20 August

Thought for food...

By Caspian

Hey All!

Welcome to the weekly Chronicles of Elyria update for the week of August 15th! A lot of work is happening right now, but no pithy parables or monologues for this week. Just more great content to show. So let's jump right into the roll call.

Production

The focus of production continues to be hiring. We've got amazing candidates across all the different disciplines. I had the fortunate opportunity to interview not 5, not 10, not even 20... but 25 different candidates this week. We continue to move through the hiring process with some of them and will be reaching out to some others for the first time next week.

As we hire new team members, we'll make our usual announcements.

Web Team

Web development continues. Work is being done on the front-end of the store and mail system, and soon the back-end will receive some love. It's not too much longer now. Store arrival is imminent. In the meantime, a lot of work has been done this week on reducing load times and we're working to get off of the remote font server, as that seems to be one of the major culprits.

Design & Concept

The design and concept teams have been working together much more closely lately. It's great to see, and the results coming out are spectacular. This week we've got two new concepts to show you, both from the Tundra. As the subject of this update suggests, you've heard of 'food for thought,' but we're much more 'thought for food' at this point. Sorry, that's a world-building pun. In any case, our designers are building a complete food chain for our Tundra and Taiga biomes and have been working on primary and secondary consumers.

First, the Cup-Flower Porcupine is a Primary Consumer that eats fungi, lichen, moss, and other small plants in the Tundra. The cute little rodent resembles porcupines in our world but with one important adaptation. Plants in the Tundra, such as the Arctic Poppy, tend to grow and flower fast, with cup-like petals as a way to capture and store heat efficiently. The Cup-Flower Porcupine's quills do similar, with flower-like appendages on the end that open instinctively. Not only does it help the little guy stay warm, but also serves as a form of camouflage. When stationary, he can lie down and make himself look like a small patch of flowers.

Flower-Cup Porcupine Concept Figure 1 - Flower-Cup Porcupine Concept

The second animal this week is a secondary consumer and a predator of the Cup-Flower Porcupine. The Domino Fox is much like arctic foxes in our world but with a very specific adaptation - the addition of a domino mask allows them to dig through snow and ice looking for food, and also acts as a protective shield when attacking those prickly little porcupines.

Domino Fox Concept Figure 2 - Domino Fox Concept

Character Art

This week the Character Artists have been working on texturing and coloring of the equipment system, as well as improvements to our male model for the purpose of aging and body dynamics.

Seen here is a picture one of our artists put together that shows some different materials and colors, again giving you an idea of how customizable equipment in CoE will be. Pick your fabrics, pick your dyes, and get to work creating your own style.

Custom Fabrics and Materials Figure 3 - Custom Fabrics and Materials

Several months ago we showed the aging and body dynamics video. This allowed us to demonstrate moving between a thin and heavy male, as well as a young and old male, but we didn't yet have the blend shapes in place to go from a thin old man to a heavy old man. Well, here ya go... Note, we cropped it to avoid having to paint another 'blur spot' over his private bits.

Dynamic older male model Figure 4 - Dynamic older male model

Engineering & Animation

Our final update this week is a new video! Yay! Engineering, animation, and environment have all worked hard to create a smooth locomotion system and a beautiful world to run around in. So per our hint last week, below you'll find a video of Titan's Steppe, the setting for Prologue: The Awakening.

A few quick notes, we're currently in design and development phase, and I'm a firm believer in the practice of 'optimizing last.' This means that there's no point in spending a lot of time optimizing your solution while trying to validate and test your ideas. As a result, we haven't attempted any form of optimization yet. So you'll notice in the video below that, with the addition of the screen capture software, we're running at between 30 and 60 FPS.

But don't let that discourage you. Indeed, quite the opposite. Notice the neat looking mountains in the background... Well, part of the frame-rate issues are because we're rendering that... entirely. That's not a skybox. Everything you see in the background is a complex, full-LOD mesh. It won't take much to get us to a point where we're once again running as smooth as butter.

