distractions and make the interface less intrusive.
Our philosophy is that a user interface is there to enhance your game experience, not be the game itself.
Part of the new style is already implemented; more to go.
As with anything new, we will definitely need to work out the kinks.
World building and authoring capability has been significantly improved.
Previously, adding creatures and characters and general stuff to the world was a somewhat painful process.
For example, changes to character and creature stats had to be made offline.
Now all these types of changes are done live.
Moving stuff around, trying out new things, and testing the world is much faster and easier than before.
More importantly, it is a lot more fun!
Hmmm... what would happen if I dropped 600 Mygrym creatures on this Tyrusin guard tower and cranked up their appetite?
Character pathing is the current focus for the dev team.
Creatures and characters have general pathing guidelines which are defined by their AI behavior.
We are expanding the AI behavior to include specific pathing as well the general.
On the note of release dates and time.... yes, we understand this is taking a longer time than most people would expect, including us.
Essentially, time is the trade-off we have had to make for choosing to do Atriarch ourselves and with little budget. We have a passion for creating unique and alien worlds. We also have the dedication and the long attention span necessary to ensure this living, breathing artistic passion is birthed into the game space.
Someday everyone will want to live in a custom structural masterpiece from an Eshlar architect.
Someday everyone will know to visit the Cavolon scientist for that unique elixir that makes their garden grow twice as high as their neighbors.
Someday everyone will dream of joining the Lokai on their adventures across the Sinking Desert to trade for rare and exotic goods.
Someday everyone seek to hail amongst the Tyrusin warriors in great battles of honor and courage!
Someday, the Unarra will reveal themselves.
We just don't know when that someday is yet... but we promise to tell you as soon as we know.
And yes, we suck at updating.
We will eventually get better at that :-)
We were excited to see a few long-time Atriarch fans at the IMGDC conference last month.
Just like the GDC in February, many people who have been quietly following Atriarch's development--albeit slow--progress are starting to come out of the alien woodwork.
There continues to be a yearning out there for a world that is unique, imaginative, and unusual.
We believe that Atriarch will be that world.
This motivates us to keep fighting the challenges that face an independent developer.
To those of you still following our journey: you're awesome! Woohoo!
World Fusion is now implementing a new internship program, as we have done before with great success.
In exchange for the excellent work on Atriarch, our previous interns gained real world, commercial game development experience that led to industry jobs.
Two previous interns went on to become leads for other game companies, and both had no game development experience before working for World Fusion.
We will post more information about this program in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, if you would like to be considered for this, please e-mail us and we'll put you on the contact list when the details are available.
The answers are simple and positive.
Yes, we are working on Atriarch. Yes, it is absolutely in development! We remain dedicated to and excited about the World of Atriana and possibilities this new alien world brings to fans of MOGs.
The small and dedicated Atriarch team is working feverishly on as much alieness fun as possible! This Summer and Fall a lot of progress was made. Here is some of what has been going on in the world of Atriana....
We are bringing forth a new style of user interface. Our goal is to cut down on clutter and UI distractions and make the interface less intrusive. Our philosophy is that a user interface is there to enhance your game experience, not be the game itself. Part of the new style is already implemented; more to go. As with anything new, we will definitely need to work out the kinks.
World building and authoring capability has been significantly improved. Previously, adding creatures and characters and general stuff to the world was a somewhat painful process. For example, changes to character and creature stats had to be made offline. Now all these types of changes are done live. Moving stuff around, trying out new things, and testing the world is much faster and easier than before. More importantly, it is a lot more fun! Hmmm... what would happen if I dropped 600 Mygrym creatures on this Tyrusin guard tower and cranked up their appetite?
Character pathing is the current focus for the dev team. Creatures and characters have general pathing guidelines which are defined by their AI behavior. We are expanding the AI behavior to include specific pathing as well the general.
On the note of release dates and time.... yes, we understand this is taking a longer time than most people would expect, including us. Essentially, time is the trade-off we have had to make for choosing to do Atriarch ourselves and with little budget. We have a passion for creating unique and alien worlds. We also have the dedication and the long attention span necessary to ensure this living, breathing artistic passion is birthed into the game space.
Someday everyone will want to live in a custom structural masterpiece from an Eshlar architect. Someday everyone will know to visit the Cavolon scientist for that unique elixir that makes their garden grow twice as high as their neighbors. Someday everyone will dream of joining the Lokai on their adventures across the Sinking Desert to trade for rare and exotic goods. Someday everyone seek to hail amongst the Tyrusin warriors in great battles of honor and courage! Someday, the Unarra will reveal themselves. We just don't know when that someday is yet... but we promise to tell you as soon as we know. And yes, we suck at updating. We will eventually get better at that :-)
We were excited to see a few long-time Atriarch fans at the IMGDC conference last month. Just like the GDC in February, many people who have been quietly following Atriarch's development--albeit slow--progress are starting to come out of the alien woodwork. There continues to be a yearning out there for a world that is unique, imaginative, and unusual. We believe that Atriarch will be that world. This motivates us to keep fighting the challenges that face an independent developer. To those of you still following our journey: you're awesome! Woohoo!
World Fusion is now implementing a new internship program, as we have done before with great success. In exchange for the excellent work on Atriarch, our previous interns gained real world, commercial game development experience that led to industry jobs. Two previous interns went on to become leads for other game companies, and both had no game development experience before working for World Fusion. We will post more information about this program in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you would like to be considered for this, please e-mail us and we'll put you on the contact list when the details are available.
Serafina, World Fusion's President and Atriarch Designer, will be giving a presentation at the Independent MMO Game Developer's Conference on March 30.
IMGDC is a conference specifically for independent development teams and companies.
She will talk about the different strategies World Fusion used to generate revenue so World Fusion could continue to work on Atriarch as an independent developer.
She will also discuss which strategies did not work.
She hopes it will help give other indie devs some insight that will jumpstart their revenue generating endeavors.
(Just because buying a lottery ticket every week hasn't worked out yet, is no reason to stop trying.)
At GDC while demoing the many ways to overpopulate an area with my favorite character,
we learned that the AI needs considerable improvement.
Some very cool stuff is emerging from this. More on this to come.
At GDC while demoing the many ways to overpopulate an area with my favorite character, we learned that the AI needs considerable improvement. Some very cool stuff is emerging from this. More on this to come.
This month we attended the Game Developer's Conference with our trusty travelling laptop demo of Atriarch in hand. One of my favorite moments was when a former publisher representative who had considered Atriarch in the early days said she is really excited to see Atriarch still moving forward. Over all the years she has evaluated games, she still has not yet seen anything like Atriarch and wish we would hurry up so she could play it!
So what is new on our traveling demo booth (aka: laptop) at GDC this year? Actually several cool things. From a demo perspective the best change is in the world building tool. Creatures, buildings, items, and such, used to be imported through a tedious command line. Now we import content with a click of the mouse. Deciding on a whim that the Tyrusin Pallidrost Arena is suddenly going to drown in a sea of adventuring Lokai no longer results in carpal tunnel. It made for showing off the variations in Atriarch a lot easier and faster.
Now at the start of 2008, internal testing of Atriarch is going very well. In the spirit of the upcoming Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco, our Features & FAQ Engine page has been updated with links to the latest free software and open source code that is used by the World Fusion® Engine and development team.
Gearheads like our Eshlar Guide here will appreciate that Atriarch is one of the very few massive games that runs natively on open operating systems such as FreeBSD and GNU/Linux, as well as in 64-bit mode on these platforms! When launched, Atriarch will be released simultaneously for open operating systems along with the proprietary operating systems: Windows, et. al.
If you would like to make an appointment to meet at GDC for an in-person chat or demo of Atriarch, email Serafina at (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
September 20, 2007Yippeee! You no longer will have to look at stale news. Next week, Atriarch's newly crowned Cavolon and Community Evangelist will be introducing himself. He is taking over the responsibility of updating the website regularly. We are steadily (albeit more slowly than we like) making foward progress with Atriarch. Some exciting things have recently come down the pipeline, and we look forward to sharing them with you soon.
February 23, 2007New Environments - Preparing for Game Developer's Conference...March 5-9 in San Francisco, California, we will be attending the Game Developer's Conference. In tow will be the trusty demo laptop for those who want to take a peak of Atriarch live. This will be the first time we have all the different environments as shown in the screenshots available for demo. As discussed in our last month's update, we had been using mostly a single test/demo area. We've been staring at the Tyrusin Arena for quite awhile, time to shake things up a bit.
We prepared it to work offline at a moment's notice. Good thing too, because last conference, the internet services in the convention went down an entire day.
If you would like to meet at GDC, then please email us at: spechan-at-yahoo-dot-com
shell & server crash fixed... All the timing code has been refactored. It was causing the shell and server to lock up. It is all fixed. Now if it crashes, it will be for an entirely different reason... woohoo! progress :-) Most of the major server features & architecture have been refactored to keep in step with the current crop of games. Now, it is a matter of enhancing what's there and continuing to fix bugs, both small and big ones.
excavating for Atriarch content... Over the years, several staff, independent contractors, and community have contributed to Atriarch's content pool. This content includes things like graphics, stories, textures, animations, environments, design docs, etc. While much of this was maintained following a standardized process, several contributors did not have access to the pipeline or central repository. Also there were times when deadlines loomed or we worked offline that the standard pipeline was bypassed. This resulted in a certain percentage of Atriarch's content to be distributed amongst many locations. We are taking time to track down and corral the content that has been living outside of the pipeline and reintegrate it. It is tedious and time consuming work, but worth it. So far, we have found 12 weapons sitting on an old backup of a backup from a workstation that we forgot were even modeled. Woohoo! I'm hoping in our next backup dig we'll find Atriarch's Lost Continent .. heheh... ok ok bad joke ;-)
documentation & reference... We have begun working on an internal reference guide for Atriarch authoring which we plan to eventually turn into the user guide. This arose while I was testing and unable to remember a particular command. There is just too much to remember. Time to make an official reference guide.
January 1, 2007
Happy New Year! Here are the latest Atriarch happenings:
Atriana Globalization: world building & Atriarch cities... The Tyrusin Region of Pallidrost has been our default "test & demo" location. It is home of the Arena of Foreign Apprenticeship and is the preferred ecosystem of the Dubo Plant. The Dubo is an ice plant harvested to build the Dubosek architecture seen in the area, for example, the player-built Tyrusin Guard Tower seen in many screenshots. Pallidrost is a good area for use during our internal testing and demo-ing because it is small enough to be contained (a few kilometers), yet large enough try new features within an Atriana landscape. While it will remain our main test area, we are expanding the world to include Drasius (Eshlar Port City), Orescent (Lokai Desert City & Capitol), and the Cavolon Foreign Embassy in the Swamps.
In the past, each of these cities were a demo/test area in and of themselves. It made everything simpler for us that way. Now, we are moving these regions all to the same globe (Atriana) rather than their own individual test globes. This is a significant move considering the world is a true curved globe with six degrees of seemless terrain and movement.
This is an exciting progress contributing toward the globalization of aliens :-)
server development & bugs... fixed some bugs, continue working on others.
server development & bugs... fixed some bugs, continue working on others.
November 12, 2006 - Current Status FAQ
We are around and happily plugging away on Atriarch!
Below we answer questions and address concerns you've brought to our attention this year.
World Fusion's commitment to Atriarch remains alive and well (albeit a bit reclusive the past few months):
What an interesting road Atriarch has and is taking. We started off quietly with an idea of developing this beautiful online alien world. A couple gamers (World Fusion) began working on the concept in addition to our regular contracting work. Then it evolved into something much larger... larger vision, larger team, larger budget, larger everything. We hit several roadblocks along the way, one after another after another. Many of these roadblocks were out of our control and placed in front of us by others. Some of these roadblocks were the result of our own decisions. Regardless of any of that, one thing remained constant... World Fusion's dedication to seeing Atriarch brought to life!
That dedication remains alive and healthy! We have come full circle at World Fusion. Those original couple gamers (us at World Fusion) that began Atriarch are the same team that continue to work on it right now. Any project that takes so long and has so much hope and anticipation and expectation attached to it can be frustrating and stressful for publishers, fans, and team members. Atriarch's roller coaster ride of ups and downs (and bouts of silence) can be tiring for everyone. All this we understand.
Therefore, below we answer some of the most common questions and concerns you have posed to us the past year about Atriarch's development.
Why is Atriarch taking such a long time?
Two main reasons: 1) Funding and resources are minimal. 2) No matter how you look at it, even the most basic online world technology is extremely complex. It takes a lot of time. Even when tech is purchased or used from a 3rd party, it still requires a significant amount of skill, effort, and development. For a tiny team like ours, it just takes longer. If you want to see it move along faster, we are always open to your ideas and/or contributions.
Is holding too tight to the original vision keeping it from ever getting released?
Actually, the original vision for Atriarch was tight and clean. As a highly anticipated project, expectations soared and we began to lose sight of the original vision as the scope contorted to meet those expectations. Atriarch's original vision invites players to participate in a unique alien and organic life where you can build, compete, and directly impact the world around you. The original vision is always what was fun and compelling about Atriarch and still is. Holding tight to the original vision (not its bloated successor) keeps what is important about Atriarch in the foreground.
Why not put Atriarch on hold and start over with a new game?
This is a question I get often at conferences. Or the other variation on this question is why not just drop all the features completely and start from scratch and make Atriarch a different game? Our response is this... Just because something takes longer than we planned doesn't mean we are going to cancel it. There is no point to that. We have a strong achievable vision. We have a fun game. We have a great and truly unique alien world! Plenty of potentially great games have been canceled or tossed out over the years. We just don't quit like that. We don't just cancel what we know to be a perfectly viable and fun game because it is taking a long time! Each day breathes a little more life into the organic, alien world of Atriana. I still want to be in that world. When it is ready, you will want to as well.