Finally, not all animations are still in place, noticeably absent is our landing animation. In either case, the system is nearly complete, and movement in the world is now intuitive, responsive, and fun.

Figure 5 - Tour of Titan's Steppe

Conclusion

Well, this update has been short and sweet, but hopefully, it continues to instill confidence that development is moving along great. There's more and more content coming on board all the time, and with the team doubling in size in the next 6-8 weeks, we're just about to hit our stride. Stay tuned!

Discuss

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Dora - 2 years ago

This is flawless...\

Urbanmyth - 2 years ago

The area outside the town reminds me of Kingdom Come, which I think is awesome. I like the run through the city. Looks like anything I could touch there would do something. Would those stalls and streets be pretty busy during the day? Would there be hawking and haggling going on by NPC and players? I also noticed the wind streaks behind the player as he ran. Are there going to be indications like that for certain player movements? (running, falling, swimming...)

Roarken - 2 years ago

I can see those porcupines being domesticated and becoming household pets! They're so adorable!

Odsbodikins - 2 years ago
@Roarken:

My first thought was how do I catch one in game and tame it? Also the Conifer rats.

alphabee1 - 2 years ago

This looks gorgeous, can't wait to actually play the game. This is a whole new concept and era to gaming. thank you so much. iv'e literally been waiting 8 years for a game like this to come out!!!!

Kalfax - 2 years ago

i love the porcupine! plz let me have one!

DragonMyth - 2 years ago

I would love to make my own guild but how do i make my own guild thread? is that even possible just by being a member of this game? If there's any suggestions please let me know. Thank you

DragonMyth - 2 years ago

I willing to join anyone's guild if you guys are willing to accept me. If anyone is willing to accept me then add the future guild name and i promise to join

AerenRedwind - 2 years ago
@DragonMyth:

If you'll play on an eu server, join the romarian empire! http://www.romarian-empire.eu/

gremory - 2 years ago
@DragonMyth:

it's hard to reply if you don't give more info like, which surfer are you gonna play on and the type of character you're gonna play!?

DragonMyth - 2 years ago
@gremory:

you have a point i didn't think of that, i'm willing to be a blacksmith and make weapons for the guild don't care what server

Meownta - 2 years ago

How does the guild system work? i wanna make one but i need some assistance getting to know the system a bit..

LianaSux - 2 years ago

SO EXCIIITTEEEDDD

andrewolfzoom - 2 years ago

the only way i might buy this is if it takes about 5 years to come out~~or more because i tried of rushed out games my money can be given out so many times. but i like how everything is looking. you might want to look into if you can make it to be VR friendly not gonna like this is gonna be my SAO if it does (plz don't trap the player in the game i don't think it would be wise)

gremory - 2 years ago
@andrewolfzoom:

well you are trapt in the game because logging out doesn't mean you're character is.it will stay there in till it dies!!!

Entryd - 2 years ago

I'm ridiculously excited for the entire concept of this game! I hope you guys find who you need, my guild would love to be a part of the testing (if you need that sort of thing!).

gremory - 2 years ago
@Entryd:

which guild are you in?

Scylurus - 2 years ago

First off, love the design of the new animals, the artwork is gorgeous but (yes there's always a but) I do see a few problems with them.

From an evolutionary standpoint the Domino Fox makes little sense unless it either has an armored nose and mouth as well plus double lidded eyes for protection against quills or it headbutts with other foxes in dominance displays, otherwise the 'mask' is just excess baggage that'd make them unsuited for hunting. In real world nature porcupines are still hunted by predators who have no such protection, it's just that it isn't as easy. Most predators lose patience and leave the creatures alone rather quickly. Those that don't usually have quills stuck to their lips, nose and mouth rather than their skull.

Foxes are lithe and agile creatures, so a heavy keratin or even bone plate would hamper that mobility. Plus since you've said they are native to a Tundra biome, they're going to lose a lot of body heat through that mask, leading to frostbite and possibly damage to the soft tissue, especially the eyes. The effect of fur layering and/or blubber is what protects from the icy cold. Keratin just doesn't have the same insulating effect.