If it will speed things up, why not use someone else's engine?
When we started Atriarch, 3rd party tech did not exist for MOGs. We would have used it if the tech had been viable at the time. Now that it is viable, we are so far down the road with the Atriarch engine and server tech that switching to a 3rd party at this point would actually be more work to integrate than it would to complete ours. More importantly, the Atriarch engine was designed to support the special type of gameplay and player-based construction that Atriarch boasts. That part already works in the Atriarch engine. It does not in other engines. Why? Because frankly, it is so damn hard to do, it is not worth it to them. However, not only is it worth it to us, but it is one of the best and most fun things about Atriarch!
Will Atriarch still be commercially viable when it comes out?
Yes, of course. From the beginning, we knew that Atriarch would need to evolve to keep up with current standards. We designed it so that we could evolve the technology, engine and gameplay when needed. When Atriarch releases, some of it will be cutting edge. Some of it will be a blunt edge. The beautiful thing about online worlds, like Atriarch, is the ability to continuously enhance and evolve both the engine and the world. Atriana is an organic world after all, shouldn't the technology the game runs on be as well :-)
Speaking of release, what is the plan for the future?
The best answer we can give you is that it will be done when its done. That is a frustrating answer for many, we know. However, it is the truest and most honest answer we can give. The important part of that though is that it will be released!
What are you currently working on? Why aren't you updating the site more often?
Part of the reason for lack of updates is because the stuff we are working on is kind of boring. If we were to update the past several months they would all read about the same... working on server bug... still working on it... fixed bug, found new one... now working on this one. ... still working ... yup, this week fixing a bug. So on and so on. Many people have said they would rather read the same update every week, then nothing. So we will start back updating the site... even if it is the same, just to let you know we are here and working.
Follow-up from Austin Game Conference - How it quelled all my organic and alien fears!
What seems like yesterday (but was actually 2 months ago), I attended Austin Game Conference. The conference is great because its focus is online worlds. All the usual suspects were there... both big and small developers. What I found most interesting about the conference is that the topics were the same as they have been for many years, for example, skill-based systems vs. class based systems. Player content vs. developer content. Big worlds vs. small instanced worlds. So on and so on.
This basically quelled my concerns about Atriarch needing another overhaul to be brought current. While graphics and physics can be improved (that's a technical issue with a solution), the essence of what makes a game fun continues to be and always will be hotly debated. Listening to the speakers present the same arguments and debates that I've heard a million times and that I'm sure I'll hear again for years to come, reminded me that Atriarch in and of itself is an argument for fun (even its not the only one).
Given the current landscape of online worlds, Atriarch remains innovative. When it comes down to it, I find Atriarch interesting. It still has an epic quality of alien culture and politics and history. I'm looking forward to playing it with you.
September 5, 2006
This week, we will be attending the Austin Game Conference. If you are in Austin, please drop us an email. We will be happy to talk about the latest Atriarch progress. And yesssss! I am excited to report that there is progress. It has quite some time since we've reported here online. Once sources are available beyond World Fusion, I promise to get someone else to update the site who is much better at regularly communicating. For all those still reading this, thank you for your patience.
We have currently been splitting our time between World Fusion contracts and getting things done with Atriarch. More specifically, Arc is spending as much time as possible working out some technical show-stoppers on the server side. Once this major, but necessary, undertaking is completed, we will be able to breathe a sigh of relief and get the world back up and in testable condition once again.
the Others search for truth amongst the Lokai... Since our small tech team can only progress so quickly, the "Others'" have been putting time into piecing together the history and artifacts and stories and oral tradition of the Atrians. Although the Lokai are renown for their explorations, they are not exactly known for their preservation of archives. Their adventures are shown on their Khanja Staff, but the details are mostly from oral tradition. The Others are making it their purpose to search for the marbling of truth in the stories the old explorers left us. When the Others have separated what they think is truth from myth they will present it here.
June 15, 2006
Things are moving along slowly, but surely for the Atriarch. Last month we visited E3 and showed Atriarch to some companies and press. Ten Ton Hammer posted an article about our meeting and took some pictures of the infamous roaming laptop booth :-) There was even a little discussion about some of the latest things that have already been implemented, including the Achievement System. We will discuss this more in the coming months.
Go here to read Ten Ton's Hammer Atriarch post.
April 11, 2006
a disease called "Date-itis" ... I have this disease called date-itis. It causes me to post dates for when things will be ready with Atriarch even though historically I'm usually wrong. There is no known cure for this disease. Therefore, I am going to do what I can to keep it from flaring up by focusing my updates on current happenings rather than anticipated future happenings. Thank you for your patience and understanding of my date-itis challenge ;-)
forward progress & do Atrians dream in color? ... Yes, we are working on Atriarch. Yes, Atrians dream in color. Yes, I know, we have been quiet lately. Since I'm looking at Atriarch in one way or another everyday, it is a part of my daily life. It is just part of me. Therefore, sometimes I forget that I need to actually update and share my Atriarch moments here so you also get that information. I just assume everyone lives, breathes, and sleeps Atriarch. Or am I the only one who dreams in Atrianese? :-)
server technology ... This is what has been going on lately... the World Fusion server technology (which Atriarch utilizes) is going through a series of overhauls to prepare it to eventually be capable of expanding to the expectations that gamers have of the current crop of games. In the process of doing this, Arc brought down the servers running the previous version of our technology... hence, the testing servers were no longer available. As of today, he was not able to give me an ETA on the new servers. Even if he did, I'm sure my disease would flare up again, and we want to avoid that ;-)
Atriarch demos at E3 ... In the meantime (while we wait for the updated servers), we have revived a previous "solo version" of Atriarch. It is a version of Atriarch which runs without needing to connect to the servers. It is a very good view of the current state of the Atriarch game. It is what we will be using to demo at the upcoming E3. If you would like to see that, then please drop me an email anytime to set up an appointment. Me and my roaming bandits of Durakk will have laptop in hand ready for demos as a moment's notice.
Quite a bit of the game mechanics are now in Atriarch. We will be updating about those sometime soon (the word "soon" is a symptom of the disease). In terms of graphics, we are waiting until the last to update the graphics portion of the engine, because that is a significant undertaking considering integration, programming and 3D content necessary. We may have help in this area coming from an outside source. We'll keep you informed on how that works out. If you have any suggestions on that area, we are all ears (especially those sneaky Cavolon).
World Fusion happenings ... Since we are independent, World Fusion continues with the other part of our business, software architecture and multimedia consulting, to fund Atriarch. It allows us to continue moving forward with Atriarch, albeit a bit slower than we would like. Every once in awhile, we are able to step outside of the corporate IT world and do some other interesting work. For example, Arc and World Fusion did some 3D animation and graphics for a top-selling documentary on WWII. It was pretty cool!
Anyway, I look forward to seeing a lot of you at E3 (www.e3expo.com) in May! There is tons of fabulous and exciting Atriarch stuff to show. If you'll be there, be sure to contact me (email@example.com)! Woo Atriarch!
November 8, 2005
Things have been heating up lately. Publisher and press interest in Atriarch is really picking up. Typically, publisher interest begins after the first of the year due to the Christmas/December rush for most larger companies. However, Atriarch seems to have caught the scent of some major players, alternative venues and traditional publishers. I am currently on tour, talking with various publishers, partners and press. Right now I'm in Australia where New Era Companies has purchased the rights to publish, distribute and support Atriarch. We are excited and looking forward to good things happening!
Things are crazy. We are already setting up demos for the Game Developer's Conference, March 2006. This marks the soonest we've ever needed to do that. These are all good signs! If you will be at GDC , then drop us an email to let us know... (Make sure it doesn't look like junk mail or it will just get booted). Even if you are just a long time "Tuesday Update" fan... we owe you a good demo... email us and we'll be happy to talk and show everything Atriarch :-)
October 29, 2005
Atriarch Moonlight Savings Time ... Please remember to turn your sun dials back one week. This update is actually happening this past Tuesday.
alien furnishings ... What do they look like? We have talked about the actual alien structures themselves, yet we haven't much talked about the insides... and as we all know, the insides of aliens are sometimes cooler than the outside. Therefore, we have commissioned an artist to start the next phase of designing and modeling alien furnishings. Because on Earth as on Atriana, we are certain that Beings of all species love to fill their structures with items, things, and stuff (not necessarily in that order).
So what does an alien chair look like? Does an alien even need a chair as we know it? Do different species have different styles of furniture? We think so. We would also like to hear your ideas for furnishings, anything from functional to decorative. You can post it on the boards at Atriarch Vault or. Atriarch Watcher.
October 18, 2005
more on Atriarch's player buildings ... When talking about Atriarch, we mention a lot about player structures and buildings. The simple reason is because we think it is really cool the way we've designed it. Okay, okay, I know that is not the most subjective statement in the world, but then again if I did not think what we are making was worthwhile, then I'd do something else. I am a gamer afterall and want to play Atriarch with everyone :-) Anyway, back to player-buildings... mentioned in previous posts, player buildings require the placement of a foundation. Atriarch's engine differentiates between types of foundations. The following paragraph addresses some questions that were posted about this.
The engine recognizes "types" of foundations which refers to the actual structural integrity of the building, not its function. Previously, a Foundation was placed on the ground, and then pretty much any type of block of any kind could be randomly placed on it (or whatever the planet's gravity would allow).
As Atriarch game authors, we now define which Foundations will accept which building pieces. This offers a lot of openess in the gameplay while addressing the issue of structural relationships. It aids in consistency thoughout the building styles so that you are unlikely to see an Unarran roof on Tyrusin walls held up by a Cavolon floor. The reason is because they would just not structurally fit. Yes, of course, there will be variety in visuals and materials and even mixing and matching of pieces, but not unlimited. Practically speaking, we do not believe it is worth diverting the extensive amount of development time toward the physics engine that would be necessary to account for an unlimited availability of incongruent structural integrities. whew! That was a mouthful, eh? Brevity was never my strong point... anwyay...
To summarize: Building blocks are fun. Alien building blocks are even funner! I really look forward to seeing what you build in Atriarch.
October 12, 2005
more about Atriarch's plugin architecture ... There have been several questions posted on the boards asking what we meant when we posted that we have designed a plug-in architecture for Atriarch. The main question was whether or not it would affect the server. The answer is no, it will not affect the server, and it will not affect another person's experience of the game. It is only designed to affect your own local experience. A player will not be able to upload their own content. Player-designed buildings are designed using the building blocks provided by the game. We still focus on "player content" yet maintain the cohesiveness of the alien culture and world by doing it this way.
Terralos: I'm guessing that the types of things plugins will do is enhance the game interface, automate scripting, track and organize your assets, create a (or multiple) market exchange(s), allow chat enhancements, automatically optimize your combat moves based on your abilities and circumstances, suggest a course of action based on goals you are closest to accomplishing, allow an in-game item database, etc.
Serafina: Yes, those are the sorts of things I see plugins eventually becoming, but with a caveat. Some plugins, such as tracking items, require the engine to release certain data and information. We have yet to determine what information makes sense to release to the shell in a format that is usable to a player. Some data is more sensitive than others. The next question discusses optimization of combat in a plugin.
Terralos: It makes me wonder if the standard game interface will be somewhat utilitarian in order to promote the creation and use of community-cretaed gadgets. I'm not against this idea, but I hope it is not so unrestricted that the game turns out to be a kingdom run by he with the best programming ability.
Serafina: Our focus is keeping people's minds off the interface and more in the game world. To me, the less interface, the better. So, yes, the game interface will be somewhat utilitarian. However, we do understand that some players prefer lots of interface. Instead of trying to please everyone, we believe giving you the tools to make it how you like is best. In terms of combat, I am extremely mindful of the sense of "fairness" that is expected by players when in combat. There are steps taken to ensure that players have the same opportunity given their playing choices. The server is still tracking everything. A player cannot make a plugin that would override what is happening on the server. If something is illegal, for example, five combat maneuvers within a split second, than it simply won't happen... at least not on the server... and in Atriarch, if the server doesn't approve it, then it simply doesn't count.
Terralos: Potentially, the experience for someone who simply wants to play it as it comes out of the box will be not only lacking, but possibly hopeless when they are up against those who are 'plugged in'. There is a chasm between those who are comfortable and able to hunt down plugins, and those who can't or won't, and most people will be on the can't/won't side of it. They can't or won't simply because they don't understand the concept or the potential they are missing.
Serafina: The playing experience out of the box will be what we think is most universal given our philosophy for the game. On the other hand, we know that there are many tinkerers out there that will want to do just that. There are many people who don't want things in their stock form, but want to change it a bit. We are just providing that option as long as those options are made available to the public. Again, I must emphasize, it does not change anything on the server. The game will remain the way it is... only the peron's personally experience or interface into the world will really be affected.
Terralos: Another concern is that if plugin access to the game server is unrestricted enough, you could create plugins that fundamentally change the soul of the game.
Serafina: No. No. No. Did I mention, no? I do understand that concern, so let me make it very clear. We are not creating access to the servers in any way whatsoever. Plugins only work with the shell, which is local to you. Plugins do not work somehow through the shell and into the server. Plugins go nowhere near the server. However, we will potentially be making some information available to the shell that could be utilized by a plugin... maybe. If/what information we make available is what is under discussion and testing.
October 3, 2005
update coming soon ... We have been really busy, so we are just jumping on quickly to let you know we are here and will take some time out soon to update. There were a lot of posts on the boards asking about last week's update. I am going to have Arc give me a nice description for everyone as soon as he is finished with his current milestone. I think that should be some time this week, but no promises. I'll be visiting the boards this week as well addressing some questions. See you again soon!