And then there's the porcupine... well I think the biggest problem is just your choice of biome for them. In the Tundra these cute (at least to some) things are gonna die, fast. The Tundra is cold, friggin cold. So either these creatures migrate northwards during the growing season, or they are doomed to extinction.

The design exposes an almost naked underside to a ground that is characterized by permafrost and given him bony digits and huge eyes, all of which are susceptible to damage from harsh icy winds. Now you could of course say they burrow and hibernate but digging through permafrost is not the easiest of things and the design doesn't warrant that kind of digging capability.

My suggestion, either make the porcupines fatter with smaller eyes or move them to the Taiga where they have a better chance of survival, or make them migratory.

Anyway just my two cents on the subject. Keep up the good work. Hope to see more creatures soon.

Halvgrim - 2 years ago

Slightly unrelatedly. If you breed wild animals to be domesticated, then they may change color. See Dmitry Belyaevs fox experiments But perhaps this is a little too advanced for CoE....

Azair - 2 years ago
@Halvgrim:

nm

gremory - 2 years ago
@Azair:

....

Takeda_Shinukage - 2 years ago

I love how they give us the science and meaning of why the animals exist. It really gives a sense of meaning and connection to the world. However, on a side note I hope there will be breeds that they don't announce that players have to discover and figure out how and why it has the adaptations that it does. That would be cool. Either way gj.

ALMUGON - 2 years ago

good job guys i cant wait to play the game

HoDo - 2 years ago

Can i work here for free just to witness such a wonderfull work ? , i will get you food and drinks ^^

Kezz_Valour - 2 years ago

Domino Fox is pet worthy.

PraiseTheLard - 2 years ago

Love the little bits of lens flare from armor in the sunlight, and the small touch of motion blur when sprinting. River looked a little odd from the top of the hill, but mostly better the closer it got Zn though it seemed to be found a little texture pop there. Looks amazing for how early you are.

Luccheno - 2 years ago

Suddenly in love with those animals .

Aubriella - 2 years ago
@Luccheno:

Posted By Luccheno at 9:24 PM - Sun Aug 21 2016

Suddenly in love with those animals .

Me too! <3

I can see the flower-cup porcupine becoming a popular pet for rich countesses to travel around town with. They look pretty, and they prevent any unsavoury characters from getting too close :D

No one wants to step on a porcupine.

Bladern - 2 years ago

nice job guys keep up the good work

Lentor - 2 years ago

Love it! One of the things that I first noticed in the video was the landing animation, but you did say that you were working on more animations, including the landing, so I'm happy! Overall it's beautiful and I really can't wait to beta test this game!

Maygus - 2 years ago
@Lentor:

All animations are not final I imagine. For example that big a jump would leave some damage "aka stumble/falling animation" also there's a slight disconnect from the jog -> sprint transition. Not quite natural enough.

Mesis - 2 years ago

porcupine is just amazing, not only it kills you with cuteness but you could set up a minefield with them

Plume - 2 years ago

The water needs a bit of work, it looks rather ugly from afar. The landing animation too.

Love the porcupine :D.

Miuku - 2 years ago

that looks absolutely stunning! even without the NPC's it looks like a place where people live, a proper settlement. apart from the landing animations, I cant help but notice, that on the walk the hands look a little stiff and when you phase to run, they look like hands with joints.. might be just me but hey, it's beautiful, I'd play it as it is :D

StormOfProteus - 2 years ago

That fox is so cute!

The Doomkitten - 2 years ago

Wow. That looked brilliant. The world is bloody amazing-looking.

But for some reason, I now have this fantasy of you having "on-staff" voice actors so that we can have a fully-voiced game, no matter what happens in-game. With BioWare-style dialogue choices.

Alas, it is nothing but a fantasy, beautiful and exquisite though it may be.

lenkek - 2 years ago

Very interesting.

Sullen - 2 years ago

Well, now I'm depressed. I can no longer run through the fields barefoot and feel the grass between my toes. That cute Cup-Flower Porcupine has put a stop to that fun little activity.