September 27, 2005
enhancements to player-building foundations ... In a previous update, we discussed how Atriarch player buildings require a structural foundation to be placed on flat ground before building can commence. We have now implemented the ability to support multiple types of foundations. Whereas previously there was only one generic, all-purpose foundation, the engine can now distinguish between different ones for different purposes. This is really exciting, because it lays the groundwork for functional player structures that are individualized and personal.
Atriarch's plugin architecture ... The Atriarch team is extremely excited about a slight shift in the direction we have taken with the engine. Our player program, "the shell", has been designed with a plugin architecture. Basically that means the guts of the game are loaded into the shell as plugins. The best part about this is that we have decided that we will release the shell as free software/open source. This effectively allows players to add their own plugins seamlessly. While we will continue to carefully guard the recipe for our secret alien sauce on the backend, the player program will be available to everyone once we release... maybe sooner if we think it would be beneficial.
September 20, 2005
a Recent Study conducted by NASA Scientists confirms the theory that aliens suck at estimating Earth units of time... First things first... we totally misjudged how long it would take to finish the stuff we've been working on. A significant increase in expletives from the programmers should have clued me in a little sooner. (Next time I take whatever the programmers estimate and multiply by a thousand.)
where there's smoke... Ok, so it has been awhile, what has been happening? Did we fall off the face of Atriana? No, of course not. We are working as hard as ever. Some really exciting things are in the pipeline for Atriarch and smokin! The way the player construction system works is different than what I've seen anywhere. It is a lot of fun. I really can't wait to share it. We also have continued to expand the alien culture and world. More on that will be coming your way soon.
WF Clients take up time... Part of the delay has been due to World Fusion business. We had to divert a bit of attention to our engineering clients to make sure they were taken care of in a top quality manner. (The work World Fusion does for its clients supplies a good portion of the funds for Atriarch development.) Since we are a small team, things move slower than we would like. Yet, as you know, we are committed to seeing the unique, alien world of Atriarch come to fruition. I'm really excited about it too!
New Website... The new website was planned to be launched after worst-first testing began. Therefore, the new website will happen as planned after testing begins. The game is our top priority at the moment.
Bringing Back a Friend... Tuesday Updates... The good part is that there really is so much to update and share and talk about. So, we decided to go back to updating every Tuesday like we did before instead of waiting for the Worst-First-Testing Phase to begin. We look forward to sharing more about the alien world of Atriana with you every week. See you next Tuesday!
July 28, 2005
well it's about time, yippeee!: Yes, we know things have been quiet around here. We are happy to report that although the website has been quiet, we have been working up a storm. It all seems to be coming together... albeit a few weeks later than we anticipated. In two weeks, we will send out emails to a small group of Worst-First Alpha testers. The people who are going to receive emails were part of this alpha test originally a long time ago when we had to put it on hold. We feel it is fair that that they are the first invited. It will be a very small group at first. When we are ready for an actual full-scale beta, then people on the beta list will be added.
This is very exciting! It is all coming together. We look forward to seeing everyone in the alien world of Atriana soon!
This is the original concept sketch of the Tyrusin Player Character.
Lepidus at mmorpg.com has been patiently waiting. We have a full Atriarch interview going to him soon. We'll let you know when its available. Also, we'll be kicking up the Atriarch Vault question of the week again soon. Lots of other fun stuff coming ... just as soon as we get this alpha test up and rolling :-)
June 23, 2005
the race to prepare for worst-first testing: This is an exciting, very busy and frustrating time for the Atriarch Team as we focus on preparing Atriarch for the first few people to step into and test the world. Exciting, because things are really coming together for Atriarch! Very Busy, because the reason things are coming together is because we are all working our alien butts off. Frustrating, because we really enjoy interacting with fellow gamers and the Atriarch community, but there just isn't enough time.
Anyway, we are going to have our heads buried while we prepare for Worst-First Testing. We are aiming to have our worst foot forward by the end of July. If everything goes as planned (which still has yet to happen), we will be right on schedule :-)
Therefore, our updates (and new website) are going to be a little less regular until we reach our testing goal over the next two months. This is bittersweet for us, because interest in Atriarch has really heated up! More than ever people want increasing amounts of AT information. At the same time, we more than ever really want to focus on getting some major bugs fixed and features implemented. So that's where our immediate focus lies.
Alien Furnishings: Although most of what we are working on right now is stability and server issues, we always leave at least a little time for content development. We talked a lot about player-construction in Atriarch. However, we never mentioned what would go into these buildings. That's because we didn't have any items at the time to go into them. That's now changing. We have an artist working on various alien styles of furnishings for buildings. By furnishings, we mean things like chairs, tables, statues, pots, etc. It is at the conceptual stage, but so far the concepts are looking great! You are welcome to contribute ideas if you like, even if it is just a description of what you'd like to see.
Atriarch Community: If you are craving Atriarch discussion, debate and information, there is some healthy discussion on Atriarch Vault and Atriarch Watcher. We also pop online to answer a quick question when time permits. Also, there is a new webmaster in town for Atriarch Vault, so Mattrios will be kicking it up a bit with some Atriarch fun :-)
June 9, 2005
This week, we add a new creature to our Bestiary.
Golos like to dig; it's what they do. They are good at it, and they do it a lot. Golos dig for various reasons. In the wild they do it to pursue various prey and to locate the mineral deposits they need to regenerate themselves. An area that has a large population of Golos tends to be a precarious area to traverse. Generally, the ground will be unstable and littered with holes that are exposed or covered by drifting soil. The unwary traveler can easily fall into one, some of which can be quite deep. So, always bring a rope. If you are lucky enough to capture a Golo, their body often contains various minerals that can be extracted and used to determine the content of the local soil.
(Some, but not all the support for these features are implemented yet. However, we post this to give an idea of the types of things we plan to do with creatures.)
June 2, 2005
Atriarch Development Update:
Harvesting Kicen Plants for Character Lives: Until now, this was mostly just design on paper, but it has been implemented into the world... woohoo! Kicen Plants produce a pod that is necessary in creating an offspring (aka: character lives). Players can harvest Kicen Plants and salvage a birthing pod. This can now be turned into a Specialty Skill.
Once the pod is harvested from the Kicen Plant, a player can plant (right now all that means is drop on the ground) the pod anywhere in the world and create a birthing location. The birthing pod is where the player's offspring will be born into the world should the current character die. If player character dies a list of the available birthing pod locations will be listed. The player then chooses from which pod it wants to birth.
Some interesting questions here are: How many offspring lives should be allowed? Can other players harvest pods for you? Should Kicen Plants be common or rare? Should other players be allowed to move your pods? Will this create an economy based on Character Life bartering? Birth pod brokers? These questions are easy things to tweak in the game as we test out the different possibilities.