The animations are amazing as usual, however, in my opinion the run speeds are off a bit. The full speed is way too fast especially with plate, it should be more like the jog speed, and the jog speed could be just a little slower. But all that will come with time. Overall a great little video.

Najanhoth - 2 years ago

I like the Domino Fox, it looks awesome.

BballEP - 2 years ago

Looking good

Tutablack - 2 years ago

nice work, love the porcupine.

Kai Bloodwolf - 2 years ago

this basicly means when running across the stepe detour around yellow patches

Caspian - 2 years ago
@Kai Bloodwolf:

Posted By Kai Bloodwolf at 5:20 PM - Sat Aug 20 2016

this basicly means when running across the stepe detour around yellow patches

Always a good idea to avoid the yellow snow in the Tundra...

NomadicAlchemist - 2 years ago

Would absolutely suck to step on a cup-flower porcupine, can't look at a patch of flowers the same way again.

Shadowmay - 2 years ago

The first thing that crossed my mind was: ' Don't force me to kill that adorable porcupine! I hope it is not food for us as well xD ''

Craft - 2 years ago

Wow great progress for this week. This is why I have high hopes for you guys. Love the creativity of the porcupine. Keep it up!

Solovanov - 2 years ago

Elyria confirmed as a huge science experiment on crossbreeding plants and animals.

All hail head researcher Angelica.

CeciliaNightale - 2 years ago

Oh my! That Porcupine is sooooooo cute!! Can I have one as a pet? Can I have all the animals you have so far as pets? They are all so incredible I want them all!

pe1irrojo - 2 years ago
@CeciliaNightale:

...start a zoo. I think players at least wound pay to see them.

RomanceNinja - 2 years ago

This is quite amazing in how it looks for a game that is in pre-alpha! Though the jumping mechanics may need a little tweaking.

mystichaze - 2 years ago

Excellent video! Keep up the good work guys.

I am not sure if I am the only one that took notice, but if you watch the PC's head as he moves throughout the landscape, you will notice that it follows the angle of your camera.

I have seen this feature in other games however done with your mouse pointer, and always isolated to your individual screen. Not allowing other Players to witness where your attention is.

If I am not mistaken a while back, I read somewhere or heard in a Q&A that CoE intended for this movement to be visible to other players as well.

I guess for me this raises the question as to whether or not we will be able to see what direction other players are looking, by their Avatar's movements?

I hope so cause. You know, it will just make this so much more realistic and exciting. Especially for the deviant type. :)

Caspian - 2 years ago
@mystichaze:

Posted By mystichaze at 3:56 PM - Sat Aug 20 2016

Excellent video! Keep up the good work guys.

I am not sure if I am the only one that took notice, but if you watch the PC's head as he moves throughout the landscape, you will notice that it follows the angle of your camera.

I have seen this feature in other games however done with your mouse pointer, and always isolated to your individual screen. Not allowing other Players to witness where your attention is.

If I am not mistaken a while back, I read somewhere or heard in a Q&A that CoE intended for this movement to be visible to other players as well.

I guess for me this raises the question as to whether or not we will be able to see what direction other players are looking, by their Avatar's movements?

I hope so cause. You know, it will just make this so much more realistic and exciting. Especially for the deviant type. :)

Glad you noticed that! Yes, your head looks toward your forward vector. Turning your camera causes your head to move in that direction, and is visible to others. So people can always see which direction you're facing.

Takeda_Shinukage - 2 years ago
@Caspian:

Posted By Caspian at 7:09 PM - Sat Aug 20 2016

Posted By mystichaze at 3:56 PM - Sat Aug 20 2016

Excellent video! Keep up the good work guys.

I am not sure if I am the only one that took notice, but if you watch the PC's head as he moves throughout the landscape, you will notice that it follows the angle of your camera.

I have seen this feature in other games however done with your mouse pointer, and always isolated to your individual screen. Not allowing other Players to witness where your attention is.

If I am not mistaken a while back, I read somewhere or heard in a Q&A that CoE intended for this movement to be visible to other players as well.