Player Influence on the Planet of Atriana: The Atriarch Team has always been a big believer in giving the player a sandbox in which to play rather than a predictable and controlled environment. In fact, this belief is what weighs in heaviest when making design decisions. We envision gamers really taking part in the evolution of the world. The best thing about this is that we don't know how the world will end up. The players are in control of its destiny.
This is in stark contrast to many other game companies who want everything controlled. By 'controlled' I mean controlled by the developer rather than the player. Yes, of course, this type of game has value. The problem is that we are saturated with games controlled by the developer. Why then would we build yet another? We said this when we very first started Atriarch and we stand by it today; it is time for something different.
Atriarch has always tried to approach the game design from a point of view of what we would want to play. And what we want to play is an environment that we influence and that responds back... better yet an environment where players have a role in building and growing. That's the style of game we are aiming to achieve with Atriarch.
In the upcoming month, we are going to share more about the innovative approaches we are taking to insure that the world is evolved and influenced more by players than by developers and make Atriana your alien home away from home :-)
Best Atriarch Story from E3: It was the first day at E3. We were sitting in the one quiet area at the conference, the floor outside of Kentia Hall. We were giving a casual demo of Atriarch to mmorpg.com. I had just walked my Lokai character into the guard tower to grab up a Khanja staff and stone when a man none of us knew walked by, did a double take, walked back, and started staring at my screen. He then excitedly interrupted our demo, "That's cool! What game is that?" Of course, I gave him an Atriarch sticker. I thought that was pretty cool. Despite all the new, shiny objects around us, this gamer locked right into Atriarch. What was even better was that it happened during a demo, so I have witnesses.... hehe Woo Atriarch!
New Atriarch Website: The Atriarch Rebirthing, which includes a new Atriarch website and new Feature & FAQ, is being rescheduled to coordinate with the upcoming testing. We originally planned to launch the new website for May, but changed that plan for two main reasons. One, we want to optimize press coverage and think the timing is better if we coordinate the new website launch around testing time. As an independent game developer, we want to take advantage of that. Second,.this also allows for us to keep our resources focused on preparing for the upcoming Worst First Testing phase... which by the way is still on schedule. Let's keep our fingers crossed... uh, on second thought, the developers need their fingers to keep programming :-)
In progress: Our current development efforts continue to prepare Atriarch for Worst-First Testing. There's a lot to do. We want to live up to the testing phase's name (this will not be a testing phase most people will want to experience).
Deleted Update: All I can say is 'oops'. The update was written a day in advance to make sure it would be posted on time. Of course, Mr. Murphy had other plans. When I went to upload the update, I kinda... sorta... ok ok, I wasn't paying attention and accidentally deleted the file instead of copying it. I tried my best to rewrite everything I wrote the day before. If I remember something I'm missing, I'll post it next week. Thanks.
May 26, 2005 (I'm sure somewhere in the world it is still Thursday ;-)
It was one of the largest E3's ever. There were over 70,000 people in attendance. There were not hundreds, but thousands of games being showcased. It was a gamer's paradise... or so you would think. The first morning, the convention's air-conditioning broke down. Did I mention 70,000 people? Once you scooped away enough of the air to clear a path, you would find yourself in South Hall, the "pulse" of the convention. The second you walked into any of the massive exhibit halls at the LA Convention Center, your very being was assaulted by 500 million-watt screens and surround sound cranked to 4000 decibels. Los Angeles is still registering aftershocks on the Richter Scale.
At this stage, many independent developers would cower in the face of such an ostentatious display of screen size. Noooooo! Not us! The Atriarch Team was not daunted. It takes more than blinding colors and deafening sounds to stop us from bringing Atriarch to the masses! Our screen may be small, but our world is big. Atriana will swallow all of those human-designed, eleven-story screens and spit them out as alien pooh! (hmm... note to self... add alien pooh to the feature list.)
Despite the cacophony of site and sound, Atriarch's siren song (sung in Atrianese of course) lured in the curious to our high-tech, mobile Atriarch exhibit (aka: laptop). Our nimble nature paid off. A live demo of Atriarch found its way to press, publishers, technology partners, and my favorite, some avid Atriarch fans! It was great show for Atriarch. Everyone who saw Atriarch was excited to see it in action (a real live game rather than just screenshots), which of course made us ecstatic! We had the chance to show off some of the new character creation (still under works), latest skill features, and a fresh approach to player-construction.
Of course, the show was not without its glitches, but I'm going to leave those more exotic tidbits for the discussion forums.
Next Week: Everything Atriarch! Yes, I know you probably wanted more game and world update this week rather than an E3 postmortem. Shows like E3 take up a lot of time from the team, but they are still a necessary part of the industry. Next week, we'll make up for it by bringing you up to date on everything Atriarch! Yes, there will definitely be game and world info included! See you then :-)
May 17, 2005
Electronic Entertainment Expo: This week is E3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Our week is filled with meetings with publishers, interested parties, and press. When not in meetings, we will be wandering the expo floor checking out all the other games in development, but most importantly, we'll be ready to give live demos of Atriarch to anyone who wants to see it!
If you happen to see us at E3, then be sure to wave us down and we'll give you a demo of Atriarch's most recent incarnation.
May 10, 2005
A collection of Atriarch music, Torpor's Edge is an album compiled by Atriarch composer, Mark R. Irvin (aka: MRI) to provide a sampling of the audio you will hear in Atriarch. The album was originally made for mp3. With our recent switch to ogg format, we wanted to celebrate by making an ogg format of the album available on our site. Visit Atriarch's Download Section to download the album.
May 3, 2005
Atriarch Development Update:
New & Enhanced Salvage Skill: We already implemented the ability for Players to harvest resources. We also already implemented the ability for Players to have Skills. What we have not done until now is make harvesting require a Player Skill. We have now melded those features to create the latest Basic Player Skill: Salvage.
Salvage as a Player-Defined Specialty Skill: What is great about Salvage as a Basic Skill is that it can be made into a Player-Defined Specialty Skill directed at any potential Resource. What that means is that after a player has acquired the Basic Salvage Skill, a player can specialize it by directing their skill toward a particular resource. That is done through the player's actual actions in-game, not by choosing it on a drop-down list, nor by applying points.
For example, if a player wants to specialize in Kicen Plant Salvaging, then a player would direct their efforts and activities around the Kicen Plant. Salvaging from a Dubo Plant may improve the Salvage Basic Skill, but would not necessarily increase the Kicen Plant Salvage Specialty.
Right now, Kicen and Dubo Plants are the only resources that can be Salvaged. You can't do much with them yet, but they are salvageable which is necessary before we implement utilization. We will keep it to a couple plants for initial testing. It makes it easier to work out the kinks with a few plants rather than many.
New Character Selection In Development: As most you know, we have our Worst-First Testing planned for July. We figured it was a good time to get the Login and Character Selection looking better. Some of you may have seen some unauthorized screenshots floating around that show a not-so-purty initial entry into the world of Atriana. The poor Cavolon's tentacles were cut off. The Lokai's hands were missing. I won't even start with the Tyrusin and Eshlar. Anyway, we are fixing all this. For testing, we should have the first part of our new login and character selection process working. We'll post screenshots when ready. To the dismay of some Tyrusin, the Lokai and Cavolon will have all limbs in tact :-)
New Website Under Works: A quick update on Atriarch's new website. It is still under works. We are really excited and looking forward to launching that soon. However, we have no specific date yet for "soon". We figured the timing would be best if we wait until after E3 and closer to testing so that all the momentum builds up together. This is going to be one hell of a Rebirthing Ceremony!
April 26, 2005
It is the proverbial, good news/bad news. The good news is that we are deep in preparation for E3 activities to show off Atriarch. The bad news is that means you will have to wait until next Tuesday (May 3rd) for the next update. Thank you for your patience, and we'll see you on Tuesday! Woo Atriarch!
April 19, 2005
Atriarch Development Update:
New Audio Support: Woohoo! The team's work from the past few weeks has come to fruition. We are very excited about the newly implemented sound and music support. We are proud to continue our support of open formats. All of Atriarch's audio data is now stored in ogg format. The best part is that, unlike our previous audio, it now has very little impact on the performance. That's always a plus :-)
Now that we got this behind us, we are moving on to the next phase of our schedule: prepare the current set of features for testing in our worst-first testing. hmm... that is such a short sentence, yet it packs a lot of work. There are several loose ends that need tying up. It is one thing for it to work on a few local machines, but quite another to ready it for the mog hammer. Of course, we have all confidence of achieving what we set out. We just don't promise exact day and time ;-) We'll keep you posted as we chisel away.
Good news is that everything is still right on schedule :-) Woo Atriarch!
E3 in Los Angeles: We'll be at E3 in Los Angeles. If you will be there and like to see a live demo of Atriarch, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) us to schedule an appointment. Or you can just look for the infamous Atriarch tshirts and stickers :-)
Atriarch Community News: Mattrios from Atriarch Vault contacted us about starting up some community projects. We thought it was a great idea. He has an alien satchel of Atriarch Points to hand out as his discretion. We are excited to see what he comes up with. If you are interested, drop by and let him know.
April 12, 2005
New Sentient added to the Bestiary:
Nemesis of the Tyrusin. Bipedal. Organized. Brutal. Sentient. Have a long memory and a historical account that differs from the Tyrusin. Durakk hate Tyrusin because they feel they should be the ones partaking in the global economy and that they have been made to suffer at the hand (or paw) of the cruel, inferior species. (They think it should be the Durakk on the back of the Atriarch t-shirt.)
Screenshot of a Durakk clan in the Bolera Caverns
April 7, 2005
New Creature added to the Bestiary:
There are only three known herds of Giant Slugs. Unarra researchers have been tracking their movements for several hundred currans and only recently have some patterns begun to emerge. It appears they migrate not on a seasonal basis, but rather on a ten-curran cycle. They are compelled by a strange signal that some theorize come from deep within Atriana herself. Their passing is like that of a glacier, uprooting trees and moving soil and rock, changing the landscape as they go. Some say Giant Slugs are a force of nature and have no intelligence of their own. Others claim they are agents of Atriana and server her will.
April 5, 2005
Story Tidbit: Last week's screenshot was taken of Eshlar Cenar, a Student of Diplomacy learning about Cavolon-Eshlar relations. Bored of the long-winded proceedings, he quietly broke from his student delegation to explore the subterrane beneath the Cavolon Embassy. Cenar does not comprehend the purpose nor origin of the bulbous mass he encounters underground. Cenar would like to ask a Cavolon on the surface, but if diplomacy training taught him anything, then it is not to overtly address a Cavolon. Cenar understands he must find another approach to quench his curiosity of the brightly-colored and swelling tumor.
Cavolon Embassy and surrounding area.
In other news, we are continuing to work on the GNU/Linux client and Sound Support.
March 29, 2005
In addition to graphical improvements, the Atriarch Team is working on the following:
GNU/Linux client: We are working toward getting the GNU/Linux client of Atriarch ready in time for our Worst-First Testing that begins in July. We'll keep you posted to let you know if it will be ready in time. So far, it is right on schedule.
sound support: We are re-working the sound and music support for Atriarch. We have almost 20 hours of original music already written for Atriarch, and we would want to make sure you get to hear it :-)
fun screenshots: These screenshots are a bit older, but still fun. Where do you think this secret cave is hidden?
Any idea what area this young Eshlar finds itself? You are welcome to post your theory on the forums at either: AT Vault or AT Watcher. We'll post a screenshot of the outside of this location next week.
March 24, 2005
improved ground texture: We are taking steps toward improving the graphical quality of Atriarch. The screenshot below shows some of the progress we are making. We have improved the engine to support more detailed textures and better lighting on the ground. The ground outside of the Pallidrost Arena now looks more like a real surface rather than generic slosh.
Although most of our development time focuses on implementing gameplay features, we want our world to look good too. (Who knew vanity was an alien trait?) Graphic improvements will not be all at once. Rather, we will enhance them incrementally as development continues. Our focus remains on preparing the shell and servers for our worst-first testing phase beginning in Summer.
March 22, 2005
Worst-First (Alpha) Testing Begins in July: We will begin with a small outside testing group with Atriarch in July. The closest industry term for this phase of testing is alpha. However, a shirt I saw at Game Developer's Conference (GDC) last week captured the essence of early testing phases more accurately. Lucent Technologist and AI Programmer, Neil Kirby, was wearing a project shirt that read "Worst-First Testing Team". I think the phrase speaks for itself, and I decided to adopt the philosophy for Atriarch testing :-)
Of course, don't let the fact that we are calling it worst-first testing fool you. We are eager and excited to get the ball rolling again on testing. The sooner we get this into your hands, the faster we get your feedback and know if we are on the right track. While technical aspects of the game need testing, the fun factor is also very important to validate. Woo Atriarch Fun!!!
Many of you know that we had a brief flirtation with testing quite awhile ago. It was suspended while we worked out some issues. Now finally, the flirtation has turned into a date ;-) Of course, the original group of testers will still be included in testing, but will be phased in when it comes time for beta. We still have everyone's info and will update you as the schedule moves forward.
We will post another update this Thursday which will include a brand new Atriarch screenshot.
March 11, 2005
Today is the last day of Game Developer's Conference. We had planned on posting a journal of GDC today. However, instead our travels are continuing for one more week. Therefore, Tuesday, March 22, we will be back and updating you on everything Atriarch :-)
We will also be posting our intentions for Summer alpha testing... or "worst first testing" as I heard called at GDC. We'll see you then :-)
March 2, 2005
Last week, we posted about the start of our process to conceptualize new and bizarre alien architectures to make use of the unique player-building system in Atriarch. Many of you joined us in this quest by posting your ideas, feedback and thoughts on the subject.