I guess for me this raises the question as to whether or not we will be able to see what direction other players are looking, by their Avatar's movements?

I hope so cause. You know, it will just make this so much more realistic and exciting. Especially for the deviant type. :)

Glad you noticed that! Yes, your head looks toward your forward vector. Turning your camera causes your head to move in that direction, and is visible to others. So people can always see which direction you're facing.

Will there be a option to have a centered camera vs the "action" styled camera used in the video?

mystichaze - 2 years ago
@Caspian:

Posted By Caspian at 5:09 PM - Sat Aug 20 2016

Posted By mystichaze at 3:56 PM - Sat Aug 20 2016

Excellent video! Keep up the good work guys.

I am not sure if I am the only one that took notice, but if you watch the PC's head as he moves throughout the landscape, you will notice that it follows the angle of your camera.

I have seen this feature in other games however done with your mouse pointer, and always isolated to your individual screen. Not allowing other Players to witness where your attention is.

If I am not mistaken a while back, I read somewhere or heard in a Q&A that CoE intended for this movement to be visible to other players as well.

I guess for me this raises the question as to whether or not we will be able to see what direction other players are looking, by their Avatar's movements?

I hope so cause. You know, it will just make this so much more realistic and exciting. Especially for the deviant type. :)

Glad you noticed that! Yes, your head looks toward your forward vector. Turning your camera causes your head to move in that direction, and is visible to others. So people can always see which direction you're facing.

Woot! {Does the happy dance}

Dirk_Mandrake - 2 years ago

Thanks for the update.. Really neat :D

Viddy - 2 years ago

Will the quills of the Flower-cup porcupine be poisonous? Maybe another defense against pesky predators? The venom or poison at the end of the quills could give the quill tip (flower-cup) its distinct yellow color? Just an idea.

Woogawoman - 2 years ago

Is it Cup-Flower Porcupine (as in the text, and which makes sense from the description of "cup flowers") or Flower-Cup Porcupine (as in the image caption)?

Great wiki minds need to know. ;)

morkulth - 2 years ago

Congrats for this video in PRE-ALPHA, a lot of relaeased games would like same quality like this.... Regards!!!!

Azair - 2 years ago

Awesome!

Ticktackbar - 2 years ago

This is very nice to see. I think the walk/run/sprint animation is nearly perfect (from a visual aspect), from a mechanical aspect we would have to play it to see how it feels. I have two questions. 1. your player model looks a lot like Jamie Lannister, coincidence? 2. The jump mechanic seems to be a little unrealistic as far as height and distance, is that still a work in progress? Overall I really enjoy everything about this game.

Bagger - 2 years ago

It could be funny to find a magic way to be immortal (still killable)

thecoldones - 2 years ago

Great work. I can't wait to become old and fat.

Zunjin - 2 years ago
@thecoldones:

Posted By Caspian at 8:45 PM - Sat Aug 20 2016

>this update has been short and sweet

I'll take short and sweet every day, when it has such awesome pictures and videos to offer.

You guys did an amazing job. Keep it up and keep it rolling. :)


Posted By thecoldones at 10:40 PM - Sat Aug 20 2016

Great work. I can't wait to become old and fat.

I already beat you to it. ;P

Arthos - 2 years ago

The amount of detail is stunning. I love it sooo much!

Mythical13 - 2 years ago

I would not like to be running across the tundra one day and step into a flower-cup porcupine, thinking it's just a little bit of grass and flowers! Sounds like a very useful caltrop defence. But it does look horribly cute laying splayed out like that.

Thank you so much for the regular updates.

Antelino - 2 years ago
@Mythical13:

I don't think it's that dangerous, hedghogs don't very hard spikes, your boots will prolly crunch them :P

VVestern - 2 years ago

Heat is doing great work with all of the fauna concept art, keep it up!

I know my character is going to be an explorer, so I can't wait to see which pets will be available for taming.

Maulvorn - 2 years ago

Amazing animals, can't wait to hunt a flowering porcupine