One person posted that they would like to see architecture that could be built in the air. Funny you should mention that, because we had the same idea. (Great alien minds think alike!) We are not sure yet whether it will work, but who cares? This is the part of the process where our minds are unrestrained and we have fun thinking up all sorts of wonderful possibilities. This is a sketch of this concept we had previously.
Some of you posted some really weird and crazy things. We love that! Part of the point of being alien is to shed our human constraints and live wildly and freely in an exotic and superior form. Why be human when you can be alien?
Game Developer's Conference: Next week, we will be at GDC, therefore we will update late Friday at the end of the conference with news and interesting tidbits from the conference.
February 22, 2005
alien architecture: The process we go through to come up with the building blocks used by players starts with a conceptual architectural style, for example, "baroque with barnacles". From there, we graphically (by hand and/or 3D) design sample structures. Finally, we break those down into pieces and start to design potential building blocks.
Recently, we have been so focused on getting the code and engine up to speed that the content to support the new features has been simmering on the back burner. Now, we are moving our attention to the back burner while we brainstorm new and potential architectural styles from which the next set of building blocks will be designed. Currently, our designers and artists are brainstorming style concepts. If you would like to add in your two cents, then read along.
The building blocks that players use to build their own structures are designed by us, World Fusion. We do not allow for players to design their own blocks and then import them into the game. If you do want to help influence the alien architecture of Atriarch, now is the time to give us your feedback.
Question of the Week (Feedback Requested): What type of alien, bizarre, organic, fantastic architectural styles would you like to see? I encourage you to discuss it on the AT Vault and AT Watcher Discussion Boards.
Atriarch Live at Game Developer's Conference: We will be attending GDC next month in San Francisco. If you are there and would like to see Atriarch demo'd live, then drop us an email at email@example.com to schedule an appointment.
February 15, 2005
Atriarch Development Update
player-buildings - laying the foundation: A compelling and unique gameplay feature of Atriarch is the building block approach we take to player-constructed buildings. If you saw the pre-alpha movie, then you had a chance to see the previous iteration of construction which is basically a sandbox of building block goodies to form whatever structure the player desired. There were no gameplay constraints. There was no consideration for skill, gravity, land nor resources. Atriarch is meant to have a bit more of a realistic interaction which we have now added.
The Atriarch dev team has been working on adding gameplay elements to player-building. In a previous update we mentioned that a Foundation must be laid before building can commence. Atriarch has expanded the feature:
Multiple Player-Skills Required: The AT dev team is especially excited about the expanded player-building features, because this is a milestone for our development. It represents the first gameplay process in Atriarch that requires more than one Player Skill, assuming of course a player does it all themselves. First a player must have the skill to salvage the appropriate resources for the building blocks, then they must have the appropriate skill to actually utilize the resources for construction purposes. It is a basic example, yet a necessary plateau to reach before adding greater depth. Woo Atriarch!
February 10, 2005
Atriarch Rebirthing: Just a quick update tonight. As most of you know, Atriarch had a bit of a quiet period. To emerge from that quiet period, we are preparing for an Atriarch Rebirthing. We are really excited about all it entails. This rebirthing will include a fresh and redesigned website, revised FAQ, and of course new and more content. The Rebirthing Ceremony is tentatively planned for May. In the meantime, we will continue to update this site with regular info.
Next Tuesday we will post a dev update with world info.
February 3, 2005
Introducing Atriarch's Player Characters: Pre-Alpha Movie Available: Quite awhile ago, an in-game pre-alpha movie was made to introduce the Player-Character Species. We never got around to releasing it. We figured now is as good time as any :-) Therefore, we have made it available to those curious folks out there who want to get a glimpse into the early world of Atriana and meet the Atriarch Characters.
Please note that the movie does not include the new features and graphic improvements of the past year.
You can doweled Atriarch's In-Game Pre-Alpha Movie in our Download Section.
January 26, 2005
New descriptions were added to the creatures in the Bestiary. Below are two examples.
January 21, 2005
Today is a brief update to keep you posted on the dev team's current state of affairs. A "next update" date was added to the top of this page. You can always check there to see when to expect the next posting.
Engineering is working on deploying the latest version of Atriarch for our internal testers to bang on. Amongst other things, the design team is writing content utilized by Atriarch's combat system. We'll definitely keep you posted on the progress as we write content for all the new features that are supported.
A huge thanks to Lec who solved our email spam problems. World Fusion and Atriarch email is back up and running with Lec's super-server-spam killer. If you send email, then it should go through. Try to keep it as straightforward as possible. The new server assassin tends to go a little delete-happy sometimes ;-) Better that than billions of pieces of spam.
In other areas, some time was spent this week warming up the Atriarch Community websites. Some excellent discussions have started at both Atriarch Vault and AT Watcher. We encourage you to participate since we do read the boards. Once AT Vault gets a new webmaster, we will start the weekly Q&A on ATV.
Another interesting tidbit: this week we are composing a positive and reassuring public statement to let people know where World Fusion has been, and where we are going with Atriarch. We will release it some time in February. For those that have been following us closely for years, you pretty much already know the gist :-)
January 12, 2005
New!!! Atriarch Bestiary: Here you will find a sample of the many creatures you may encounter during your journey on the World of Atriana. We have listed 10 creatures so far. After a bit of debate (see below), we will add descriptions, as well as continue to expand the list.
Ecosystem Question of the Week: Last week, we posted that in the upcoming months we would release Atriana's ecosystem hierarchy. It spawned some passionate emails asking us not to post it, citing that it harms immersion and gameplay if it is easily revealed in advance. We would like to hear your opinions on the subject. How much information is too much information? How much of the "circle of life" should be part of learning in the world?
We encourage you to post your opinion in either:
January 6, 2005
Screenshots of a proud Architect Apprentice, Tromah
Tromah bows in respect while reciting the traditional Eshlar blessing which is performed each time something new and grand is created. (Since the Eshlar believe everything they build is grand, there is always a blessing.)
Year in Review
With the Atriarch's development momentum back again, a lot of great things happened during 2004. Of course, things rarely go as fast as you would like, especially in software. However, when reviewing all we got done this past year, I was very pleased to see the list.
A quick review of some of the major new features added to Atriarch include:
Last year we also released several new screenshots including the 2-minute Atriarch Screenshot Demo. We also took time to answer questions about Atriarch in interviews, online dev chats and of course supported the open source community. Even the Lokai's former Trademaster made an appearance.
The momentum continues! This is some of what you will see in the upcoming months:
January 1, 2005
Happy New Year from the Atriarch Team!!!
This Thursday, we will post an Atriarch Development Update, including our exciting plan for the upcoming months and of course New Screenshots to kick off the year :-)
Last updated: February 8, 2012
All Content © 1998-2012 World Fusion®
Atriarch is a registered trademark of World Fusion®